Darry Worthington takes a look at the major Rugby World Cup 2019 news that has come out this past week.
The anticipation is set to reach a crescendo on Friday evening when host nation Japan take on Russia. With it being only five days until the tournament kicks off and most sides having behind closed doors training sessions, there isn’t much news coming out of any of the camps.
However, there are two major injury concerns and a weather update with Typhoon Faxai continuing to wreak havoc on Japan.
Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport – Hollywoodbets
Typhoon Faxai a Worry
Japan’s ageing infrastructure has taken an absolute battering of the last week with Typhoon Faxai causing widespread power outages around the country.
The storm has also caused major disruptions at airports with a number of teams having flights delayed.
While the brunt of the storm has passed, a lot of rainfall generally follows it which could affect playing conditions especially during the opening few rounds of the tournament.
Sonny-Bill Rumours Swirling
The rumour is in full swing at the minute with veteran All Blacks centre and two time World Cup winner, Sonny-Bill Williams, the focus of papers around New Zealand.
According to a few reports, a New Zealand camp insider let slip that Williams is struggling with an unspecified injury and may not be able to participate in any games or at least the All Blacks pool phase clashes.
Luckily for coach Steven Hansen, he has an absolute blinder of a replacement to call up if Williams is ruled out with the Hurricanes’ Ngani Laumape easily able to fill Williams’ boots. Laumape has been in great touch since being dropped from the All Blacks World Cup squad and has single handily turned around a struggling Manawatu side who have managed to claim two victories in the Mitre 10 Cup since Laumape has turned out for them.
It will certainly be interesting to see what transpires here. Make sure you pay a couple visits to the Hollywoodbets’ Blog this week as we’ll be following this story closely.
Another centre who is said to be at risk of missing the global showpiece is Irishman Robbie Henshaw. The 26-year-old has struggled with injuries this term and has apparently picked up another one in the form of a hamstring injury.
This will be a major blow for the Irish as Henshaw is a class act. Should he be ruled out, then it is likely that utility back Will Addison will be called up.
Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets