Historic HAC prepare for Twickenham battle

first_imgTwickenham StadiumThe Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) rugby team, comprising bankers, lawyers and insurance brokers based in the City of London, will be at Twickenham Stadium this coming Saturday (May 14), to compete in the final of the RFU Junior Vase.The players’ working week is spent with well known City firms such as JP Morgan Cazenove, ENRC, Morgan Stanley, Mischon de Reya, Willis and Kiln but at weekends they have collectively become one of the strongest amateur rugby clubs in England.The RFU Junior Vase is the annual cup competition for clubs playing at Level 9 or below in the league system. Starting out as one of a thousand junior clubs involved in the competition, the HAC has battled its way to the final over the last nine months, beating the champions of Kent, Sussex and Eastern Counties before an epic extra time victory over Painswick from Gloucestershire in the semi final.The HAC is the oldest serving regiment in the British Army and is based on the doorstep of the City of London at Moorgate and boasts one of the most valuable rugby pitches in the world. HAC RFC will square off against Edwardians RFC of Birmingham for the RFU Junior Vase at Twickenham on Saturday 14 May at 11 am. As an active TA regiment, members of the HAC serve with the regular army in Afghanistan and provide ceremonial honour guards at major London events including the Lord Mayor’s Show.Rob Kerrigan, a lawyer at Allen & Overy, who captains the team, said: “It’s been a very long season, over 30 matches, but we now we find ourselves on the brink of something very special. Most of the players have previously only been spectators at Twickenham so it will be great to play at last on the hallowed turf.The 1st XV has won its second consecutive league title this season, earning promotion form Herts and Middlesex 1 to London & North West Division 3, while the 2nd XV have also won their league and earned a second consecutive promotion. TWICKENHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 27: General View of Twickenham Stadium during the round six Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Sharks at Twickenham Stadium on March 27, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Wieland/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Chill-out chat with Brad Barritt

first_imgRW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?BB: A head massager. It seemed like a good idea but it gave me a headache, so I’ve only used it once. RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?BB: I remember a game in South Africa. A lock knocked the ball on and someone then said to the reserve lock, ‘If the starting lock is that bad, how bad must you be?’!RW: Can tell us about any practical jokes?BB: We have a player development manager at Saracens, Simon Mattick, and he’s very organised. There’s a running joke that he can’t get through the day without emailing or texting you. While he was on holiday, I got into his emails and sent the boys a good luck message that sounded like he’d had six strawberry daiquiris! This is the first time I’ve divulged who it was!RW: Any tour tales?BB: At the Munich Beer Festival, Alistair Hargreaves ended up at a hotel 250km away! There were two hotels of the same name. He left quite early, got a taxi and it took him to the wrong one but he didn’t realise. He couldn’t get his key to work but managed to get another one, got into the room and there was a naked man sleeping on the bed! He should have stayed with the boys!RW: Who’d play you in a film of your life?BB: Other than Brad Pitt? I’d say Daniel Craig – he’s a very good actor and he could show all sides of my character! RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?BB: I’m very interested in property and venture capitalism. Matt Stevens and I are setting up a company that offers concierge services for people on holiday called Bedrooms & Bellhops. RW: Do you have any surprising talents?BB: Funnily enough, my wife’s Greek and I learnt the traditional men’s dance for our wedding day. My wife’s dad wanted me to do it with him. We lit whisky and broke plates.———————————————————————————————————————————————– Breaking Brad: Barritt lets slip on a few trips and tricks The England centre has an off-the-wall chat with Sarah MockfordRUGBY WORLD: Do you have any nicknames?BRAD BARRITT: My family call me ‘Dub’ as I was the double of my dad when I was young. The England guys call me ‘Shovel Face’, which isn’t very nice. I’m not too fond of it, but if it raises the spirits of other players I’m happy to go with it. RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?BB: It would be pretty cool to be invisible. I could find out all the things I wanted to know but have never been privy to. I could sneak into secret CIA meetings and find out about Area 51. RW: Any superstitions?BB: Spaghetti Bolognese the night before a game. But I can’t tell you the recipe; it’s a family secret!RW: What is your guilty pleasure?BB: Where to start! My favourite treat is going to Borough Market and having a pork belly baguette. Monmouth coffee is exceptional and I also like the grilled cheese sandwiches. I try to refrain from going there!RW: Who are the jokers with England and Saracens?BB: Chris Ashton is an obvious joker and Danny Care is a good laugh. Ugo Monye is entertaining, especially with a camera. He did some filming for O2 Inside Line and was stitching people up all the time. He got James Haskell to hide in a laundry bin and when Joe Marler walked past he jumped out, giving him a massive fright.RW: Any bugbears?BB: Litter. Where I live in London, I often find cans from when people have had a late-night beer.RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?BB: Someone funny and intelligent. Sacha Baron Cohen or Will Ferrell.RW: Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?BB: First of all you need a comedian, like Michael McIntyre. Then Andre Agassi – my favourite sportsman as a child. And Nelson Mandela. LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Brad Barritt looks on during the England captain’s run at Twickenham Stadium on November 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS This article appeared in the January 2013 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad.last_img read more

Aviva Premiership One to Watch: Topsy Ojo

first_img TAGS: London Irish Top man: Ojo on the attack for London Irish. He has scored 61 tries in his 199 appearances so farBy Katie FieldWho is the man of the moment?Topsy Ojo, the London Irish wing/full-back who will be looking to break his try-scoring duck in this Aviva Premiership season and help his team claim their third win of the campaign when they take on London Wasps at the Madejski  Stadium on Saturday, 30 November (kick-off 3pm).Why is he in the spotlight?Ojo, 28, is running out for the London Irish first team for the 200th time – against the same opposition and at the same venue as when he made his club debut back in 2005. He scored a try that day, after coming off the bench, and is hoping for more of the same this time as the Exiles try to climb away from the lower reaches of the league table.In this, his testimonial season, the former England wing, who joined London Irish Academy in 2003, has just signed a deal to keep him at London Irish until 2017, reinforcing his status as that rare beast in the professional game, a one-club man.Running rose: Ojo scores a try against New Zealand in 2008What’s Ojo got to say about it?“I joined London Irish straight from school and the club have been brilliant to me over the last 10 years. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “I’ve been aware of it [the 200-game mark] because Paicey (David Paice) has been trying to catch me. He’s only a few games behind me so he’s mentioned it a few times.“The magnitude of the game itself hasn’t changed my preparations. It’s a great achievement and I’m looking forward to celebrating it, but to get four points will make the day 10 times better.”Will he be whooping or weeping this weekend?London Irish’s only home wins this season have been away at struggling Worcester and at home to local rivals Harlequins. They lost at Welford Road last weekend as their pack were out-muscled by Leicester. London Wasps are not doing much better than the Irish and were walloped 28-5 at home by Bath last weekend. The fallout from that may just inspire Wasps to an away win this time.Take a look at Ojo’s best bits, for club and country – there have been plenty of them!center_img AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 14: Topsy Ojo of England races away to score his first of two tries during the First Iveco Series Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and England at Eden Park on June 14, 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) Watch Ojo and London Irish take on London Wasps at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, 30 November, kick-off 3pm.last_img read more

Ireland: Five things we learned v France

first_imgBy Claire Glancy “Get bitter or get better”Andrew Trimble has had more heartaches than highs since making his Ireland debut in 2005. He has won 55 caps since then but wasn’t part of the 2009 Grand Slam squad and was dropped ahead of the first Test at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In the autumn the Ulsterman’s only involvement in the International series was as a media pundit.Then a succession of injuries and good form for Ulster resulted in him getting the nod for the Six Nations opener and he’s never looked back. “Get bitter or get better” was Trimble’s attitude. His resilience and determination has won him many admirers in this Championship, not least Joe Schmidt, who dubbed him the ‘unsung hero’ following a string of strong performances.Disallowed: a forward pass prevented this from countingYou win nothing without luckEveryone needs a little luck. Ireland arrived in Paris with destiny in their own hands. But when Jonathan Sexton missed a couple of kicks and Dimitri Szarzewski was awarded his try despite a knock on, there was a sense that maybe this was not going to be Ireland’s day after all. In the final minutes when Les Bleus had Ireland under pressure and an overlap on the right wing a France try seemed unstoppable.Damien Chouly crossed the whitewash but Vincent Debaty’s pass had gone forward. For Irish fans, that referral to the video referee seemed to take a lifetime with flashbacks to the New Zealand defeat all too fresh in the mind. You could be the best team in the world with the perfect game plan but what can you do if the other team gets lucky? Just ask England, who for a split second must have thought the Championship was theirs.No satisfaction in glorious defeats LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Those days are long gone. The so-called ‘golden generation’ of Irish rugby managed to win just one Six Nations title in a decade and only six players who were in the 2009 Grand Slam squad were in the matchday twenty-three that beat France on Saturday.So for the majority of the current crop this has been a first taste of success in their international careers and under Joe Schmidt their appetite and expectations will increase. Known in New Zealand as ‘Mr Rugby’ the Kiwi coach told me his biggest fear is losing. So winning is a must, no matter how it comes. The performance in Paris might not have been pretty but the victory was beautiful.Sometimes fairytales do come trueRelieved of the captaincy, sent to the sin bin in Ireland’s first ever Six Nations defeat in Rome, fifth place finish… is it any wonder Brian O’Driscoll gave the people what they wanted and stayed on for ‘one more year’? Now he bows out a world record holder for his number of International caps and centre partnership with Gordon D’Arcy, as well as being the most capped player and top try scorer in the Six Nations. It’s a fairytale ending fit for Ireland’s rugby king.Fitting finale: BOD went out on a high in ParisThere is life after BODCompetition for Ireland at outside centre? There’s a question that’s never been raised in my whole adult life. Who will step into BOD’s shoes? Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Darren Cave and Jared Payne are all in contention. But until Schmidt has had time to try and test them, we won’t know who has the unenviable task of stepping into BOD’s boots.center_img The uncertainty does not just lie in that position though. Stephen Ferris announced his return to the rugby pitch on Friday night by driving Scarlets winger Kristian Phillips back twenty yards. If his body holds up, it is going to be a huge battle between him and Peter O’Mahony for the blindside spot. Sean O’Brien has yet to return, along with Donnacha Ryan, Dan Tuohy and the plethora of wingers who have also suffered injuries in the last few months. That’s not to mention those who are healthy but just waiting in the flanks for a call up. After years of living in the shadows of the provinces’ successes, it’s an exciting time for the Irish national team.last_img read more

European Champions Cup: five epic clashes

first_imgThere’s been no shortage of drama since back-to-back fixtures were introduced in 2001-02, as this trip down memory lane shows… French fancy: Quins pulled off back-to-back wins over Stade ROUNDS THREE and four of Europe’s elite club competition sees teams play the same opponents in successive weeks – so it’s a chance to either turn the tables or hammer home your advantage. As the European Champions Cup returns this weekend, here are five double meetings that set the tournament alight…2008-09: Grit over glamourRound 3: Stade Français 10-15 HarlequinsRound 4: Harlequins 19-17 Stade FrançaisCan anything top the pulsating 2008 games between these two colourful capital teams? The Pool Four encounters showed European rugby in its full glory, the first meeting at the Stade de France taking place to a backdrop of cancan girls and jousting knights in front of nearly 80,000 people – a record for a pool match.With Danny Care at his impish best, Quins scored early tries through Tom Williams and Jordan Turner-Hall and then hung on defiantly to win 15-10.Conditions were in stark contrast at the Stoop a week later, torrential rain necessitating a pitch inspection.Fun at the fair: fans enjoyed jousting at the Stade de FranceAfter a ding-dong battle in the mud, Quins trailed by a point as they enacted the final play. There followed 29 nerve-racking phases over four-and-a-half minutes as Quins strove to engineer a drop-goal chance for Nick Evans.It was a huge ask on such a surface but the fly-half finally had a crack from 25 metres and the kick wobbled over the bar.“It was probably the ugliest drop-kick I’ve kicked in my life but it doesn’t matter if it goes over,” said Evans, who was mobbed by ecstatic team-mates.Quins qualified as top seeds and advanced to a match that gained notoriety – the Bloodgate quarter-final against Leinster.2003-04: Wasps show warrior spiritRound 3: Wasps 9-14 Celtic WarriorsRound 4: Celtic Warriors 12-17 WaspsCeltic Warriors, the forgotten fifth region of Welsh rugby, endured a short life but they certainly made their mark. The Heineken Cup (as it was called then) kicked off later in 2003-04 because of the World Cup and in January the Warriors travelled to a powerful Wasps team boasting four English world champions.In filthy conditions, the visitors bottled up Lawrence Dallaglio and Rob Howley and struck a decisive blow on 74 minutes when Tonga wing Aisea Havii touched down a grubber kick in the corner. Warriors won 14-9, the “most memorable win in our short history,” said coach Lynn Howells.Stung: Wasps went on to win the Heineken Cup in 2004Man of the Match that day was Richard Parks and he and his team-mates had another mountain to climb in the return Pool Six fixture five days later. The Brewery Field was full to the rafters, the kick-off being delayed by the pressures of a 10,000 crowd, but two key figures were missing – Warriors’ injured locks Brent Cobain and Rob Sidoli. Without them, the Welsh side had no lineout ball to speak of and went down 17-12.Within six months, Wasps had won the Heineken Cup for the first time while the cash-strapped Warriors had been liquidated by the WRU.2009-10: Silencing the criticsRound 3: Munster 24-23 PerpignanRound 4: Perpignan 14-37 MunsterLast-gasp wins are something of a Munster specialty in Europe – just take last year’s 18-17 win at Perpignan when JJ Hanrahan ghosted down the touchline with the clock showing red.It was a familiar feeling for the French side, who were on the end a typical Munster one-two five years ago. Munster were under fire at the time, accused of being over the hill, but Ronan O’Gara’s seven penalties and drop-goal saw them edge home 24-23 in the third-round Pool One tie at Thomond Park. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Top trumps: Munster pulled off back-to-back wins against PerpignanPerpignan, however, were a fearsome prospect on home soil, having won 16 consecutive home games in the Heineken Cup, and 23 in all competitions. So a week later they were stunned by the ferocity of Paul O’Connell and the Munster pack, who laid the foundations for a 37-14 four-try roasting, Denis Fogarty, Denis Hurley, Jean de Villiers and Doug Howlett all touching down.Coach Tony McGahan described it as “one of the greatest away wins in Munster’s history” and no one has really underestimated Munster since.2013-14: Embarrassment to richesRound 3: Northampton 7-40 LeinsterRound 4: Leinster 9-18 NorthamptonLeinster’s 33-22 final triumph of 2011 remains the most sensational comeback in Heineken Cup history, and their victims that day, Northampton, scented revenge when the Irish province came calling last December.Saints were unbeaten at Franklin’s Gardens but walked in at half-time shell-shocked as Leinster scored four tries to lead the Pool One clash 26-0. Brian O’Driscoll set up the first two scores with a deft grubber and through-the-legs pass, and he later awarded himself 8.5 out of 10 for his performance – and he was his harshest critic.It finished 40-7, Luke Fitzgerald scoring a hat-trick, and no one argued with Saints boss Jim Mallinder when he labelled it “embarrassing”.Sweet revenge: Saints shocked Leinster in DublinA week later the English high-flyers had the chance to right the wrongs. They moved George North to centre to give O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy something different to think about, and deployed Samu Manoa’s physicality in the back row. Christian Day was introduced at lock in a bid to dictate the lineout.It was a tactical masterclass, tries by North and Jamie Elliott giving Saints an 18-9 victory that split the group open. “Remarkable what a 40-point hiding can do for you,” wrote Michael Aylwin in The Guardian.In the event, Northampton just missed out on the knockout stages but this win provided the belief and impetus for a dream double of Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup.2006-07: Scarlet feverRound 3: Llanelli Scarlets 20-19 ToulouseRound 4: Toulouse 34-41 Llanelli ScarletsIt’s eight years since Toulouse, the four-time European champions, failed to progress to the quarter-finals and few from Llanelli will forget it.The first of the teams’ back-to-back Pool Five dates in 2006 was dramatic enough, with Stradey Park erupting after Simon Easterby’s late try, converted by Stephen Jones, clinched a 20-19 success over the French aristocrats.In the red: Scarlets stopped Toulouse progressing to the QFsThat was merely the hors-d’oeuvre. The following week the Scarlets pulled off arguably the competition’s greatest triumph when they responded to a 31-10 deficit with an enthralling, never-say-die brio.Darren Daniel and Barry Davies crossed in quick succession, and when wing Daniel pounced on a loose ball on 66 minutes, Jones converting from out wide, incredibly Scarlets were level.Yet the best was still to come. Jones dropped back for a monster drop-goal attempt, only to outwit the Toulouse chasers by instead passing to Regan King. The Kiwi centre, provider of Dafydd James’s first-half try, carved through the blind-side defence and popped the ball to Nathan Thomas for the winning score.“We’ve tried to instil in our players that they should have a go with ball in hand,” said Scarlets DoR Phil Davies, “and that approach was never more evident than on this occasion.” His side was to bow out in the semi-finals.Click here to see a video of some of the Heineken Cup’s funniest moments!last_img read more

Poll: Who should be Wales fly-half for the Six Nations?

first_imgMan in the frame? Who would you like to see as the pivot for Wales in the Six Nations? In November there was a chance to see Biggar and Priestland starting games, however the Scarlet was dropped and then recalled whilst Hook flitted in as cover. Perhaps others need more of a chance; Hook is your hero; Anscombe needs a taste of the big time despite a short period in Wales? TAGS: Highlight For 24 hours only we want to know who you would pick to be the Wales fly-half in the upcoming Six Nations.There are other condidates we could pick for this poll – Cardiff Blues playmaker Rhys Patchell is worth an honourable mention, despite being out with injury and some rate Bristol No 10 Matthew Morgan very highly – but with current form, league competed in and fitness status, we opted for these five choices.So who would you like to see as Wales’ first receiver against England on Friday 6 February at the Millennium Stadium? The options are Dan Biggar of the Ospreys, Rhys Priestland of the Scarlets, James Hook of Gloucester, Owen Williams of Leicester Tigers or Gareth Anscombe of Cardiff Blues.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Whatever your view, here’s the chance for you to hang your hat on one of the stand-offs. But be quick… we will stop taking votes at 1pm on Tuesday 16 December! Who should be Wales fly-half for the Six Nations? (Poll Closed) Create Your Own Poll   Who should be Wales fly-half for the Six Nations?last_img read more

What’s in the latest Rugby World?

first_imgFind out what’s featured in the new issue of Rugby World magazine LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS THE RBS 6 Nations is in full swing and the latest issue of Rugby World brings you interviews with the tournament’s biggest stars, including Simon Zebo, James Haskell, Taulupe Faletau and Stuart Hogg.We also bring you an eight-page special report on concussion – the biggest issue in the game – and look ahead to the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.Here’s a list of contents – and find out where to buy your copy here or get our free magazine finder app here. Plus, download the digital edition here.NEWSFive Six Nations trends we’re likely to see at the World Cup, your views on Finn Russell’s ban, the Bangkok Tens, 30 minutes with Italy’s Kelly Haimona, Hotshots from the U20 Six Nations and why the championship should remain on terrestrial TVCOLUMNISTS Sean Holley – Bristol’s head coach on the changes Wales need to makeThe Secret Player – What does our former pro make of the media?Craig Chalmers – The former fly-half on why Jonny Gray should be Scotland captain SPOTLIGHTS Anthony Watson – England’s dynamo explains how he gets his head rightLuke Charteris – Wales’ giant lock talks about life in France and flying under the radarIain Henderson – The Grand Slam-chasing lock has a big future with IrelandRob Harley – From chess to French literature, the Scotland flanker is full of surprisesFree spirit: Simon Zebo salutes the crowd after Ireland’s win over England. Photo: InphoFEATURES James Haskell – The newly grown-up England flanker opens up about his self-doubtSimon Zebo – Why the Ireland winger will never change his approach to the gameTaulupe Faletau – Ten things you didn’t know about the Wales No 8Stuart Hogg – How last season has strengthened the Scotland full-back’s resolveTop ten comebacks – We pick ten Test matches where teams have fought back to winConcussion – This special report brings you case studies from around the world, looks at the latest medical advances and tells you what you need to knowEuropean Champions Cup – Stephen Jones looks ahead to the quarter-finalsEuropean Challenge Cup – Why Connacht are hitting new heights this seasonMatt Hampson – Ten years on from his catastrophic injury, RW catches up with the inspirational former propcenter_img TAGS: Highlight Roaring Lion: Alex Corbisiero gives his scrummaging tips in RW. Photo: InphoADVICE Pro Insight – Lions prop Alex Corbisiero explains how to build a scrumNutrition – How to fuel recovery, including a recipeFitness – How to launch lineouts like Richard HibbardPro Playbook – Nic Sestaret explains a stretching backs moveMini Rugby – Play Base Invaders and how to catch a high ballREGULARS Rugby Focus – A news round-up from clubs, schools and women’s rugby, including an interview with Ireland Women’s flanker Claire MolloyEssentials – The latest books and products, including four of the best running appsUncovered – Wales’ Rebecca Rowe talks through her journey from rowing to rugbyTour Tale – A donkey and a swimming pool are involved in this Wales hooker’s storylast_img read more

The greatest full-backs of all time: Gavin Hastings

first_imgRetiring after the 1995 World Cup, Hastings had a spell in American Football with the Scottish Claymores before setting up a sports marketing agency. Director of a leadership consultancy and a popular after-dinner speaker, he spends a lot of time raising awareness of Parkinson’s, a disease that afflicts his wife Diane.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Major Teams: Watsonians, London Scottish, Cambridge University Country: ScotlandTest span: 1986-95Scotland caps: 61 (61 starts) Lions caps: 6 (6 starts)Test points: 733 (18T, 87C, 160P)He was Scotland’s granite-hard talisman for a decade, not only as the last line of defence but as a place kicker of unerring accuracy who often proved the difference between sides.Earmarked for success from nearly age, the Edinburgh-born Hastings attended George Watson’s College before gaining his Cambridge Blue. First picked by Scotland in 1986, he was to lead his country on 20 occasions. With brother Scott playing alongside him, ‘Big Gav’ loved to hit the line at speed, using his 6ft 2in, 15st frame to bust defences.His power and ability to read the game brought him 17 Scotland tries and he notched 667 points in his Scotland career – at one point holding his country’s points record (227). Gavin Hastings was the standout player for Scotland for a decade from the mid-Eighties. A powerful runner, rock-solid defender and prolific scorer, he captained the Lions He appeared in three World Cups, his biggest regret coming in the 1991 semi-final against England. With the scores tied, he missed an easy kick that would have put Scotland 9-6 ahead late on. On the flip side, his 21 points as Scotland handed the Auld Enemy their biggest loss in the 1986 fixture (33-6) is among his fondest memories.Hastings was a mainstay of the 1989 Lions tour to Australia, and he went on to captain them in New Zealand in 1993, beating his old adversary Will Carling to the role. Ian McGeechan remarked that “in New Zealand, they considered him the best full-back in the world”. Safe as houses: Gavin Hastings takes a high ball under pressure from Ieuan Evans against Wales (Getty) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: The Greatest Players last_img read more

Face-off: Should Australian rugby outbid NRL for teenage stars like Joseph Suaalii?

first_imgSplash the cash on a hot prospect or reward others who have already proved their worth? Two Aussies take opposite views in this debate from our October 2020 issue LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Should Australian rugby outbid NRL for teenage stars like Joseph Suaalii?PETE FAIRBAIRNSports PR director with ThriveTo be clear, I don’t know Joseph Suaalii. But judging by his highlights and the media reports, he’s an incredibly talented young man with a good head on his shoulders and a supportive family who just want what’s best for him.In this instance, I’m thinking more about what’s best for Australian rugby. And regardless of his talent, I just don’t think it makes sense to be offering big sums of money to an untried player who hasn’t opposed adults yet at a time when the game is financially imperilled.We keep hearing from New Zealand that the depth of talent in Australia isn’t there to compete with our mates across the ditch.However, if you scour the globe you will see more than a half-century of Australian players more than capable of competing at Super Rugby level. In fact, there are more professional Australian rugby players plying their trade overseas than there are here at home!So many players were burnt by the system here. There’s a litany of unheard horror stories, including one club’s Player of the Year being offered a ridiculously low salary because they thought his family circumstances meant he wouldn’t be willing to move cities. But the game appears to finally be on track, ready to stand up for itself and look after its own.Money set aside to coax a schoolboy away from joining rugby league should be spent on retaining blokes who have already done the hard yards here, and/or bringing back players abroad who have shown their capabilities at this level. Let our young players develop as they should – from school footy into elite pathways and clubs, and then professional footy. Ready to cheer him on: Waratahs fans are open to taking Suaalii, who is contracted with the Rabbitohs center_img SAM BRUCERugby writer for ESPN AustraliaAustralian rugby is in need of a hot new talent, someone it can market to the kids who want a Wallabies jersey with their favourite player’s name on the back. And I think, in a few years’ time, that could well be Joseph Suaalii.And the way that Rugby Australia has framed its contract offer to Suaalii, or at least what we can garner from conflicting media reports, could make that possible.Why not sign him on a two-year deal, that includes the Olympics, followed by what will be a new provincial professional competition the year after and then, if his form warrants, Wallabies selection? That would give him a taste of what rugby has to offer, followed by the lure of a Rugby World Cup and British & Irish Lions series.I’ve had the fortune to watch Suaalii play once in each of the past two years and can tell you it is scary how much he moves like Israel Folau. He’s also put on an incredible amount of bulk in the 12 months between each of those two GPS schoolboy rugby matches that I saw.Early baptism: Australia stand-off James O’Connor first played for the Wallabies at just 18 (Getty Images)And coaches who have been involved with Suaalii tell me he is a fantastic young kid. There aren’t too many 17-year-olds who turn up to help junior sides in their spare time, just as Suaalii not too long ago while he was adorned across the back pages in Sydney.He’s not going to win you a Rugby World Cup, but he is definitely an X-factor player that other talented youngsters will want to play with. What do you think? Email your views to [email protected] debate first appeared in the October 2020 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

North Carolina diocese announces 5 nominees for bishop suffragan

first_img Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Belleville, IL Rector Collierville, TN Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ 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 North Carolina diocese announces 5 nominees for bishop suffragan Submit a Job Listing Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Washington, DC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Press Release Service 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 Rector Hopkinsville, KY Featured Events Course Director Jerusalem, Israel In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL [Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina] The Nominating Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina Nov. 1 announced five nominees to stand for election as the diocese’s sixth bishop suffragan.The nominees are:The Rev. Susan Buchanan, rector, Christ Episcopal Church, North Conway, New Hampshire (Diocese of New Hampshire);The Rev. Canon Amy Real Coultas, canon missioner, Christ Church Cathedral, Louisville, Kentucky, and Episcopal chaplain, University of Louisville Interfaith Center, Louisville (Diocese of Kentucky);The Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, vicar, Episcopal Church of the Advocate, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Diocese of North Carolina);The Rev. Matthew Heyd, priest and director of Faith in Action, Trinity Church Wall Street, New York (Diocese of New York); andThe Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, rector, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Durham, North Carolina (Diocese of North Carolina).North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry commends the nominees and the Nominating Committee. “We are praying for a bishop suffragan who will be a missionary bishop and partner with us as we work to proclaim, live and witness to the gospel of Jesus in the mission context of the new 21st century Galilee,” Curry said. “The Nominating Committee has prayerfully identified five priests capable of being just that.” (Watch Bishop Curry’s video announcement here.)The nominees will participate in a visit to the diocese Jan. 8-12, 2013, during which time they will meet with clergy and participate in three “walk-abouts” with clergy and lay people of the diocese. During the walk-abouts, nominees will have time to address those present in a general session and to answer questions in smaller groups.The bishop suffragan election will take place during the 197th Annual Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina Jan. 25-26, 2013, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The election will be broadcast via livestream video. The consecration of the bishop-elect will take place at the historic Duke Chapel in Durham, North Carolina, on June 15, 2013. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will serve as chief consecrator.Additional information about the nominees, the petition process for submitting additional candidates, schedule of events and resources for congregations are available on the bishop suffragan search website. 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