THE BREAKDOWN | WORLD CUP BRIEFS

GUSCOTT SLAMS ENGLAND
FORMER England centre Jeremy Guscott has accused members of Martin Johnson’s squad of showing a lack of respect following accusations relating to their off-field antics. “Martin Johnson’s got a few kids that aren’t acting as though they’re playing for England, or at a World Cup,” said Guscott, who played alongside Johnson at the 1999 World Cup. “It’s beyond belief, it is staggering.”

STEYN BLOW FOR BOKS
SOUTH AFRICA coach Peter de Villiers believes the tournament-ending shoulder injury to Springbok centre Frans Steyn represents a bigger loss to his side than New Zealand being forced to do without star fly-half Dan Carter. “Yes, I think it’s much bigger,” said De Villiers. “He came to the World Cup as a full back. We were forced to use him at centre and then he showed us what his value is as a player and he’s a team man there.” Meanwhile, wingers Bryan Habana (right) and JP Pietersen are likely to be fit to face Australia on Sunday.

WALES UPBEAT ON TRIO
WALES coach Warren Gatland is on course to select from a full-strength squad for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against Ireland. Full-back James Hook (shoulder), wing Shane Williams (thigh strain) and flanker Dan Lydiate (ankle) all missed Wales’ last two Pool D games against Namibia and Fiji. But they should be back in training tomorrow. Hook damaged the joint of his right shoulder just before half-time against Samoa. “I just have to do my best in training. It’s up to the coaches then as to whether they want to play me,” he said.

ROBINSON BACKED BY SRU
SCOTTISH Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson has thrown his full support behind Scotland head coach Andy Robinson following the team's Rugby World Cup exit. “We’re frustrated and disappointed with the result against England, but clearly we’re looking forward to learning from the experiences,” said Dodson.