Month: June 2021

A decisive weekend for England hopefuls

first_imgShould Ben Morgan start for England v Wales? By Jack Yates YESTERDAY it was announced that 15 members of England’s Elite Player Squad would be made available for club action this weekend. Amongst the list are players in serious contention for a starting place against Wales in just over a week’s time, including the likes of Toby Flood, Manusamoa Tuilagi and Ben Morgan. However, England boss Stuart Lancaster has so far resisted ringing in the changes, having fielded the same side for both of England’s RBS 6 Nations fixtures. However, this next round of Aviva Premiership games presents a final opportunity for players to impress before Lancaster picks his 22 to face an in form Wales at Twickenham next Saturday.Manu Tuilagi will be looking to reclaim the No 13 jerseyBoth Flood and Tuilagi will start for Leicester who face Saracens on Sunday, as they look to re-claim their starting places in the England team, having recently returned from injuries that have seen them replaced by ‘Charge Down’ Charlie Hodgson and Brad Barritt respectively. The duo desperately need game time under their belts in order to strengthen their case for starting places, having only amassed 187 minutes of game time collectively, following their return to action for the Tigers. Tuilagi was one of the few English success stories to emerge from a tumultuous World Cup and he will be looking to impose himself as first choice for the No 13 jersey. Unfortunately for Tuilagi, Barritt, who currently holds down the outside centre position, is a player in good form, exhibiting his fierce defensive tackling as well as having the benefit of playing outside the familiar face of Saracens team-mate Owen Farrell. Flood too faces competition from veteran fly half Hodgson, who has impressed on his return to the international scene, scoring both of England’s tries in their campaign so far, and making him a formidable opponent to displace. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Ben Morgan is a player who has excited many England fans in recent weeks, making two considerable impacts in his appearances off the bench. The Welsh-based 21-year-old is tipped to replace Phil Dowson, who has struggled to emulate his outstanding club form of last season at international level. Morgan, who will feature on the bench for the Scarlets in their clash against Leinster tonight, is well placed to win his first full cap for his country having demonstrated a commanding ability at the back of the scrum as well as being renowned as a fearsome ball career, which will stand him in good stead in an England outfit that have lacked attacking impetus and an ability to break the gain line.center_img Charlie Sharples is pushing Chris Ashton and David Strettle for a starting spotPossible long shots for a starting place next Saturday include Gloucester speedster Charlie Sharples, who has not yet been given the opportunity to convert his electric club form on to the international stage. His chances are further enhanced by the dip in form of winger Chris Ashton, who has not been featuring regularly in the Northampton Saints team following his controversial departure to big spending Saracens. Harlequins full-back Mike Brown too has a lot to be optimistic about, scoring 11 tries already this season, as well as being awarded the Aviva Premiership player of the month award for January. However Brown faces tough competition from Ben Foden, who despite enduring a recent dip in form, possesses the ability to blow defences wide open with his clinical counter attacking, meaning that he will almost certainly feature next Saturday.England will undisputedly go into their first home game of the tournament as overwhelming underdogs to a Welsh team who have gone from strength to strength, having built on the success of their emphatic World Cup campaign. In stark contrast is an England team who have scraped dogged victories against the two lowest ranked sides in the competition. It is clear that England will be markedly boosted by the return of some key players, such as Tuilagi and Lawes who bring a considerable amount of much needed physicality, especially when facing an immensely dangerous Welsh backline that boasts an average weight of 15st 6lbs with four players over 6ft 2ins. There is no doubt that Lancaster’s England will have to improve significantly if they have any chance of maintaining their hopes of defending their Six Nations title, with key returning players looking to play an integral role in what promises to be a momentous battle at Twickenham.last_img read more

Download your free Six Nations fixture guide!

first_imgWE’RE all incredibly excited for the opening Six Nations weekend, so we’ve created a snazzy fixtures list for you to download on any and every device going! You can download our pdf on your iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Android device, or you can go old school and print it out to stick on your wall. All in all, an easy way for you to take the 6 Nations with you! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img

Welsh trial: Four key match-ups

first_imgPossibles: Dan Fish; Kristian Phillips, Cory Allen, Steven Shingler, Harry Robinson; James Hook, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Matthew Rees (c), Rhodri Jones, Jake Ball, Ian Evans, Andrew Coombs, Ellis Jenkins, Dan BakerReps: Kristian Dacey, Owen Evans, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, James Davies, Lloyd Williams, Matthew Morgan, Jonathan Spratt LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS All smiles: Mike Phillips and Gareth Davies will be best of enemies once they cross the whiteline Ken Owens has waited patiently for a chance to nail down the No 2 shirt, having lagged behind first, Matthew Rees and then Richard Hibbard, who is recuperating from a shoulder operation. He will be packing down opposite his long-time regional team-mate, Matthew Rees for the first time. Owens has provided Wales with a highly energetic option off the bench in the last 18 months, and he will recognise this is a chance to make a pitch for a regular starting berth. Matthew Rees’ return after five months out recovering from testicular cancer has been nothing short of inspirational, and the renaissance of the Cardiff Blues at the end of the season was credited to his leadership. Both men are likely to tour South Africa.Leader: Matthew Rees has been welcomed back in all quarters and will face his old colleague Ken OwensFinally options at No. 8: Taulupe Faletau v Dan BakerTaulupe has been the model of consistency this season without ever reaching the giddy heights of last year, the caveat that he’s played behind a struggling Dragons front-five. One of Warren Gatland’s most important players, his place has been nailed down since the 2011 World Cup and Wales’ over-reliance on him, has started to be a cause for quiet concern. The emergence of Baker, 22, then, has been seen as a huge positive. A different type of player to Faletau, Baker drives with short powerful steps around the base, in a way reminiscent of Scott Quinnell in his pomp, and he also boasts decent offloading game. It is hoped he will, at least, put pressure on Faletau and provide a different option to the peerless Dragon.Pretty fly-guy: Toby Faletau has welcomed competition for his place from Dan BakerProbables v Possibles (Liberty Stadium, KO 7.05pm): Probables: Liam Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Jordan Williams; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Ken Owens, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (c), Luke Charteris, Josh Turnbull, Aaron Shingler, Taulupe FaletauReps: Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee, Lewis Evans, Josh Navidi, Rhodri Williams, Sam Davies, Dafydd Hewittcenter_img The first Probables v Possibles trial match since 2000 will take place at the Liberty Stadium this evening. RW takes a look at the key battles for a starting berth in South Africa This evening sees the first Probables v Possibles game since 2000. While this is enticing fans, the reasons for playing it are far from ideal. For the first time since the Regions were formed, in 2003, no Welsh region has reached the RaboDirect Pro12 play-offs, with the Ospreys, the last to crash and burn. The Welsh management didn’t feel they could have a break of nearly six weeks without some meaningful game time ahead of what promises to be a physically imposing tour of South Africa.Another polarising issue, and one that highlights the challenges facing Wales’ player retention, is the availability of England-based players. George North is on duty with Northampton tomorrow in front of 80,000 at Twickenham, while the Bath duo of Paul James and Gavin Henson have been prevented from playing due to a Premiership Rugby ruling as the game is being played outside the agreed IRB international window. Throw in Ryan Jones’ ankle injury, yesterday’s hamstring tear to Bradley Davies at training and Owen Williams blotting his hitherto burgeoning reputation with a six-week ban for ‘making contact with the eye area’ of Luther Burrell, and preparation has been far from smooth.Nevertheless, issues aside, there is an appetite for the game from Welsh public with a sell-out crowd expected at the Liberty Stadium. Here are the key match-ups Warren Gatland will be monitoring this evening.Fire meets fire: Mike Phillips v Gareth DaviesThis sparky duel pitches the combustible Mike Phillips against another feisty West Walian, Gareth Davies. Phillips has had a mixed season, flickering intermittently for Wales in the Six Nations after switching clubs mid-season after another rumoured alcohol-related escapade. Warren Gatland will be watching intently to see whether the 85-cap Racing Metro man still has the desire not only to make South Africa as No 1 scrum-half, but the Rugby World Cup. Gareth Davies was one of Europe’s form players at the end of the season, ending as the Pro 12’s top try scorer. Much smaller physically, Davies is blessed with blistering pace around the breakdown, sharp service and a nose for the tryline. Expect ‘Spiky’ to be bristling to keep the young pretender at bay.Battle in midfield: Jonathan Davies v Cory AllenJonathan Davies is now firmly established among the elite midfielders in Europe. His presence was sorely missed during the Six Nations and he will be a key player in South Africa, ahead of his move to Clermont Auvergne. He will be trading his wares against the rangy Blues midfielder, Allen. The Cardiffian has had something of a breakthrough season at regional and international level, with only a shoulder injury stagnating progress. He possesses decent top-end speed, a rapier 15-metre pass off both hands and handling skills honed on a basketball court. The more experienced Davies, meanwhile may have the edge with his kicking game, game intelligence and robust defence. Who knows, these two could easily end up playing alongside each other for Wales…Midfield tear-up: Cory Allen and Jonathan Davies will collide this eveningOld friends: Ken Owens v Matthew Reeslast_img read more

Guinness PRO12 player analysis: Dan Baker, Ospreys

first_imgTreviso and Northampton Saints are up next for Steve Tandy’s side in the European Champions Cup. Two influential outings should be sufficient to see Baker face Australia on November 8. He is a rough diamond, but this is no gamble. Even if the Wallabies fixture feels like a must-win, Gatland cannot die wondering.Read a feature-length interview with Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar in this month’s Rugby World. Download the digital edition here or subscribe online. Rhys Webb is in deadly form and is a very dangerous sniper given front-foot ball. With a cannonball like Baker on his shoulder, the threat is multiplied tenfold. Watch how the two combine on consecutive phases:This sequence evidences Baker’s invaluable ability to create a spark from nothing. Still, while the barrelling run and offload is eye-catching, it is born out of basic principles. Watch where Baker is standing as Webb prepares to pass from the first ruck:Around four or five metres behind his scrum-half, Baker is offering depth and pace – two ingredients to make any carrier tougher to nullify. This, as well as the sheer industry to take the ball on from the next phase as well, show Baker is not merely a merchant of blockbuster, barnstorming plays. He is well versed in subtleties too.Excellence under the radarThe Ospreys’ opening try was a slick, uncomplicated example of how speed kills – rapid ruck-recycling was key. Watch out for Baker’s less-heralded effort:As his team go through a round-the-corner pattern – heading across field in the same right-to-left direction – centre Josh Matavesi takes it upon himself to straighten up the attack. This commits defenders and manufactures a four-on-three overlap that leads to Dan Evans’ going over. But the the penultimate ruck had to be cleared. Guess who was on hand:This angle is a good one to expose Baker’s contribution. He unselfishly mirrors Matavesi’s angle to hit the ruck and secure possession, which his teammates duly turned into points. As the No 8 underlined later, he is just as happy to assume the role of facilitator.Watch here how Baker, stood in the backfield again, makes an over-the-shoulder catch look fairly straightforward before immediately throwing a short pass to better-positioned Eli Walker:A gain of 40 metres justifies from a sweeping counter vindicates Baker’s unfussy decision-making. Indeed, he posed problems without the ball more than once.Deadly decoyBetter finishing would have brought the Ospreys an avalanche of points. That said, their processes in attack were exceptional at times. A set lineout move in the second half, with Baker positioned in midfield –  again, making himself the focal point as any potent carrier should – was so nearly flawless:Andrew Bishop’s spill is a mighty shame, because the move is pulled off precisely with Baker  a crucial cog – on this occasion as a tackler-attracting decoy:Pausing at the moment Matavesi frees Jeff Hassler with a short pass behind Baker, we see both Warburton and Manoa Vosowai are fixed, while Cory Allen has drifted wider onto the looping Biggar. A gaping hole has been manipulated, defining a day in which the Ospreys No 8 could do very little wrong. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Dan Baker helped propel Ospreys to a 26-15 victory over the Blues on Sunday afternoon with an explosive display from No 8. Here, we analyse his powerful attacking performance. September and October are two vital months for budding internationals on these shores. With encounters against southern hemisphere opposition on the horizon, it is a pivotal time to perform. Beginning with domestic action and ending in a European crescendo, the period provides a perfect platform to impress Test credentials.Starting and starring in five of Ospreys’ six straight wins, Dan Baker cannot have nudged Warren Gatland harder. Clearly inspired by the experience of two June tours, first to Japan last year and then to South Africa this summer, the red-haired No 8 is intent on a central role in Wales’ plans.As an attacking weapon, he looks devastating – often instigating go-forward out of nowhere. Though the burly 22 year-old remains slightly raw and is yet to register an full-match shift this campaign, his numbers stack up very well. In 304 minutes, there have been 47 carries. Baker has broken 11 tackles on the way to five clean breaks, executing seven offloads on the way.Multi-faceted: Faletau is has an all-court game few peers can matchIncumbent Taulupe Faletau is a supreme, once-in-a-generation talent. Still, why not accommodate him and Baker in the same side? Either could be deployed as a blindside flanker. Add in Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric and you have four exceptional back-rowers that cover all bases across a match-day 23, and that’s omitting Dan Lydiate, a Gatland favourite.Regardless of such debate, Baker was impossible to ignore as Ospreys dismantled the Cardiff Blues on Sunday in a 26-15 victory that was actually far more dominant than an 11-point margin suggests. From the very outset at the Liberty Stadium, he carved into the visitors. These clips demonstrate the carnage Baker caused.Composure and clean breaksFirst, watch this run from the opening kick-off. In terms of setting the tone – something every coach at every level of rugby will highlight just about every outing – this was seismic. It is well-worn cliché, but keynote carriers must want the ball. Positioning himself in back-field, as many modern No 8s such as Billy Vunipola do these days, Baker shows that desire to make things happen. Having anticipated and caught Lewis Jones’ clearance, he launches. However, Baker is no unguided missile. Look at this screenshot from the moment he takes the kick:The two Blues chasers circled are Gethin Jenkins (left) and Matthew Rees (right). Baker is facing two front-rowers and has the to awareness exploit the dog-leg caused by a disjointed follow-up. A closer shot gives a better picture of how a step of his right foot unbalances this pair of veterans:Baker takes advantage of the classic mismatch brilliantly and barges through the leaden-footed defenders. They can only present weak arms rather than sturdy shoulders in the contact area and the Ospreys are catapulted in behind. But Baker was only getting started. Ten minutes later, he was off again – this time from a lineout:Here, we see a variety of Baker’s attributes. Once more, though, it starts from the relatively simple premise of getting their most potent weapon involved – this time by positioning at scrum half from the set-piece:From there, with the Blues expecting a run-of-the-mill catch-and-drive, Baker latches onto the ball and breaks off quickly to catch the fringe defence unaware. Then comes the most impressive stuff. Out in the open, Baker stays composed and again takes the defender to one side with evasive footwork:This helps him get an arm free and interest a second covering Blue before keeping the ball alive with a fine offload to supporting hooker Scott Baldwin. Still Baker isn’t finished, though:Signalling a great work-ethic and nous, Baker recovers his feet in time to hit the next ruck, honing in onto the jackal of Warburton (blue circle). This helps accentuate Warburton’s influence at the breakdown and compelled referee Leighton Hodges to penalise the Wales captain for not releasing the tackled player prior to competing for the ball. After Dan Biggar‘s kick, Ospreys were 9-0 ahead and cruising.Punching holes and hunting for gapslast_img read more

Six Nations: The famous comebacks from years gone by

first_imgSlashing through: Rory Underwood breaks against Ireland in 1996 (pic courtesy of Action Images) Credit: Action Images France were the pre-tournament favourites, as they so often are after a Lions year, and they went to Murrayfield first up on the back of seven successive wins over Scotland. Coach Frank Hadden, a PE teacher who had done good things with Edinburgh, was starting his first Six Nations and his decision to select Mike Blair over Chris Cusiter at scrum-half proved inspired. Blair ran the show, Sean Lamont bagged two tries, and France left with a bloody nose.Les Bleus made amends a week later as they made short work of Ireland, running in six tries to open up a 43-3 lead. It was crazy stuff, David Marty and Cedric Heymans each collecting doubles. Incredibly, however, Ireland rallied with four tries of their own, and the boos that greeted the erratic Frederic Michalak led coach Bernard Laporte to say of the fly-half’s detractors: “I’d have them thrown out of the stadium.”Yet victory was achieved, as it was in round three, when France trailed at home to Pierre Berbizier’s Italy, 12-8. The jeers around the Stade de France had the desired effect as France, for whom the recalled Thomas Castaignede was at his creative best, ran in four second-half tries to emerge easy winners.France saved their best for round four, crushing a feeble England side 31-6 to equal their record win in the fixture. Andy Robinson’s side never recovered from a high-ball mix-up in the early moments, Josh Lewsey’s hesitancy gifting Florian Fritz a try after 43 seconds. Damien Traille and Christophe Dominici also went on to cross the whitewash, Dimitri Yachvili kicked a heap of points, and Lewsey later called England’s performance a “shambles”.And so to Cardiff, where Fritz’s late converted try, sliding over the line after catching Michalak’s dink over the top, was just enough against the reigning champions. Ireland, kicking off later, could have nicked the title with a landslide win at Twickenham but it didn’t happen and France had completed the perfect fightback after their eggy faces in Edinburgh.Despite scoring a hefty 18 tries in the championship, France’s success was founded on a rock-steady scrum locked by props Sylvain Marconnet and Pieter de Villiers, with skipper Fabien Pelous a rallying leader and engine-room force. “I’m very proud of my players,” he said.2006 resultsScotland 20-16 FranceFrance 43-31 IrelandFrance 37-12 ItalyFrance 31-6 EnglandWales 16-21 FrancePlenty to chear about: Jonathan Davies celebrates in 2013. Credit: InphoFightback 3 – Wales in 2013Surely the pick of the three Six Nations fightbacks because, having committed the cardinal sin of losing at home, Wales faced three successive away games.Has any title campaign ever begun so disastrously? With Brian O’Driscoll at his imperious best, Ireland steamrollered Wales at the Millennium Stadium, going 30-3 up after the Irish centre’s converted try early in the second half. Given Wales were on an eight-match losing streak, you wondered at the repercussions.But the introduction of Justin Tipuric helped turn the tide and Wales lay siege to the visitors’ line thereafter. They scored three tries – through Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Craig Mitchell – and Ireland, who lost Rory Best and Conor Murray to the sin-bin, were grateful to scramble home.Wales lost 30-22 – suffering a fifth successive home defeat for the first time – but the mood had changed.The away trips were to lack the drama of the two Cardiff matches. Wales went to Paris the next week and, in a poor spectacle, carved out a narrow win courtesy of George North’s late try as he pounced on Dan Biggar’s chip kick. North’s dad was so excited he ran onto the pitch.Second-half tries by Jonathan Davies and Cuthbert helped see off Italy in Rome, then Scotland succumbed at Murrayfield in a woeful match that did more than anything else to bring about a change in the scrum laws. Amid a procession of collapsed scrums, we saw a world-record 18 penalty kicks at goal. Halfpenny kicked seven to Greig Laidlaw’s six and Richard Hibbard scored the only try.Which set up a championship decider against England that has been revisited at length in recent days. Wales needed to win by eight points to take the title and deny England a Slam, and, in a caldron of bubbling fury, they stormed home on the back of a dominant scrum and Cuthbert’s blistering double. It is Wales’ record win in the fixture, although the 25-0 win in 1905 – which would be 39-0 with today’s points values – remains the high-water mark.“It’s an even better feeling than winning the Grand Slam last year,” said Sam Warburton afterwards. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Momentum. It’s a buzzword of this and any other Six Nations championship. Win your opening game and you’re set fair for the tournament, with every prize within your grasp. Lose and your hopes are dashed – no history-making Grand Slam this year, lads.But a first-round defeat isn’t terminal. The losers of tonight’s Wales–England match in Cardiff may find solace in the following championship tales – three occasions when a team tripped at the first hurdle yet still went on to become European champions…Fightback 1 – England in 1996Jack Rowell was England’s coach for the first Five Nations of the pro era and his side for the opening match at Parc des Princes included two of this year’s coaching team, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree.Unfortunately for the reigning champions, they fell foul of a 20-year-old impish novice. Thomas Castaignede, making his championship debut, dropped a match-winning goal and then stuck out his tongue in salute. “My drop wasn’t beautiful but we won and it changed the beginning of my international career,” he said.England bounced back as Jerry Guscott’s charge-down score and Rory Underwood’s 50th Test try toppled Wales at Twickenham.Then Dean Richards, recalled because of injuries, gave one of the great No 8 performances to frustrate the Scots at Murrayfield. “They kicked the ball to me all afternoon and I wouldn’t let them have it back,” says the now Newcastle DoR. Amusingly, Richards had asked for a favour in return for answering England’s SOS – the RFU had requested he return a rowing machine and pager, and he asked Rowell to ensure the matter was dropped!Paul Grayson’s six goals carried the day in Edinburgh but France’s earlier trouncing of Ireland meant the title was theirs to lose.And lose it they did as Wales, without a championship win for two seasons, edged the French 16-15 at Cardiff in a triumphant return for fly-half Neil Jenkins.For perhaps the first time in history, a Welsh win was greeted with a roar at Twickenham, where England were able to retain the title – pipping Scotland on points difference as France slipped to third – after a 28-15 victory over Ireland. Young flanker Lawrence Dallaglio was outstanding, and Jon Sleightholme’s try and Grayson’s boot did the damage on the scoreboard.The trophy had to be rushed from Cardiff to Twickenham via train and taxi so that it could be presented to England captain Will Carling.“It’s absolutely amazing to end as champions,” said Carling, who watched the second half from the stands after tearing ankle ligaments. “We wanted the Triple Crown but the Five Nations trophy didn’t seem a viable option.”It was Carling’s last game as captain. He felt he was no longer doing justice to the role and resigned. Within a year his illustrious career, and a golden era, was over.1996 resultsFrance 15-12 EnglandEngland 21-15 WalesScotland 9-18 EnglandEngland 28-15 IrelandIn the clear: David Marty for France in 2006. Credit: InphoFightback 2 – France in 2006 2013 resultsWales 22-30 IrelandFrance 6-16 WalesItaly 9-26 WalesScotland 18-28 WalesWales 30-3 Englandlast_img read more

Ten reasons to buy the new issue of Rugby World

first_img Rugby may have come to a halt in the northern hemisphere for a few weeks but the latest issue of Rugby World has plenty to plug the gap. The August issue ticks both the 15s and sevens boxes with in-depth reviews of the summer tours as well as exclusive interviews with those set to make a big impact on the Olympics stage. Here are ten reasons to buy Rugby World this month… Tours verdictEngland and Scotland triumphed in New Zealand and Japan respectively, Ireland made history in South Africa while Wales were whitewashed in New Zealand. Former England fly-half Stuart Barnes analyses the performances of the four home nations in June while Paul Grayson compares England’s Class of 2016 with that of 2003 and Sean Holley pinpoints four areas where Wales must improve Olympics SpecialDan Norton, Kayla McAlister, Collins Injera, Seabelo Senatla, Perry Baker and Ellia Green – six sevens stars destined for big things in Rio talk to us about their journeys to the Olympics. Plus, how sevens took over the world… Stats attackTake a look at the facts and figures behind Connacht’s Guinness Pro12 triumph and another Aviva Premiership title for SaracensCrowd pleaser: Connacht’s John Muldoon celebrates the Pro12 win with fans. Photo: Inpho Exclusive interviewsEngland’s James Haskell talks through his adventures in Oz, Wales No 8 Taulupe Faletau addresses his move to Bath, Paddy Jackson of Ireland opens up on his new-found focus and Scotland lock Richie Gray discusses his love affair with FranceShining light: Taulupe Faletau battles with TJ Perenara last month. Photo: Getty Images Damian McKenzieThe Chiefs full-back has become something of a cult hero for Super Rugby fans in the northern hemisphere, with his cheeky grin and no-fear attacking attitude, so we decided to find out more about the 21-year-old – from phobias to guilty pleasuresOn the up: Damian McKenzie has a laugh during All Blacks training. Photo: Getty Images Lions 2017Who should be on the plane to New Zealand next year? RW readers name names as the British Isles tour comes into focusFab 15: Will Scotland’s Stuart Hogg be part of next year’s Lions squad? Photo: Getty Images Coaches’ cornerThey used to play for London Irish together and are now all coaches – we get to know more about Conor O’Shea, Mark McCall, David Humphreys and Brendan Venter Project playersDoes the residency rule need looking at? Does rugby need to put a stop to ‘project players’ brought in by unions with a view to qualifying after three years in the country? Stephen Jones gives his thoughts on the hot topic while our Secret Player columnist takes a different stanceWrapped up: Scotland’s South Africa-born prop WP Nel in action against Japan. Photo: Getty Images U20 World CupHosts England triumphed in Manchester while Ireland also entered the record books – we look back at the tournament and showcase fabulous photographs from the eventNorth stars: Ireland and England line up for the U20 World Cup final. Photo: Getty Images Total workoutDiscover why the Skillmill is the machine that can shake up your fitness regime – it has all the bases covered, as Italy’s Martin Castrogiovanni (below) explains TAGS: Highlight For the latest Rugby World subscription offers click here and find out how to download the digital edition here.center_img Why you need to get your hands on Rugby World’s August edition LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Red Rose rules: England enjoy their 3-0 series win over Australia. Photo: Getty Images last_img read more

Super Rugby Rookies: Eight players to watch this season

first_img Whilst northern hemisphere eyes turn to the upcoming Six Nations, attentions in the south are set firmly on the return of Super Rugby.The premiere club tournament in the southern hemisphere, Super Rugby starts up again on Thursday 23rd February, when the Melbourne Rebels welcome the Blues to AAMI Park in the season opener.The preseason programs are all well under way, the conditioning tests have been passed and now the 18 franchises involved in the competition move into the last phase of their preparations, embarking on a series of friendly matches to get them up to game speed.The temptations of lucrative deals in the northern hemisphere – whether that’s in Europe or Japan – took their toll once again on Super Rugby squads this past off-season and whilst that is a frustration for the tournament’s fans, it does open up playing opportunities for the next generation of stars.We take a look at the Super Rugby rookies who could have big impacts on their teams and the tournament this season.Hurricane Jordie: Jordie Barrett kicking for Canterbury (Photo: Getty Images)Jordie Barrett, HurricanesBarrett is one of 33 players included in the five New Zealand franchises with no Super Rugby experience to date and is the one that the most is expected of.The brother of All Black fly-half Beauden Barrett and lock Scott Barrett, Jordie opted to join elder brother Beauden in Wellington with the Hurricanes, rather than staying in Christchurch and joining Scott at the Crusaders. As an inside centre, this could see Jordie linking up with Beauden on the pitch in almost every phase of play and if they understand each other’s games as well as you would expect of two brothers, the benefits to the Hurricanes hardly need extolling.Willis Halaholo’s move to the Cardiff Blues is the ajar door the younger Barrett needs and with his already well-tuned kicking, passing and running games, he is the multi-dimensional weapon that New Zealand franchises crave.Josh Goodhue, BluesA talented age-grade lock, Goodhue has been unlucky to be part of an under-performing Northland side in the Mitre 10 Cup in the last two seasons but despite the team’s poor overall showing, Goodhue has given a good account of himself.He has been rewarded with a contract at the Blues, where head coach Tana Umaga is turning around the Auckland-based franchise. Umaga showed in 2016 that he is not afraid to pick younger players and that reputations alone are not enough to guarantee you a starting spot, especially if an unheralded player can bring more to the team.Josh Bekhuis was a stalwart in last season’s Blues side and following his move to Lyon, there is a starting spot alongside Patrick Tuipulotu – who is currently MIA from the franchise due to personal reasons – to be competed for.Around the world in 80 teams: Amanaki Mafi in action for Japan (Photo: Getty Images)Amanaki Mafi, RebelsThe Tongan-born number eight has had an eventful couple of years.From the Tonga U20s to Hanazono University and then the NTT Shining Arcs in the Japanese Top League, Mafi’s career went fairly under the radar until several barnstorming performances at the 2015 Rugby World Cup brought him into the world’s – or at least the Tier One world’s – consciousness. A blistering spell at Bath followed, but an altercation with one of the club’s medical officers ensured that it was short-lived.He now brings his tremendous carrying ability to Melbourne and will make his Super Rugby debut at the age of 27. With the Rebels’ general trajectory within the competition seeming to be on the rise of late, Mafi could be the dynamic kind of back-rower needed to take their game to the next level this season and see them genuinely challenge for the Australian conference.Superman: Curtis Rona dives to score a try for the Bulldogs (Photo: Getty Images)Curtis Rona, Western ForceA rugby league convert, Rona arrives at the Force during a time of upheaval. The franchise has parted ways with former head coach Michael Foley and back line regulars Kyle Godwin, Ben Tapuai, Junior Rasolea and Albert Nikioro have all left Western Australia. Rona, who was involved with the New Zealand RL side, despite never going on to win a cap, could have an impact at centre or wing for the Force and the silver lining of the large turnover in the franchise’s back line is that they do not need to pigeonhole Rona into a specific role and he should have the freedom to find the position that suits his skill set the best.If the Force can deliver front foot ball and retain possession, Rona will be a dangerous man in Super Rugby this season.Full effort: Junior Pokomela of South Africa makes a break against Japan (Photo: Getty Images)Junior Pokomela, CheetahsPokomela made the move from the Kings in the offseason and though he was included in their 2016 Super Rugby squad, he did not go on to make his debut. The Kings’ loss would certainly look as if it will become the Cheetahs’ gain.The mobile No 8 was a part of the South African U20 side that ended up finishing fourth at the World Rugby U20 Championship in England last summer and showed that whilst not being one of the biggest eights around, his added speed makes him a very dangerous prospect with ball in hand.Breaking into the back row of Boom Prinsloo, Oupa Mohojé and Uzair Cassiem won’t be easy but if the Cheetahs want to evolve under Franco Smith’s stewardship, Pokomela’s attacking abilities can help them do just that.Jaco Coetzee, StormersA former South Africa Schools standout, Coetzee has had his fair share of bad luck with injuries over the last couple of years but has all the physical and technical expertise you could want from a back-row player.Schalk Burger left Cape Town for London this past offseason and though the Stormers are not lacking for options in their back-row, Coetzee can be the kind of talent that galvanises a fan base and gets them excited for the future.If the injuries that have plagued him prove to be a thing of the past and he can continue to develop, then not only is he a player that can impact Super Rugby this season, he’s a 70-cap plus Springbok in the future.Fancy footwork: Kenki Fukuoka on the run for Japan (Photo: Getty Images)Kenki Fukuoka, SunwolvesFukuoka is a new addition to the Sunwolves this season but has experience in the Japanese Top League, as well as for the Brave Blossoms, having been a part of their 2015 RWC squad.The diminutive wing was also part of Japan’s sevens squad at the Rio Olympics and like any sub-6-foot outside back plying their trade in the 15-a-side game, he gets by with a combination of dazzling footwork, an electric turn of pace and a bravery in the tackle not always required by many of his larger teammates.The Sunwolves are getting closer to resembling the Japanese national side, with the likes of Timothy Lafaele, Kotaro Matsushima and Fumiaki Tanaka also joining the fold this year and just like the national team, the Sunwolves are at their best in fluid, high-tempo matches. Fukuoka is tailor-made for that brand of rugby.On the run: Santiago Alvarez in action for Argentina Sevens (Photo: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images)Santiago Álvarez, JaguaresAfter making his way through the Argentinean age-grades, being a stalwart figure of the Argentina sevens side and even making his full Test debut, Álvarez now gets his opportunity to make an impact at senior club level with the Jaguares.There is no shortage of talented midfielders and wings in the Buenos Aires-based side but if Álvarez can display the kind of attacking footwork and defensive responsibility he showed at the Rio Olympics last year, there’s no reason why he cannot force his way into contention this season. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS By Alex Shawcenter_img Twin talents: Josh Goodhue, with twin Jack, will play for the Blues Given the heavy travel demands placed on the Jaguares in a competition that sees them play on four different continents and the struggles the team endured as a result last season, using a wider squad and regularly rotating could be key for the South Americans this season and Álvarez will be a man to watch if that is so.Check out our Super Rugby preview in the current issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

Summer tours: Argentina v Wales Preview for Match Two

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Kicking on: Aled Davies will wear the Wales No 9 shirt against Argentina (Getty Images) Under pressure: Daniel Hourcade’s team have had a poor run of results (Getty Images)Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “Looking at the objectives of this tour, we are right on track, we have won two games from two but more importantly we have exposed players to Test rugby.“We want to go home three from three but we know the challenge that we are up against this weekend and we also are looking at the bigger picture. We might have picked a slightly different team if it was just about results but it is about more than that, it is about building for 2019.”Any interesting statistics?Warren Gatland has picked a different scrum-half for all three Tests on this tour, with Aled Davies getting the nod at No 9 this week after Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies started the previous games. It’s a position where Wales need to build depth with Rhys Webb now unavailable following his move to Toulon.Centre of attention: Owen Watkin makes a break against Italy (Getty Images)Martin Landajo will become only the sixth Argentina player to win 80 caps and could overtake Felipe Contepomi’s Pumas record of 87 Test appearances later this year.Ellis Jenkins was Man of the Match against South Africa while James Davies picked up that gong last week against the Pumas.Argentina lost 35-25 to England in Santa Fe last year but have beaten Italy (30-24 in 2016) and Ireland (22-20 in 2007) there.When does it kick off and is it on TV?The match is being played at Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez Stadium in Santa Fe, which is north-west of Buenos Aires. It kicks off at 8.40pm UK time on Saturday night and you can watch the game live on Channel 4.South African Jaco Peyper is in charge of this Test, with Andrew Brace and Mathieu Raynal his assistants.Settled: Argentina have made just one change to their starting line-up (Getty Images)What are the line-ups?ARGENTINA: Emiliano Boffelli; Bautista Delguy, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano; Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo; Santiago Garcia Botta, Agustin Creevey (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Guido Petti, Tomas Lavanini, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Javier Ortega Desio.Replacements: Julian Montoya, Javier Diaz, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Gonzalo Bertranou, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Sebastien Cancelliere.WALES: Hallam Amos; Josh Adams, Scott Williams, Owen Watkin, George North; Rhys Patchell, Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Cory Hill (captain), Ellis Jenkins, James Davies, Ross Moriarty. Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Bradley Davies, Josh Turnbull, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Tom Prydie.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.center_img All you need to know about the second Test between Argentina and Wales in Santa Fe Argentina v Wales Preview for Match TwoHaving beaten the Pumas in Argentina for the first time since 2004, Wales are now looking to secure only their second Test series victory on Argentinian soil and their first in nearly 20 years.Wales won both Tests in 1999 and will be looking to repeat the feat as they continue to build for next year’s Rugby World Cup. Having rested several senior players for this tour, a series win – on top of the victory over South Africa in Washington – would be an impressive return for Warren Gatland.In contrast, the pressure is continuing to mount on Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade. Last weekend’s 23-10 defeat by Wales was a 14th loss in 16 Tests for Argentina, with their only victories in 2017 coming over Georgia and Italy.Back at nine: Martin Landajo starts at scrum-half for Argentina (Getty Images)The Pumas have experienced a drop in form since reaching the quarter-finals of the last World Cup and more was expected in this series given how well the Sunwolves have been performing in Super Rugby, so they will be desperate for a better result in Santa Fe.Here’s what you need to know about the match…What’s the big team news?Wales have made five changes to the team that won last Saturday. In the back-line, Owen Watkin comes in for the injured Hadleigh Parkes while Aled Davies starts at scrum-half. In the pack, Ryan Elias and Tomas Francis are picked in the front row and Ellis Jenkins is selected at blindside.Cory Hill retains the captaincy, with Jenkins charged with focusing on a new role at No 6. He and James Davies, both traditionally opensides, will be looking to form a similarly successful partnership to that which Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric achieved last year.Super seven: James Davies was Man of the Match last weekend (Getty Images)As for Argentina, they have made just one change with Martin Landajo, who will win his 80th cap, replacing Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half. The hope is that the experienced nine can manage the game better and get Argentina performing more accurately and effectively than last week.What have the coaches said?Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade: “We are going to see a team with much attitude and fire with the desire to change the image that we left in San Juan.“The key thing is to change the attitude. We must put into operation the game plan that the past week we did not manage to do.”last_img read more

Watch Siya Kolisi show off acting skills in new ad

first_imgThe promo also features former Arsenal soccer star Ian Wright Not bad from the South Africa skipper, right?You might have seen Arsenal hero Ian Wright popping up in the trailer there (“You’ve got that right, Mr Wright”). And the promo also features South African MotoGP driver Brad Binder. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Watch Siya Kolisi show off acting skills in new adAlready a Rugby World Cup winning captain with a philanthropist spirit, who had Springboks hero Siya Kolisi down as a thespian too?Well, the Stormers flanker played the role of a fixer in this modern thriller-themed advertisement for South Africa-based broadcast company DStv. Check out what went down behind the scenes on our DStv Explora Ultra shoot!— DStv (@DStv) November 17, 2020center_img Also cut into the ad is actor James Spader, from one of his scenes in series The Blacklist and then there is the familiar figure of Kevin Hart, from his cameo in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana and actress Michelle Botes also make it into the ad.There is meant to be a second ad too, that features clips from Netflix shows Stranger Things, Money Heist and others.As you can see above, there are plenty of shots from the shoot being shared on social media.Kolisi’s Stormers are currently taking part in Super Rugby Unlocked – an all-South African competition taking place during the pandemic. Stormers are currently second in the table, two points behind the Blue Bulls.However, The Sharks-Stormers match set for Durban on Saturday was cancelled due to a number of Sharks players returning positive Covid tests. It is the third Super Rugby Unlocked match to be called off and players and officials across the country been cautioned to practise strict Covid-compliance measures to minimise further risk of infection. 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. Stormer: Siya Kolisi (Getty Images) last_img read more

Archbishop of Wales elected to Crown Nominations Commission

first_img Comments (2) The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem [Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Barry Morgan of the Church in Wales has been elected to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission for Canterbury, the body that will nominate the next archbishop of Canterbury.Morgan was elected by members of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, which had been asked to nominate one primate to represent the Anglican Communion on the commission. Their chosen Primates were grouped according to the five regions of the communion — Africa; Central, North and South Americas & the Caribbean; East Asia & Oceania; Europe; Middle East & West Asia. The Standing Committee then voted by single transferable vote — the method agreed by the Anglican Consultative Council for all its elections — and Morgan’s name emerged.The vote took place by e-mail and was overseen by the chair and vice chair of the Standing Committee with advice from its legal adviser.This is the first time that a primate of the Anglican Communion has been invited to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission.The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, is a ex-officio member of the commission.The Crown Nominations Commission will put its recommendation for the next archbishop to the U.K. Prime Minister, who will seek the agreement of Her Majesty The Queen. It is expected that the name of the new archbishop will be announced in the autumn.The commission is a largely church-elected body, including both clergy and lay members and representatives of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In late April, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron appointed the Rt. Hon. Lord Luce to be chairman of the Crown Nominations Commission. Rector Tampa, FL Anglican Communion, Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Knoxville, TN This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Shreveport, LA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Comments are closed. Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Belleville, IL Tags Rector Collierville, TN Submit a Press Release Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET By ACNS staffPosted May 10, 2012 Norbert M SANGURA says: Featured Events Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Hopkinsville, KY New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Albany, NY Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Bath, NC 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 Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Press Release Service 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 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET May 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm The appointment of Archbishop Morgan to represent the Primates of our Communion is an excellent choice. He will bring much knowledge and understanding to the task as he will be well versed with what is happening in the Church in Britain and other parts of our Communion. I wish him every blessing in his new task on our behalf.Rev. Derek F. NichollsDiocese of Qu ‘Appelle, Canada Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Archbishop of Canterbury Rev. Derek F.Nicholls says: Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Featured Jobs & Calls Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Archbishop of Wales elected to Crown Nominations Commission Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Submit a Job Listing Rector Washington, DC Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Smithfield, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA May 12, 2012 at 6:26 am On behalf of the Christians of the Anglican Church of ST. DAVID Netima in the Anglican Diocese of Bungoma Kenya, and on my own behalf, we highly thank the appointment of Archbishiop Morgan of Wales to serve on the Crown nominations for Canterbury. We from the newly born St David in Kenya feel blessed to be associated with the spiritual growth of St. David of WALES. He has the capacity, knowledge and the understanding to lift our communion higher.God bless him to handle the task wisely. AMENYOURS IN CHRISTNorbert M SanguraLAY Secretary St David’s Netima Parish Kenya 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 last_img read more