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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rugby World Cup Daily - Tana Umaga, France, and 1987

All Black legend Tana Umaga chats about facing the French in today's Rugby World Cup Daily, referee Craig Joubert opens up about what influenced him, and we get a look at what happened in the 1987 finals. 

All this week the talk has been about if France will turn up for the final. Cliches have been flying about thick and fast, but with good reason. France have underperformed in this World Cup, and that's an understatement. They've been written off as simply making up the numbers. 

As Tana Umaga touches on however, you can't count your cockrels before they hatch. Not even this side, a group that hobbled to the final, seem to have all sorts of inner struggles going on, and possess a coach who is more certain about his facial hair than who should play flyhalf. 

You can hear the pain in Umaga's voice, as he knows all too well that France are not only a talented side, but historically they've tormented the All Blacks. Judging by the body language and feeling coming out of their camp, they seem pretty determined to prove the doubters wrong.

Craig Joubert has the honour of officiating the match, and we get to hear how he got into refereeing, and what it's like to still be involved in rugby many years after he stopped playing. 

There's also a quick look at the third place playoff and final from 1987, also in New Zealand, and with the same four sides facing eachother. Back then Wales and the All Blacks won. In a few days time we'll get to see if history repeats itself. 

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