Tompkins top of the fines list
Wales centre Nick Tompkins has revealed he is near the very top of the squad fine list after detailing the various misdemeanours he has performed while on international duty.
Tompkins has been one of Wales’ standout performers out in France and was superb in the matches against Fiji and Australia. He has once again been named in Warren Gatland’s XV to face Georgia at the weekend, linking up with George North in midfield. Despite his superb form on the field, his conduct off the field isn’t quite so squeaky clean, he jokingly admitted. Get the latest World Cup news by signing up to our newsletter here.
“Yeah, I’m up there,” he said with a big smile on his face when asked about fines from Wales’ players’ committee. “I always forget. Wrong shirts, I’ve worn the wrong shirts, I’ve worn the wrong stuff. I’ve forgotten my suit shoes before. I was late to one meeting, I forgot my passport once. Honestly, I pick up these fines like it’s nothing.
“I’m known for it. I think it’s because I’m too laid back or forgetful. I’ll put it down to that. It’s not just because the boys want to bully me!”
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Team spirit within the Wales camp seems high at present, with a quarter-final on the horizon after the clash with Georgia. Tompkins admitted there has been an edge in training. “It was a brilliant break,” he added. “We’ve had good sessions. The last one had a bit of edge to it.
“We want the point to win the pool but we don’t want to dip in performance more importantly. We want to show that respect to Georgia but keep on going.”
Dan Biggar declares himself fit for World Cup quarter final
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar has declared himself fit for Wales’ quarter final next weekend.
The number 10 was an early departure from his side’s monumental 40-6 win over Australia after straining a pectoral muscle which could have kept him out for weeks.
Thankfully he has made a full recovery in good time and is already training again.
Speaking to Mail Sport’s Croqued Monsieurs World Cup dairy, the 33-year-old said: “I generally feel pretty good on the injury front. I’ve trained on my own and am now doing a little bit with the team again.
“If it was the quarter-finals this weekend I may have rushed back to play but as we have hopefully got a bit of lee-way with our Pool results, we’ve saved it and not pushed it for this weekend.
“I should be back doing full training next week. I’m looking forward to being back out there with the lads.”
Humphreys: We can’t go off-script
Andrew Baldock, PA
Jonathan Humphreys says that Wales “cannot afford to go off-script” when they tackle Rugby World Cup opponents Georgia in Nantes on Saturday. Wales need a point from their Pool C finale to win the group, having already secured a quarter-final place through beating Australia by a record 40-6 scoreline 10 days ago.
They lost 13-12 at home to Georgia when the countries last met almost a year ago, and Wales assistant coach Humphreys has emphasised a fierce sense of determination in the camp.
“There has been a bit of an edge about training, which is what we want,” forwards specialist Humphreys said. “We are just keen to continue the progress that we’ve shown. That is a big driving force for us, and we have talked constantly about that.
“I expect them (Georgia) to play a bit, and they are strong up-front – we are under no illusion about that. They are a dangerous outfit, and we cannot afford to go off-script.”
Few could have imagined Wales reaching the last eight just 11 months after Georgia triumphed 13-12 in Cardiff, and Humphreys added: “We’ve had five months together. We are more like a club team than an international team.
“We came in earlier than most teams, we know what we wanted to improve and we haven’t deviated from that. Probably the messages that went out in May, they haven’t changed at all. Every day, it has been working on those fundamentals that we felt were important and would make a difference.”
Sherratt: We’d love to have Halaholo
Cardiff coach Matt Sherratt says they would “love” to re-sign Wales centre Willis Halaholo but that they’d have to wait until the club’s ownership situation was confirmed.
Halaholo is continuing to step up his recovery from an Achilles injury he suffered earlier this year. His contract with the Arms Park club came to an end at the end of last season, although he has continued his rehab with the club. Sherratt admitted they’d like to bring him back into the fold but matters would have to be put in place first.
“There’s not going to be any recruitment unless it’s like loan or anything until the new ownership is confirmed,” he said. “I know where we are with it. I said that any club would want to have a fully fit Willis Halaholo, obviously us included. So if the stars align and things work both ways, then we’d love to have him.
“He stayed around anyway, he’s obviously been more with the physios in the early part of his rehab, but he’s done two weeks training with us now, full training. Him and Rey Lee-Lo are very very good with the younger boys – and not front of house, they’re not the type to stand up in meetings or do war cries or anything like that. They’re just very good in terms of informally putting an arm around Jacob Beetham or Cam Winnett or Harrison James and talking to them about little nuances in their games in their positions. They’re great with stuff like that, and they enjoy it as well
“A big part of Rey coming back was he wanted to see this generation through. I’ll probably miss someone if I go through all the names but the two hookers, Rhys Barratt, the whole of that back row, Teddy Williams, Jacob Beetham, Cam Winnett, Mason Grady, Theo Cabango – there’s a core there that I think if we can get a good programme here as a club, good foundations and add some quality and experience around them, it’s quite an exciting prospect. But we’re probably looking two, three, four years down the line.”