Video restrictions relaxed
International news agencies reached an agreement on Monday with organizers of the Rugby World Cup on relaxing restrictions for posting video on Web sites. Under the deal, The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and other agencies that cover tournament news conferences, training sessions and other non-match activities can now distribute as much of their video as they think their subscribers need. Previously, rugby officials had sought to limit the agencies to three minutes of video per day of the 20-nation championship in France.
Agustin Pichot injured
Argentina scrumhalf and skipper Agustin Pichot was ruled out of yesterday's World Cup clash against Georgia in Lyon because of a leg injury. The veteran international, who played in the shock 17-12 win over France, will be replaced by Nicolas Miranda. "Agustin Pichot will not play on Tuesday," Argentina assistant coach Daniel Baetti said. "He is more tired than really injured but he will be ready for the next match [against Namibia on Sept. 22]."
Cameron Shepherd called up
Australia have called up utility back Cameron Shepherd to replace the injured Mark Gerrard for the rest of the World Cup. Gerrard will return to Australia this week after rupturing his knee in Saturday's 91-3 victory over Japan in Lyon. A spokesman for the Wallabies said Shepherd would join the Australia team in Cardiff tomorrow ahead of their next game against Wales on Saturday. Shepherd, 23, is a fullback or winger who has played five Tests for Australia.
Brian O'Driscoll fit
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has given his beleaguered team a boost ahead of Saturday's World Cup match against Georgia after he was passed fit to play. The inspirational center hyper-extended his elbow during Ireland's disappointing 32-17 victory over part-timers Namibia on Sunday, but following tests he has been cleared for the next pool D game in Bordeaux. O'Driscoll was originally a doubt for Ireland's first two World Cup matches after suffering a fractured sinus from an unprovoked punch during a warm-up match against French club side Bayonne last month. But having made a quicker than expected recovery he sent his countrymen's pulses racing again on Sunday when emerging from the dressing-rooms with ice strapped to his elbow.
■ South Africa
Schalk Burger cited
South Africa backrow forward Schalk Burger could miss the crucial Group A World Cup clash with world champions England after being cited for a dangerous tackle during Sunday's 59-7 walloping of Samoa. The 24-year-old -- named 2004 IRB player of the year -- has been cited following his head-high tackle on Samoa scrumhalf Junior Poluleuligaga, tournament organizers announced.
Cabinet approves Tokyo bid
Japan's Cabinet yesterday approved Tokyo's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, paving the way for Japan's capital to formally submit its candidacy with the IOC. "The Olympics are the celebration of culture and peace," Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said in a statement following the approval. Japan's central government will bear up to half the cost for building major facilities for the games, but said organizers should try to utilize existing facilities to cut costs. The IOC is expected to announce a final list of applicant cities for the 2016 Games on Friday. In June next year, the IOC will draw a short list and then select a host city in October 2009.