World Cup latest – Phillips back in RWC frame

Keo.co.za brings you news related the World Cup.

Phillips back in RWC frame - Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips’ ban for his involvement in disorderly conduct in public was lifted, paving the way for his involvement at the World Cup.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) banned Phillips on June 17 following allegations of his involvement in a late-night fracas in Cardiff city centre.

However, after he apologised on Monday, the governing body announced his immediate reinstatement to the squad.

Phillips said: ‘As a player I’m really passionate and never back down. I know I can’t allow that part of my character to come to the surface off the rugby pitch. I have realised I have an issue with the way in which I deal with, and have dealt with, the pressures of my current environment and have sought, and will continue to seek, help and advice in relation to that issue.’

Corniel chases Cup dream – Former Cheetahs lock Corniel van Zyl has been selected for Italy’s preliminary World Cup squad.

Van Zyl moved to Italian club Treviso after winning the Currie Cup with Free State, and in doing so resigned himself to the fact that he would never represent the Springboks. While he won’t get the chance to wear the green and gold at the World Cup, Van Zyl was recently named in Italy’s preliminary squad.

Van Zyl qualified for Italy selection in November 2010, and while he has represented Italy A in the Churchill Cup this year, he is yet to play for the senior Test team.

Blues doc denies Woodcock injury rumours - Blues team doctor Stephen Kara maintains Tony Woodcock will be ready for the World Cup despite suggestions to the contrary.

A New Zealand newspaper interviewed former All Blacks prop Craig Dowd on Sunday, who said the medical team had ‘blew it’ in their management of Woodcock’s foot injury and that Woodcock would require surgery.

Kara has hit back, saying the incumbent loosehead should be ready for the World Cup and that surgery is not necessary at this stage of the season.

Japan focus on attack – Coach John Kirwan is expecting a sharper showing when Japan compete in the Pacific Nations Cup.

Kirwan said that the Brave Blossoms will need to be more incisive if they hope to penetrate the likes of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Japan recently played against a makeshift side consisting of Japanese domestic league players and won 49-7.

‘Defensively we stuck to our patterns and got off the line and tackled well,’ said Kirwan. ‘Our accuracy wasn’t always as we would have liked. We lost our structure in attack a couple of times and if we had been a little more patient we could have scored a couple more tries.

‘We’re trying to play a different style of game with our halfbacks becoming a big part of our attack, and you started to see that today. We need to work really hard to get some results at the PNC.

‘Samoa, Tonga, Fiji have all reinforced their sides with European players so it’s going to be a very difficult tournament for us.’

Japan play their first match of the competition against Samoa on Saturday.