World Cup scheduling compared to slavery, apartheid

The scheduling row that has soured the World Cup took on a new dimension on Tuesday with a Samoan player accusing the International Rugby Board (IRB) of exploitation akin to “slavery” and “apartheid”.

Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono, a centre who plays his club rugby for Gloucester in England used his Twitter account to accuse the sport’s ruling body of “unfair treatment” following Samoa’s 17-10 loss to Wales.

Sapolu Fuimaono pointed out that the clash in Hamilton on Sunday was Samoa’s second game in four days, while Wales had enjoyed a week off beforehand.

He called this exploitation and said Samoa’s treatment was “like slavery, like the holocaust, like apartheid”.

The IRB defended its scheduling and said the Twitter tirade was disappointing.

“We are aware of the comments and find the context of them disappointing,” an IRB spokesperson said.

Other complaints
Samoa team officials are understood to be meeting with the IRB later on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

The Welsh win over Samoa means that they are now in pole position to take the second qualifying position from the tough Pool D behind defending champions South Africa.

Several of the “Tier Two” nations, like Canada, Georgia and Namibia, have also complained about the scheduling and in particular the turnaround times between games, which they say discriminates against them.

The top teams from the Six Nations and Tri-Nations tournaments in general have been accorded more time to recover between matches.

After a rest day on Monday, World Cup action was set to resume with Italy looking for the maximum five points from their clash with new boys Russia in Nelson later on Tuesday.

The Italians collapsed in the second half of their opener against Australia after a promising start and Ireland’s upset win over the Wallabies has made it all the more difficult for them to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

The week’s matches
France and South Africa both unveiled their teams for their third pool games and the French sprung a mighty surprise by selecting scrumhalf Morgan Parra at flyhalf in the starting XV to take on the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday.

He pulls on the No. 10 shirt instead of Francois Trinh-Duc, who played in the opening wins against Japan and Canada, but who failed to impress coach Marc Lievremont in either game.

“I think that Francois Trinh-Duc, after two matches when he was not at his best, pays the price and on the other hand Morgan [Parra] has been quite effective,” the coach said.

The Springboks handed a recall to winger Bryan Habana in the side to take on Southern African neighbours Namibia in Auckland on Thursday.

He was one of five changes from the side that impressed hugely in a 49-3 win over Fiji in Wellington last Saturday.

Habana, who has recovered from a knee injury, will have another opportunity to claim the all-time Springbok try-scoring record he currently shares with Joost van der Westhuizen on 38 tries.

“Our biggest challenge is to manage our players at the moment,” coach Pieter de Villiers said. “We’ve had two bruising encounters and from those John [Smit] is the only one still standing.” — AFP

View our Rugby World Cup special report for the latest news, features, match reports and multimedia here.

Allan Kelly
Allan Kelly works from Versailles. Sports Editor AFP in Paris Allan Kelly has over 137 followers on Twitter.

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.