Heaslip insists Ireland’s confidence is still high

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The fact that Ireland scored three tries to France’s one is certainly a positive they will take to Murrayfield with them in two weeks time when they face struggling Scotland, and Heaslip said: “We were clinical, the first two times we were in their 22 I think we scored I can’t really say too much because I have to look back on the game. We created chances and when we held onto the ball we posed a lot of problems.”Ireland’s first scorer was winger Fergus McFadden, who had been targeting the try-line all week after missing an opportunity to cross the line on his international debut against Italy last week. His touchdown got Ireland on the scoreboard in under five minutes, and he said: “It was unbelievable for me, obviously the first try for Ireland and it was a great start to the day. On the whole, we performed a lot better than last week. We finished off the chances that we were squandering over in Rome and we’re going to try and take the positives out of this going over to Scotland in a couple of weeks time.” Try-scorers Jamie Heaslip and Fergus McFaddenNO 8 Jamie Heaslip played a try-scoring role in his first game of the Six Nations on Sunday in the 22-25 defeat to France. Despite a disappointing and frustrating loss, Heaslip insisted that confidence was still high within the Ireland squad despite a run of poor results, and that they’re not far off from being back at their best.“We’re on the cusp of playing the very best rugby,” said Heaslip. “We’ve a very good defensive system, and we can take a lot of pressure from teams. Around the ruck area we can cause a lot of problems, around the tackle we’re very strong and on the flip side in attack we can play a very expansive game.“There is no lack of belief or confidence. We have an exceptionally good group of players. One of the main reasons I stayed around is that I think we are on the verge of doing something great and playing some unbelievable rugby.”last_img read more

London 2012: Wheelchair Rugby preview

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Going for gold: Ross Morrison is one of two ex-rugby players in Team GB aiming to make history at London 2012By Alan Pearey, Rugby World Deputy EditorTHE Great Summer of Sport is drawing to a close and they have saved the best till last. As the London 2012 wheelchair rugby gets underway at the Olympic Park, Team GB are hoping to medal for the first time following fourth-place finishes in the past two Paralympics.The 11-strong GB squad includes two players who broke their necks on the rugby field. Andy Barrow, from Greenwich, was injured playing for London club Charlton Park in 1997, while Ross Morrison, from Farnborough, suffered the same fate during a match for Portsmouth Grammar School in 1996.Both men competed at Beijing 2008, Barrow as captain, and have been assisted by grants from the RFU’s Injured Players Foundation. Both, too, are getting married after the Games, Morrison to a former wheelchair rugby referee who was involved in the sport before he was.A Harlequins fan, Morrison was a highly promising second-row before he suffered his catastrophic injury in a school match. “I got flipped in a tackle and landed on my neck,” he explains. “It was just a regular tackle, one that I’d taken thousands of times, but I landed in a funny way. It was a strange sensation: there was a lot of pain, then it cut out. I realised I’d damaged my nerves in some way. The ref knew it was serious and stopped play. Within 15 minutes I’d been taken to A&E where I received very good treatment.”Morrison’s spinal cord had been crushed and severed. He was just 16 but the way he dealt with such a devastating blow is an example to us all. Indeed, the mental fortitude shown by all Paralympians is what singles them out from others to have experienced extreme misfortune. A door may have closed but to them another has opened.“You go through a period (of reflection) but it’s very simple: you either face it or give up,” says Morrison, 33. “Those are the two categories of people. Some adapt and overcome, others give up and won’t engage in life, they stay in and watch TV. I’m an optimistic sort of person. I wanted to go and do something and now I’m playing in the Paralympics – that’s pretty cool!” It’s ten years since he made his GB debut and after near-misses in Athens and Beijing he’s desperate to win a medal at London 2012. Australia and America are regarded as the favourites, with GB, Canada, Sweden and Japan in the chasing pack and France and Belgium outsiders. Britain open against America, the world champions, before facing France on Thursday evening and Japan on Friday in a game that, if matches go to expectation, will determine who joins the USA as semi-finalists from Pool A.Ask Morrison if he would take a bronze and he hesitates. “Part of me would say yes,” he answers, “but part of me says I want a shot at gold.”center_img While Morrison was undergoing rehab in hospital, the London wheelchair rugby team did a demo that struck a chord with him. “I thought, ‘I can get to play rugby again and hit people again but in a wheelchair!’.” he says.He went to the Sydney Paralympics in 2000 as a spectator and was inspired by the dream of competing for GB. He started a biochemistry degree at Southampton University but withdrew from the course when he realised that international sport was a full-time commitment.“I spoke to the GB coach at the time, Neil Ross, and he told me what I needed to do. We set out some targets. Once you’re on the GB squad programme you get all the best advice on strength and conditioning, nutrition etc. The RFU Injured Players Foundation gives massive support to ex-players, with funding for equipment and training.”Morrison is a 2.5 player – he has no trunk or core muscles but good hands. GB coach Tom O’Connor says his passing ‘out the back door’ is reminiscent of Sonny Bill Williams. “I’m a primary ball-handler, an offensive player. The lowest-function players are just as important because I can’t do what I do without them.”last_img read more

Robshaw’s decision-making under the spotlight

first_imgNOT FOR FEATURED England cannot afford any more Dunning moments.Follow Alex Lowe on Twitter @AlexMLowe Leadership crisis? Chris Robshaw put in an impressive shift against South Africa, but his late decision cost his teamBy Alex LoweIN AUSTRALIA they would call it a “brain explosion”. Rotund Australia prop Matt Dunning suffered one in 2003 when he inexplicably used up an advantage by slotting a drop-goal when the NSW Waratahs needed a fourth try to reach the Super 14 semi-finals. Down Under they still refer to Dunning’s as the “ultimate brain explosion”.Chris Robshaw, unfortunately given the previous 78 minutes of heroic commitment to England’s cause, now stands accused of something similar.They say international rugby matches are won by inches. They are. The top two inches. Robshaw misread the situation at the end of England’s game against South Africa and afterwards held his hands up to a decision that cost his team one last chance of victory.There must at least have been an element of Wallaby hangover about Robshaw’s eagerness to go for the posts when England trailed 16-12 with two minutes left, having had his fingers burned against Australia when he turned down shots at goal.Question time: Owen Farrell and RobshawWhat should be of more concern to Stuart Lancaster was that Robshaw’s authority was so openly questioned. Owen Farrell disagreed with Robshaw’s demand that he kick for the posts, impressing upon his captain the need to go for the corner. Robshaw asked to change his call and was denied. By that time, referee Nigel Owens had pointed to the posts.Was it insubordination or was it a debate between senior players (Farrell being senior as he was England’s fly-half at the time)? Either way, the team were not unified. Afterwards, Farrell needed a briefing on the party line before explaining what happened to the media.When asked what decision he would have made if he was captain, Farrell said: “I would back whatever decision Chris made”. Riiiiight. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Of course, there was no guarantee that if England had gone for the corner they would have won the lineout, driven the Springboks backwards and scored the try. Brian Moore and Will Greenwood were among those who backed Robshaw’s decision – but England’s catalogue of errors ultimately condemned it as a poor call.Farrell ate up valuable seconds by debating the decision and Mouritz Botha then fumbled the restart into touch. Had the Saracens lock let the ball drop out on the full England would have had a scrum on halfway. They were dominant in that area. Who knows what could have happened?Carry on… Joe LaunchburyUltimately, Robshaw’s decision-making in the heat of battle in a Test match is now under the spotlight again, overshadowing his immense individual contribution in the game and the real reason England lost.England had matched the Springboks’ famed ferocity and tamed their famed scrum. No one would deny England’s warrior spirit or their character as they came back from 16-6 down, with Joe Launchbury and Ben Morgan prominent ball-carriers. It put them in a position to win the game.But their ability to create an opportunity and take an opportunity in the maelstrom of a Test match keeps costing them dear. They lack a cutting edge and composure. To address the former I’d start Jonathan Joseph against New Zealand, moving Manu Tuilagi to inside-centre. The latter is forged largely through experience.last_img read more

Lions 2013: Rugby World’s Lions squad

first_imgLONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Manu Tuilagi of England in action during the RBS Six Nations match England and Italy at Twickenham Stadium on March 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images) Old-heads: O’Connell and O’Driscoll are likely to be named in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad tomorrow morning By Owain JonesLions squad 2013AFTER FOUR years, the waiting is finally over. In less than 24 hours, the names of 37, or 38 players will be read out to a media scrum in South-West London. It will mark the start of another chapter in a 125-year journey for the most celebrated jersey in rugby, the British and Irish Lions.So, without further ado, here are the names of the tourists we would liked to see named, let us know what you think:Front RowIn the pack, the two tightheads pick themselves, Adam Jones will be inked in for a test start, followed closely by Dan Cole, who will looking to push him harder than he did during their head to head in Cardiff. At loosehead, Cian Healy’s carrying game in the loose and solid scrummaging pips 98-cap Gethin Jenkins, who improved steadily through the Six Nations with regular game time. Finally Paul James gets the nod, for his ability to cover both sides of the scrum. Andrew Sheridan, Ryan Grant and Mako Vunipola are the trio closest to the call-up and will no doubt watching their phones nervously over the next two months.Abrasive: Healy should start at looseheadHookerAt hooker, the combative Richard Hibbard will start in the box-seat and will be accompanied by Tom Youngs who has had a remarkable 11 months for club and country. Finally, the ever-dependable Rory Best, while not at his most influential, this season, will fight it out with Youngs to unseat the man in possession. Ken Owens, who has proved such an able impact player on the international stage, misses out.LocksIn the engine room, 2009 captain Paul O’Connell tours for a third time after towering performance against Harlequins and a defiant turn against Clermont in the Heineken Cup. He will be joined by the similarily uncompromising Alun Wyn Jones, who added steel and leadership to the Welsh push for the Six Nations title. They are joined by Ian Evans, Jones’ erstwhile partner-in-crime and Richie Gray, who despite a fallow year domestically, adds some flair to his obvious physical grunt in the second-row. Geoff Parling is the final lock. Parling has been a constant for England over the past 15 months, provides a huge workrate and is a skilled lineout technician. Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hines, Donnacha Ryan and Jim Hamilton must have all been jotted down at some point over the last few weeks, only to be replaced. FlankersAs probable captain, Sam Warburton travels, but he will be pushed for his place by his regional rival, Justin Tipuric. The young Osprey is the most highly-skilled member of the Lions pack and has the ability to change games with a sleight of hand or a key turnover. His impact will be most likely felt from the bench. The others to make the plane are the bullocking Sean O’Brien who can play anywhere across the backrow and Dan Lydiate, who has just returned from injury and will travel because of  his destructive defensive game. The last plane ticket goes to Tom Croft, who has been increasingly influential for Leicester since returning from a serious neck injury. His speed across the deck and lineout option at the tail make him a likely tourist. Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Peter O’Mahony and Kelly Brown can all expect to be at the boarding gate, on standby.No 8 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Forwards (21): Adam Jones, Dan Cole, Richard Hibbard, Tom Youngs, Rory Best, Cian Healy, Gethin Jenkins, Paul James, Paul O’Connell, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Sam Warburton, Toby Faletau,  Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, Tom CroftBacks (17): Mike Phillips, Ben Youngs, Danny Care, Jonny Sexton, Jonny Wilkinson, James Hook, Jamie Roberts, Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, Manu Tuilagi, Tommy Bowe, George North, Alex Cuthbert, Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg, Rob Kearney, Leigh Halfpenny On current form, Toby Faletau makes it as the first-choice. As No 8, Faletau stood out as the most-effective ball carrier and defender in the Six Nations. A player who needed a late run of form to sneak in was Jamie Heaslip. The big man from Kildare put in a timely performance against Biarritz with a brace of tries within the fist 40 minutes. The odd man out is Ben Morgan, whose opportunities to impress were limited by injury.Hard-yards: Toby Faletau has been standout the No 8Scrum-halfThe man in possession is the irrepressible Mike Phillips for whom the term ‘Test Match Animal’ may as well have been invented, although he’ll need to perform better against Will Genia that he did 12 months ago for Wales, when the Wallaby outplayed him. Ben Youngs and Danny Care will bring sniping options from the bench, leaving Conor Murray at home.Fly-halfAt fly-half, it’s an extremely tight call. Jonny Sexton possesses the finest all-round skill-set in the home nations, and he will be joined by either Owen Farrell or Jonny Wilkinson. Both players are similar, with a structured game and solid defence, but offer limited creativity. On form, Wilkinson’s experience and status in Australia may just tip the favour in his balance. Who else would you want to drop a goal late on?CentresMidfield is an area where the Lions have extreme power but lack subtlety. The successful 2009 centre pairing of Jamie Roberts and Brian O’Driscoll may well be reprised, with the ballast of Manu Tuilagi ready to enter the fray and smash into tiring Wallaby defences late on. Jonathan Davies and James Hook fill the midfield options. Davies is in for his knack of scoring tries and understanding with Roberts, while Hook, an outsider, deserves to tour because of his creativity, versatility and experience. He can comfortably cover 10, 12, 13 and 15 positions and edges the less experienced, Billy Twelvetrees.Wrecking-ball: Tuilagi is hugely powerfulWingsThe two front-runners on the wing are George North and Tommy Bowe. North is physically intimidating but has quick feet and footballing skills, while 2009 Lions tourist, Bowe, has returned from injury scoring tries liberally with Ulster. Left to fight it out and change Gatland’s mind are the Six Nations top try-scorer Alex Cuthbert and Scot Sean Maitland, who has shown composure, a physical edge and a finishers instinct, since making his international debut in February. Injury may have cost Simon Zebo his tour place, and Christian Wade must have been given some serious consideration.Full-backsFull-back is an area of strength for the Lions. Leigh Halfpenny, the 2013 Six Nations Player of the Tournament is a certainty to tour. He has proved a top-class international kicker and also gives the option to play on the wing. Joining him will be the hugely exciting Stuart Hogg and king of the skies, Rob Kearney, who has had a quiet year, but sneaks in on reputation.Lions squad 2013last_img read more

Allister Coetzee aims to widen South Africa’s game plan

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Break man: Faf de Klerk has been one of the stars of the Lions’ Super Rugby season. Photo: Getty Images“We’re also looking at the national sevens side who are going to the Olympics. Seabelo Senatla has had a good year and was promising at Western Province and went on to play one Super Rugby game. We’d like to look at him, then there’s Cheslin Kolbe and Juan de Jongh and Francois Hougaard, who did so well at Worcester last season.”BARBARIANS SHOWDOWNCoetzee will go up against a familiar foe in Robbie Deans when the Boks play the Barbarians in November – and he’ll be looking to end a run of two successive defeats for South Africa against the invitational side. The Baa-Baas won 22-5 in 2007 and 26-20 in 2010.“Robbie (Deans) is a very clever coach. I was fortunate enough to coach against him in Japan when he was at Panasonic and he beat us in the semi-final of the Top League. He’s a good selector and he’ll get a good side together.“Playing the Barbarians is a great opportunity and an exciting one and it brings a different kind of pressure. It’s very important for us to get the end-of-year tour off to a good start.Pure pace: Sevens star Seabelo Senatla could come into the Springbok mix. Photo: Getty Images“It’s never an easy game. Your defensive systems will be tested in the backfield and the Barbarians will go for all-out attack. We’ve got some work to do as the Barbarians have done very well of late against the Springboks.“Barbarians rugby is still an unbelievable concept. It’s important it’s maintained. I’ve chatted with most of our players this year and it’s still a huge draw for them. One day they’d all like to represent the Barbarians.”Tickets to the Killik Cup match between the Barbarians and South Africa at Wembley on 5 November are available from Ticketmaster.co.uk. Does Allister Coetzee feature on Rugby World’s list of the 50 Most Influential People in Rugby? See the September 2016 issue – out now – to find out.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Why South Africa coach Allister Coetzee is drawing inspiration from the Lions’ Super Rugby successcenter_img Try time: South Africa’s Lwazi Mvovo scores against Ireland in June. Photo: Getty Images The Rugby Championship kicks off in a little over two weeks and South Africa coach Allister Coetzee insists that he is going to continue to evolve his team’s game plan.The Springboks are known for being a physical side with plenty of power up front, but following the success of the Lions in Super Rugby this year he’s keen to play wider and be more creative in attack.The Lions’ exciting, free-running game has taken them to a first Super Rugby final – they play the Hurricanes on Saturday – and Coetzee’s long-term vision for the Springboks should see the Test side draw on those strengths.“We’ve been renowned for playing in certain ways and you can win games in lots of different ways,” says Coetzee, who guided the Boks to a 2-1 series win over Ireland in his first Tests in charge.“Lots of other international sides understand that they have to match South Africa’s physicality and we’ve got to a bit smarter and more accurate now. I believe in a balanced style of play. There are different kinds of pressure you can apply to the opposition and that can be with ball in hand, at the set-piece, with your contact skills.Debrief: Allister Coetzee talks to fly-half Elton Jantjies post-match. Photo: Getty Images“People enjoy watching us score tries and we understand that we have got to widen our game. South Africa maybe used to be a bit narrow at times and the Lions and the Stormers have shown what can be done and the opportunities that are there if you attack with width and put more effort into playing on the edges.“We don’t want to go all-out attack and neglect our forward style, our dominance at set-piece and the maul, but we want to be more effective.”NEW STARSHalf-backs Faf de Klerk and Elton Jantjies have been two standout performers in the Lions’ campaign and it’s now about giving that pairing a chance to gain more Test-match experience. Coetzee is also considering introducing sevens stars like Seabelo Senatla into the Test mix, if not during the Rugby Championship then in the autumn where they kick off their European tour with the Killik Cup match against the Barbarians at Wembley on Saturday 5 November.“There are players like Elton Jantjies and Faf de Klerk who’ve come in and started to play a part and I hope they’ll add some more caps over the coming months and we’ll have more experience,” says Coetzee.last_img read more

Rugby World’s Alternative Lions Awards

first_img TAGS: Highlight Thumbs up: It was an unforgettable Lions Series for so many reasons LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS At the end of an emotional, roller-coaster of six weeks on tour, it’s time for Rugby World to hand out a few tongue-in-cheek gongs to a few individuals, highlights and lowlights that caught our eye…Lions ‘Mongrel of the tour’ award – Taulupe FaletauZinzan Brooke didn’t make many errors in a stellar career as a multi-talented No 8 but his baseless assumption that Taulupe Faletau lacked the ‘mongrel’ to be a Test Lion was woefully wide of the mark. Has the great All Black never watched the 70-cap No 8? Faletau, as ever, did his talking on the pitch and was an ever-present in the Test side, playing more minutes than anyone else, making more tackles than anyone else, winning turnovers and powering through Israel Dagg for a brilliant finish in Wellington.Under the radar: Taulupe Faletau’s excellence is often underratedThe thought of Faletau and Billy Vunipola in a Lions backrow is enough to give Lions fans sweet dreams for 2021, when they will be 30, and 28 respectively. Midway through the tour, Zinzan sheepishly admitted his assessment of Faletau was a tad askew.‘Most ridiculously talented gene pool’ award – The Barrett FamilyWhen Kevin ‘Smiley’ Barrett, a nuggety backrow for Taranaki stopped playing, he quipped that he was off to breed All Blacks. Sadly for the rest of the rugby world, he was true to his word, and three of his boys look like being a scourge of Test opposition for years to come. Everyone knows about blue-eyed Beaudie, who can ghost past you in the blink of an eye, but until the tour started, 20-year-old Jordie was a well-kept secret.Barrett boys: Scott, Jordie and Beauden Barrett are hugely talentedThe 6ft 5in full-back is prodigiously gifted, nonchalantly drilling a 50m drop-goal over on the half-time whistle, this after scoring and setting up a try in the Eden Park decider. With the heavier-set Scott, looking like providing sterling back-up for Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, the freedom of New Zealand can only be a matter of time for Smiley.The ‘rugby world at his feet’ award – Maro ItojeAt 22, Itoje is hardly a newcomer, picking up a Grand Slam, Champions Cups and Premiership titles as if they were Panini stickers, but his performances in a Lions shirt have taken his game to a rarefied level that very few locks can aspire to.Happy families: Rugby superstardom awaits Maro Itoje after a defining Lions SeriesGranted, he hasn’t been perfect, giving away penalties and getting overexcited, but his potential is limitless and the performance he put in in the Third Test was as influential as I’ve seen in many years. His partnership with Alun Wyn Jones looked like the master handing over the baton to the gifted apprentice. Martin Johnson, England’s greatest lock? Ask us in a decade. Maro is that good.‘Rookie of the tour’ award – Reiko IoaneWe’re always told about New Zealand’s strength in depth, and a few years ago, Akira Ioane was expected to be the next big thing. The 23-year-old backrow is a fine player but it’s his kid brother, Reiko who has the likes of Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo looking nervously over their shoulder.Wheels: Reiko Ioane is one of the quickest wings in world rugby at just 20Jack Nowell will forever regret showing Ioane the outside channel and he was left clasping at thin-air as the Blues wing pulled through the gears. Elliot Daly, no slouch either, was also caught out and couldn’t catch the youngster. There are sure to be plenty more left helpless in his vapour trails in the coming years.‘Try of the tour’ award – Sean O’BrienThe All Blacks scored some aesthetically pleasing tries, with Jordie Barrett’s arcing run after a sublime Ngani Laumape one-handed offload a highlight, but the first try scored by the Lions in the first-test will be replayed again and again. Liam Williams provided the step with 85m to go, wrong-footing Kieran Read and handing-off Ryan Crotty, before galloping up to halfway and finding Jonathan Davies to took the outside channel and put Elliot Daly into space, while running a blocking line on Ioane.The finisher: Sean O’Brien is in support to dot down after an 85m break from the LionsDaly slowed then accelerated to pass it back to Davies who went for the corner before being held up and turning to pop a pass to the supporting Sean O’Brien to collapse over the line. One word. Magic.The ‘missing the point of the Lions tour’ award – Premiership RugbyThe narrative for the entire tour seemed to be apocalyptic. Is this the end of the Lions? What started this heresy was rhetoric emanating from Premiership Rugby chairman Mark McCafferty about the need trim the Lions tour down to eight games, and shorten the tour, in doing so refusing point-blank to facilitate any extra preparation time for the Lions, once every four years.Party poopers: Premiership Rugby would like to cut down the length of Lions tours which puts the whole concept at riskThere was even the suggestion about player welfare, which was a bit rich, given they are looking to extend the season to 11 months. Exeter’s Tony Rowe and Leicester’s Simon Cohen put their head above the parapet to further cast doubt on the Lions concept in its current format and were quickly shot down by pretty much everybody. Wisely, they’ve kept the counsel for the last few weeks, waiting for the Lion love-in to die down. A wise-choice.The ‘could start a scrap in a phone box’ award – Kyle SincklerThere’s a character in the Mr Men Series called Mr Angry, who loses his rag at the slightest annoyance. On the Lions tour, this role has been fulfilled by Harlequins tighthead prop, Kyle Sinckler, who it must be said, has had a fine tour, displacing Dan Cole from the Lions Test squad, scrummaging well and making line-breaks like a seasoned outside centre. Still young in propping terms Kyle’s anger is a ‘work-on’.Cool head needed: Kyle Sinckler lost his rag at the end of the Second TestWhen taken out in the air by Charlie Faumuina in the Second Test, the Lions won a penalty to win the game, Sinckler leapt around looking for retribution and several Lions had to calm him down. It is claimed he even refused to walk down the players tunnel. Sinckler has told how Graham Rowntree and Adam Jones have told him to calm his aggression but he’s clearly a work-in-progress. Maori All Blacks Haka (Thriller Version) pic.twitter.com/GF7rVTt91l— Eric Njiru (@Erik_Njiru) June 21, 2017A few social media smart alecs, thought the nighttime dance was so choreographed and so atmospheric that they added Michael Jackson’s Thriller to the background, in deference to the iconic video. No disrespect meant, but it was very funny. ‘Idiot of the tour’ award – Nameless drunk who assaulted John SpencerThe Lions tour has largely been controversy free off-the-field, which is somewhat surprising given the 25,000 Lions tourists could fill Auckland harbour with the amount of beer they’ve guzzled since the tour started.Not fair game: One Kiwi fans drunkenly assaulted Lions team manager John SpencerHowever, one New Zealander who’d clearly over-indulged the craft beer decided to dish out a few crass comments to 69-year-old team manager John Spencer in a restaurant and was even said to have pushed him. Not clever at all. Go and pick on Alun Wyn Jones next time, tough guy!The ‘class is permanent’ award – Jonathan DaviesJonathan Davies finished the Lions Series in 2013 joking that he felt like public enemy number one having replaced the deified Brian O’Driscoll for the final Test, and coming into the 2017 Tour, there were enough naysayers saying Davies had lost his mojo as he struggled to adjust to life back at the Scarlets after a two-year French sojourn. No matter.Top of the class: Jonathan Davies put in three flawless Test performances for the LionsThe 29-year-old from Bancyfelin finished the season like a Maserati with the Scarlets and morphed into a Rolls Royce of centres in New Zealand, playing in every minute of the Test Series, making the most metres, offloads and linebreaks. He also put in a defensive masterclass in the final Test, tracking down a tryline-bound Ngani Laumape and executing two textbook tackles on the superlative Jordie Barrett. He didn’t make a fuss, but with six Test starts and an unbeaten Lions tourist, Foxy outfoxed them all.The ‘I have a cunning plan’ award – Warren GatlandWhen the Lions pitched up in Whangarei, in rain of Biblical proportions, they took to the field and played, well, like drains – Taulupe Faletau and Ben Te’o excluded – there were balls dropped, balls going through legs, balls out on the full and general confusion all round as they spluttered to an unsatisfactory 13-7 win over a bunch of part-timers. The New Zealand media had a field day, ‘unimaginable levels mediocrity’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘a disgrace to the jersey’, were the more polite missives fired.Last laugh: The Lions started off slowly but drew the Series to everyone’s surpriseFor anyone who has travelled to New Zealand, jet-lag is deeply unpleasant for several days after landing and players were clearly struggling. Six weeks later and the Lions have upset the odds and drawn the Series. Who’s a disgrace to the jersey now? A cunning ruse, Gats but let’s not have the same ridiculous lack of preparation in 2021!The ‘make your mind up’ award – The New Zealand weatherIn the UK, you usually get some sort of warning when you’re going to get soaked, but in New Zealand, and especially Auckland, you can go from sun’s out, gun’s out to a full-on power shower when clothed in less than a minute. It truly has its own microclimate, so pack accordingly.Soaked: Sonny Bill getting drenched after getting a red card in WellingtonAnd finally…the inadvertent homage to a pop classic – The New Zealand MaoriThe scene was set for a match of bristling intensity in Rotorua. The unofficial Fourth Test. The evening was foggy and as the Haka started the mist surrounded the gesticulating players performing their traditional Maori dance to rapturous applause from the crowd. No self-respecting tour would be complete without some frivolous awards, so without further ado, here are RW’s Alternative Lions awards…last_img read more

Autumn Internationals Ireland v Argentina Preview

first_imgCan Ireland build momentum at home against the home-grown talents of Argentina, led by flanker Pablo Matera? LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS On fire: Jordan Larmour scoring for Ireland against Italy Argentina skipper explained how he felt to lead the side, saying before the tour: “This year I was captain of Jaguars and from that moment I looked to take advantage of that place to learn everything I could from Agustín who is a player who transmits a lot and has a lot of experience. “When Mario informed me of his decision to appoint me captain, I started a round trip with Agus and the only thing I received was a constant support from him. “He is very clear that the the team is more important than everything. He behaved like a gentleman. From the first day he sought to help.”The boss: Pumas head coach Mario LedesmaAny interesting statistics?Argentina boss has won a third of his matches since taking the job, winning two from six.Eight of the Pumas starting XV played in the loss to Ireland last November.On his way to scoring a hat-trick, Jordan Larmour beat 12 defenders, made four clean breaks and made 249m with ball in hand against Italy last week.These two nations have met 17 times before, with Ireland winning 11 and Argentina winning 6. The most tries Ireland have ever scored against the Pumas is 7.You can get odds of 40/1 for a draw in this fixture.What time does it kick off and is it on TV?Saturday 10 November, Ireland v Argentina, Aviva StadiumThe Test gets underway at 6.30pm (3.30am on Saturday in Buenos Aires) and is being broadcast live on Channel 4 in the UK and RTÉ in Ireland.Who’s the referee?Nic Berry will whistle this one. Fellow Aussie Angus Gardner – the man in the middle of the Owen Farrell controversy – is an assistant, alongside Ludovic Ayre from France. England’s David Grashoff is the TMO.What are the line-ups?Ireland: Jordan Larmour; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Jonny Sexton, Kieran Marmion; Cian Healy, Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Furlong; Iain Henderson, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander.Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway.Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli; Bautista Delguy, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano; Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Santiago Garcia Botta, Agustin Creevy, Santiago Medrano; Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lavanini, Pablo Matera (captain), Guido Petti, Javier Ortega Desio.Replacements: Julian Montoya, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Lucio Sordoni, Rodrigo Bruni (San Luis), Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Bertranou, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Matias Moroni.center_img Autumn Internationals Ireland v Argentina PreviewFresh from the 54-7 demolition of Italy in Chicago last week, Joe Schmidt’s Ireland name a much-changed side to take on the Argentines back on home shores.The Pumas – whose squad all play for the Jaguares in Super Rugby or for Argentine clubs – play their first Test since losing to Australia 45-34 in the final round of the Rugby Championship.The two sides have not met since playing at the Aviva in last year’s November Tests – a showdown Ireland triumphed in, 28-19.What’s the big team news?There’s still no Conor Murray for Ireland, so the scrum-half berth is filled by Kieron Marmion, with Luke McGrath on the bench. However, with Rob Kearney unavailable, hat-trick hero from Chicago, Jordan Larmour, is allowed to keep his starting spot at full-back.Garry Ringrose is also out with a hip complaint so Bundee Aki also retains his spot, lining up in the centre with Robbie Henshaw. However, Tadhg Beirne is not included in the squad, despite his two-try heroics against Italy. Instead, Iain Henderson and James Ryan pack down as locks, with Devin Toner on the bench.Rory Best’s return to hooker to captain the side is a welcome boon, while Sean O’Brien starts in the back-row, his first appearance for Ireland since playing Argentina last November.Guess who’s back: Sean O’Brien is in green against Argentina againWhile Ireland welcome a familiar captain at hooker, but while Agustin Creevy retains his spot at two, it is back-rower Pablo Matera who will lead the side.Pumas boss Mario Ledesma has rolled the dice by picking lock Guido Petti in the back row, while Santiago Medrano comes in fat prop for only his second cap. Wing Bautista Delguy and nine Tomas Cubelli earn recalls.Related: What it’s like to watch a match in JapanWhat have they said?Talking about firestarter 15 Jordan Larmour, Joe Schmidt said: “It’s very much a step up but he’s given us confidence on the back of some pretty big Test matches where he’s come into the game late.“Obviously in Twickenham he came on in the midfield and did a really good job, he came on in the third Test particularly against Australia and did a great job coming in at full-back and he acquitted himself really well last week both at full-back and then when he shifted to the left wing.“So he has that versatility, that enthusiasm. He’s a ball of energy from back there and that get’s other people energised and hopefully we can maintain that throughout the game and give Jordan some more confidence in what is building to be a really positive introduction to Test rugby so far.” Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Face-off: Do red cards ruin rugby as a spectacle?

first_imgTwo writers argue this question. This debate first appeared in the February 2021 issue of Rugby World And arguably most importantly, by making new concessions to their well-documented framework, World Rugby would be admitting defeat in their fight to make rugby safer.Please beware: If we remove red cards in order to protect individual games of rugby, there may not be too much rugby left to protect.What do you think? Email your views to [email protected] SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Wallaby walking: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto sees red (Getty Images) Seeing red: Andre Esterbuizen of Harlequins is sent off (Getty Images)NEIL TREACYProducer and broadcaster at Off the Ball LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Face-off: Do red cards ruin rugby as a spectacle?LIAM NAPIERNew Zealand-based rugby journalistcenter_img In modern rugby, red cards exist to protect players just as much as they exist to punish. Removing them or tweaking them makes players less accountable for their actions, and if players are less accountable for their actions, they’re more likely to offend again. RUGBY’S RED card sanction needs to change. It is too regimented and outdated. Everyone agrees safety must be paramount to counter concussion, and the head must be protected. But such a stance doesn’t have to come at the cost of a genuine, fair contest.Rugby is complicated – rapid at Test level especially, requiring athletes to make split-second decisions in contact. At some point, there has to be common sense to recognise that dangerous collisions will, in some form, always happen because of the different shapes and sizes in our game.How you treat complex, varied situations preserves the integrity of the contest.Currently, red cards allow no differentiation between clear and obvious malicious intent or slightly-mistimed tackles that frequently occur.Do red cards ruin games? Not always. Smart, fit teams can survive ten, 20 minutes at a push, with 14 men. Any longer and it’s beyond a fairfight. Why not let red-carded players be replaced after, say, 20 minutes? The offender doesn’t return – they are cited, suspended if deemed necessary. And the contest is preserved.Those who fork out to attend live events or pay subscription fees deserve better. At least be open to change instead of vehemently rejecting the notion that evolution may be needed.Must we witness a Rugby World Cup final overshadowed by a debatable, early red that makes a mockery of the showpiece before the matter is properly addressed? WHEN IT comes to protecting players from unnecessary and dangerous blows to the head, the game’s lawmakers cannot afford to make any concessions to the current way of policing.Alternatives to a red card have been flown like kites ever since World Rugby started to take head shots seriously. The idea of an ‘orange card’ (20-odd minutes on the naughty step) is neither one thing or the other. It’s acknowledging something bad has happened without having the minerals to fully act on it.Putting the incident ‘on report’ like in rugby league is an even greater cop-out. It’s not right that a player could commit an offence worthy of a six- or eight-week suspension, but carry on for the rest of the game in order to protect ‘the spectacle’. Hey, why ruin a good day out just because of potential brain damage? This debate first appeared in the February 2021 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

New dates for Rugby World Cup 2021

first_img New dates for Rugby World Cup 2021Rugby World Cup 2021 will now take place from 8 October to 12 November 2022 in New Zealand.The tournament, which had been due to take place in September and October 2021, was postponed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now take place late next year.World Rugby has also announced that the tournament window has been extended from 35 days to 43 days, which ensures a minimum five-day rest period between matches.The revamped tournament will also see all matches take place on Saturdays and Sundays to avoid fixtures overlapping, so fans will be able to watch all the action live.Related: Rugby World Cup 2021 pools The pool matches will take place on the weekends of 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 October, with the quarter-finals on 29-30 October and the semi-finals on 5 November. The third-place play-off and the final will both be played on Saturday 12 November at Eden Park, which is set to become the first stadium to host both the men’s and women’s World Cup finals.Match dates and kick-offs are still to be confirmed, but the tournament venues remain the same. As well as Eden Park, there will be games played at Northlands Events Centre in Whangārei and Waitakere Stadium in Auckland.World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are fully committed to accelerating the women’s game at all levels and while the postponement was disappointing for everyone, it has provided the unique opportunity to review every aspect of the event to ensure it is the best it can be for the players, fans around the world and the wonderful and enthusiastic New Zealanders.“Longer rest periods between matches for all teams is further commitment to delivering comprehensive player welfare standards at RWC 2021.” Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img The Black Ferns perform a haka on arriving in NZ after their RWC 2017 win (Getty Images) World Rugby have confirmed the women’s tournament in New Zealand will take place from 8 October to 12 November 2022last_img read more

Meeting with Presiding Bishop highlights Arizona’s Jubilee ministries

first_img Rector Knoxville, TN Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Martinsville, VA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Featured Events Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Shreveport, LA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Bath, NC Submit an Event Listing The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Advocacy Peace & Justice Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Youth Minister Lorton, VA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Press Release Service Rector Hopkinsville, KY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Meeting with Presiding Bishop highlights Arizona’s Jubilee ministriescenter_img Rector Albany, NY AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York [Diocese of Arizona] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori attended a gathering of the Arizona Jubilee Ministry Centers assembled at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Tucson on April 12. Episcopal Community Services and the Jubilee officer sponsored the gathering to network and showcase a variety of ministries for Jefferts Schori, Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona, and the Rev. Christopher Johnson, program officer for social and economic justice. Each ministry appointed a representative to share with those in attendance the stories of their ministries.Johnson began the evening with a brief history of Jubilee, and provided a framework on the role of Jubilee in networking and sharing ministry models throughout the diocese, the province and the church worldwide.The event featured the ministries of All Saints at Safford and their feeding program at Bylas on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation for 15 years, and St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic in Nogales, providing volunteer professional medical services to more than 250 children from across the Mexican Border each month for the past 35 years.Other ministries included Interfaith Cooperative Ministries of Phoenix, a collaboration of 73 faith partners providing food, clothing, medical services since 1983; Interfaith Community Services of Tucson, 58 member faith communities serving the poor from the campus of Christ the King Episcopal Church; The Episcopal Habitat Coalition, which has built and paid for more 50 homes in the greater Phoenix area; St. Phillip’s in-the-Hills, Tucson, providing an after-school music education for children living in poverty; Good Shepherd of the Hills, Cave Creek, providing a wide variety of ministries funded with more than $70,000 annually from the proceeds of their Gold Mine Thrift Store; and Imago Dei Middle School, which provides quality education for children in grades five through eight who are from low-income families in Tucson.In the past 20 years, St. Andrew’s Food for Life Ministry has provided more than one million meals to persons living with HIV/Aids, as well as feeding their neighbors in Tuscon with meals prepared in St. Andrew’s kitchen. Following the presentations by the Jubilee Ministries, more than 60 guests were served a gourmet meal, prepared by Deacon Jefferson Bailey, the Feeding Ministry coordinator.Jefferts Schori summed up what she had witnessed from those present: “. . . you are restoring dignity . . . you are claiming people as God’s beloved by what you are meeting in them. And I think you are receiving some of the same from them. You know what the gift is in participating in someone else’s life. That story that you are able to tell the wider world is transformative, and it invites other people to extend themselves into crossing borders into other people’s lives. Thanks be to God! Keep telling the stories. I’ve said to a couple of people that you are phenomenal evangelists by your ability to tell the stories about transformed lives, including your own. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for your witness, your presence, and your love for God’s people. God bless you all.” Posted Apr 19, 2012 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Curate Diocese of Nebraska Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Belleville, IL Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Submit a Press Release Tags New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Tampa, FL Rector Collierville, TN Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Submit a Job Listing Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Washington, DC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ last_img read more