Rugby World Cup
Fercu withdraws over fear of flying
August 31, 2011
Fercu's absence will come as a blow for Romania © Getty Images
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.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888