Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up

2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND

  • Venues: 12 (nine in North Island, three in South)
  • Dates: Fri 9 Sept - Sun 23 Oct
  • Kick-offs: From 0100 BST - 0930 BST

Coverage: Scores & reports on BBC Sport website plus live text commentaries on home nations and other major games; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch on ITV; commentary on talkSPORT

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw

McCaw returned to training on Wednesday after recovering from a foot injury

A round-up of the latest news, views and gossip from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has returned to training but winger Zac Guildford could miss the quarter-final against Argentina  on Sunday after suffering a suspected hamstring injury in training.

Guildford, who scored four tries against Canada, said: "I just pulled up a bit short at training, we haven't assessed it yet."

England outside-half Toby Flood has said players have to be accountable,  even though wing Mark Cueto believed off-field incidents involving his team-mates have been "blown out of proportion".

Flood said: "You stand by what you do as a person. You have to be accountable for what happens in life. Mark is obviously frustrated because it has rumbled on, but it has. So what? We have to deal with it."

Sonny Bill Williams is hoping New Zealand will continue to play with freedom  in the knockout stages of the tournament. The hosts scored 36 tries in the pool stages and ahead of the All Blacks' last eight clash with Argentina, Williams said: "Hopefully we can still express ourselves out there.

"But also we have to acknowledge that this is knockout football, that there's no tomorrow. You've just got to find the right balance, not go into your shell and still express yourself but also recognise that it's finals football."

South Africa's Bakkies Botha has declared himself fit   for the quarter-final match against Australia. The Springboks, however, have postponed their team announcement until Friday because of uncertainly over Bryan Habana (leg bruising), J.P Pietersen (knee) and Francois Hougaard (head knock).

Ireland lock Donncha O'Callaghan has ranked Wales captain Sam Warburton as one of the best openside flankers in the world  , alongside New Zealand captain Richie McCaw. "He's up there with McCaw and David Pocock when it comes to stealing your ball," he said ahead of the last-eight tie between the two nations.

"Like all the best leaders, he leads by example. He's a massive threat for us. We will have to do a lot of work on his game and beat him at the breakdown. The way he's going in this tournament, you would put him up there for a World XV."

Argentina winger Horacio Agulla believes his team must play with "heart and lots of passion" in Sunday's quarter-final against favourites New Zealand.

"It's a big challenge for us playing against the best team in the world," he said. "You cannot give them 10 minutes, otherwise they can score five tries over you. We have to be smart."

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins has said the return of James Hook, Dan Lydiate and Shane Williams to training has given the squad a "huge boost" ahead of Saturday's quarter-final against Ireland.

The trio missed the pool victories over Namibia and Fiji, and Jenkins said: "There is fantastic competition for places in the squad. With Ireland, we play them year in and year out and we know it is going to be a very tough game. They are a very tough side, a very physical side."