Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 18 News List

RWC Briefs

AGENCIES

■ ARGENTINA

Martin Gaitan recovering

Argentina center Martin Gaitan was in good condition in hospital on Sunday, a day after he suffered heart trouble following the Pumas' loss to Wales in Cardiff. Gaitan played all 80 minutes before fainting in the dressing room after the 27-20 defeat at Millennium Stadium, and was immediately treated by team doctor Mario Larrain and other personnel. Rushed to hospital, he was diagnosed with a dilated artery, and underwent a successful angioplasty, Larrain said in a statement on the Argentine Rugby Union Web site.

■ ENGLAND

Ashton says Vickery is OK

England head rugby coach Brian Ashton has played down fears over the extent of an injury to skipper Phil Vickery and says he will be fully fit for the World Cup kick-off next month. The Wasps prop was concussed in a midfield collision during England's 22-9 defeat against World Cup warm-up opponents France in Marseille on Saturday. Early signs did not look good as Vickery was carried off but the England camp remain positive about his recovery prospects. "Phil is fine," said Ashton. "I had breakfast with him this morning. "The [England] doctor said to me you just do not know in these situations until 24 or 48 hours down the line. "

■ AUSTRALIA

Shepherdson on the mend

Wallaby prop Guy Shepherdson is confident his right knee will be okay for Australia's opening World Cup match against Japan next month after being stood down from training this week. Shepherdson played through the final Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Auckland last month with an injury and had an arthroscopy three weeks ago. The knee became swollen last week and he won't train with the Wallabies again before the team's departure on Thursday for their pre-World Cup camp in Portugal. "It blew up a little bit so Dr Martin Raftery decided to take the conservative approach and gave me until Portugal until I need to run again," Shepherdson said yesterday.

■ SAMOA

Samoa edge Northampton

Samoa edged English club Northampton 24-21 in a World Cup warm-up match in Northampton on Sunday. In front of a club record turnout for a pre-season game of 8,122, the home side scored three penalties through veteran outside-half Barry Everitt in the first-half, while back-rower Darren Fox also scored a try converted by the ex-London Irish player. Samoa's Worcester fullback Loki Crichton hit back with a penalty and a conversion of an injury-time try from Donald Kerslake to make it 16-10 to Northampton at the break. Northampton, relegated from the English premier division last season, scored a second try nine minutes after the restart through Will Harries, but Samoa held their nerve and scored two further tries through forwards Jerry Meafou and Lome Faatau in a six-minute blitz.

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