Monthly ArchiveJune 2021

New Zealand and Irish stars to support earthquake victims

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first_img(L-R) Andy Wood, Nermin Lovic (Ireland), Kieran Hurrell (NZ), Bernard JackmanInvitation teams made up of Irish and New Zealand rugby stars will compete in a match to raise funds for those affected by the recent natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand at Old Belvedere RFC, Donnybrook, on Friday at 7pm.Former Leinster and Ireland international Bernard Jackman will be coaching the Irish team, while former New Zealand stars Greg Feek (All Blacks) and Andy Wood (Wellington) will take charge of the New Zealand side. The match is being organised by KEA Ireland (Kiwi Expats Abroad) and the NZIA (New Zealand Ireland Association), and will be sponsored by Toyota. For more details and information on how to donate, go to www.eventelephant.com/earthquakeappealTickets for the game will be available on the gate, priced €10 (adults) and €5 (children), and proceeds will go to the Irish Red Cross, New Zealand Earthquake and Japan Tsunami appeals to help those affected by the recent and devastating natural disasters. There will also be plenty of entertainment on the night, including raffles and a New Zealand barbie! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Four Welsh regions sign salary cap agreement

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first_img“The regions have come together with a shared sense of responsibility to get their own houses in order and find solutions.  This agreement is the start of that journey. They are eager to do all they can to achieve greater self-sufficiency and our governing body the WRU has been wholly supportive of and endorsed the initiative we have taken. This is a powerful signal of our determination to achieve our aims amidst some tough economic challenges in Wales now and in the future.“All four regions are working very hard indeed to manage their businesses more effectively in a very difficult environment for everyone. As part of that, it is essential that every element of the circa £30m annual costs involved with operating four professional rugby businesses in European competition, is examined in detail and managed effectively. The introduction of this agreement and the European squad salary cap illustrates pragmatic and responsible action in tough times.“Nobody will make light of the challenges ahead but initiatives like this new salary cap must give our rugby supporters renewed confidence in our ability to move with the times, be decisive and make a stand with cohesion and a shared vision and united spirit.”“The regions have come up with a plan to take things forward and create a level-playing field with salary bands that they all agree are achievable, will maintain the quality and excitement of the regional game in Wales and will encourage greater investment in our local talent.”The Group Chief Executive of the WRU, Roger Lewis said: ”I applaud the regions for the way they have achieved this agreement with one unified voice.“The WRU invests £6m in cash every year to the four regions, in addition to its funding of the four regional academies so is delighted to see the approach to build greater sustainability being taken by the regions. I know how hard Stuart Gallacher and the executives, chairmen and funding directors representing each individual region have worked to secure this solution.“It faces up to the reality of the economic climate we all work in and ensures the regions progress within a workable financial and strategic plan. This is the right move at the right time for Welsh rugby and everyone will benefit from this new arrangement. A priority for the WRU, together with the four regions, within the elite game is to nurture and develop talented Welsh qualified players capable of challenging for senior Wales caps. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons have united under a landmark legal agreement that will seek to deliver greater long-term sustainability in regional rugby supported by the WRU.A series of pragmatic new measures have been agreed, with the philosophy behind the agreement firmly anchored in the need to protect and encourage investment in development structures and pathways that is investing in the future of bringing forward  Welsh qualified talent across professional rugby in Wales.A fundamental element of that clear direction is the introduction of a European squad salary cap to regional rugby in Wales for the first time.Designed to be considerably more straight-forward in its execution than other cap mechanisms already in place, both within rugby and other world sports, the regional cap of £3.5m covers purely the registered European squad of each region from the 2012/13 season and does not include development players or academy costs.In removing the potential for dramatically increasing salary costs during a time of austerity for both businesses and individuals, the effect of a simple and focused salary cap will be to ensure balanced and sustainable costs across each region’s registered European squads. It will also encourage further emphasis on the evolution of the development pathways that are already beginning to deliver exciting new Welsh talent.The Welsh Rugby Union has offered its full support and has praised the regions for their forward thinking and proactive initiative as a united group.The agreement will commence July 2012 – 30 June 2013 and will be reviewed annually with the initiative regulated by the scrutiny committee comprising board level representation from each of the regions, Regional Rugby Wales Chief Executive and an  independent chairman. The scrutiny committee will ensure the cap is fully adhered to and accurately reflects the economic climate and the financial requirements of the Regional organisations.  All existing player contracts will be honoured in full.The agreement is the starting point for a united long-term strategic approach by the regions to improve financial sustainability with less reliance on the generosity of benefactors and is viewed as a responsible and positive step forward for Welsh rugby as a whole.Stuart Gallacher, Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales said:  “This is a significant step forward for regional rugby in Wales and the future viability and balance of our four rugby businesses that are so vital to the development and promotion of the game in Wales.center_img “Our regions do a great job in supporting the investment and development of new Welsh talent with the opportunities and environments they provide to our young players.  It is vitally important for our regions to thrive so that Welsh rugby can sustain  and flourish as the national sport of Wales.The regions will also update the operation of payment of players’ agents in line with new HMRC guidelines on the payment of agents’ fees.last_img read more

Wales v Argentina: Five things we learned

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first_imgCARDIFF, WALES – NOVEMBER 10: Toby Faletau (C) of Wales during the Wales versus Argentina International match at the Millennium Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Offloading used to be one of the Welsh team’s key attributes, the Welsh Way, as it was widely chronicled. In the days when Wales weren’t able to create a solid platform, it was their key to unlocking the defensive line – it’s how they won the 2005 Grand Slam. But now that Wales do have a solid platform, frustratingly, they have lost the desire to offload. On Saturday, Wales had 48% of the possession and the territory, the lineout ran at 90% and the scrum was far more stable than people had predicted – Aaron Jarvis’ debut on the tight head was nothing but solid. But despite having a competitive platform, Wales only made seven offloads compared to Argentina’s 13 –  and let’s not kid ourselves, the Pumas are hardly the Harlem Globe Trotters. Wales’ reluctance to offload was made all the more frustrating by the way in which the Argentinians defended. North and Cuthbert were repeatedly ankle tackled by the Pumas which should have kept their hands and arms free to offload, yet Wales still had limited success in finding their men out of the tackle. It is worth mentioning that the Puma’s defensive strategy was very impressive. They had clearly done their homework on Wales’ strike runners – scratch that, it was more like a PHD than homework. Props to Santiago Phelan.Stand-out: Toby Faletau did the bulk of the ball-carryingFaletau carried WalesToby Faletau was a rare positive for Wales. He carried Wales – almost literally, carrying the ball an incredible 122m. To put it into context, Faletau carried the ball three times further than the rest of the Welsh starting pack and the substitutes combined. Falatau’s carrying technique was very neat, his ability to switch the ball from a left hand carry to the right constantly freed up the correct hand with which to fend off the tackler – it resulted in 18 carries and an impressive zero turnovers. Faletau’s quality carrying was in stark contrast to the limited carrying from the rest of the starting eight, who only managed to carry the ball 12 yards between them – the Welsh forward substitutes of McCusker, James, Hibbard and Bevington managed to carry the ball a combined 28 metres in a fraction of the time. The Welsh pack needs to start carrying the ball; otherwise a few of them will end up carrying the can.  Two weeks preparation v three monthsThere was an interesting subtext to the game between Wales and Argentina. It wasn’t just about the 80 minutes on the field, but the minutes, days and weeks before hand – or in the Argentinians’ case, months. The Pumas squad had been together for the best part of three months as part of the Rugby Championship – they only went their separate ways four weeks ago. The Pumas have played six full tests together since August and it showed in their performance against Wales. Much is made of Wales spending eight days together in their training camps, but in reality that is an insignificant period of time compared to the preparation that the Southern Hemisphere teams are afforded due to the structure of the Southern Hemisphere season. Wales haven’t won an opening fixture in the Autumn Internationals for ten years. It’s not an excuse, but it’s equally, it’s not a coincidence. No surprise: Juan Imhoff scorches in for a try against a one-paced Wales at the Millennium StadiumBy Paul WilliamsLosing to Argentina is not a ‘shock’ resultWALES’ 12-26 defeat to Argentina seems to have come as a shock to many. To those who analysed the Pumas performances in the inaugural Rugby Championship, it hasn’t. Argentina may have finished bottom of the table, but their first season in the toughest competition outside of the World Cup was a great success. They drew 16-16 with South Africa and lost twice to Australia by a combined margin of just 10 points. Many people in Wales viewed this fixture as one of the easier games in the Autumn Series, deemed more comparable to playing Samoa than the Wallabies or the All Blacks. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The Pumas are not the ‘Italy’ of the South. Therefore Saturday’s defeat should not have come as a shock – although the damp manner in which they went down should.No entry: Wales struggled to penetrate Zero penetrationWales didn’t make a single clean break against Argentina. Not one. Nada. Zilch. Argentina, a side hardly renowned for their ability to break through the middle or the outside channels, created five clean breaks – and two tries followed. Wales’ running patterns were painfully predictable. You don’t need to have Gwyn Jones’ analytical skills to realise that the Welsh game plan involved sending North, Cuthbert and Roberts on straight angles with the intention of ploughing over the top of defenders. It was as ineffective as it was naive. At times it was like watching the 80’s computer game ‘Breakout’ where a red ball repeatedly flew straight into a blue wall. Wales’ running angles yesterday were as boring to watch as that computer game was to play. Wales need to develop a new gameplan, and sharpish.Wales have forgotten how to offload last_img read more

Rugby World – October 2013 edition contents

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first_imgKnowledge: Team by team guideStart-of-season specialExpert analysis – Former internationals Stuart Barnes and Paul Wallace give their verdict on the new domestic season, including their predicted end-of-season tables for both the English Premiership and the Pro12The teams – The definitive guide to every club in the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro12, including all the key men, new signings – and potential theme tunes!Advice sectionPro Insight – London Irish take us inside a Pilates sessionFitness – A lower-body workout for you to tryPro Playbook – How to set up a drop-goal opportunityMini Rugby – How to double tackle an opponent and a fun wrestling game for you to playRegularsEssentials – The latest books and products Uncovered – Meet new Sale captain Dan BraidTour Tale – A funny story from the amateur era One for the album: Leigh Halfpenny celebrates the Lions’ series win with Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts Rising to the occasion: Peter O’MahonySpotlightsAshley Johnson – Why the Springbok back-rower has settled so well at London WaspsPeter O’Mahony – Meet the man charged with leading Munster’s next generationRhys Priestland – The No 10 is feeling pain-free and refreshed ahead of the new campaignRichie Vernon – Can the back-rower’s return to Glasgow Warriors reignite his Test career?FeaturesAlex Corbisiero – The Lions prop talks Northampton Saints, scrums and England selectionJamie Heaslip – The Leinster and Ireland No 8 opens up on his bitter-sweet Lions tourLeigh Halfpenny – Recent achievements are yet to sink in for the Lions heroGreig Laidlaw – The No 9 on why Edinburgh are all about defence this season Hold the front page: Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Heaslip, Alex Corbisiero and Greig Laidlaw are our October cover starsTHE NEW issue of Rugby World is a start-of-season special, with all you need to know about the 2013-14 campaign. As well as profiles on every team in the Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect Pro12, we have exclusive interviews with big names like Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Corbisiero, Jamie Heaslip, Greig Laidlaw, Mathew Tait, Dean Richards and Nick Evans.Former internationals Stuart Barnes and Paul Wallace also run the rule over the teams in the English top flight and the Pro12, making their predictions of who’s going to be on song and who’s going to be bomb over the coming months. Our columnist Stephen Jones analyses Bath’s prospects and we look at the Championship contenders. There’s much more, too – check out the full list of contents here…SidelinesFour players to watch this season, 30 minutes with Freddie Burns, the official RWC 2015 ball revealed, Ulster’s tribute to Nevin Spence, the World Club Sevens, Hotshots and moreColumnistsLyn Jones – The new Dragons DoR on the problems facing the regionsNeil Back – The World Cup winner picks his current England back rowJonathan Thomas – It’s been a busy summer for the new Worcester captain LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Mathew Tait – The forgotten man of English rugby is back on the radarStephen Jones – Our columnist asks if Bath can ever recapture their glory daysNick Evans – The Kiwi No 10 is aiming for more silverware with QuinsDean Richards – He’s back in the Premiership, but can the Falcons fly high?Bristol – Andy Robinson sets out his plan for the Championship clublast_img read more

Greene King IPA Championship play-offs: let the real battle begin

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first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “Hopefully, together as one, passionate Scottish fans can shout from the rafters and help us get over that winning line,” Bright says.Sweet 16Both teams, Scottish and Worcester, are seeking to follow modern-era victors Exeter (2010) and London Welsh (2012 and 2014) in gaining promotion having not topped the log at the end of the regular season.But the stats are squarely behind Bristol, who have a 100% record – 16 wins from 16 matches – against their three play-off rivals during DoR Andy Robinson’s time in charge.They make nine changes for their home semi-final first leg with Rotherham, recalling Welshmen Dwayne Peel, Gavin Henson, Matthew Morgan and Gareth Maule, among others, to the back-line.“There are a number of players who could easily have been selected this weekend,” said Robinson, who felt confident enough to name his side early in the week. “It’s for the guys who have the shirts to get out there and put in a performance.”Remember the TitansRotherham go into the play-offs on the back of four successive wins, and their bullishness is illustrated by a comment on their match report of last weekend’s 19-3 defeat of London Scottish.“As news flooded in around Abbeydale about Bristol’s victory over Worcester,” it says on the Titans’ website, “there was an air of optimism surrounding the ground.” Fighting talk borne of a belief that Bristol’s nerves could cost them once again – since the Championship was professionalised in 2009-10, they’ve topped the table on three previous occasions without reward.If Bristol and Worcester somehow both stumble, and if Rotherham are unable to give LeeSwan song: Rotherham head coach Lee Blackett is off to Wasps this summer (Pic: Getty Images)Blackett a dream send-off before he joins Wasps’ back-room team, there is a fourth potential outcome – that nobody goes up.That’s because London Scottish fail to meet the minimum standards criteria required to play in the Premiership, so should they win the play-offs they will stay put and London Welsh will get to play with the big boys for another year. One suspects Welsh won’t be cheering their fellow Exiles with total conviction… High flyer: Bristol wing Charlie Amesbury scores against Moseley in February. He’s the only back retained from last weekend for Saturday’s semi-final at home to Rotherham (Pic: Getty Images) THE HACKLES are up, the tension unmistakable. After the long grind of a 22-match league programme, the Greene King IPA Championship reaches the play-off stage this weekend and the question on most people’s lips is: who will go up – Bristol or Worcester?It’s a natural enough assumption, the two sides having finished first and second by a country mile and now approaching the semi-finals as the hottest of favourites to progress to a Premiership-chasing shootout. Bristol (103 points) host Rotherham (61) in Saturday’s first leg, while Worcester (97) visit London Scottish (64).Yet the play-offs are a perilous business, as Worcester’s Charlie Mulchrone makes all too clear. Last year he captained Rotherham as they pushed Bristol close in both legs and the scrum-half says: “No one expected Rotherham to be anywhere near promotion so we had nothing to lose and could just give it a crack.“Now (at Worcester) we’re expected to be one or two in the league and that is more pressure, but then there’s pressure on everyone because it’s knockout rugby and one bad day and your season is over.”One dinner at a timeThe Warriors have kept bad days to a minimum this season, losing both meetings with Bristol narrowly (23-19 and 30-26) and seeing a 24-match winning run halted by Aaron Penberthy’s late drop-goal for Jersey in March.You might suppose Bristol would gain a psychological edge from those wins, but put that to Mulchrone and you get short shrift.“Mate, I’ve not even thought of that possibility (playing Bristol in the final) so I don’t want to give you an ill-advised response. Irrespective of who you’re playing, your only concern is the next match. I haven’t even thought about what I’m having for dinner tonight.Tight bond: Worcester have put last year’s struggles behind them and are ready to front up (Pic: Getty)“Everyone gives you a hard time in this league and if you can’t match that intensity and desire you’ll come unstuck. Against Jersey we had a few lapses in concentration and fair play to them, they got a good win.“Our main focus is Saturday away to London Scottish. It’s a long old season and it takes a toll, so it’s about keeping people on their feet and trying to feel fresh. The first pressure was to get to the play-offs, now the second part is to see what we can do from here.”Bright as a buttonMulchrone drew praise from director of rugby Dean Ryan for his “fantastic” performance last weekend, the 25-year-old replacing the injured Chris Pennell at full-back during the home defeat by Bristol. England cap Pennell joins powerful centre Max Stelling as an injury doubt for the trip to Scottish.In a tight game, yellow cards for Cooper Vuna and Jonathan Thomas hit the Warriors that day, and they will hope to keep a full complement on the field at Scottish, who have arguably the division’s Player of the Year in their ranks.No 8 Mark Bright has scored an astonishing 24 tries – smashing the ChampionshipTry machine: Mark Bright scores v Plymouth – one of many by the London Scottish No 8 (UK Sports Pics)try-scoring record for a season – and the skipper is banking on a few hundred Edinburgh supporters, down for Friday night’s Challenge Cup final, acting as a 16th man.center_img Over the next two weekends, Bristol and Worcester will be on tenterhooks as the two Championship big guns strive to negotiate the play-off semi-finals… Greene King IPA Championship semi-finals, first legsSaturday: Bristol v Rotherham (Ashton Gate, 1.30pm), London Scottish v Worcester (Richmond Athletic Ground, 1.45pm).Second legsFriday 8 May: Worcester v London Scottish (Sixways, 7.45pm). Sunday 10 May: Rotherham v Bristol (Clifton Lane, 1.45pm).last_img read more

The greatest blindsides of all time: Mike Teague

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first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Mike Teague dots down for the Lions TAGS: The Greatest Players Mike Teague was an integral part of any team he played for, whether it be Gloucester, the Lions or England. One of the greatest blindsides to play the game Major teams: Gloucester, Moseley, CardiffCountry: England
Test span: 1985-1993England caps: 27 (26 starts)Lions caps: 3 (2 starts)Test points: 15 (3T)His finest hour was the 1989 Lions tour to Australia, when he missed the first-Test defeat through injury but came back to wear the No 6 jersey to such great effect in the next two Tests that he was voted Man of the Series as the tourists achieved a come-from-behind triumph for the first and only time.Teague had only established himself in the England team that spring. He won his first three caps in 1985, aged 25, but was then left out until the 1989 Five Nations. He responded by bulking up and taking his fitness to new levels with what Gloucester folk call “Mad Dog” training, involving hill running over all kinds of terrain, carrying rocks and logs.The hard work enabled him to play his trademark physical game on what was, at times, a violent Lions tour and turn the tide in the visitors’ favour. Socks rolled down, a barnstorming Teague tackled everything that moved, was a driving force in the loose and a limpet in possession.In 1990 he started just three England Tests, all at No 8, but played 11 times in 1991, scoring two tries on the way to a Grand Slam and going all the way to the World Cup final. Teague was so disappointed by England’s final defeat that he has never watched a replay. He won just five more England caps and played one more Test for the Lions, finishing with a 100%-winning record for the tourists after beating New Zealand 20-7 in 1993.Teague joined Gloucester from the All Blues club as a teenager in 1978 and played 301 times for the first team over the next 17 years, but had short spells at Stroud and Cardiff and a couple of seasons with Moseley from 1992. He was a self-employed builder, which made it tough to balance his rugby commitments with his need to pay the bills during the amateur days. Now the owner of Teague Construction, he maintains close links with Gloucester RFC, co-owning and running Teague’s Bar, opposite Kingsholm.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

Under 20s: Six Nations stars of the future

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first_img By Alex ShawIt may sit in the shadow of its big brother, but the U20 Six Nations has been chugging along nicely over the last month and offering plenty of reasons for fans of northern hemisphere rugby to be excited about the future.A particularly vintage class of English youngsters have set themselves apart after the first three rounds of competition, but both Ireland and Wales have also turned in eye-catching performances.The results have not quite come for Scotland, France or Italy, but that shouldn’t detract from some of the individual talents that those squads have been developing.We take a look at one player from each nation who has the potential to be a difference-maker, sooner rather than later, at senior Test level and who it would be well worth keeping an eye on over the remaining two weeks of the championship.Marco Riccioni, ItalyIt’s a good year for the Italian side who, despite losing all three of their games so far, came very close to upsetting Ireland and were extremely competitive with Wales for 65 minutes. Their captain and tighthead prop, Riccioni, is one of their standout performers.With Martin Castrogiovanni having hung up his boots and current starting tighthead Lorenzo Cittadini turning 34 last year, it’s a position where Conor O’Shea is going to have to find new talent at over the next year or two.Strong arm: Italy’s Marco Riccioni is a powerful presence in the front rowRiccioni is currently contracted to Calvisano but as the most impressive tighthead to have come through the Italian U20 side in the last five or six years, it is surely only a matter of time before he is picked up by either Treviso or Zebre and thrust into Guinness PRO12 action.Senior Player Comparison: Rabah SlimaniDarcy Graham, ScotlandHaving just agreed professional terms with Edinburgh, catching the eye of incoming head coach Richard Cockerill will be just as important for Graham, if not more so, than impressing soon-to-be Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend. That will be the route to PRO12 games for Graham and it’s those PRO12 games that will be a route to the Scotland national team.Modern-day skillset: Darcy Graham can play anywhere in the back threeHis footwork has set him apart for Scotland U20s so far this season – whether that has been at full-back or on the wing – and he has the pace to exploit the holes in defences that it creates. His kicking, defence and aerial game are all also noteworthy and he ticks all the boxes required of a modern back-three player.Robbie Nairn is another impressive outside back for Scotland and purely as an out-and-out wing, may have an edge on Graham, but it’s Graham’s ability to also play full-back which could see him crack the Test game sooner, potentially as a versatile bench option covering the entire back-three.Senior Player Comparison: Jack NowellZach Mercer, EnglandIt’s an England U20 squad littered with future Test players but when you look at the strength and relatively young age profile of the senior England team, it’s hard to see where opportunities will arise between now and the 2019 Rugby World Cup, making this a tough call as to who can breakthrough in the next season or two.Given that Mercer has accomplished 50% of the battle – breaking into his club side as an academy player – he has a leg up on many of his talented teammates. The likes of the Curry twins, Nick Isiekwe and Ratu Joe Cokanasiga all also warrant close attention, even if their path to senior Test rugby seems a little more congested. In this year’s Under 20 Six Nations there are a gamut of young players making such an impression that it can only be a matter of time before they graduate to senior honours LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS On the hoof: Wales U20 loosehead Rhys Carre make a break against EnglandThe young loosehead has the potential to be the long-term replacement for Gethin Jenkins at regional and international levels and even at 19 years of age, he already has the physical and technical traits to make himself a weapon in the PRO12.Senior Player Comparison: Mako Vunipolacenter_img Under the radar: Zach Mercer may not be a household hame but he has huge potentialThe time that Mercer has spent on Bath’s blindside should help him, initially to get himself onto England’s bench and cover Chris Robshaw and Billy Vunipola, but then to kick on and push them for a place in the starting XV.If you haven’t been watching the U20 Six Nations up to this point, it’s worth tuning in for Mercer alone, who has been setting the competition alight with performances that are on another level to most of the other players involved.Senior Player Comparison: Kieran ReadFaraj Fartass, FranceAs we said with Mercer, the hardest battle for an academy player can often be trying to break into his club side’s senior team and nowhere is this battle harder than in France. Working in Fartass’ favour is that he is already on Stade Français’ radar.He’s a lightning quick player who has been deployed on the wing by France U20s but who can also play at outside centre and he has Yoann Huget’s tendency of being able to pop up in just the right places, at just the right times. He tracks the ball, runs nice support lines and has many of the subtle nuances of experienced wing play already in his arsenal.Pace to burn: Faraj Fartass has impressed for Les Bleus this seasonIt may be a false dawn but France have shown signs this year of becoming a more mobile team that can better live with Test match intensity and if that is to continue to be the case, then some of the more prestigious Top 14 names will have to make way in the coming years for exciting talents like Fartass.Senior Player Comparison: Chris AshtonRob Lyttle, IrelandThe strength of this Ireland U20 crop is without doubt their back-three players and cases can be made for any one of Lyttle, Jordan Larmour, Calvin Nash or the currently injured Jack Kelly to be the guy talked about here.Larmour is probably the prototypical Joe Schmidt-type to plug into Ireland’s back-three but it’s hard to see him getting the playing time at Leinster over the next year or two that would warrant him being an option for the Test team. In contrast, Lyttle is already featuring for Ulster and as a result has his nose ahead of Larmour, Nash and Kelly.Showing his worth: Rob Lyttle has been getting game-time with Ulster this yearLike Scotland’s Graham, Lyttle has the versatility to play full-back and wing, something which is even more important to a Schmidt-coached team and any looming decision over whether or not to switch Simon Zebo to full-back at Test level should have relatively little effect on Lyttle’s prospects. With Rob Kearney and Andrew Trimble in their 30’s and Schmidt not fully convinced by Craig Gilroy, Lyttle could be given a shot in the coming years.Senior Player Comparison: Dane Haylett-PettyRhys Carre, WalesIt’s tempting to go Ryan Conbeer here, whose consummate finishing has already seen him put together quite the highlight reel at just 18 years of age, but with Wales showing no signs of wanting to move Liam Williams to full-back, it may take the young Scarlet a few years to be in the position to dislodge him or George North on the wings.Carre, on the other hand, could push himself into competition with Rob Evans in the very near future. He has scrummaged extremely proficiently so far in the tournament and has displayed the kind of dynamism in the loose that the competition hasn’t seen from a front rower since Luke Cowan-Dickie in 2013. Shining light: Zach Mercer has shown his supreme talent this term last_img read more

Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Kyushu

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first_imgWhat a view! Mount Daikanbo in the Aso mountain rangeMount Aso, in the Kumamoto Prefecture, is the largest active volcano in Japan and has one of the world’s largest calderas, with a circumference of more than 100km. The crater is accessible to tourists, providing there is no risk to visitors due to bad weather or volcanic activity. If the crater is closed off, there is still much to see in the surrounding area, like the views from Daikanbo Peak and Kusasenri prairie.In the Miyazaki Prefecture you’ll find Aoshima Island. It’s off the coast of Miyazaki City and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. White beaches surround a subtropical jungle featuring 200 different species of plants.Subtropical jungle: Aoshima Island in the Miyazaki PrefectureWalk 1.5km around Aoshima’s beaches. Then head to the centre of the island to visit Aoshima Jinja, a colourful shrine in the jungle that is said to bring luck to married couples.Over the following pages we highlight more of the top attractions on the three prefectures, so you can start planning your adventure. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Advertising FeatureJapan 2019 Travel Guide: KyushuKagoshima to the south, Kumamoto in the centre and Miyazaki to the east… there is much to uncover during a tour around these three prefectures on Kyushu, the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands.From majestic mountains to scenic sea views, there are contrasts aplenty, which means it’s a great place to travel to. Why not head there for a few days in between World Cup games?Here’s a highlight from each of the three prefectures. Kagoshima includes the subtropical island of Yakushima, which was designated a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Some of Japan’s oldest living trees are contained in the island’s extensive cedar forest, with a few thought to be more than 7,000 years old. The park is perfect for hiking, with Shiratani Unsuikyo a favourite spot. It was the ‘enchanted forest’ feel of Yakushima that inspired film director Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke animation. TAGS: Japan Enchanted forest: The island of Yakushima in the Kagoshima Prefecture center_img Take a trip around the varied landscapes of central and southern Kyushu Click on page two to find out about Kagoshima… 1. Introduction2. Page 23. Page 34. Page 4Page 1 of 4 – Show Full ListIntroductionPage 2Page 3Page 4last_img read more

Rassie Erasmus nails drop-kick in Rugby World Cup semi-final warm-up

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first_imgKick start: Erasmus kicks in the warm-up before facing Japan (Getty Images) The coach is well-known for getting involved with his team’s preparations. so the story goes, he used to get involved with the lineouts at the Stormers, so he could make his technical points clear, visually.As you can see from this image, he also continues to take part in a few other aspects of training.Catch it!: Erasmus catches a tennis ball between Damian Willemse and Willie Le Roux (Getty Images)We also know that Erasmus is aware of when cameras are on him during training.Remember when he made a point of coaching the ‘Owen Farrell tackle’ in Springboks training, following the controversial hit the England playmaker put on André Esterhuizen in a one-point win? England pipped the Boks 12-11, with Farrell’s tackle going unpunished. So in front of the cameras, Erasmus showed Esterhuizen the best way to hit a tackle bag high.We got his point loud and clear. It was almost as emphatic as his drop-goal int he Yokohama stadium! Rassie Erasmus nails drop-kick in Rugby World Cup semi-final warm-upWhilst his Springboks side were going through their final preparations to face Wales in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup, South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus decided to have a pop at goal, with a drop-kick. And as you can see below, he ain’t half bad! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus out here wishing he could pick himself tonight #RWC2019 #ITVRugby #WALvRSA pic.twitter.com/WGkczX4gw1— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) October 27, 2019The former Springboks back-rower should rightly be happy with himself for this effort. But it transpires he is no stranger to the art, with him apparently a regular at it in training and in warm-ups.As you can see from the above image, he was kicking in the warm-up before the World Cup quarter-final against Japan – which the Springboks won 26-3. You can read our match report.Related: This is the story Rassie Erasmus’s relationship with defence coach Jacques Nienaber Keep track of events in Japan via our Rugby World Cup homepage.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Rugby Rant: RWC 2023 Pool Draw

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first_imgTeams are unable to ‘rest and recover’ in the year following a World Cup, in a season that’s already condensed because of the sport’s showpiece. A titanic battle to make it into the top-four seeding bracket is now on, starting with the current Six Nations. Everyone is keen to avoid the ‘Pool of Death’, something akin to the one that scuppered England back in 2015.Would Wales have planned a Test series in New Zealand this summer if they had known? Will England pick up enough World Ranking points by only playing Japan in July? What hope for the poor Tier Two teams who are having to make do playing against franchises and A teams this summer?Japan put their victory over Ireland a few months back down to the fact they had over two years to plan for it. On the other hand, Ireland spent those two years focusing on becoming number one in the world, not considering the Brave Blossoms until they’d dealt with Scotland in their World Cup opener. But do we really want the romance of rugby to be stifled by allowing so much time for analysis?And finally, does anyone actually need three years to snap up tickets?This Rant first appeared in Rugby World magazine in March. Years in the making:Kids celebrate France’s successful World Cup bid (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Deciding pools for the next World Cup so early winds up reader Adam McKenzie. This Rant first appeared in Rugby World magazine in Marchcenter_img Rugby Rant: RWC 2023 Pool DrawTHE DRAW for the 2023 World Cup takes place after this year’s November Tests. Not since RWC 2003 has the draw been conducted closer in time to the actual tournament it’s for. And there seems to be no reasonable thought behind this.We’re back to a 30-plus month wait between the draw in December and kick-off in the autumn of 2023, and no doubt we’ll be told it’s down to planning and preparation – something no other worldwide sports organisation manages to struggle with over a shorter period.World Rugby would like us to believe that arranging a few hotels in France is comparable to trekking through the Andes without a compass, even though UEFA managed to do it for a 24-team, four-week European Championship in the same country (France) back in 2016.On the subject of planning and preparation, after the typhoon debacle in Japan, is there any faith these extra months are actually being utilised correctly? Or will crunch decisions be made 24 hours out, much like they were when Hagibis struck in 2019?More importantly, it’s a complete hypocrisy on the importance of player welfare that’s trotted out by the global governing body on a regular basis.Related: How France won the RWC 2023 vote 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

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