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Romania makes 6 changes for World Cup opener

Romania makes 6 changes for World Cup opener

Captain and hooker Marius Tincu has returned to front row to lead an experienced lineup for Romania's opening Rugby World Cup match against Scotland.
Tincu, who missed the last two matches, is among six changes from the starting XV which beat Ukraine 41-16 last month.
Eight members of the starting lineup for Saturday's match also started in Romania's last World Cup match in 2007, a 85-8 loss to the New Zealand All Blacks.
"We've named our most experienced lineup. We know we will need it against the Scots, they are a very formidable side," said coach Romeo Gontineac, recalling a 42-0 loss to Scotland at the last World Cup.
Scrumhalf Lucian Sirbu and backrower Ovidiu Tonita will equal the national record of involvement in four World Cup tournaments, equaling the Romanian mark set by Gontineac. Sirbu and Tonita were in the squad for the 1999 edition but neither played during the tournament, both making their World Cup run-on debuts against Ireland in 2003.
No. 8 Daniel Carpo was wary of tricky wind conditions in the stadium, which is mostly open to the elements in New Zealand's southernmost city.
"It will be a challenge for our kicking game, no doubt," Carpo said through a translator. "It could make quite a difference on the day."
The Romanians had to draft Adrian Apostol into the touring squad at late notice after veteran winger Catalin Fercu withdrew amid media reports he had a fear of flying despite having previously traveled abroad. The IRB released a statement this week saying Fercu had withdrawn from the tournament due to pneumonia. Apostol wasn't considered for the opening game.
"The official line is (Fercu) is ill," Gontineac said. "It has not been a disruption. The player who is here to replace him you will see in match 2, match 3 _ is a very young exciting player."
Romania squad: Iulian Dumitras, Stefan Ciuntu, Csaba Gal, Tiberius Dimofte, Madalin Lemnaru, Marin Dumbrava, Lucian Sirbu; Daniel Carpo, Ovidiu Tonita, Mihai Macovei, Cristian Petre, Valentin Ursache, Paulica Ion, Marius Tincu (captain), Mihaita Lazar. Reserves: Bogdan Suman, Silviu Florea, Valentin Poparlan, Sandu Burcea, Florin Surugiu, Ionel Cazan, Florin Vlaicu.


Updated : 2021-07-30 15:31 GMT+08:00