14/10/2011 Sport Wales


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France with the chance. With the Is he going to get their! And --


Good evening. One game, one dream. Your Rugby World Cup semi-final


weekend starts right here. Welcome to Sport Wales.


Coming up tonight: We're in New Zealand ahead of the


biggest game in Welsh rugby history with Captain Fantastic. It's not


like a goldfish bowl it is back in Wales.


And we're in Paris to get a former All Black's World Cup Final


prediction. Hopefully it will be France against the All Blacks.


And we were also in Bulgaria where, after another win, Gareth Bale's


eyes are on Brazil. I think all the lads are still willing to work hard


and get the goal to qualify for the World Cup.


All the news from the Wales camp in just a moment. First to France.


They've reached their fifth successive World Cup semi-final and


are promising to step up a gear and make their first final since 1999.


France should have been thinking about what might have been, at what


they might have done better and what they definitely won't do next


time. Like having the coach followed with his players and vice


versa. But they have shrugged their way into the World Cup semi-final.


-- fall-out. Melee and confusion, to words which adequately described


France so far -- two. France were supposed to name their team 50


minutes to go but we have been told they had delayed because the


players don't know, so he has gone to tell them. The French press


officer doesn't know either. That is all we know. Eventually, they


named the same team that beat England, even if that performance


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds


Semi-finalists they may be, but France aren't exactly exuding


bonhomie. Unless we have lost something in translation. After the


Tonga defeat, they definitely had harsh words have with each other,


they have said that themselves and their coach has touched upon the


fact that they had some talks after that game, got things out in the


open. I would say there were tensions that needed to be clear.


There is some truth, we are grumpy, we are unhappy, we tell it to the


coach, critique each other and at the end we are all friends. This is


part of French history. All the French big matches before, you had


a crisis, this atmosphere, which generate energy. That is the group


feared -- freeing itself from the crisis, so it is very usual.


Wales's recent record against France is poor, they were brushed


aside in the last six nations, but that was down to French -- Welsh


mistakes as much as French precision. Two things Wales have


had in abundance so far. As for the French, let's leave it with a


cliche. Not the one about which France will turn up but the one


about all that out of chaos. It has worked for them so far.


Delighted to say that Robert Jones joins us again. Great to see you.


Let's look at the French team. Dimitri Szarzewski Oscar's --


orchestrated that win over England. Morgan Parra next to him. What are


they up to? If you look at France over the years, they are more than


over the years, they are more than are prepared to put a scrum half at


Number Ten, and Morgan Parra plays his rugby as a No. 9. I can see


Jamie Roberts looking to go down that 10 Channel and beat as


prolific as the has in the past. This is a big test for the French


back line. At fantastic trio yet again. -- a. The World Cup is


blessed with the number of talented back rows and these are amongst the


back rows and these are amongst the best. Julien Bonnaire is a player


who does all of the graph, all of a hard work. Thierry Dusautoir leads


by example. Always seemed to have talk about is the back row, it


seems as though they are the stars of rugby these days -- all we seem


to talk about. The breakdown is so important, and games are won, not


necessarily in terms of forward battle as a whole, but at the


breakdown, and Wales possess one of the best around in Sam Warburton.


Thierry Dusautoir and Julien Bonnaire are in the same mould.


They are the start of the tournament and it is based on the


fact that games are won and lost in the key area. Wales then fully have


a player who so far has stood out amongst them all -- her thankfully.


It is baffling that given the squad France have had, they should have


walked the Six Nations Championship. They lost out in Italy, they have


made a World Cup semi-final. What have you made of the Madness of


that dressing room? It is madness, and I don't think it is just in


rugby, it is throughout sport. If you look at the football World Cup,


there were major issues between the coaching staff and the players and


that has come through in the Rugby World Cup. Ultimately, their


temperament is almost always there failing. They don't seem to get it


right, there are always issues amongst the players in the dressing


room and amongst the coaching staff. But I just felt when I saw them, on


the field against England, they had put them all behind them. Thierry


Dusautoir and some of the senior players, it was as if they had


pulled the squad of players together and said we are in this,


we have an opportunity to go to the semi-final, the World Cup final.


They have the right time and again and are a dangerous animal. -- they


have done it time and again. When the players realise it is all about


pride for themselves and the country, they will be a difficult


obstacle to overcome. New Zealand is waking up right now one Rugby


World Cup semi-final day. -- on. We have realised the hard


work that has gone in and these guys, right from day one, in pretty


good shape. It is great to have got where we have done but we are


ambitious and we want to make sure we go through and get to the final.


It is not like we are here by chance, we deserve to be here and


we are looking forward to it. just queued for the country, you


can feel the excitement, and -- huge. We are just looking forward


to it and hopefully we can do the country proud. Welsh Games, in my


experience, very dangerous with their backs to the wall and playing


confidently, and there is a huge amount of confidence at the moment.


These guys have been great ambassadors in this campaign for


So exciting. And plenty more still to come on Sport Wales. What is


really important now is that we play the strongest possible


opponents so that those teams will show us those flaws. Would you like


to face Wales? I wouldn't, they are the form team -- I would. It would


be good to play against what look like the best team in the


competition. Now to Wales and as well as making


headlines right across the world - the captain has been the talk of


Twitter. Superman is jealous of him and the dark is apparently afraid


of him. Sam Warburton Back to the Rugby World Cup later,


It was something I was concerned with that at the start, when I was


asked to do it. I couldn't turn it down because I thought it might be


a one-off opportunity and I didn't realise there was a real good


chance I could be captain for the World Cup. I had a chat with Warren


Gatland and the psychologist, who I am close with, and I told my


concerns and what I wasn't comfortable doing, at like small


things, like having a room on your own, I like sharing with the boys.


They told be around and having done it a few times, I find it so much


easier -- they talk to me round. Being away from home, it is not


like being in the goldfish all that ball at home.


If we crashed out and had a shocking group stage, people might


play a bit of a youthful squad, but because we have a youthful squad,


people are saying that is the reason we are winning. It works


both ways. You have Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones, both of them


British Lions. Alun Wyn Jones has over 50 caps. Mike Phillips, Shane,


a lot of guys with plenty of international experience. That is


why it is not too daunting. As the captain, when guys like Ryan Jones


around the pitch and they do help out, it makes my job a lot easier.


I want to put a few things straight. There has been a lot of us made up


being monks, and an alcohol ban, that is completely untrue. We have


been out the best part of 6 and a half weeks and if he were locked at


the hotel all the time, you would drive yourself crazy. You have to


go out and enjoy yourself and have to be able to switch off during the


week is what helps you switch on at the weekend. No one has gone out


and had mental benders are anything like that, but to have a beer is


not a crime, and a few players find they relax after a game. It is just


not getting bladder, which we are not doing it, but England were


probably enjoying themselves responsibly and somebody can take a


photo and make it look been appropriate.


Kenny Parr pure head down? It is not their hair cut of a monk -- Can


you put your head down. grandfather and father still had a


hit -- have a full head of hair, so it is not going.


We will talk about Sam Warburton in a moment, but James Hook has


finally got his hands on the shirt he so cobnuts. Absolutely. When you


consider a few weeks ago it was consider a few weeks ago it was


between Stephen Jones and James Hook, Rhys Priestland wasn't even


in the occasion, but he is going to be missed. One thing that Rhys


Priestland had was the ability to bring out the best of the players


alongside him and Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in particular.


James Hook now has to step up to the mark and it shall we get the


same out of the guys alongside him. I doubt there how you feel, but it


seems the whole world is talking about Sam Warburton, but he is part


of a pack that has just been announced. Deservedly so, but he is


one of eight players who have stepped up to the mark. Alongside


stepped up to the mark. Alongside Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.


Tremendous in the back row. The French five have worked incredibly


hard -- the front five. There were great has been second to none. That


has been part of the spirit and the ethos of this group of players.


They would die for each other and it has come through in every


performance. We have touched on the youth and we have touched on the


exuberant running through the spine of the Wales team. The red the


spine of the France team, there is a lot of experienced. Bashir


throughout the find of the France team, there is a lot of experience.


This is a World Cup semi-final, some of those guys have been there,


the Wales boys have never been in this territory before. The we said


that before the Ireland game, huge experience in the Irish set-up and


we weren't found wanting. We went beyond expectations. These younger


guys are setting the standards and the senior guys are following, not


the other way around. I wouldn't be concerned at all. The French are


more experienced but this Welsh side have a grit and determination


about them that has seen them to the semi-final, and I think it is


capable of seeing them be on. Edwards has dismissed this French


theory of one particular -- unpredictability, saying these guys


know how to put back-to-back wins together. This French side are


capable of beating the best side in the world, I have no doubt about


that. Which side will turn up? They are capable. You cannot


underestimate them. Our focus has got to be Aaron performance and be


wary of what France will offer but focus on our own performance. All


of the talk will be about what we have done and what we are capable


of doing. France is another obstacle to overcome. They will be


a tough nut to crack but I think Wales can do it. But don't


underestimate them. When they want to play right they can. Back to the


Rugby World Cup later, but now to Gary Speed's Wales and there is


real hope for the future after they ended their Euro 2012 qualifying


campaign with another win. But what is life like on the road with


Wales? Ian Hunt packed an overnight This is where most Wales journeys


begin and end. The team are about to arrive for their flight to


Bulgaria. Will they be happy travellers for the final leg of a


long and arduous campaign? We know it is going to be difficult in


these types of places we go to, to get results. That is a habit we


have to get into sooner rather than later. It is Wales' first trip to


the Bulgarian capital since the mid- 90s. Vinnie Jones was a grisly


presence in midfield at the time. Karen Lee, there is no time for


sightseeing or snoozing in hotel rooms. -- currently. Also tonight,


the final Pryce call for the manager, who has an important


message to convey. It is important we do not get beaten tomorrow and


we take something from the game. We won't be changing anything


tactically. We want to go on to win the game but at the same time, we


have to make sure we do not lose again. It is breakfast time on


match day and I am here with two former Wales internationals. Kevin,


do you feel Wales are generally moving under right direction,


because some of these trips have been pretty bleak in recent years?


Yeah. A great opportunity for them. It is a nation that isn't


functioning. 12 months ago a comedy with a first person to come out and


say John should go. Do you feel vindicated? Not really. But I


thought we had heard the same excuses for six years. It was a


difficult time for John. He had to bring youth into the squad. So you


have no option but, as I say, to give young lads a chance, and may


be looking back, we are getting benefit of that now. What are you


looking for to win this campaign? win would be great but not to lose.


Anything but losing if we don't finish bottom. As kick-off


approaches, we are given access to the Welsh dressing room, where


names and numbers are being pressed on to brand new football shirts.


Sometimes we get the names of the players the night before and that


is OK because then I can do the printing in the hotel. It keeps me


up until the early hours of the morning, which is great! Sometimes


I don't know till 4am, 5am. It keeps me in the bedroom! Other than


that, if you get it on the day of the game, that is when you have to


come down to set everything up. Gain time, and there is barely a


soar round, fed up with Bulgarians boycotting the games. But there are


Welsh bands here and they are optimistic about the future. This


is the best run of form I can remember since we got the euros in


2003. The future is getting better and better. It is Wales kicking off


the final qualifying Group G. Into the penalty area! Onto his left


foot! Goal 4 Gareth Bale! Hennessey clears. Ramsey... Look at him! A-


grade goal! The barmy Army are ready to celebrate! Gareth, what a


special few days it has been for Wales? Yes, we have been working


and places like this, we know it is going to be very difficult to come


and play but we have showed tonight we have the spirit and character of


to do it. It is quite difficult to get fans for the game but our fans


were fantastic today. On a bad pitch we have done really well.


What is important now is that in November, February and May, we play


the strongest possible opponents, the top teams, so that they can


challenge us so that we have any flaws still an hour playing style


and team, that will show us those flaws. -- still in our playing


style. The feeling here is, roll on, the World Cup qualifiers.


And well done to Gary Speed and the team. So we have been to Bulgaria


and New Zealand. We know how much excitement there is here in Wales


ahead of the World Cup semi-final, but what about France? What is the


temperature and the mood? Graham Thomas went to find out.


Apparently the French in Auckland are in rebellious mood. The leaders


have been overthrown and there is mutiny in the ranks. But has


revolution spread to her and? think the French will win. Why?


Because France is better and it is my country! The stadium in Paris


attract players from all around the world, including a player


previously from Toulouse. He must know the battle between the All


Blacks and the fringe players. What is going on in that squad?


Obviously, there is some negative activity among the team at the time.


But I think after playing with William serve that and other


leaders in the French team, -- with William Servat, we need to make


sure we send up for our country and our Jersey and war we are about his


French people and culture. -- what we are about. That was certainly


true against the English. That is the French fashion. They can pull


things together within a week. I think this week, they will not let


go at all. There is always talk about coaches being sacked, not


being sacked, but with the French, if their heads up on, they will


play well on the day, if not, they weren't. They beat England quite


convincingly, though. And living here as well, you notice that teams


can be wonderful one week and quite poor the next. Sometimes they


bicker like children, sometimes they fight like men. But whatever


it is felt it is felt from the heart. There's definitely a


different culture. In saying that, I think it is more a notional sense


of into culture and I quite like that feeling. I like to be in touch


with my feelings and sentimental values. I certainly felt that in


Toulouse and it is great to have that as part of my rugby. A lot of


people say that the trainer is not any good. Is a bit mad? Maybe. I


don't know! He is crazy but it is his fault and the players' fault.


Sport Wales understands a victory over the French would be a good


reward for Warren Gatland and his players, who are on a �75,000 bonus


for every man in the final. We are impressed with Warren Gatland. He


has a great track record. He has won the Six Nations and he was my


coach in New Zealand. He likes to keep things very simple, very clear,


and he's a coach that, you could throne him a players' coach. He


deals with players individually so that collectively they can come


together and play with Solidarity. That is the best thing about a


Warren Gatland. Also, New Zealand play Australia in the other semi-


final. I wonder what the French and Aussie-Kiwi take on that is?


would love to see them in the final. I know both teams very well. It is


hard to say. I think Australia can do it. They can step up and win. I


think their defence will be too good and too consistent for the


French. I would love to see the New Zealand team goes through and after


living here in France, I think it would be nice if they could rub


shoulders against the All Blacks to see who can win that trophy.


other semi-final, Rob, Australia against the All Blacks. And


Australia know how to do it, don't they? They do. They play


consistently and have beaten them consistently. That would certainly


be a huge mountain to climb for the All Blacks. I genuinely feel the


All Blacks still have a little bit too much about them, even though


they are without the likes of Dan Carter. They are down to their


third choice for that half. But they still have quality through the


side. If they do lose, again, being the best side for the last three


years, 11 months, whatever it is, I think the squad will have to find a


flight out of Auckland fairly quickly because there is an


expectation they should win the World Cup. But Australia are a side


who do frightened the All Blacks. And we both know Graham Henry from


his time here in Wales. This is his moment and it crystallises his


whole career? In no doubt. He has two games to go. He has to get to


the final. To be honest with you, he has to win the final. It is all


a barrel results and in terms of New Zealand, the fanatical rugby


nation that they are, if they don't win the World Cup committee will


have failed. And you are not wavering? I think Wales will get


the final. I am wavering in terms of... My heart will always go with


Wales. I think it will be a real battle against Australia for the


All Blacks, but again, I have a gut feeling that the All Blacks will


come through. Enjoy the semi-final. We have got all the Rugby World Cup


semi-final news on television, radio and online.


Live coverage is on BBC Radio Cumbria. And then your chance to


have your say on the World Cup So much to look forward to. Before


we leave you tonight, let's bring you a flavour of Auckland and we


have been speaking to some big names ahead of the Rugby World Cup


semi-final weekend. When we played the last year at the Millennium


Stadium, they were a very good team, so to play against them, I think


they are the on-form team at the moment so it would be good to play


against what looks like the best team in the competition at the


moment. I think they have to be wary with the French. If you give


them a bit of space, a bit of room, they are pretty dangerous. They


have got to snuff that out. Be more upfront than they are out wide. The


Welsh have played outstandingly well, as we have seen. Not perhaps


dominated up been on top of the sides they have played. If they can


do that they will shut down some fairly good French players. Belief


is massive. If you don't believe you can win, you are wasting your


time. If you want to win, you have got to believe it. That is what is


coming through with the Welsh team. With these last four teams, if you


look at the attacks of France, New Zealand and Australia, it will be a


real test for them and that is where their confidence can build.


Their game against Ireland will hold them in good stead because it


is going to be a big challenge. 100% for a victory for France


tomorrow! Will be the Irish and we are in the final. We have had a


good go up and could get past them. We are rooting for Wales now!


think the final is... The All Blacks-France. It is going to be


France. Well, that is just about it for tonight. You don't forget to


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