World Cup latest – Half-time extended by two minutes

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Half-time extended by two minutes – The IRB has confirmed the half-time length for the 2011 World Cup matches will be increased to 12 minutes.

IRB head of the Rugby World Cup Kit McConnell said the longer break had already been tested in the northern hemisphere, and that the laws of the game were changed in November by members of the IRB Council to allow half-times up to 15 minutes.

‘International matches in the northern hemisphere go to around twelve-and-a-half minutes including matches the All Blacks have played in recent northern hemisphere tours, so it’s not unusual,’ McConnell said.

McConnell denied rumours that the IRB was considering instating a half-time break of 20 minutes. He also said that the proposal of a 12-minute break was put to the various teams earlier in the year.

‘There’s a number of factors obviously to consider, one is the teams and we sought feedback from a number of the teams before making the final decision.

“The second one is the venue operations and a large part of the reason the English Premiership went to 15 minutes is to help out the spectators and alleviate the crush on toilets and food and beverages at half-time. Obviously there’s broadcast considerations also in terms of half-time analysis and commercial breaks.

‘When we looked at what was happening around the world we decided 12 minutes was probably a very good result to balance all those considerations.’

Fiji wait on Nacewa – Leinster utility back Isa Nacewa will be given time to decide whether he wants to represent Fiji at the World Cup or not.

Nacewa told British media this week he had yet to decide whether he would play at the tournament after a long season with Leinster. The formers Blues player, who already has one Fiji cap, plans to discuss the matter with his family before making a final decision in the next two weeks.

‘We’ve already had our chats with him [Nacewa]. Now the ball is in his hands,’ coach Sam Domoni said. ‘He now has to manage and make sure what is beneficial to him. We all want him to come and he understands that. So he’s got to manoeuver his club and his family.

‘For us it’s a family concept – family comes first in everything we do. If the heart is not with us, then he cannot execute what is required of him. We cannot force anybody to come.’

Fiji last week named the first 43 members of a 50-man preparation squad, leaving seven places open.

If Nacewa decides to join the team, he will come against the Springboks during the pool stages of the global tournament.