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Fear of flying ends World Cup dream

Fear of flying ends World Cup dream

Not travelling to New Zealand: Catalin Fercu

Romanian wing Catalin Fercu has been replaced in his country’s World Cup squad after his fear of flying preventing him from travelling to New Zealand.

Fercu, who has 51 Test caps and played in three games at the 2007 World Cup, was withdrawn from the squad at the last minute after refusing to embark on the 40-hour journey to New Zealand.

Adrian Apostol has been called in as a replacement. 

“After many discussions with Catalin, he told us he cannot pass the fear of flying so many hours,” said Alin Petrache, head of the Romanian Rugby Federation.

“We tried to convince him but we didn’t succeed. We are very disappointed about Fercu’s decision, because he was one of our best players, and he proved that in the last two preparation games in Ukraine and France.”

In an interview with the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper, Fercu said he had raised the issue with coach Romeo Gontineac, but claims he was ignored.

“It is an old problem and I cannot get over it,” he said. “After the last flight I made, I swore I would never get on a plane again.

“I said this earlier, at the start of training, telling the federation leaders and the coach Romeo Gontineac, but perhaps I was not taken seriously.

“I will consider playing for the national team again, but only if I can travel by road. The games in Europe I do not think would be such a problem because the distances are not so great.”

Romania open their World Cup campaign on September 10, against Scotland in Invercargill.

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  • Tottenham 60.66%
  • Real Madrid 21.69%
  • Other 17.65%
All times are local:
"NZST = GMT +13 ; BST +12 ; CEST/SAST +11
9th September TongaNew Zealand41-10
10th September RomaniaScotland34-24
NamibiaFiji49-25
JapanFrance47-21
EnglandArgentina9-13
11th September ItalyAustralia32-6
USAIreland22-10
WalesSouth Africa17-16
14th September NamibiaSamoa49-12
CanadaTonga20-25
GeorgiaScotland15-6
15th September USARussia6-13
16th September JapanNew Zealand83-7
17th September RomaniaArgentina43-8
FijiSouth Africa49-3
IrelandAustralia6-15
18th September SamoaWales17-10
GeorgiaEngland41-10
CanadaFrance46-19
20th September RussiaItaly53-17
21st September JapanTonga31-18
22nd September NamibiaSouth Africa87-0
23rd September USAAustralia67-5
24th September RomaniaEngland67-3
FranceNew Zealand37-17
25th September SamoaFiji7-27
RussiaIreland62-12
ScotlandArgentina13-12
26th September NamibiaWales81-7
27th September JapanCanada23-23
USAItaly27-10
28th September RomaniaGeorgia25-9
30th September SamoaSouth Africa13-5
1st October RussiaAustralia68-22
TongaFrance14-19
ScotlandEngland16-12
2nd October GeorgiaArgentina25-7
CanadaNew Zealand79-15
FijiWales66-0
ItalyIreland36-6
8th October WalesIreland10-22
FranceEngland12-19
9th October AustraliaSouth Africa9-11
ArgentinaNew Zealand33-10
15th October FranceWales8-9
16th October New ZealandAustralia6-20
21st October AustraliaWales18-21
23rd October New ZealandFrance7-8
Pool A
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2 France 4 11
3 Tonga 4 9
4 Canada 4 6
5 Japan 4 2

Pool B
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2 Argentina 4 14
3 Scotland 4 11
4 Georgia 4 4
5 Romania 4 0

Pool C
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2 Australia 4 15
3 Italy 4 10
4 USA 4 4
5 Russia 4 1

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2 Wales 4 15
3 Samoa 4 10
4 Fiji 4 5
5 Namibia 4 0

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