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Rugby World Cup: Eye on the Tiger

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Vereniki Goneva became the second Leicester Tigers try-scorer in Rugby World Cup 2015 at the Millennium Stadium on Thursday evening as we approach crunch time for all eight of the club's representatives in the tournament.You can follow the progress of all the Leicester players in our Eye On The Tiger spot on the club website. And you can see Tigers in match action for their countries in our photo galleries by clicking here. WEEK ONE After the opening weekend of the tournament, only Tongan back-rower Opeti Fonua among the Tigers eight at the World Cup was still to get a taste of the action. Friday: England v Fiji Dan Cole and Tom Youngs start in England front row, Ben Youngs starts at scrum-half and wins his 50th cap. Vereniki Goneva, the vice-captain, is at centre for Fiji. Tom is on the ball at a driving maul when the referee awards a penalty try in the opening quarter - the first try of the tournament. All three of Tigers' England men are replaced during the second half, Goneva plays all 80 minutes. Saturday: Tonga v Georgia No8 Opeti Fonua is not included in Tonga's matchday 23 for their tournament opener, but they lose 17-10 to Georgia in the first shock of the tournament. France v Italy Leonardo Ghiraldini is named as Italy captain for a 10th time in his career in the absence of Sergio Parisse and wins his 79th Test cap. He is part of the most-capped starting front row in Rugby World Cup history alongside Matias Aguero (36) and Martin Castrogiovanni (113). Their combined total of 227 Test appearances is 12 more than the previous best when Gurthro Steenkamp, John Smit and CJ van der Linde started South Africa's 87-0 win over Namibia during RWC 2011. Tigers front row colleague Michele Rizzo is used as a second-half replacement as France win 32-10. Sunday: New Zealand v Argentina Marcos Ayerza earns cap No61 as the Pumas run out at Wembley Stadium against the defending world champions at Wembley Stadium. Argentina lead 13-12 at half-time, before the All Blacks claim two second-half tries to take a 26-16 victory in the opening match of their title defence.   WEEK TWO Wednesday Australia v Fiji Vereniki Goneva retains his place in the No13 for Fiji as face play Australia just five days after their opening-round defeat by England. The Wallabies win 28-13 but miss out on a bonus point. Friday Argentina v Georgia Marcos Ayerza retains his place in the Pumas front row for their second fixture, against a Georgia team who opened with victory over Tonga. The Pumas win 54-9. Saturday England v Wales Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Ben Youngs all retain their starting places for England as Sam Burgess comes in for the injured Jonathan Joseph at centre and Owen Farrell replaces George Ford at fly-half. England lead 25-15 but Wales eventually take the honours, 28-25 in a breathless evening at Twickenham.   Italy v Canada Tigers front-rowers Michele Rizzo and Leonardo Ghiraldini start together for Italy in their Pool D game at Leeds on Saturday (2.30pm). Hooker Ghiraldini captains the Azzurri for the second time in the tournament, while Rizzo makes his first start on the loosehead side. Rizzo claims the first Tigers points of the World Cup with a try as Italy win 23-18.   Tuesday Tonga v Namibia Opeti Fonua, Leicester’s new No8, receives his first World Cup call-up as he is named among the replacements for Tonga in their second game. He is used after just 20 minutes as Tonga score a bonus-point 35-21 victory.   Thursday Wales v Fiji Vereniki Goneva, making his third appearance of the tournament, lines up in the 13 shirt for the vital match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium and becomes the second Tigers try-scorer of the tournament, finishing a thrilling move for the Flying Fijians. Wales, though, come through to win 23-13.   WEEK THREE Saturday England v Australia Ben Youngs recovers in time from an ankle injury to take his place alongside Dan Cole and Tom Youngs in England’s starting XV, which sees a return for Jonathan Joseph, Joe Launchbury and Ben Morgan after the Wales defeat. Sunday Argentina v Tonga Opeti Fonua is named among the replacements as Tonga select the oldest team in RWC history. The starting XV has an average age of 31 years and 38 days (Opeti turned 29 in May). The team is also Tonga’s most experienced RWC XV with 349 caps. Former Tigers favourite Steve Mafi is also on the bench. Marcos Ayerza retains his place in the Pumas front row.   Ireland v Italy Sergio Parisse returns from injury to lead Italy as Leonardo Ghiraldini misses out with a thigh muscle injury. Tiger prop Michele Rizzo is among the replacements.