News In Brief
Mortlock injury woe for Wallabies
Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock limps off the field during his side's loss to the Springboks in Cape Town
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- Australia captain Stirling Mortlock is a major doubt for the Wallabies' pivotal Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand later this month after suffering a knee injjury in his side's loss to South Africa in Cape Town.
The 32-year-old limped out of the Newlands fixture midway through the first half with a suspected meniscus cartilage tear in his right knee. AAP reports that x-rays revealed there were no fractures and the Wallabies veteran was set to undergo further tests on his return to Australia on Monday.
As a result Mortlock is in doubt of being fit to tackle the All Blacks in Sydney on August 22 and could be ruled out of all four of the Wallabies' remaining matches in this year's competition.
- Wales coach Warren Gatland has been handed a huge boost with the news that prop Gethin Jenkins and flanker Martyn Williams could be fit for Wales' autumn internationals after all.
The Lions duo, along with tight-head prop Adam Jones, had been written off for the November games after undergoing shoulder surgery on their return from South Africa last month. But the Wales on Sunday reports that revolutionary radiowave treatment means Jenkins and Williams are now set to return to action in the middle of October.
It means Gatland, with the exception of Jones, should have all his big names available for the matches against New Zealand, Argentina, Samoa and Australia.
"We've been told we can be back playing in 12 weeks and if that is the case we could be back by October 17," said Jenkins. "At the moment, we hope to be fit in time for the autumn games, that's definitely the aim."
Williams, was equally positive about the ground-breaking treatment the pair are receiving. "This is hopefully going to make a difference and help put us in contention to feature in the autumn."
- The revised budget for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is set to predict a NZ$40m loss, according to reports.
The tournament that will be underwritten by the New Zealand government and the New Zealand Rugby Union was originally forecast to lose only NZ$30m but the Sunday Star Times reports that the latest leaked calculations have painted a much darker picture.
When the NZRU teamed up with the government and won the hosting rights back in 2005 it agreed to pay one-third of any loss. Under the new forecast, the NZRU's share of the loss will be about NZ$13.3m that will eat into their estimated NZ$50m in cash reserves while the rest will be met by taxpayers.
"This is a huge event the biggest event that will happen to New Zealand in my lifetime," said Minister for the Rugby World Cup Murray McCully. "The upside for New Zealand in terms of its brand value and exposure to the world is enormous, so the projected losses on the tournament are small beer by comparison."
The sole source of revenue to offset the NZ$320m cost of staging the cup is from ticket sales which will begin in February 2010. The IRB keeps all other cup income.
- Australia coach Robbie Deans is hopeful that inspirational flanker Rocky Elsom will be declared fit for the Wallabies' clash with the All Blacks on August 22.
Elsom, who recently returned to Australia after winning the Heineken Cup during a season-long sabbatical with Leinster, has failed to recover from the knee injury that has kept him from playing since the Barbarians win over England in May.
Deans' side are without a win in this year's Tri-Nations following their latest defeat against South Africa and Elsom's return would provide a timely boost ahead of the Sydney showdown with their trans-Tasman rivals.
"He's been working hard. He's been going well," Deans said. "He hasn't played club footy, but that's not that important. We can give him the work that's required. It will only be an issue if there's a confidence issue. But I don't think there will be - it's Rocky. I think there'll be a confidence issue on the other side if he was to play."