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Rugby World Cup
Fercu withdraws over fear of flying
ESPNscrum Staff
August 31, 2011
Romania's Catalin Fercu looks to make a break, Italy v Romania, Stade Velodrome, France, September 12, 2007
Fercu's absence will come as a blow for Romania © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Catalin Fercu
Tournaments/Tours: IRB Rugby World Cup
Teams: Romania

Romania have been forced into a late change ahead of the World Cup after their star winger Catalin Fercu withdrew due to a fear of flying.

Fercu - who has 51 Test caps and made three appearances for the national side during the 2007 World Cup - withdrew from the squad at the last minute. The winger had reservations over the 40 hour journey to New Zealand. In his place, Adrian Apostol has been named as his replacement.

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

"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."

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

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