Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
No changes as France, England ready for clash
FRANCE AND England have asked the men who performed heroics in the World Cup quarter-finals to do the same in their semi-final meeting tomorrow, both naming unchanged teams and replacements.
France had been wrestling with a series of minor injuries but everybody came through to allow coach Bernard Laporte to reward the players who shocked New Zealand 20-18 in Cardiff.
Lionel Beauxis, who looked nervous at times and was replaced by Frederic Michalak, who set up a try with his first touch, held on to the number 10 shirt.
"He didn't take many risks but he played good rugby," said Laporte.
Not all good news
It was not all good news for France, though, as tournament organisers told them they could no longer train at their regular base at Marcoussis because it gave them an unfair advantage over the other teams who have to train at allocated grounds.
England, under coach Brian Ashton who took over last December, named their first unchanged team since November 2005.
"The 22 who were out there last week certainly more than merited another shot at it," Ashton said.
Mike Catt, a late call-up for injured Andy Farrell last week, kept his place for the semi-final just as he did four years ago after coming on as a replacement in the quarters against Wales.
Jason Robinson, England's try scorer in the final they won four years ago, will earn his 50th cap.
South Africa and Argentina also reported clean bills of health before their clash on Sunday.
Springbok flanker Juan Smith missed training after a bang on the head against Fiji but said he was in no danger of missing the game.
Prop C.J. van der Linde and reserve hooker Bismarck du Plessis have also been cleared to play after missing the Fiji win to ensure they were fit for selection for the semis.
Argentina have broken new ground by reaching the last four and will have to do so again to progress having never beaten South Africa in their 11 previous meetings since 1993.
"There's always a first time for all things," said centre Manuel Contepomi. "Obviously the results have been getting closer but it's a semi-final, a new game, we trust in our weapons and that we play a great match."