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Watching rugby semi-finals may be a problem



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Grey returns for the injured Matt Giteau, who failed to recover from ankle ligament damage sustained in the final stages of the game against Scotland.

There could be a second change if lock David Giffin can complete a training session. South African-born lock Daniel Vickerman will retain his place on the bench if Giffin does not recover from his leg injury in time.

Australian coach Eddie Jones has continue to tinker with his side throughout the tournament and, in doing so, he has left big names such as fullback Chris Latham and utility back Matthew Burke.

But according to several sources Jones will stick with his relatively inexperienced side against the All Blacks and, despite the heavy criticism he has fielded about his defence, Wendall Sailor will be given the job of stopping the All Blacks’ outstanding winger Joe Rokocoko.

New Zealand coach John Mitchell is also expected to retain the same side that beat South Africa last week.

Blockbusting centre Tana Umaga was close to making a return from a knee injury but it now appears that he won’t be fit enough to play in such a crucial match.

Experienced halfback Byron Kelleher is the only change to Kiwi squad. He takes the place of Steve Devine on the bench and will cover for the starting halfback Justin Marshall.

The other semi-final is also expected to be an incredible match after the French destroyed Ireland last week in their quarter-final.

The English are expected to again rely heavily on the steady boot of fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

In their quarter final against Wales, England only scored one try, while the Welsh scored three. But Wilkinson kicked six penalties and a field goal to finish with a personal tally of 23 points.

Veteran utility back Mike Catt, 32, might have played his was into England’s starting side after he covered brilliantly for winger Dan Luger when he was substituted at half time against Wales.

Despite their pre-tournament form, the French have again risen to the occasion and are now being widely tipped to win the entire tournament.

The French scored 27 unanswered points in the first half against Ireland and all their best players are in form.

The leadership of Fabien Galthie in his fourth World Cup, the kicking game of fly half Frederic Michalak who scored his 100th tournament point against Ireland, and the ever present flanker Olivier Magne will be crucial to France’s chances against the pre-tournament favourites.