This is how to tackle

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS As if butter wouldn’t meltSchalk Burger, a South African and Stormers loose forward is famed for his tackling, but usually in a bad way and usually because it’s worthy of a sending off. However there are times he can get it right, check out this clip – Fourie du Preez had no chance.last_img

Wales v South Africa: Five things we learned

first_img Wales get the win they deserveWales beat South Africa 12- 6 and finally got the much referenced monkey off their back. But let’s face it, this wasn’t your common-or-garden monkey. Having not beaten the ‘big three’ for 22 consecutive games this was a King Kong sized monkey, after 12 months jacked-up on steroids. Collectively, the Welsh pack outmuscled arguably the most powerful forward unit in the game, particularly in the first half, delivering 50% possession and 53% territory.The Welsh backline, led by the immaculate Dan Biggar, executed a rock solid defensive and kickchase strategy – missing just three tackles between them. The Welsh backrow were hugely effective at the tackle area. Warburton continued his return to form and clutched on to any unprotected ball with the desperate ferocity of a 38 year-old, single bridesmaid trying to get her hands on the brides’ bouquet. And, as ever, the boot of Leigh Halfpenny was at its best, kicking four from five, and his tackle on Eben Etzebeth will go straight into rugby folklore. But for all the statistics and individual brilliance only one thing matters – Wales beat the Boks – finally.Dan Biggar’s ascendency continuesDan Biggar executed a truly complete display against South Africa. The perfect fusion of kicking, distribution and defence. Biggar delivered the sort of numbers that you would have expected from Jonny Wilkinson in his prime. Admittedly, he only did this in one game, but was it one of the most assured performances from a Welsh outside half during the last decade.Kicking on: Dan Biggar put in a Wilkinson-esque performance against the SpringboksBiggar’s tactical kicking was nano accurate and his work under the high ball was the equal of Leigh Halfpenny’s – praise indeed. But by far the most impressive aspect of his game was his defence. Biggar put in 11 tackles, missing none, and totally dominated his channel. This truly was his ‘coming of age’ performance and the game should have finally convinced the few remaining doubters of his suitability for the 10 shirt.No auto subsIn elite rugby it often feels as though most front row substitutions are pre-determined. Almost as if Nostradamus is part of the coaching team and dictating the substitution strategy before a ball has been kicked. This was not the case on Saturday. Both Samson Lee and Scott Baldwin played the full 80 minutes and Gethin Jenkins played 74 minutes.Front row union: Staying power: Gethin Jenkins and Samson Lee put in a mighty shiftWhilst there is obviously stacks of GPS data showing that front row forwards’ peak performance levels drop after 50-60 minutes it doesn’t necessarily mean that they still don’t have the performance edge over the opposition – at that point in time. This was the case on Saturday where both Samson Lee and Scott Baldwin looked like they would have played until their lungs turned to dust in order to seal victory over the Boks. You’ll rarely see a Bok scrum destroyed so emphatically as it was in the 55th minute – it went back so quickly that it could have done with an accompanying message on loudspeaker -‘Warning: Springbok scrum reversing”. Wales finally succeeded in beating one of the Southern Hemisphere ‘big three’ in a scrappy, dogged encounter but the result really was all that mattered Sheer relief: The Wales players celebrate a much-needed win over South Africa TAGS: Highlight center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Results over performance. Every time.Prior to the Autumn Series we were told that performances were more desirable than results. You just needed to see the reaction of the Welsh coaching staff during the last few minutes of the game, to know that comments such as this should be taken with a pinch of Welsh sea salt. In truth, this wasn’t a perfect performance. The Springboks had players missing and their captain was stretchered off the field with a horrendous knee injury.In it together: The Welsh squad showed great cohesion on SaturdayThe Welsh lineout had issues and Wales were fortunate to benefit from Cornal Hendrick’s yellow card. Wales should arguably have scored a try whilst camped on the Springboks’ line during the final minutes of the game and Willie Le Roux appeared to have borrowed my hands for the afternoon. However, it is ludicrous to suggest the negatives of performance should outweigh the positives of the results. Wales finally managed to close out a game against the ‘big three’ and that is all that matters. End of.Gethin Jenkins won’t lie down.Gethin Jenkins is like one of those characters that simply can’t be killed at the end of a horror film. Over the past 18 months many have suggested that his test career should be brought to an end, yet he staggers back to his feet, takes the knives out of his back and comes back for yet another crack at it.Hard as nails: Gethin Jenkins put his body on the line for WalesHe was superb against South Africa in the summer and yet again demonstrated his ability to fuse frontrow power with backrow agility. Jenkins’ made 13 tackles from loosehead, which beat even Taulupe Faletau and Alun-Wyn Jones. What’s more, Jenkins maintained test level performance for 74 minutes, way beyond what is usually expected form a frontrow forward. Whilst Jenkins is no longer guaranteed the number 1 shirt for Wales, he certainly hasn’t given up on it just yet.Visit for all the latest Rugby World subscription deals, or find out how to download the digital edition of the magazine at read more

Top 14: Racing Metro cast their eyes enviously at Stade Francais

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Change in tack: Racing owner Jacky Lorenzetti seems to be moving away from signing home nations playersAt the same time  French sports daily L’Equipe said Jamie Roberts – rumoured to be on £34,000 a month – was also likely to be heading home after disappointing Racing. The paper quoted Labit saying the Wales centre and Lydiate “have  never really been performing since their arrival.” This public admonishment was certainly not welcomed by Roberts.It looks like Lorenzetti has learned from his Celtic catastrophe and changed his recruitment philosophy. Apart from Dan Carter – hired to put bums on seats at Racing’s new stadium that opens next year – the club has signed for next season players who are either French or already well-adjusted to French rugby: Remi Tales is arriving from Castres, Yannick Nyanga from Toulouse, Chris Masoe is heading north from Toulon and Argentine lock Manuel Carizza is re-joining after a spell with the Stormers.It’s unlikely Racing will be signing any Home Nations players for the foreseeable future, and Stade Francais have also fallen out of love with British exports after James Haskell, Simon Taylor, Paul Sackey, Hugo Southwell and Tom Palmer all struggled to adapt to the French game. Tellingly, the one Briton who did make a good fist of his time with Stade was wing Ollie Phillips. In two seasons at the Stade Jean Bouin he scored 14 tries in 29 Top 14 appearances. Perhaps it was because he made an effort to learn the language. As he said in an interview, “I forced myself to read and watch the news constantly, and got my team-mates to speak to me only in French.”Home-grown talent: Stade Francais’ Jonathan Danty is making a good impressionInstead Stade – who were forced to reduce their wage bill after their [2] financial crisis of 2011 – focused on developing French talent. Ten of the starting XV that beat Toulon on Friday are French; some like centre Jonathan Danty and Rabah Slimani (both local lads) still have their best years ahead of them; others, notably scrum-half Julien Dupuy and winger Julien Arias, are thriving in the twilight of their careers thanks to the inspiring and intelligent coaching of Gonzalo Quesada. Language barrier: Both Johnny Sexton and Jamie Roberts admitted the transition to France came with its difficulties With Stade Francais reaching the Top 14 Final, Racing Metro owner Jacky Lorenzetti can be forgiven for wondering how his push for Parisien-supremacy turned sourcenter_img You’ve got to feel for Jacky Lorenzetti. All that money  he’s spent in the last two years to turn Racing Metro into the strongest side in France, and what’s he got to show for it? Not much, certainly no silverware, which is why he and other business tycoons get involved in rugby. If a barren trophy cabinet wasn’t bad enough, Lorenzetti now has to look on as Parisian rivals Stade Francais take on Clermont in Saturday’s Top 14 final.It wasn’t meant to be this way. Weren’t Stade the side in decline, a shadow of the outfit that won four Top 14 titles between 1998 and 2004? Wasn’t it Racing Metro’s turn to rule the Parisian roost?That’s what Jacky must have envisaged two years ago when he lured coaches Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit from Castres, the duo having just masterminded Castres’ first Bouclier de Brennus in 20 years. The two Laurents naturally couldn’t resist swapping provincial Castres for go-getting, glamorous Racing, particularly when Lorenzetti presented them with three of the game’s superstars in Jonathan Sexton, Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts.Disappointment: Racing’s Teddy Thomas looks dejected while Stade Francais player celebrate a 38-15 play-off winThe trio arrived in Paris fresh from playing pivotal parts in the British and Irish Lions’ Test series defeat of Australia. All three were at the top of their game, all three would spearhead Racing Metro’s charge to the top of French rugby. For differing circumstances, all three have now left.Sexton (allegedly on a £555,000-a-year deal) and his family were homesick from the start of their Paris adventure and in an interview in January 2014 the fly-half admitted that he had considered “going home” several times already. He stuck it out, though his rugby never replicated what he’d produced for Leinster, before announcing in September that he would not be taking up the option of a third season with Racing in 2015-2016 but would be returning to Ireland.Dan Lydiate’s malfunction was even more marked. The Welsh flanker, voted the Player of the 2012 Six Nations, started just six league matches for Racing in his first season, and last November his contract was terminated and he signed for the Ospreys, with a feeling it was best for both parties. The Argentine was appointed Stade coach in the summer of 2013 – the same time as the two Laurents took up their role with Racing. Such has been Quesada’s success in revitalising Stade Francais that Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal admitted recently he had approached him to replace Bernard Laporte. Quesada turned down the offer, leaving Boudjellal to settle for another Argentine, Diego Dominguez, as Laporte’s successor.As for Laporte, might he end up at Racing when his Toulon contract expires in June 2016? According to Monday’s Midi Olympique it’s a possibility, one that will perhaps be dependent on next season’s results. Another season of underachievement and Travers and Labit are sure to have exhausted Lorenzetti’s patience.last_img read more

Why Ireland have no reason to panic

first_img By Mark CoughlanIt’s been a World Cup countdown of mixed emotions for Ireland fans. While England headed for Denver, Wales travelled to Qatar and their beloved Poland, and the Scots headed to the sunny climes of the Pyrenees, Ireland opted to stay at home and get a visit from Usain Bolt, for some peculiar reason. They’re back-to-back Six Nations champions, though, so why the need to flee Ireland. And after all, Joe Schmidt, like every elite Boy Scout, is always prepared.Then came the warm-up games; an assured win over Wales, a patchy win over the Scots, then the morale-sapping defeats to Wales and England. On the Emerald Isle, that usually spells disaster – and after the debacle of 2007, and the quarter-final capitulation of 2011, you could forgive Ireland fans for getting that empty pit of the stomach feeling. But is all quite as it seems?Out of sorts: Ireland were uncharacteristically off the pace against England in most areasJoe Schmidt is a man with a plan – we all know that. The lack of accuracy in the Six Nations defeat to Wales irked him, so the gameplan against Wales and England in the last two warm-up games will have certainly improved his mood. The scoreline didn’t bear out, but Ireland meticulously stuck to the brief. In the Six Nations, Ireland had success against France and England by keeping a low error count, minimising offloads (two v France, five v England) and being neat and tidy at the set-piece (one failed lineout in each game). Contrast that with the Wales game back in March, where they lost four lineouts, and had to make 254 passes to try and breach the Wales line (compared to 116 v France and 156 v England), which naturally led to more errors. Zero clean breaks against France ended in victory, four clean breaks against Wales ended in defeat. Scratch the Scotland Six Nations game, but in recent times, Ireland don’t suit having to come out and play.In the warm-up games Ireland stuck to the successful part of that formula, and despite falling behind, they never chased the game. In Dublin and Twickenham, Ireland managed two and three offloads respectively, while the ball was kicked away once in every 11.5 touches. Territory and defence is the mantra here – let your opponent make mistakes. Defeat to England and Wales has Irish fans panicking – but the numbers tell us that things are still going almost exactly to plan for the men from the Emerald Isle Cutting down on penalty concessions, too, was a priority after conceding 14 against Wales, and only five were conceded against England. Ireland are knitting together the masterplan one step at a time. The defeat to Wales in the Six Nations has set a benchmark for Ireland to avoid repeating – somewhere, you can imagine Schmidt waiting in a dark room with a three-line whip for anyone who tries anything too risky, or too devil-may-care. It’s not the Schmidt-in-Ireland-colours way.Force the opposition: Ireland have used their kicking game to force mistakesGameplan aside, Ireland clearly have the personnel to navigate choppy waters this World Cup. Experience is key, so we’re constantly told, and this side arrive with the nous and guile to do damage. The squad picked boasts 1,068 caps between them. Only Australia, New Zealand and South Africa bring more (the Springboks have just named their most-capped Test team of all time for their opener, so that’s no surprise), it is still a formidable number. New Zealand’s World Cup squad four years ago brought 1,133 caps, South Africa in 2007 had 809.The final feather in Ireland’s emerald cap is the fact they’re playing World Cup-winning rugby, if the numbers are to be believed. Knockout rugby is rarely about try-fests, and Ireland are used to winning games despite being outscored by opponents. Consider the fact that only once in the professional era has a World Cup’s top try scorer come from the winning side (Bryan Habana in 2007), and Ireland’s lack of try machines suddenly seems less of a concern. In fact, take the group stages out of it (weaker opponents tend to skew results), and the eventual winners of the last four World Cups have been responsible for a total of 16 tries in their 12 knockout games (Australia scored four in 1999, England two in 2003, South Africa six in 2007 – including five against Fiji – and New Zealand four in 2011). That’s an average of 1.3 tries per knockout game. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img In good spirits: The Ireland team on their way to Cardiff for the game against CanadaIreland won the Six Nations despite scoring just eight tries, and being outscored heavily by England (18) and Wales (13). The tournament’s top scorer was from another country. And Ireland’s try rate? 1.6. Okay, it doesn’t quite fit the World Cup winning formula just yet – but you can be sure that Schmidt will be working his socks off to make sure it does come kick off. With Canada, Romania and Italy all building up to a titanic showdown with France on 11 October, Ireland are not in bad shape. Just how much of their hand they’ve shown thus far will soon become apparent.To see all of Rugby World’s latest subscription deals click here Man with a plan: Joe Schmidt will have covered every eventualityIreland XV vs BarbariansIreland head coach Joe Schmidt Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan last_img read more

Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander – a tale of two No 8s

first_imgWhat is certain is that Heaslip and Stander both know who they are on and off the field. That is what matters.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. TAGS: LeinsterMunster LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Front foot: Jamie Heaslip makes a trademark charge for Leinster. Photo: InphoThe 32-year-old has a much decorated rugby career of 85 Ireland caps since making his debut in 2006 as well as being a two times British & Irish Lions tourist with five Test appearances.Then there is Heaslip the entrepreneur, restaurateur and entertaining user of social media. Add to this his reputation for meticulous professionalism and a relatively injury-free career and yet sometimes it seems as if he is taken for granted by some quarters of the Irish media.Where does this perspective come from? Is it that Heaslip does not conform to an old-fashioned notion of what a rugby player should be? Is it that despite leadership qualities and being both a three-times Six Nations and Heineken Cup winner, he assumed the Ireland captaincy during a rocky patch at the end of Declan Kidney’s tenure in 2013?Yet on the Lions victorious tour of Australia three years ago, time and time again when in conversation with English, Welsh, Scottish and Australian media, Heaslip was flagged as a “good and intelligent speaker” and “great player”.What we do know is that in the absence of both O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien, Heaslip and Stander brought out the best in each other playing for Ireland in what was far from a vintage Irish Six Nations campaign.In the spotlight: Munster’s CJ Stander picked up two awards this week. Photo: InphoThis week Stander was named both Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the year at the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association Awards, while Heaslip was awarded Try of the Year for his finish on a superb nine-pass, 80-metre team move against Italy in March.In Ireland’s opening draw with the Welsh, Stander was named Man of the Match, the stats showing he made 23 ball-carries. But who was top of the Irish tackle count? Both loosehead prop Jack McGrath and Heaslip came in with 16 apiece.In an interesting piece of symmetry, Heaslip was named Man of the Match in Ireland’s final game and only second victory of the championship against Scotland.The conjecture for Ireland’s forthcoming tour to South Africa was sparked when former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan suggested that Ireland’s best back row to face the Boks would include Heaslip, a returning O’Mahony and Stander in place of O’Brien, also coming back from injury. Yet former Ireland international Donal Lenihan returned to a shootout between Heaslip and Stander for the No 8 jersey.Tag team: Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander work in tandem to tackle Justin Tipuric. Photo: InphoBuilding on their Six Nations form by retaining Heaslip and Stander as starters in the Irish back row as the latter returns to his homeland seems a like a logical step. The Leinsterman’s nuanced play, passing game and experience complements the Munster captain’s defence-busting, ball-carrying style.Perhaps, the question should be: who should join them? O’Mahony’s natural abrasiveness would certainly mark him out as the man to round out the trio to take to the Newlands pitch on 11 June as Ireland aim to make history with a first Test victory over the Boks on South African soil. However, he has indicated that a decision regarding his fitness to join the tour still has to be made. If O’Brien can prove form and fitness for Leinster in the business end of the Guinness Pro12, he could reclaim the openside berth. By Kate RowanRucks, mauls, scrums, lineouts, breakdowns, tackles, penalties, tries, conversions.This is the traditional vocabulary associated with how rugby players forge their reputations.Then there is the media mixed zone. Post-match mixed zones tend to be the most frantic. Quite often it is very much a case of it being the journalists’ turn to ruck and roll as a pack of five, ten, 15 or even 20, with varying agendas, grapple for position.Back in the autumn of 2010, after Ireland’s win against Samoa, No 8 Jamie Heaslip ambled into the mixed zone at the Aviva Stadium, briefly surveyed the reporters huddling around him and declared in a theatrical growl to a couple of newbies: “I won’t bite!”That particular act, regardless of how fleeting or insignificant showed his sense of humour and perhaps a quirky or flamboyant side to the character of a player renowned for his work-rate and dedication.Fast-forward five years to another mixed zone, conducted after an open training session at the Aviva Stadium in the build-up to this year’s Six Nations. It was one of Munster back-row Christiaan Johan Stander’s first media engagements as a member of the Ireland squad.After Ireland’s disappointing World Cup quarter-final exit, quite a lot of the spring optimism was centred on the potential Test debut of CJ Stander, a son of the Western Cape who had qualified under residency rules to play for Ireland. There had even been talk in the Irish media that the former Blue Bulls player, a natural No 8, could perhaps usurp the ever-reliable Heaslip of Leinster.It is not usual mixed zone etiquette for players to shake journalists’ hands. However, it has become something of a calling card for the former Springboks U20 captain.Comeback trail: Peter O’Mahony is still battling to recover from injury. Photo: InphoThe ‘Stander handshake’ is sturdy and genuine; this translates to the player’s on-field performances. Stander – as with born-and-bred Munsterman Peter O’Mahony, for whom he has deputised as provincial captain during his injury-enforced absence and at blindside flanker for Ireland during this last Six Nations – plays with grit, ballast and his heart on his sleeve.Despite growing up more than 15,000km from Thomond Park, outside of George, a city midway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth situated on South Africa’s Garden Route, the 26-year-old farmer’s son, very much espouses the values of the traditional Munsterman.Even the fact he came to Ireland after being told his physique was not big enough to be considered a Springbok back-row meshes well with the fighting underdog with a point-to-prove spirit that for so long has been part of the Munster psyche.Irish rugby loves a stereotype. So, you cannot have the brave and faithful Munsterman without the urbane and skilled Leinsterman! Enter Heaslip as the perfect foil to Stander. They’ve both had great seasons but should Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander feature in the same Ireland back row or battle for the No 8 shirt? Tag team: CJ Stander attacks against Wales as Jamie Heaslip looks on. Photo: Getty Images last_img read more

Women’s Six Nations England v Wales preview

first_img Women’s Six Nations England v Wales previewEvery team has a player who likes a practical joke, but England have a double act. “I like to have fun,” says tighthead prop Sarah Bern. “Me and Izzy Noel-Smith are like Dumb and Dumber around camp.”Bern has become the youngest veteran in the England set-up, the 20-year-old suddenly becoming one of the more experienced players in the team after head coach Simon Middleton added a selection of teenagers to his squad.The Gloucester forward will earn her 17th cap against Wales on Saturday and it’s been a quick rise to the top, earning just 11 caps before scoring a try in the Women’s World Cup semi-final against France.Leading figures: Coach Simon Middleton and captain Sarah Hunter, who scored a hat-trick against Italy. Photo: Getty ImagesBern doubled her scoring tally against Italy in round one of the Six Nations last weekend, making her a prolific finisher in prop terms.“I’ve only scored two in 16 so let’s not get carried away, but if I can keep that record going I won’t complain,” says Bern.Related: Six Nations TV CoverageEngland will face Wales in round two of the Six Nations at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday as they chase a second consecutive Grand Slam title.Two changes have been made by England – Charlotte Pearce is set to earn her first start on the wing while hooker Amy Cokayne returns to the starting line-up.LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION OFFERSThe Red Roses beat Wales 63-0 in Cardiff last year, but after a one-point win over Scotland in round one, the Welsh will be in high spirits crossing the Severn Bridge.Bern adds: “Every team in the competition has improved this year and Wales will want to play right in our faces and disrupt the ball to stop us playing.”Related: Women’s Six Nations FixturesBern’s try was England’s solo score in the first half against Italy as they went into the break drawing 7-7, but they dominated the second period to win 42-7.“I think it took longer for the team to click against Italy,” says Bern. “We’ve had a number of new young players come into the team which, mixed with some experienced ones, needed some adjusting. Saturday 10 February Scotland v France, 7:05pm, Scotstoun StadiumSunday 11 February Ireland v Italy, 1pm, Donnybrook, Live on RTE Gloucester prop Sarah Bern previews the second round of England’s Women’s Six Nations campaign against Wales with Shay Waterworth On the charge: Sarah Bern in action during last year’s Women’s World Cup. Photo: Getty Images center_img “Training is always different to a match so it was important for us to play together and in the second half we really showed our understanding as a team and complemented each other.”Training day: Sarah Bern has learnt a lot from England centurion Rocky Clark. Photo: Getty ImagesOne veteran who has set an example for Bern is Rochelle Clark, commonly known as ‘Rocky’. Clark is England’s most-capped player of all time, representing the Red Roses 133 times and the 36-year-old prop has described Bern as a “box on legs”. Bern, who is 5ft 6in and weighs 90kg, doesn’t argue with the new name.“Rocky looked at me in training last week and said ‘you’re just so big’. I find it funny and although I take my rugby career incredibly seriously, ultimately I’m here because I enjoy it. I want to have fun.”Scottish blueprintsScotland have mixed things up for their game against France. Following the disappointing loss to Wales last weekend, captain Lisa Martin has been moved to fly-half from centre and Rachel Malcom has made the transition from hooker to blindside flanker for round two.Having lost 55-0 against France in La Rochelle last year, Scotland can only improve. However, as many of the team are inexperienced and France are currently ranked third in the world, Scotland will need the home support as they play at Scotstoun for the first time in the Six Nations.Back in green: Katie Fitzhenry will start for Ireland against Italy. Photo: Getty ImagesFeeling FitzyIreland head coach Adam Griggs has made two changes to his team from the opening-round defeat to France last weekend.Katie Fitzhenry has been called into the squad after representing Ireland at the Sydney Sevens and will start at outside-centre, while Paula Fitzpatrick starts in the second row.Ireland have never lost to Italy in the Six Nations and, with home advantage, it should be the first Irish win of the campaign after losing 24-0 in France last week.Women’s Six Nations Round Two FixturesSaturday 10 February England v Wales, 12:15pm, Twickenham Stoop, Live on Sky Sports LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Super Rugby Could Change Once Again

first_img Foreign players to begin to be phased out… Rugby Australia To Phase Out Foreigners from Super Rugby Teams LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Expand The Western Force, removed from Super Rugby, will… Rugby Australia To Phase Out Foreigners from Super Rugby Teams “The essence of the product is very strong and we still get the best players in the world playing in that comp. Our big challenge is to get the right mix together to use it as a platform to drive forward.”Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news. In terms of the conference system, one of the proposed changes was to implement a variation of the all-play-all, or round-robin format.However the one thing that holds this format back is the objective of keeping the current 22-week duration of the tournament. A full round-robin format in which every team plays each other home and away would not be possible as a result.What is clear, is that these discussions will continue to be had, and there is no real solution in sight right now.SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos said: “What we’ve got to realise is that Super Rugby was established originally in order to slip that one level below Test matches and the yield that it’s given is being able to deliver three and now four countries that are seriously competitive on the international stage and have dominated the World Cup since its formation.”“That value can’t be underestimated as a breeding ground for international rugby, which does drive a fair portion of revenue in the game. Mike Ford calls for investment in German rugby after failing to make the World Cup Western Force Returns After Super Rugby Axing Collapse Super Rugby Could Change Once AgainIt looks like Super Rugby could be set to change once again.The number of teams has grown in recent years to as many as 18 with South Africa getting a sixth franchise and teams from Argentina and Japan joining too.Last year however there was a contraction with the number of teams being cut to 15 as two South African teams and one Australian went onto the chopping block. The teams cut were the Southern Kings and Cheetahs who joined the Pro 12 to make it the Pro 14. The Western Force also lost their licence, though they now make up part of the proposed new Global Rapid Rugby competition set in the Asia-Pacific region.It appears as if further changes could be made to Super Rugby with plans to contract it down further and a drastic change to the largely unpopular conference system is also in the pipeline.Right now, despite the Rugby World Cup going to Japan in 2019, the Tokyo-based Sunwolves appear to be the team facing expulsiom which would take place from 2021 onwards.SA Rugby are seeking to keep their four franchises, whilst Australia and New Zealand have also said they will keep the same amount of teams, which leaves the Jaguares and Sunwolves.The Jaguares are unlikely to be cut however given that Argentina are fast becoming a staple of the Rugby Championship and they are a member of SANZAAR. Given their bottom of the table finish last year, the Sunwolves are the most likely to get cut. Western Force Returns After Super Rugby Axing Mike Ford calls for investment in German rugby after failing to make the World Cup Super Rugby could be set to change once again. Find out how in this piece. Expand Mike Ford calls for investment in German rugby…last_img read more

Hotshot: Wasps and England Sevens wing Callum Sirker

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Who did you admire when you were growing up? Brian O’Driscoll is my absolute idol. I’ve got a photo of him in my room! What a player he was, he could do everything. He came to do an HSBC advert with England Sevens. I couldn’t breathe, I was like a little fan!What are your strengths and work-ons? If I get an opportunity to score I back myself to take it. Give the Rieko Ioanes of this world a sniff and they’re away – and that’s how I want to be pictured. A work-on is getting used to the physicality of 15s. Fronting up has never been a problem, it’s working hard in the gym and being robust enough to take those shots.Are you studying? I’m doing a leadership and management degree through the RPA. It’s really cool. What are your goals this season? To make as big an impact as I can for Wasps. Putting the Wasps shirt on is a massive honour. It was always my dream.RW VERDICT: Dealing with injury and rejection in his teens was tough, but Sirker has shown real resilience to earn his chance. He grew up aiming to emulate the likes of Josh Lewsey and Christian Wade – Wasps could have a new gem in the ranks. Hotshot: Wasps and England Sevens wing Callum Sirker Date of birth 4 May 1998 Born Hammersmith, West London Club Wasps Country England Position WingWhen did you first play rugby? The passion for it came from my father, Amit, who played for London Welsh in the ‘80s. I’m a quarter Indian, so it was rugby or cricket for me and I chose rugby. My first club was Teddington. I went through the minis, then moved to Richmond. I was in Wasps’ academy from 11 or 12 up to 18.You had injury problems, didn’t you? Yes, I had a shoulder injury in my last year at school, Harrow. I missed a whole season of 15s and wasn’t signed (by a pro club). I was gutted but luckily played my sevens season. We got to the final of Rosslyn Park and Simon Amor saw me. He invited me to an England Sevens trial and a week later offered me a contract.How beneficial was your England Sevens experience? Massive. It was a chance to play in front of mega crowds against outstanding players now making their names on the 15s stage. I played in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris.What did you learn most? Finishing – beating a player one-on-one came from sevens. And skills under fatigue. This Wasps wing has already impressed for England Sevenscenter_img On the move: Callum Sirker in action during the Premiership Rugby 7s Series (Getty Images) This article originally appeared in the December 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.last_img read more

Who is Robin McBryde: Ten things you should know about the Lions assistant coach

first_img6. McBryde played for Menai Bridge, Mold and the North Wales team plus Swansea, Llanelli and Scarlets, making his Test debut against Fiji in 1994 in Suva.He captained Llanelli to the Welsh Cup in 1998 and the Welsh Championship in 1999.7. McBryde joined Mold as an 18-year-old where he was coached by Denley Isaac, who had seen him at a North Wales U19 session.McBryde later said: “I owe it all to Denley. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I could achieve what I have done in the game but Denley gave me the confidence, advice and technical knowledge to make me start to believe that I could go down to South Wales and give rugby a shot.”8. McBryde coached at three Rugby World Cups – in 2011, 2015 and 2019 – and played in one in 2003 in Australia. Then the hooker played in four games, against Canada, Italy and the two epics against New Zealand (lost 53-37) and England, in the quarter-final in Brisbane, (lost 28-17).His final International was the Six Nations Grand Slam game against Ireland in 2005, when he came off the bench for Mefin Davies.9. McBryde was forced to retire from playing in August 2005 after surgery to remove a disc at the top of his spine. At the time he said: “I couldn’t even play with my boys in the garden because of the pain.”He moved straight into coaching with the Scarlets U18 side.10. McBryde’s mother, Diana, passed away at the age of 78 whilst he was in Japan with the Wales squad at the 2019 World Cup.The coach remained in the Far East to help Wales’ preparations for the semi-final against South Africa, saying that is where she would have wanted him to be. Robin McBryde is Leinster’s scrum coach (Sportsfile/Getty Images) Who is Robin McBryde: Ten things you should know about the Lions assistant coachRobin McBryde’s decade-long Wales career spanned both the amateur and professional eras.After retiring due to injury, he moved into coaching and he is part of the British & Irish Lions 2021 back-room team.Here are a few more facts about the former hooker.Ten things you should know about Robin McBryde1. Hooker McBryde played on the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia appearing in four games including the 116-10 win over Western Australia. But a leg injury saw him invalided out of the trip, after the match against Australia A, before the Test matches.2. McBryde, who won 37 caps for Wales and the 2005 Grand Slam, was crowned Wales’ Strongest Man in 1992, and says the event was similar to training methods used now and helped him in his coaching career.“If you actually see the footage, it wasn’t an out-and-out strong man competition, it was based on agricultural shows,” he said. “It’s a lot of the functional training that the boys do now, pulling and putting bags of feed in trailers, climbing up ropes and lugging poles around.”3. McBryde has coached at Scarlets, Wales, Leinster and now the British & Irish Lions but never as head coach permanently.However, he was in charge for Wales’ tours to North America in 2009, Japan in 2013 and games against Samoa, in Apia, and Tonga, in New Zealand, in 2017 when Warren Gatland and Rob Howley were with the Lions.4. McBryde was born in Bangor on 3 July 1970. He worked as an overhead linesman after leaving Ysgol Tryfan School and before becoming a professional rugby player.Wales hooker Robin McBryde in action against Scotland in 2001 (Getty Images)5. McBryde, a fluent Welsh speaker, has carried the ceremonial Gorsedd sword during National Eisteddfod in Cardiff and was invested into the Gorsedd of Bards in 2006.In 2007, he succeeded another Welsh international, Ray Gravell, as Keeper of the Sword, which is never unsheathed and carried by its blade as a symbol of peace. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img The former Wales front-rower is an experienced coach 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.last_img read more


first_img Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Belleville, IL Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME [Episcopal News Service] Piedad Córdoba, 58, la controversial ex-senadora liberal de Colombia, dijo en una entrevista en el Canal Telesur que aspira a ser presidenta de su país. Graduada en leyes de la Universidad Pontificia de Medellín, ha servido de mediadora con las FARC y ha defendido en el congreso a “los afro-descendientes como yo”. Dijo también que el presidente Hugo Chávez es su líder y Fidel Castro “lo más grande que ha dado América Latina”. En qué mundo vivirá la ex-senadora.Una asamblea presbiteriana reunida en Orlando, Florida, la semana pasada decidió separarse de la iglesia madre y formar una nueva denominación (ECO, por su sigla en inglés) por estar “cansados  de tantos conflictos internos y una burocracia que no puede nutrir a las congregaciones saludables”. Un documento final dice que “una teología conservadora” será la norma del nuevo grupo, que la Biblia será interpretada literalmente y que pastores homosexuales no serán tolerados.José Guadalupe Martín, arzobispo de León, México, ha causado controversia con la noticia de que ha pedido a la delincuencia organizada que colabore para que haya paz durante la visita que el papa Benedicto XVI realizará a esta ciudad. El religioso hizo este llamamiento en una conferencia de prensa tras la homilía dominical, “en nombre de México entero”. Los críticos dicen que “no se puede pactar con el diablo” y que la petición conlleva una sumisión de la iglesia al enorme pecado de la violencia.Una corte civil de Londres ha ordenado que los manifestantes del movimiento “Occupy the Stock Exchange” (la bolsa de valores) deben abandonar inmediatamente el espacio a la entrada de la Catedral de San Pablo. Los manifestantes llevan tres meses acampados en ese lugar interrumpiendo el normal funcionamiento de la catedral y el tráfico vehicular. Algunos obispos anglicanos se han opuesto a la medida judicial.La decisión de Hugo Chávez de pagar un subsidio a las madres solteras parece una buena idea a simple vista, pero esto significará más hijos sin padres y más hijos en la misma familia para recibir ayuda del Estado. Esto hará que el matrimonio civil o eclesiástico sea una cosa del pasado, dice un obispo.Una nueva versión de la Biblia en Noruega se ha convertido en éxito de librería, informa la cadena radial BBC Mundo. En la versión trabajaron conocidos poetas y escritores por más de una década y usaron palabras de mayor uso común. El trabajo no tiene comentarios, ni anotaciones. La Iglesia de Noruega, de confesión luterana, ha estado bajo el control político desde la época de la Reforma del siglo XVI y por eso tiende a ser más liberal que en el resto de los países escandinavos. Algunos piensan que la masacre de Oslo, en julio de 2011, en la que perdieron la vida 69 personas, impactó el alma del noruego común que busca respuestas en la fe y en ningún lugar mejor que en el Libro de los libros.La Iglesia Luterana de Sajonia, Alemania, ha aprobado una resolución permitiendo que pastores homosexuales puedan vivir con sus compañeros en las casas parroquiales. El obispo Jochen Bohl dijo que esperaba que el grueso de la comunidad luterana aceptara a esos pastores “como hermanos y hermanas en la fe”.El congreso de la República Dominicana aprobó recientemente la validez de los matrimonios realizados por pastores evangélicos. Hasta ahora esto era privilegio exclusivo de la Iglesia Católica Romana. Se considera que la población evangélica  del país alcanza de un 20 a un 30 por ciento de la población lo que equivale a 2.5 millones de habitantes. Líderes evangélicos han dicho que la decisión implica “un triunfo y una gran responsabilidad” para todos los miembros de las iglesias.Ramón C. Moreno, querido y recordado rector de la Iglesia Episcopal de la Santísima Trinidad de Morón, Cuba, se distinguió en sus casi 30 años de ministerio en esa iglesia por su interés pastoral en todas las personas. Solía caminar por la calle Martí con su cuello clerical y paraguas en mano saludando a muchas personas. Contaba el “Señor Moreno” como se le conocía popularmente, que en una ocasión alguien le pidió dinero y él le preguntó para qué. “Es para la Virgen”, dijo el hombre. El buen pastor sacó unas monedas del bolsillo y le dijo: “Mire, esto es para usted, la Virgen está en los cielos y no necesita nada”. Así piensan muchos cubanos con la noticia de que el papa Benedicto XVI le obsequiará una rosa de oro a la Virgen de la Caridad en su próxima visita a Cuba.ORACIÓN: Señor, ten piedad. Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Albany, NY Press Release Service This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector Columbus, GA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Events Rector Pittsburgh, PA 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 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Smithfield, NC Submit an Event Listing 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 Rector Collierville, TN Rapidísimas Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Por Onell A. SotoPosted Feb 1, 2012 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis center_img Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Featured Jobs & Calls Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA 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 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Shreveport, LA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Bath, NC Submit a Job Listing Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Martinsville, VA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit a Press Release Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Tampa, FL Director of Music Morristown, NJ The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Hopkinsville, KY Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Washington, DC Rector Knoxville, TNlast_img read more