Australian Wallabies team to play Russia named

The selection of regular No 8 Radike Samo on the wing is the most notable among a number of changes made to the Wallabies side announced today for Saturday’s historic first ever clash against Russia.

Samo finished last week’s 67-5 win over the United States on the wing after a spate of injuries disrupted the Australian backline, scoring a try. He has been given a further chance to shine in the position as coach Robbie Deans shuffles his resources for Australia’s final pool match in the upper South Island city of Nelson.

Just two backs, and four forwards, have been retained in their starting positions from the run on combination that Australia fielded against the United States of America last Friday night.

Flyhalf Quade Cooper and winger Drew Mitchell remain in the backline.

Around them it is all change, with James O’Connor resuming after a hamstring injury at fullback, while Samo returns to the wing position he originally played in for the Canberra Vikings after his arrival in Australia in the late 1990s.

Last week’s hat-trick man, Adam Ashley-Cooper, moves from wing to centre, combining in the midfield with Berrick Barnes, after he performed well coming off the bench in Wellington.

Luke Burgess gains his first tournament start operating behind the Australian pack, but all three halfbacks in the Wallabies squad may get a run, with last week’s skipper Will Genia and third halfback Nick Phipps the only backs named on the bench.

Should Phipps feature along with reserve prop Salesi Ma’afu, all of Australia’s 30-man squad will have gained on-field time during the pool phase. The Australian Sevens representative would also become the first player to have represented the new Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise at a Rugby World Cup.

While Australia still has four backs – fullback Kurtley Beale, winger Digby Ioane and midfielders Rob Horne and Pat McCabe – unavailable through injury; the pressure is at least starting to ease on the Wallabies forwards.

Skipper and lock James Horwill and loose forward Scott Higginbotham both return, after being sidelined last week, while flanker David Pocock is also back in harness, with last year’s John Eales Medal winner featuring for the first time since Australia’s opening match of the tournament.

His return moves Force team-mate Ben McCalman from the side to the back of the scrum, while all three Australian hookers have been included, with Stephen Moore starting while Tatafu Polota Nau and Saia Fainga’a will play from the bench.

Although injuries have taxed Australia’s resources, with this week’s loss of No 8 Wycliff Palu for the tournament due to a hamstring injury the latest setback, Deans has no doubt that the combination selected for the weekend can get the result needed to secure Australia’s position in the next round of the competition.

“While there are various permutations as to where we might finish, we need to win first and foremost. No one in our group is looking beyond this match,” Deans says.

“The Russians won’t be easy. They will be excited about the prospect of playing against a top tier nation and will be looking to finish their first Rugby World Cup with a strong performance. They have been competitive in their three matches to date and scored two tries against Ireland.”

Deans says the inclusion of all three squad halfbacks, and all three hookers, was caused by the team’s current injury circumstance, as was the inclusion of Samo on the wing.

“We’ve had to be a bit creative but it’s never been about the number on their back,” he says.

“The players all know the role-play. While some of them might be out of their normal positions, they won’t let us down and will enjoy the opportunity. We saw that last week with Radike [Samo] and Tatafu [Polota Nau] in the match against the United States.”

A bonus point win will advance Australia into the quarter-finals, although the Wallabies will most likely finish as Pool C runners-up unless Italy beats Ireland in Dunedin on Sunday.

If both Australia and Italy were to record bonus point wins, and finish tied on the final standings, Australia would advance as the pool’s top qualifier because of its 32-6 win over Italy earlier in the tournament.

The Wallabies team to play Russia in the ninth match of Pool C at the Rugby World Cup, at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm NZ Daylight Saving time, 12.30pm AEST) is:

15. James O’Connor (Western Force)

14. Radike Samo (Queensland Reds)

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)

12. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)

11. Drew Mitchell (NSW Waratahs)

10. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)

9. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)

8. Ben McCalman (Western Force)

7. David Pocock (Western Force)

6. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)

5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)

4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds, captain)

3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs)

2. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

1. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)

Run on Reserves:

16. Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs)

17. Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)

18. Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies)

19. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)

20. Rocky Elsom (Brumbies)

21. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)

22. Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)

Test Notes

  • This is the first instance of Australia facing Russia in rugby union.
  • Russia, which has qualified for its first Rugby World Cup, became the tournament’s 25th individual participant by doing so.
  • Saturday’s match is the 529th Test played by a side recognised as representing Australia. Russia will become the 24th different opponent to have featured against the Wallabies in those Test matches, and the first ‘new’ opponent since Australia played the combined Pacific Islands side at Adelaide in 2004.
  • The only participant on debut in 2011, this match represents the Russians last opportunity to avoid becoming the ninth country unable to win a match on its Rugby World Cup debut. Japan, Tonga and Zimbabwe all came away empty handed from the inaugural event in 1987 while Cote ‘D Ivoire (1995), Spain and Namibia (1999), Georgia (2003) and Portugal (2007) have subsequently failed to register a win during their maiden Rugby World Cup appearances. Russia has already lost Pool matches against the United States of America, Italy and Ireland.
  • During the Cold War era, a side represented the USSR, appearing in Nelson during the Soviets’ 1991 tour of New Zealand. The political break-up of the former Soviet Union later that year saw the individual republics go their own separate way. Two of them have subsequently featured at the Rugby World Cup, with Russia’s entry this year following on from Georgia’s admittance to the tournament at the 2003 event in Australia.
  • While Australia is on debut at Trafalgar Park in Nelson, the venue did host both the NSW Waratahs and Brumbies sides in Super Rugby matches earlier in the year after the Crusaders franchise relocated the matches from earthquake-hit Christchurch.
  • Nelson was the venue for the first recorded game of rugby union in New Zealand, 141 years ago on 14 May, 1870.

Gavin Rajah -no shaver for 2011 -whats going on!!!!!!!!!!!

Allister Coetzee today released his DHL WP team to take on The Sharks, on Saturday 1 October, at Mr Price Kings Park at 17h05.

Allister Coetzee today released his DHL WP team to take on The Sharks, on Saturday 1 October, at Mr Price Kings Park at 17h05.

Heinrich Steyl starts at 15 and Conrad Jantjes who has not trained this week, will play off the bench. Berton Klaasen starts at 13, giving Sadie who will play off the bench a break. Nizaam Carr is included at 8 for the injured Koster, who is named on the bench bracketed with the returning Pieter Louw. Siya Kolisi is promoted to the starting XV in jersey 7, with Tertius Daniller moving to the bench. Adriaan Fondse returns at 4 lock for Hilton Lobberts who is rested completely this week. JC Kritzinger returns from a long injury lay-off in the 1 jersey with JD Moller falling out of the match 22.

The team to play is:

15. Heinrich Steyl

14. Danie Poolman

13. Berton Klaasen

12. Marcel Brache

11. JJ Engelbrecht

10. Lionel Cronje

9. Dewaldt Duvenage

8. Nizaam Carr

7. Siya Kolisi

6. Nick Fenton-Wells

5. De Kock Steenkamp

4. Adriaan Fondse

3. Brok Harris

2. Tiaan Liebenberg (C)

1. JC Kritzinger


16. Deon Fourie

17. Frans Malherbe

18. Tertius Daniller

19. Nick Koster /Pieter Louw

20. Louis Schreuder

21. Johann Sadie

22. Conrad Jantjes

Referee: Mark Lawrence

KICK-OFF: 17h05


As the current season of Idols comes to an end, joint winner of the 2009 competition, Jason Hartman, has been hard at work with various initiatives and projects. This year alone has seen performances in the Royal wedding festivities in Monaco, a collaboration with a world-renowned songwriter, a part in a movie as well as an active role in providing a voice against global poaching. Not to forget, Jason is currently working on new material for a single to be released within the next couple of months as well as a new album release in 2012.In July, Jason took part in the wedding festivities of the Prince and Princess of Monaco where he and his band opened for The Eagles. This performance earned him a standing ovation and soon entrenched Jason as a celebrity off South Africa soil. He performed a number of gigs in Monaco and appeared on Radio Monaco, where he has new fewer than two songs off his current album, On The Run (Sony Music), play listed.

Whilst in Monaco, Jason was introduced to legendary Italian singer songwriter Umberto Tozzi, who had smash hits with Gloria and Ti Amo (both later covered by the late Laura Branigan in the eighties). The pair will be working together on new material, which will be considered for Jason’s forthcoming album.

Jason has also been selected as an ambassador the International Anti- Poaching Foundation (IAPF) where he will be not only using his “celebrity capital” to raise awareness around the current issue, but will undergo intensive physical training to play an active part in the combat against poaching, a global problem that is threatening the extinction of many species including rhino.As an avid gardener, Jason has for the last few years been on a mission to empower people in poorer communities with the skills to sustain themselves through planting and maintaining their own vegetable crops.

Most recently, Jason had his debut role in the local movie A Million Colours, which was released at the 2011 Montreal Film Festival. The film is due to hit South African screens later in the year.

Introducing Sporting Deals – South Africa’s first sports group buying site

Introducing Sporting Deals – South Africa’s first sports group buying site

Introducing The first local group buying company focusing exclusively on sports deals in South Africa. will be launched this week and kicks off with several fetching deals for sports players and fans, including discounted group buying rates at leading golf courses, cycle shops and clothing retailers, as well as a limited offer on Ernie Els’s signature wines.

Normal retail and rack prices will be reduced by as much as 50%.

The launch offers include rolled-back rates at championship golf courses across South Africa, including Erinvale, Durban Country Club, Royal Cape, Parkview and the Garden Route gem, Pezula to name a few.

Other deals include 50% off World Cup Rugby apparel and tempting prices for a major bicycle service at leading cycle retailers.

The Might of Sport

Special interest group buying signals a departure from the “generic” restaurant/spa/salon model employed by most group buying sites. caters for a vast and affluent market: South Africa’s sports-mad participants and fans.

‘The group buying rage has not catered to me or my contemporaries. Brazilian blow-dries, half-price waxes or cheap massages are all desirable deals – but I don’t want those things, and neither do my friends. So these frequent offers have become a nuisance. We want great golf deals, discounted services on our mountain bikes, a top deal on a Bok jersey, Ernie Els’s signature wine at a fantastic price, or a contract at a gym preferred by professional sportsmen,’ says FLOOK Managing Director, Nic Wides.

‘FLOOK will carry sporting deals for South African sports players and fans. We will remain relevant and listen to our market.’

Collective sports buying

FLOOK is dedicated to serving up sporting deals of interest to its market. The FLOOK executives are graduates of the business of sport and offer experience and congenial relationships with stakeholders across the industry.

the inclusion of sporting jargon. A visit to feels like being in your own change room at a home game.

Visit now, register on the site and explore the exclusive launch deals that have been secured for subscribers.


Great news for Patrizio Buanne and Dana Winner fans is that the two international stars, who have each separately built big fan followings in South Africa, are due to perform concerts together for the first time in SA.

Italian Patrizio and Belgian Dana have both enjoyed tremendous success in SA with frequent live concert performances and best-selling album releases. The two stars will perform together at the end of October in Sun International venues: Carnival City Casino’s Big Top Arena in Gauteng on Saturday 29 October, and in Cape Town at Grand West Casino’s Grand West Arena on Sunday 30 October. Patrizio and Dana will each perform their well-known and established big hits as well as some exciting new and different numbers, including a selection of South Africa’s best-loved and famous songs.

Whilst Dana has previously recorded in Afrikaans, an exciting new development is that Patrizio has recorded a special new album aimed exclusively at South African audiences, including half the tracks with him singing in Afrikaans. This follows the amazing success and great reaction that Patrizio enjoyed when he recorded the South African classic ‘Liefling’ in Afrikaans and Italian with South African star Steve Hofmeyr.

Besides their individual performances during the live concerts where both artists will sing in English and Afrikaans (and Patrizio naturally in Italian as well), Patrizio and Dana will perform a spectacular new duet together, entitled ‘Life is Beautiful’, that promises to be a high-light of an already amazing event catering for an ever-broadening audience. Clearly these concerts featuring two popular international stars together are not to be missed.

STOP PRESS!! As an extra-special bonus for the concerts . . . Nianell and Corlea Both have both recorded duets with Patrizio (in English and Afrikaans respectively) and both ladies have been contracted to appear on the concerts with Patrizio and Dana as special guests.

Patrizio Buanne and Dana Winner Live in Concert together – Not to be Missed!

Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. In Johannesburg prices are: R510, R495, R395, R295 and R190, while in Cape Town they are R440, R360, R280 and R200.

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Viviers: 011 616-6507

Wycliff Palu to return to Australia

Wallabies Injury Update – Wycliff Palu to return to Australia

Wallabies No 8 Wycliff Palu is returning to Australia. The 29 year-old limped out of his 38th Test match last weekend in Wellington after suffering the reoccurrence of a hamstring strain in his left leg.

Scans in Christchurch yesterday revealed the extent of the damage.

Given the reoccurrence of the injury, Palu is expected to require six weeks of rehabilitation before he would be fit to be considered for selection again.

Unfortunately this time frame rules him out of further participation in the Rugby World Cup which has prompted the selectors to release him from the squad.

“It’s bad luck for Wycliff. Unfortunately his previous history of injury in this area has impacted, in terms of lengthening the timelines that are required for his rehabilitation,” Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says.

While Palu will be replaced in Australia’s 30-man squad, Deans says the selectors will be taking their time with that decision, and may even delay any call until after this weekend’s final Pool match against Russia in Nelson, so they can determine at that point what the team’s specific needs are.

Lock Dan Vickerman and fullback Kurtley Beale also underwent scans in Christchurch yesterday.

Vickerman was cleared of any problems in his leg.

Beale, who left the field during the first half of last week’s 67-5 win over the United States, was diagnosed with a minor hamstring strain which will see him rested from this weekend’s final pool match in order to get him ready for a possible quarter-final the following weekend.

Midfielders Pat McCabe (shoulder), Anthony Fainga’a (head) and Rob Horne (cheek) also left the field during Australia’s third pool match.

Fainga’a is following the IRB concussion protocols required by tournament and could be available for Australia’s next match.

Although McCabe and Horne will miss Saturday’s historic game against Russia, the timelines have been established for their return to playing duties, and they will both be remaining with the squad.

McCabe, who has made considerable progress with his injury since last weekend, is expected to be fit for consideration for a possible quarter-final appointment, while a possible semi-final (should Australia qualify) has been set as the return date for Horne after he underwent scans in Christchurch on Sunday.

Although unavailable to play, Horne will run with the squad during its public training in Hanmer Springs this afternoon.

Winger Digby Ioane is continuing his rehabilitation from the dislocated thumb he sustained in Australia’s opening match of the tournament against Italy, and is on-track to be available should the Wallabies qualify for the quarter-finals.

Flankers David Pocock (back) and Scott Higginbotham (back), winger James O’Connor and lock James Horwill (shoulder) are all expected to be available for selection for Australia’s next match at the tournament.

We’re Never Going To Be (SA Idols). The song pokes fun at the competition

The Brothers Streep Launch New Idols Single

Sunday 5th June saw the launch of the new Brothers Streep single, We’re Never Going To Be (SA Idols). The song pokes fun at the competition, whilst referencing past and present Idols icons such as Gareth Cliff, Proverb, Randall Abrahams, Liezel van der Westhuizen, Unathi Msengana and Heinz Winkler.

The song came about after the Idols producers contacted the Brothers and asked them to write a song for the new season of Idols.

“We’d just got back from having written and performed a song for The Comics Choice Awards up in Joburg, and Idols called us saying they’d watched our song about Anna Paquin on the Graham Norton Show, and wanted to know if we’d write a song for them. Idols is probably one of South Africa’s biggest locally produced TV shows – it was a pretty easy call to make,” says singer and guitarist Simon van Wyk.

The single is currently available for free download off The Brothers Streep website,

“We’re hoping that making the song available for free will make it easier for the song to get around. All we ask is for people who download the single to consider sharing the link with others and maybe even request their favourite radio station to play it – that would be nice,” says singer and guitarist Dylan Hichens. “The song laments ‘we’ll never have a single charting in the Top 40’ – we’re holding thumbs that lyric will become ironic.”

Idols and The Brothers Streep came up with quite a unique way to present the song.

“Idols asked us to perform the song live to the judges as if it were a real audition, so the judges didn’t really see it coming, and we didn’t really know exactly what to expect. Standing in front of someone and singing that they look like Voldemort isn’t necessarily the best way to make a good first impression on them,” says van Wyk.

“We realised that carting in full band equipment wasn’t going to be possible, so we decided we’d just blatantly mime the song and hope it adds to the comedy,” says Hichens. “Actual pop stars mime all the time, if anything, it was the most professional thing we could have done.”

A music video for the single is on the horizon, and the Brothers have already had further song writing requests, penning the soundtrack to an upcoming advert for Geely which you can look out for later this month.


For further information please contact:
Kim Coppen



some stats on the man who will get 100 caps today Richard McCaw for the All Blacks


AGE: 30

BORN: Oamaru


TEST POINTS: 95 (19 tries)

ALL BLACKS DEBUT: Dublin, Ireland, November 17, 2001.

AWARDS: IRB player of the year 2006, 2009, 2010.

CAPTAINCY: He took over from Tana Umaga in 2006.


CURRENT CLUB: Christchurch


SUPER TEAM: Crusaders

RWC team summaries (from a Kiwi perspective) this is funny !!!!!!!

RWC team summaries (from a Kiwi perspective)

Pool A

Basic Info : This large North American nation of 34..6 million is best known as the smaller (and smarter) brother of the U.S of A.
If you meet a Canadian in the street : You may struggle understanding a Canadian in the street. This is because they may be speaking French or a strange English dialect in which the term “eh” is used at the end of each sentence.
Chances of Winning : Although hockey is the passion of the majority of native Canadians, the similarities in the two sports (violence and cold
weather) should see them take a win or two.
Canadians You May Know : Wayne Gretzky – (Hockey superstar whose big heart in a small body would have made him a perfect halfback). Justin Beiber (Girl band singer and proponent of bad haircuts)

Basic Info : Small European Nation with a population of 65.8 million people, half of whom are Englanders filming “A Place In The Sun” style reality programmes for the Living Channel. Best known to kiwis for blowing up the Rainbow Warrior
If you meet French people in the street : Duck for cover
Chances of Winning : Almost nil – unless Wayne Barnes referees all their important matches.
French People You May Know : Alain Marfart & Dominique Prieur (Saboteurs), Sébastien Chabal (Rugby player and missing link)

Basic Info : Asian Island Nation of 128 million people with an industrial focus on high tech industries in which the good ideas of other nations are transformed into actual working products.
If you meet Japanese people in the street : Be prepared to smile for plenty of photos.
Chances of Winning : A game? Maybe. The Tournament? Snowballs chance in hell.
Japanese People You May Know : Surprisingly, you may know many of the Japanese squad members competing this year. They include John Kirwan-san (Auckland Marist), Luke Thompson-san (Kaiapoi), James Arlidge-san
(Pakuranga) and Shaun Webb-san (Blenheim).

New Zealand
Basic Info : Consistently proven as not only the greatest rugby country on the planet, but the greatest country full stop. This nation of
4.4 million people and 40 + million sheep is heaven on earth..
If you meet Kiwis in the street : Remember to introduce yourself to the trailing sheep and try to discuss the rugby early in the conversation.
Kiwis are notoriously single minded when it comes to rugby and can be found to be ignorant in other areas – particularly foreign cultures. Kiwi’s tendency to stereotype is legendary..
Chances of Winning : Put the house on it.
Kiwis You May Know : Lord Sir Ayatollah Graham Henry (Greatest coach in any sport – ever), Sir Daniel Carter (Greatest player in any sport – ever), Fred Dagg (Composer of NZ’s national anthem “We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are”)

Basic Info : Pacific Island Nation of 100,000 people
If you meet a Tongan in the street : Tongans are easy people to spot on account of the Tongan flags hanging off their cars. Rest assured the $2 shop has made their millions. Mentioning Manu Vatuvei should start the conversation nicely.
Chances of Winning : With all Tongan games in the North Island of New Zealand (or the South Island of Tonga as it is often referred to) the Tongans will be looking at the Canadians and Japanese as possibilities for a win.
Tongans You May Know : Manu Vatuvei (League Legend), Paea Wolfgram (Winner of Tonga’s first Olympic metal), Willie Mason (Twat)

Pool B

Basic Info : South American Nation of 40 million horse riders, steak eaters and tango dancers..
If you meet an Argentine in the street : Striking a moment of sobriety amongst Argentina fans is a rare moment indeed and should be treated with respect. If you encounter them on the other 99.9% of their NZ tour, ensure you know the ole, ole, ole, ole chant back to front.
Chances of Winning : The Argies will surprise a few at this tournament – keep an eye on their first encounter with the Poms to get an idea of how their tournament will proceed.
Argentines You May Know : Diego Maradona (Handball player), Che Guevara (Legendary revolutionary leader or common murderer depending on your political lean)

Basic Info : Island nation (not the Pacific type – more the Nordic
type) off the coast of Europe. The majority of the 52 million population enjoy cups of tea, a pint of bitter at’pob, Coronation Street and rioting.
If you meet a Pom in the street : Don’t worry about talking to them – you won’t get a word in edge wise. Sit quietly and listen to how well they are going to do before chanting “You’re going home in an All Black Ambulance” several times.
Chances of Winning : The Poms are traditionally much better at inventing sports than playing them.. Interesting to note that a full squad of players has been sent to New Zealand despite the team only ever playing ten man rugby. Take the chances your average Pom thinks they have of winning the RWC and divide it by 10.
Poms You May Know : Johnny Wilkinson (Statue), Queen Elizabeth The Second (Women’s magazine subject and part time cruise ship), David Beckham (Comedian),

Basic Info : European nation of 24 million people, many of whom (despite general opinion to the contrary) are not vampires. Also inventors of a brutal petrol-like alcoholic substance that is sure to make my Christmas mornings a misery when our neighbours pop over with a bottle every Christmas Eve.
If you meet Romanians in the street : Popular opinion suggests most Romanians only come out at night. Commiserate with them on their string of heavy defeats at RWC 2011. Don’t accept any clear alcoholic substances under any circumstances.
Chances of Winning : Think Tua v Lewis and you’ll be in the ballpark.
Romanians You May Know : Count Dracula (Sesame Street Character)

Basic Info : Not the American State apparently. A sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia (thanks Wiki). Georgia’s 4.7 million inhabitants are best known for being that team at RWC 2011 whose flag no one knows. It is always being invaded by Russia and suffers very cold winters followed by very cold summers.
If you meet Georgians in the street : Comment on how cold it is in New Zealand at this time of the year and ask if they’d noticed how few times Russia has invaded since the opening ceremony. If that fails sing them “Georgia on my mind” and run like the wind.
Chances of Winning : Think Cameron v Tua and you’ll be in the ballpark.
Georgians You May Know : Martin Luther King Jr (Politician), The Guy That Invented Coca Cola (Inventor), Hulk Hogan (Actor)

Basic Info : That bit on the map above England but coloured in a different colour is the home to 12 million Scots. The national drink is whiskey and the Laphroaig brand is the reason I’m often absent from work on Mondays.
If you meet a Scotsman in the street : Don’t suggest that you go out for a drink – you’ll end up penniless due to the Scots reputation for short arms and deep pockets..
Chances of Winning : Think Tua, Cameron and Lewis v you in a Battle Royal and you’ll be in the ballpark.
Scots You May Know : Mel Gibson (Actor), Billy Connolly (Swearer), Alexander Graham Bell (The bloke that stole the plans for the telephone from an Italian bloke then stole all the fame and fortune for “inventing” said

Pool C


Basic Info: Large island off the coast of New Zealand inhabited by
20 million convicts, 2 million New Zealanders, 1 million South Africans and enough deadly animals to ensure any smart Kiwi stays well away.

If you meet an Australian in the street: You have my sympathy.

Chances of Winning: As always the Aussies rate themselves highly coming in to the tournament and are likely going to be the Mighty Mighty All Blacks final victim.

Australians You May Know: John Farnham (Best. Mullet. Ever), Split Enz (NZ Rock Band), Crowded House (NZ Rock Band), Dragon (NZ Rock Band), Phar Lap (NZ Race Horse), Quade Cooper (NZ First-Five), Russell Crowe (NZ, err Australian Actor)


Basic Info: A rare combined team comprising the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. These two nations stop blowing each other up for six weeks every four years to compete at the Rugby World Cup.

If you meet Irish people in the street: You’re in for a hell of a few days. Be prepared to drink Guinness 24/7, only stopping to eat steak and Guinness hotpots – with potatoes, potatoes, potatoes.

Chances of Winning: Pool C is probably the weakest of the lot.
Ireland should make the quarters – failure to do so will result in lost Viaduct pub revenues of an estimated 10 million dollars.

Irish People You May Know: Darren Clarke (Golfer, Alcoholic), Colin Farrell (Actor, Alcoholic), Brian O’Driscoll (Rugby Player, “Could’ve


Basic Info: Boot shaped south European nation of 61 million inhabitants. Most Italians argue a lot, sleep with anything that moves and live on the East Coast in an area called Jersey Shore.

If you meet Italians in the street: Shake hands then fall to the ground grasping your eye, seething in agony. This will show your guests that you have a good knowledge of Italian soccer. Females should not approach Italian men under any circumstances.

Chances of Winning: The Azzurri have surprised a few northern journos with the odd victory over six-nations teams in the past. They may not win but there’s every chance there’ll be a lot of scoring going on..

Italian People You May Know: Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor, Womaniser), Silvio Berlusconi (Prime Minister, Womaniser), Giacomo Cassanova (Womaniser, Womaniser).


Basic Info: Freaking huge country of 143 million vodka drinkers that used to be part of the freaking huger U.S.S.R. before the Iron Curtain was torn down. Home of smoking hot but averagely talented tennis players.

If you meet Russians in the street: Ask for a nip of Vodka. Speak in a deep thundering voice and remove all vowels from the words you are using.

Chances of Winning: Are you serious?

Russians You May Know: Maria Sharapova (The New Anna Kournikova), Anna Kournakova (The Old Maria Sharapova), Dasha Astafieva (Cover Girl – Playboy Nude Playmates 2011), Nikita (That chick from the Elton John song that will never know anything about his home), Sergey Brin (Really, really rich),

United States of America

Basic Info: Large North American country and self proclaimed centre of the universe, land of the free and home of the brave. None of which is true. The average IQ of Americans is amongst the lowest in the developed world with one group in particular dragging the average down. These people are known as Republicans.

If you meet Americans in the street: Speak slowly. The Americans have no idea what English is.

Chances of Winning: Significantly better than their chances in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea or most of Central America but still less than .01%.

Americans You May Know: George W Bush (Terrorist), Justin Timberlake (Talent yet to be discovered – but famous all the same), Larry Page (Really, really rich)

Pool D


Basic Info: Melanesian Island nation of 850,000 people ruled over by whichever army leader was involved in the last monthly military coup. Home of the world’s worst beer “Fiji Bitter” and one of the best rugby sevens teams you’ll ever see.

If you meet Fijians in the street: STAY. AWAY. FROM. THE. KAVA.

Chances of Winning: With 8 blokes on the field that have no idea why they are there, probably not very much at all.

Fijians You May Know: Joeli Vidiri (All Black Winger), Sitiveni Sivivatu (All Black Winger), Rupeni Caucaunibuca (All Black Winger), Josevata Rokocoko (All Black Winger)


Basic Info: African country north of South Africa (unsurprisingly) of just over 2 million people. They have several deserts and a good women’s roller hockey team. (Thanks Wiki)

If you meet Namibians in the street: You’re probably not going to have much in common. I’ve researched thoroughly on Wiki and am yet to find anything interesting.

Chances of Winning: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha <breathes> hahahahahahahahahaha

Namibians You May Know: Percy Montgomery (Springbok fullback and pretty boy) – Namibian – who would have thunk it?


Basic Info: Pacific Island Nation of 179,000 people who live in paradise. Samoa consists of 8 smaller islets and the three main islands of Upolu, Savai’i and Te Ika-a-M?ui.

If you meet Samoans in the street: STAY. AWAY. FROM. THE. KAVA.

Chances of Winning: A realistic chance of toppling Wales for the second quarter final spot… a result that will send most of Auckland into a 7 day party.

Samoans You May Know: David Tua (O for Owsome), Peter Fatialofa (Piano Mover), Olo Brown (All Black prop that my cat is named after)

South Africa

Basic Info: Nation of 51 million people located in Africa’s South.
Home of the great culinary delight known as Boerewors (like NZ sausages but made of meat). New Zealand’s traditional rugby arch-rival (unless they beat us in which case all that matters is The Bledisloe Cup)

If you meet South Africans in the street: You are probably in Albany or Browns Bay.

Chances of Winning: Probably the second favourites behind the Mighty Mighty All Blacks – therefore no chance at all.

South Africans You May Know: Suzie (Waitress), Pieter de Villiers (Comedian), Joel Stransky (Dream Crusher)


Basic Info: Country of 3 million leek eating, rugby loving coal miners who hate the English. Wales is not dissimilar to New Zealand in many ways. All Welsh men are named either Ian, Gareth, David or Thomas and have the last name Jones, Williams, Thomas or Evans. Beware of imitators.

If you meet Welsh People in the street: Try to induce phlegm whilst saying Prynhawn da, Pob dymuniad da. The Welsh language is less about the pronunciation and more about the amount of spit produced.

Chances of Winning: Absolutely no chance – but don’t tell the Welsh – they don’t realise it yet.

Welsh People You May Know: Bonnie Tyler (80s rock chick), Tom Jones (Underwear Model)

%d bloggers like this: