Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes his men won’t get a better chance to lift a Rugby World Cup title as they get ready to take on South Africa in the semi-final.
Gatland has urged his side to grab their chance with both hands in the upcoming tussle against the Springboks as they look to create history in Japan.
Wales advanced to the last four after a quarter-final victory over France in Oita on Friday but their win came at a big cost. Back-row Josh Navidi has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament after picking up a hamstring injury in the win and Gatland has confirmed that Wales will call up a replacement in time for the clash against South Africa.
“You get these opportunities once in a lifetime potentially. So you’ve got to grab them with both hands and make the most of it. So I think it’s important we prepare well this week and let the occasion take care of itself,” Gatland stated.
Watch what else the veteran coach had to say about his side’s chances in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in the video above.
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World Rugby is investigating the circumstances around a photo of referee Jaco Peyper in which he appears to mock the elbow to the head that earned France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina a red card against Wales.
Peyper sent Vahaamahina off for the thuggish cheap shot early in the second half of Sunday’s 20-19 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Warren Gatland’s side.
In full view of Oita Stadium the Clermont player struck Aaron Wainwright on the jaw during an attacking maul, leaving Peyper to make one of the easier decisions of his career.
But the South African official has now invited controversy after a photo emerged on social media showing him posing with Welsh fans and playfully landing an elbow on to the head of one.
“World Rugby is aware of a picture on social media of referee Jaco Peyper with a group of Wales fans taken after last night’s quarter-final between Wales and France in Oita,” a spokesperson said.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts.”
French Rugby Federation vice president Dr Serge Simon described the photo as “shocking”.
“This photo if it is true is shocking and explanations will be necessary,” Simon said on Twitter.
Wales head coach Gatland and his France counterpart Jacques Brunel endorsed Peyper’s decision to issue the eighth red card of Japan 2019.
The 28-year-old Vahaamahina, scorer of his side’s opening try, spent the rest of the game sat on the bench with his hands on his head.
“The officials dealt with it appropriately. I don’t think anyone could complain about that. The right decision was made,” Gatland said.
“Rugby is heat of the moment stuff and he made an error of judgement. When you have got a lot of testosterone involved in some pretty high intensity games, that will sometimes happen. He’s made a poor decision.”
Brunel agreed that Vahaamahina deserved to be dismissed.
“The red card I don’t contest – when you see the images it’s very clear. He did have contact with the face so we can’t deny that,” Brunel said.
“Of course it changed the game. When you’re playing half the match with 14 men it’s difficult.”
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
France have called for World Rugby to investigate a photo of referee Jaco Peyper in which he appears to mock the elbow to the head that earned Sebastien Vahaamahina a red card.
Peyper sent Vahaamahina off for his brazen act of thuggery early in the second-half of Sunday’s 20-19 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat by Wales.
In full view of Oita Stadium, the Clermont lock struck Aaron Wainwright in the head while France staged an attacking maul, leaving Peyper to make one of the easier decisions of his career.
But the South African official has now invited controversy after a picture emerged on social media showing him posing with Welsh fans and playfully landing an elbow on to the jaw of one.
“This photo if it is true is shocking and explanations will be necessary,” French Rugby Federation vice president Dr Serge Simon said on Twitter.
Hours after he sent Vahaamahina off, Jaco Peyper was photographed mimicking the elbow with Welsh fans...— FOX SPORTS Rugby (@FOXRUGBY) October 20, 2019
And the French are NOT happy! 🤬🤬🤬 https://t.co/XexmTzlG0p