Month: June 2021

Thomson back for Glasgow against Scarlets

first_imgReplacements:16 Finlay Gillies17 Gordon Reid18 Ed Kalman19 Calum Forrester20 Johnnie Beattie21 Murray McConnell22 Alex Dunbar23 Scott WightNot considered for selection due to injury: Federico Aramburu (shoulder)Mike Cusack (ankle)Ryan Grant (ankle)Rory Lamont (head/face)DTH van der Merwe (shoulder) Head coach Sean Lineen told “This is another massive test against a side who will be looking to put pressure on us in terms of the RaboDirect PRO12 table.“We’ve drawn our last three away matches between this competition and the Heineken Cup, and while we’ve been pleased with a number of the qualities that have shone through in those games, it’s about going that one step further and discovering more of a clinical edge.“This is the first of another batch of huge fixtures for us, and it’s important we manage the squad to make sure we’re getting the best out of each individual over the course of the campaign.“The guys we’ve brought in this weekend are chomping at the bit to be involved and they all more than merit a start for how they’ve performed when given the opportunity. It’s great to have Fergus back in the mix – he’s part of the fabric of this club and knows what it means to play and win for Glasgow.“We’re looking for each player to do their job, draw confidence from the great team ethic we’ve established, and bring home another positive result for our supporters.”Starting XV:15 Peter Murchie14 Tommy Seymour13 Rob Dewey12 Graeme Morrison (captain)11 David Lemi10 Ruaridh Jackson9 Henry Pyrgos1 Jon Welsh2 Fergus Thomson3 Moray Low4 Rob Verbakel5 Tom Ryder6 Rob Harley7 Chris Fusaro8 Ryan Wilson LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS ”]One of the longest-serving and most popular members of the Glasgow Warriors squad will head up the team’s bid to stay at the top end of the RaboDirect PRO12 when they face Scarlets in Llanelli tomorrow (kick-off 6.15pm).Fergus Thomson, the hooker who has played some 122 games for the club since 2003, will make his first appearance of the season in the west Wales clash, having recovered from the shoulder injury which forced him to withdraw from the Scotland squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.Thomson’s inclusion comes as one of seven changes to the Warriors team that lifted the 1872 Cup for the fourth time in five seasons by beating Edinburgh Rugby 17-12 at Firhill on New Year’s Day, in the process extending the club’s best ever unbeaten run in the RaboDirect PRO12.In the backline, Rob Dewey lines up at outside centre in place of Stuart Hogg, who was yesterday called up to the Scotland squad for the RBS 6 Nations six days after winning a long-term full professional contract with the Warriors.The other switches behind the scrum see Tommy Seymour replace Colin Shaw on the wing, and Henry Pyrgos and Ruaridh Jackson team up in an all-new half-back pairing.There is another fresh unit in the second row, where Tom Ryder and Rob Verbakel reprise the partnership that helped the Warriors secure a win at Cardiff Blues and a draw at Dragons on their last two visits to the Principality.Graeme Morrison will captain the team in the absence of Al Kellock, while Scottish Rugby Elite Development scrum-half Murray McConnell, an unused substitute at Rodney Parade last month, is in line to make his Warriors debut from the bench.Glasgow have won on two of their previous ventures to Parc y Scarlets, but emerged on the wrong side of the scoreline in each of last season’s meetings with Nigel Davies’ men, and are well aware that Scarlets have lost only once at home in the RaboDirect PRO12 this term. Pic Kenny Smith, Kenny Smith Photography6 Bluebell Grove, Kelty, Fife, KY4 0GX Tel 07809 450119, last_img read more

Autumn Series. Match verdict: Wales 15-24 South Africa

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Wales’ top tacklers were Sam Warburton, Rhys Priestland and Justin Tipuric (who came on after 63mins) with seven. South Africa’s top tacklers were Willem Alberts with 18 tackles, followed by Francois Louw with 10Jonathan Davies was Wales’ top ball-carrier, carrying 46 metres (he left the field after 12mins), followed by James Hook on 45. South Africa’s top ball carrier was Bryan Habana with 60 metres, followed by Fourie du Preez on 47 and Willie Le Roux on 46Battering ram: du Plessis put in a muscular performanceScorersWalesPens: Leigh Halfpenny (5)South AfricaTries: Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Fourie du PreezPens: Steyn (1). Cons: Morne Steyn (2), Pat Lambie (1)Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies (Ashley Beck, 13), Scott Williams, Liam Williams (James Hook), Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips (Lloyd Williams); Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard (Ken Owens, 63), Adam Jones (Scott Andrews, 30, replaced by Paul James 40), Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones (Luke Charteris, 72), Dan Lydiate (Justin Tipuric, 63), Sam Warburton (c), Toby Faletau Pain and ecstasy: Jean de Villiers goes over for the first of South Africa’s three tries, while Jonathan Davies recoils in painBy Owain JonesIn a nutshellTHE GAME set-off at a furious pace with Jonathan Davies, twice, make telling incursions behind the Springbok defence but after South Africa scored their first try, against the run of play, through a brilliant Jean de Villiers score – with Bryan Habana and Bismarck du Plessis to the fore – the balance swung back in the Springboks’ direction. In that passage of play, Wales lost Davies and Liam Williams to injury and with it momentum and shape. When Adam Jones left the field after 30 minutes, many may have feared the worst. In truth it was a breathless and brutal first-half, Du Plessis had already powered over for a second score after 16 minutes, but Wales held firm and after 60 minutes, the boot of Leigh Halfpenny had pegged South Africa back to 17-15, as the crowd sensed a famous victory. It was then that Fourie du Preez scored the game’s defining try after a midfield scramble fell in teh Springboks favour. Wales continued to press deep into the Springbok half, earning more territory and possession, but they couldn’t convert the all important score and when referee Alain Rolland blew up, a 3-0 try-count told a familiar story. Wales, despite their bravery and brio, had failed to inflict a loss on a Southern Hemisphere opponent for a seventeenth consecutive time.Frustration: George North had a tough eveningKey moment: Fourie du Preez try, 64minsOver the space of 50 minutes, after South Africa’s second-score, Wales clawed back an 11-point deficit to just two points, knowing the next score could be crucial. After a high-ball was lofted, it came off Hook’s shoulder and bounced back to South Africa, Du Preez spotted the space down the left flank and put in a teasing kick with his favourite left boot. With the help of a fortuitous bounce, Fourie, who replays show clearly offside when Du Preez kicked the ball, picked up the ball, spun cleverly and passed inside to the advancing Du Preez to gather and go in under the posts. It was a mortal blow to Wales’ chances of defeating South Africa for the first time in 14 years.Star man: Willem AlbertsAt 6ft 4ins and nearly 19st Alberts is built more like a lock, but he put in an supreme 18 tackles over 65 minutes. However, it waa a few key tackles, that made all the difference to to complexion of the game. He repeatedly drove Welsh tacklers into the cut-up Millennium Stadium turf, including Wales’ twin battering rams, Richard Hibbard and Bradley Davies, leaving them battered and bruised. It was an archetypal Bok enforcer job done with a brutal edge, but Alberts also showed soft hands in midfield and hard yards at the breakdown. It was huge performance for the team. Honourable mention must go to Richard Hibbard who was magnificent for Wales.StatsWales carried the ball 349 metres, compared to South Africa’s 258Wales made 84 tackles, missing 8, a completion rate of 91 per cent. South Africa made 94 tackles, missed 15, with a completion rate of 86 per centWales beat 15 defenders compared to South Africa’s eight CARDIFF, WALES – NOVEMBER 09: South Africa hooker Bismarck Du Plessis makes a break to set up the first South Africa try during the International Match between Wales and South Africa at the Millennium Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) South Africa: Pat Lambie, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn (Willie le Roux, 17), Fourie du Preez (Ruan Pienaar); Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis (Adriaan Strauss, 63), Frans Malherbe (Coenie Oosthuizen, 53), Eben Etzebeth (Peter-Steph du Toit, 68), Flip van der Merwe, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts (Siya Kolisi), Duane VermeulenReplacements: Gurthro Steenkamp, JJ Engelbrechtlast_img read more

Saints and Sinners: the weekend’s talking points

first_img Fast and furious: Jonny May outpaces Conrad Smith, who cannot have been happy to see him go The SaintsMay DayThe doubters who thought Jonny May might never handle the transition from club to Test rugby were finally shown just what the Gloucester wing brings to the top table on Saturday when he burned off two of New Zealand’s best backs to score his first international try.He had been on the winning side for England in five of his first seven Tests but May knew he was there to use his exceptional pace to turn chances into points, something he was frustrated at failing to do.But it took just three minutes of Saturday’s game against the All Blacks for May to right that wrong. Receiving the ball in his own half, he hared down the left wing, leaving Conrad Smith for dead and then accelerating again to scoot round the outside of a stunned Israel Dagg for a scintillating score that had the Twickenham crowd jumping.Add to that the fact that May made five tackles out of five and won two turnovers, and it was a day to remember for the speedster.Perfect 10If you want to beat the second best team in the world, the side who defeated the world champions a few short weeks ago, you have to take all your chances and Johnny Sexton ensured Ireland did exactly that as they triumphed 29-15 over South Africa in Dublin on Saturday.The outside-half landed all six of his place kicks and played a good all round game to earn the Man of the Match award in a fine victory for Ireland.Johnny be great: Sexton kicked superbly to set up a big Ireland winGreen wallSouth Africa had 57%of the possession and 62% of the territory against Ireland, but ended up on the losing side and a chunk of the credit for that goes to the Ireland forwards who snuffed out attack after attack from the Boks.Paul O’Connell and Jack McGrath made 17 tackles each, with O’Connell not missing any, and back rowers Jamie Heaslip and Rhys Ruddock made 14 tackles apiece. Whatever the pre-match favourites threw at them, Ireland bravely repelled it and were deserving winners.Laidlaw lays on a winScotland beat Argentina at Murrayfield for the first time in five attempts and although there were good performances throughout their team, star billing and the Man of the Match award went to scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.It wasn’t just the fact he kicked four conversions and two penalties in the 41-31 win, he also created three of Scotland’s five tries, most notably when he ran a penalty from halfway after a fantastic turnover won by Jonny Gray, broke through the Argentine line and then found Sean Maitland with a superb long pass off his left hand, with the wing finishing off the move.His conversion of that try took Scotland 21-10 up and moved Laidlaw past Dan Parks in Scotland’s list of all-time Test points-scorers. Later in the game he also overtook Andy Irvine to move up to third, with 276 points from 32 matches. Chris Paterson and Gavin Hastings are still hundreds of points ahead of him, but Laidlaw isn’t done yet.Check out the match report and highlights here.Happy days: “I’ll have a beer!” “I’ll have two!” Tommy Seymour (left) and Sean Lamont get set to celebrateLevel head, lethal bootAustralia’s Bernard Foley won the battle of the fly-halves at the Millennium Stadium, as he kicked 18 points in the Wallabies’ 33-28 win over Wales and showed excellent game management skills.Wales took a 28-27 lead with 16 minutes to go, after their scrum earned a penalty try, but Foley and Australia’s other leaders knew exactly what was required and they patiently and calmly took control of the ball, knowing another scoring chance would come.More than four minutes of continuous possession and 19 phases took Australia deep into Wales territory and set Foley up for a simple drop-goal in the 73rd minute, which he nailed for a 30-28 lead.From there, Australia continued to make short, powerful breaks from close to the ball carrier, not attempting anything wide and risky, and they earned another penalty with two minutes to go. Test rugby made a welcome return to the Northern Hemisphere at the weekend, with all the drama, excitement and controversy any rugby fan could ask for. When Wales tried to strike back with the clock in red time, George North made a scything run from his own half but then tried a risky offload from the tackle instead of recycling patiently. Foley and Australia were more effective when it counted.Believe your eyesReferee Nigel Owens has taken some stick for not referring Aaron Cruden’s try to the television match official (TMO). The five points turned out to be crucial, as New Zealand beat England 24-21 but the TV replays shown in the stadium and in the nation’s living rooms suggested Cruden initially grounded the ball short, and then may not have moved it forward all the way to the line.While I am all in favour of technology being used to eradicate as many mistakes from the game as possible, I don’t want to see endless referrals to the TMO when the referee or his assistants had been in the right place to make the call in the first place.Owens was in exactly the right spot and had a great view and clearly believed Cruden had slid the ball onto the edge of the line. This is one of the best referees in the world and if he wants to back himself and believe his own eyes when he is just a few metres from the action, that’s fine by me.The bigger pictureHis squad-mates were preparing for the first Test of their new era under coach Michael Cheika, but as he was not involved in the matchday squad, Australia’s Quade Cooper took time out on Saturday morning to visit Wales centre Owen Williams in hospital in Cardiff. Williams suffered a major spinal injury during the summer and it is a measure of the close bonds between rugby’s international family that Cooper called in to see him. He Tweeted a photo of the two of them, saying Williams was “an inspiration with his strength of character.” Cooper also donated some jerseys for a fundraising auction.Nice one MarkSky’s commentator Mark Robson brought a smile to my face with his comedic quip during the Ireland v South Africa game.“There’s a little bit of kissing and cuddling off the ball, involving Rhys Ruddock”, he said. I love it when a commentator can make you giggle while also keeping you informed. Boo to you tooThe Wales fans in the Millennium Stadium are always a passionate, one-eyed lot, but they overstepped the mark on Saturday by booing and whistling as Australia’s Foley lined up his second-half goal kicks. The Wallaby did not let it put him off, and shut out the sound to land crucial penalties in the 57th and 79th minute, but former Wales captain Ryan Jones was not impressed with his fellow countrymen’s behaviour.Jones Tweeted: “There’s NO place in rugby for the booing and whistling at today’s Welsh Rugby Union game. #respectthekicker”. Off you go: Adriaan Strauss is sent to the sin-bin at a decisive time of the game in DublinThe SinnersPlay your cards wrongTwo players cost their teams dear on Saturday when they were sin-binned. Argentine wing Juan Imhoff went for a ten minute break 20 minutes into the match against Scotland after he barged Tommy Seymour into touch following a kick through by the Scottish winger. The Pumas were leading 10-7 at the time but while they were a man down they conceded 17 points, as Jonny Gray and Sean Maitland scored a try each and Laidlaw kicked two conversions and a penalty.South Africa’s replacement hooker Adriaan Strauss was shown a yellow card by Roman Poite 66 minutes into the match against Ireland, with Ireland 16-10 in front. He went off for challenging Rob Kearney in the air, with Poite saying it was South Africa’s second offence of the same type.Jonny Sexton kicked a penalty and converted a lovely try scored by Tommy Bowe while Strauss was off, so by the time the Springboks had 15 players again they were 26-10 adrift with the game almost over.Lesson learned?England have some reasons to be cheerful after their under-strength side came within one score of beating the All Blacks, but they were also their own worst enemies at times.They were constantly pinged for illegal play at the breakdown, especially going off their feet and tacklers not rolling away. They didn’t adapt on the hoof and learn the lessons referee Nigel Owens was trying to impart and their indiscipline handed cheap points to New Zealand and ruined some of their own good field position.Add to that some poor kicking out of hand from Danny Care and Owen Farrell, and England know they let the chance of a famous victory slip. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Rugby World debates: Paul O’Connell’s clear-out

first_imgThen it hit me. Tipuric wasn’t in control of his own bodyweight either. Using the ground to balance, he gained an unfair advantage.Keep protecting players’ necks. But also be mindful of players losing balance in attempts to steal the ball. If no one puts parts of their upper body on a fallen player on the ground, chances are the risk of neck injury will fall. Tipuric was not totally innocent here. Pinged: Referee Craig Joubert signals for a penalty to the frustration of Ireland captain Paul O’Connell At a pivotal stage of Wales’ win in Dublin on Saturday, referee Craig Joubert made a contentious decision that irked both Ireland skipper Paul O’Connell and head coach Joe Schmidt. In the first of a new series, we offer up an argument for either side of the opinion-split as Charlie Morgan and Alan Dymock look at one incident from different angles. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Picture the scene: Wales and Ireland are locked at 10-10, close to the hour mark. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is expectant. The hosts have taken a while to click into gear but are finally getting some phases together.Mobile loosehead prop Jack McGrath takes a pass from Conor Murray and trundles over the Wales 10m line. James King drags him down. Though Justin Tipuric pounces to threaten the ball, Paul O’Connell extinguishes any danger by stooping and swinging the openside to the floor. Ireland recycle. They have some impetus at last.Then referee Craig Joubert blows up. Touch-judge Luke Pearce has adjudged O’Connell’s clear-out to be dangerous. Joubert takes on an almost apologetic tone before mentioning the recent World Rugby directives on clean-outs around the neck and awarding a penalty to Wales.Afterwards, Joe Schmidt clearly felt frustrated. He highlighted the call as a pivotal moment, questioning why Joubert would act on the view of a colleague “standing 50m away.”Well, we don’t mind a bit of controversy. Take a look at the clip and then read a couple of opposing viewpoints below:Charlie MorganMy only problem with the outcome of this episode is that fact that Luke Pearce has not received more credit.In my view, his intervention amounts to a proactive and perceptive piece of officiating – even if he is not quite 50m away, as Joe Schmidt spikily suggested at the post-match press conference.Any refereeing directives need decisiveness and consistency. Without such an approach, everything about them is undermined. Just look at the scrum put-in.Every few months come vacuous calls to crack down on feeding. There has been precisely zero progress over the past five seasons. This area of the sport remains farcical and becomes more difficult to correct with every crooked feed that goes unpunished.Decisive: Luke Pearce should be praised for a firm callLawmakers and mediators must be brave to halt the vicious circle and bring about constructive change. And you would be utterly deluded to argue that the breakdown area does not require rapid change.The ‘crocodile roll’ technique of twisting an opponent from the tackle area is a severe threat to player safety.Necks and knees – remember Jean de Villiers‘ hideous ligament-wrecking against Wales last season? – are placed under huge stress by a protagonist who is usually flopping to deck anyway.This is the case with O’Connell here. The Ireland skipper is parallel to the ground by the time Justin Tipuric’s head jolts downwards. Now, every referee has stylistic nuances and Craig Joubert tends to allow a contest at the ruck. He usually sympathises with a defender who, like Tipuric, may not quite be supporting their own bodyweight. Rugby’s laws – eternally open to interpretation.But you cannot allow the same wiggle room with O’Connell’s clear-out. Though, as Schmidt stated, the lock initially hit Tipuric under the armpits, he ends up grappling his rival’s scrum cap by the end.Given how catastrophic neck injuries can be, why not err on the side of caution?Alan DymockWatching this in real time my initial reaction was that it was the right call, a fine save by the officials. However, after watching it over and again I realised there was room for a different interpretation, not one where O’Connell was accused of a WWE-style swinging neck-breaker, but rather a lack of supporting his own weight.Over the last few seasons I’ve made a point of looking out for players coming off their feet at the breakdown as they steam in with the sole intention of inflicting a monstrous hit on opponents – an aspect of the modern game that is both dangerous and unlawful.It must also be said that any efforts to protect the head and neck at the point of contact is commendable. Yet when I re-watched this incident and clocked that O’Connell came in ‘through the gate’, noticeably slowing down to make contact, I thought I should give the wily old lock the benefit of the doubt.So I looked more closely. Now there is a checklist of things to go through here, having considered the straight entry of the Irish skipper. He slows because Tipuric is in there first, like any top openside can.The Welshman’s initial manoeuvre places his hands on the ground in front of the fallen McGrath. O’Connell clearly dips, considering a traditional clear-out, but Tipuric is leaning on the ground, possibly about to draw his hands towards himself in an effort to grab the ball and rip.A fine game: Tipuric played well, but was he flawless?This opens up the issue of jackling. The way ruck competition is officiated now, Tipuric could win a penalty without ever having to touch the ball. Closing it off from Ireland would be enough. Supporting his own bodyweight? It’s unlikely, but not uncommon, so O’Connell has to think fast.Grabbing Tipuric around the waist and pulling him over, tail-first towards his own line would give the same end result of a penalty. Getting lower than a player with hands on the ground  and driving him up and back is impossible.He chooses to scoop his left arm under Tipuric and place his right arm over the top – attempting to get under the other armpit but slipping up and tucking Tipuric’s head under his own pit in the process. Smooth and graceful? Hardly. But it was the only option available to O’Connell.Oh shucks, I thought: Big Paulie may not have looked like hurting Tipuric’s neck at all, but he still fell over the ruck, off his feet. That’s not the same no-no, but a no-no nonetheless.last_img read more

How to make it in rugby broadcasting: Nick Mullins

first_imgNick Mullins has been a leading rugby broadcaster for more than 20 years, so how did he make it in the business and what has he learnt along the way? The glamour: Nick Mullins and Peter Richards discuss the finer points of rugby union By Graham JenkinsWelcome to The Forward Pass, a series of conversations with leading rugby union journalists, broadcasters, presenters and photographers who will offer the next generation of media professionals – and fans – an insight into how they cover the sport.The first industry veteran to join host Graham Jenkins to reflect on his career journey, discuss the key decisions he has made along the way and share how he approaches his job is journalist and commentator Nick Mullins.A familiar voice to many in the UK through his extensive work on TV and radio, Mullins will once again be the lead commentator for BT Sport’s coverage of the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup before taking the microphone for ITV’s share of the Six Nations later this season.Read some extracts from the podcast and listen to the complete conversation below.Where did you get your first break?“That first break comes from how much you put into it and even as a 13 or 14 year old I was thinking about where I could get experience that might give me a bit of an edge. So my first job was in the summer holidays on the Loughborough and Coalville Trader which was a wonderful free sheet before gradating to the Loughborough Echo. I have always thought you get as much experience as you can early on by offering to work for free, to make the tea, shuffle paper around…I learnt so much by giving up my own time but working alongside those who were doing the job full time.Why did you initially opt for a career in radio?“I did a degree in media studies when media studies was not a particularly popular degree to do. I know now there is a proliferation of them and I have mixed views. If there was one thing that I might change given the option of doing a more general degree in say English at the University of East Anglia, if I hadn’t been so driven towards a career in journalism I might have taken a more general degree.“But from my point of view media studies was great – it introduced me to an area of journalism I had never thought of before and that was radio. I had always imagined I would be a print media journalist hopefully on a big national one day, I then came across this medium called radio and in terms of sport it was that much more immediate.”The BBC was clearly a huge factor in your career?“The best thing about the BBC and there a million brilliant things about the BBC and I will forever be grateful, but the best thing about the BBC, for those who do work for it or have worked for it, because it is so big, you get that many more avenues of opportunity within the same organization. If you look at my career path within the BBC that began as 17 year old doing what I did for nothing at Radio Leicester, leading to Radio Kent where I worked for four years, you learn on the job, it is an apprenticeship and for some people hose lucky enough to work there all their lives it can last your entire career.The master: Bill McLaren was the inspiration for so many commentators“I had four years at Radio Kent and then around the time Radio 5 was launching they needed producers so it was an easy link from a BBC local station to a national station, and a whole slew of us came through then, pretty much anyone who is doing what I do now on national radio or TV came through that generation of Radio 5 producers or commentators.“And I was at Radio 5 when Bill McLaren was thinking of retiring and they had a bunch of journalists there as options…like Miles Harrison, Jon Champion, Peter Drury, Mark Pougatch, there was literally dozens of us coming through.“The BBC was finding that more and more of their commentators needed replacing and the obvious place to look for those replacements was Radio 5 as that had been well received and was the perfect training ground.”Did luck play a part in your career to date? LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img “I spent two years working unpaid at Radio Leicester every weekend, eventually commentating on Leicester City, so when the job as a sports reporter came up at Radio Kent it was not something that fazed me, it was something I knew I could do. Opportunities occur, but what you can do is make sure you are best qualified to make the most of them.”Posing the questions: Mullins at an England press conference during the Six NationsAre you a harsh critic of yourself?“The thing you have to realise is that you will never give the perfect commentary. I used to spend years and years in the earl today fretting about giving the perfect commentary that doesn’t exist. Over the course of 80 minutes, no matter what context you are in whether you are with a mate down the pub or commenting on a World Cup Final talk cogently for 80 minutes and in hindsight use every single word perfectly and at the perfect moment. As long as you identify most of he players correctly, don’t misidentify the try scorer, you don’t get the score wrong, you don’t swear and you don’t upset too many people you have to accept that as a reasonable commentary but you will never be perfect and it is pointless trying.”You seem to enjoy your job?“You can only be yourself broadcasting, if you’re not yourself then you won’t last long and you won’t get a great deal of satisfaction out of it because every time you go on air you are trying to be somebody else. People on Twitter occasionally say that I wish you wouldn’t laugh so much, stop joking around with each other but that’s how we are. We love what we do and love the sport, and as long as were not disrespecting the players and losing sight of what the players are trying to do then I think there is room for that.Top of their game: Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison make broadcasting look easy…it isn’t“If there’s no personality coming through then there is a danger that it can become dull. But that’s not to say we’re aware you can over do it at times, in the big matches, at the big moments, I’m aware of the need to rein it in because what you never want to do as broadcaster is make the event about you. If you start to fall into the trap that you are as important as the thing you are commentating on then you really are in a deep hole.”Nick Mullins’ top tips:Work hard: “The first break comes from how much you put into it”Get your foot in the door: “I have always thought you get as much experience as you can early on by offering to work for free, to make the tea, shuffle paper around.”Soak it all in: “I learnt so much by giving up my own time but working alongside those who were doing the job full time.”Get it right: “If you are writing up a wedding report for a newspaper and you get the name of the bride’s father’s uncle wrong you can guarantee the editor will be getting a call. I still remember those days and the terror that I might have got someone’s name wrong in a wedding photo.”Be prepared: “Opportunities occur, but what you can do is make sure you are best qualified to make the most of them.”Trust: Mullins says a good rapport with coaches is essential to his job in getting insightCrucial contacts: “I could ring a Premiership Rugby coach and say I need to come and watch you train on the Tuesday and they will trust you to come in and watch that session without spilling the beans about a lineout play or a backs move they have been practising that week.”Capturing history: “If you have not thought about that [moment] then you are not doing your job, you don’t need to have written it down, but you have got to think of something that will highlight that shot we are seeing.” Twitter caution: “If you are going to use it then you need a thick enough skin or a good enough sense of humour to understand that not everyone will loved you as much as your mum does.”Don’t beat yourself up: “The thing you have to realise is that you will never give the perfect commentary…As long as you identify most of he players correctly, don’t misidentify the try scorer, you don’t get the score wrong, you don’t swear and you don’t upset too many people you have to accept that as a reasonable commentary but you will never be perfect and it is pointless trying.”last_img read more

The life of a Journeyman – a Rugby World special report

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Investigationlong-read Rovigo on the go: Thor Halvorsen (Rovigo)“There are so many kids in South Africa who are not getting their chances and they are heading overseas,” the back-row says. “South Africa has some of the best (rugby) schools in the world and in big competitions they are dominating. But a lot of South African schoolboys are wasted now and after U20s, many of the boys stop playing.“I’ve spoken to many who ask me, ‘Should I head overseas?’ If you have the opportunity and can go at a young age, do it. I know so many guys who are here (in Europe) playing now. They live a good life. To travel the world and get paid for it, what can be better than that?”Well, all will agree that in a perfect world, more money in less-developed rugby nations and especially at lower levels would be better. There would be more security and less volatility. We’ve all seen what has happened at Yorkshire Carnegie recently.Yet there is a romanticism that powers many a journeyman, staving off the question of whether it’s time to stop seeking that one last contract.INKING A DEALIT WON’T always be a shift overseas that sees athletes move. And according to player agent Ali Smith, of Phoenix Sports Management, what is best for a career won’t always be about more pay.“I’ll be honest, when most players move the reason is an increase in salary,” Smith admits. “But I’ve had many players who moved and took pay cuts for rugby reasons and development reasons.“Fans might think agents do deals to make as much money as we can, but if we move a player to a club where he’ll develop and he’ll start and play more, his value will rise in the years to come. I tell my players it’s not a backwards movement but a sideways movement.“Mainly these guys are Premiership players who have played one or two seasons out of the academy. They may not get a lot of game time, play a lot of Prem Cup, the A League. They may get offered another contract there but there’s a Championship club offering a 20-30% pay cut but to play every week. I see that as a sideways movement.”The idea is that many top Premiership sides would rather sign the young player who knows how Premiership rugby works and has also played often and starred in the Championship, rather than the guy who made up the numbers at a big club over a few years.Big in Japan: Georgia hooker Jaba Bregvadze is at Sunwolves (Getty Images)That’s for the whippersnappers. With established names, Smith explains, moving or renewing your contract where you are is about fostering relationships with top sides, checking on the realistic ambitions of your players and also understanding genuine market value.Then we get to the veterans looking for one last deal at the end of a career.Doran Jones understands the lay of the land, saying: “I was always very pragmatic about it. Ultimately it’s a business decision. Perhaps at your peak you can command a certain wage and offer good value through what you do. There will come a tipping point in their mind where they see you as expensive or surplus. That can happen overnight.”Smith explains what steps you can take at this stage. If, say, a 33-year-old lock sees his contract is up and knows he will swap clubs, moves are made.Running with the example, Smith says: “We know which clubs around Europe are looking for an experienced lock so we’d go straight to those ones with a CV and a highlights package. We’d say, ‘This is a guy you should consider’. In addition, we’d speak to every other club, within reason – there are some you know there is no point picking up the phone to. But the majority we’d tell them we have this player, he’s out of contract. ‘Are you interested, yes or no?’“In a lot of cases it will be ‘potentially’ or ‘not right now’. With recruitment, a lot of things have knock-on effects. So a club might not want an experienced lock when you speak at Christmas, but they don’t know their own experienced lock is going to leave. By the end of January, when they know he will leave, suddenly your guy becomes an interest.“What’s frustrating for players and what we try to educate them on is that sometimes someone else must make a decision for them to get a contract. You might tell a player a club doesn’t want a lock, then a month later one of theirs retires because of injury. Things change.”Seeing the world: SA’s JP Pietersen has worked in four countries (Getty Images)There is also the ‘joker’ market in France, where clubs sign injury cover throughout the season – remember that’s how Hagan was picked up by Béziers. For older players, they must calculate what staying on the treadmill means. As Smith says of France: “When a player gets to 31, 32 and is looking to maximize his income before retiring, he may have to take these options, though it might not be the best for their rugby or for looking after their bodies.”Smith explains that at the top end a two-year deal for a 33-year-old is likely to have in-built clauses. For example, a club might only activate the second year depending on the number of games a player plays in year one.Sometimes there is no contract on the table at all. If a player gets to June or July, even late May, without offers, some serious decisions need to be made.And if the veterans start dropping into England’s National One or lower but are still looking for some good ‘cash contracts’ or smaller deals to tick along while setting up their next steps, the good agents will offer some help and advice, but in most cases this is the time for the player to begin making the tough calls on their own.COACHING ABROADALL THESE powerful forces apply to coaches too. However, sheer ability may not be enough when you are taking up new roles. According to Phil Pretorius, who has vast experience in South Africa, worked with the Tonga team in 1999 and later embarked on overseas stints in Ireland, Sri Lanka, the Cayman Islands and the Czech Republic, you must also “play the small politics right”.Pretorius sounds some words of caution about the “backstabbing” and obtuseness coaches can encounter all over the globe. Yet the former university lecturer admits that while he will likely call it quits on coaching – adding that if he had his time again he’d have stayed in academia – he admits it is easier said than done. He will always have a passion for coaching gnawing at him. So what forced him abroad in the first place?“There were two things,” he surmises. “Number one, as a coach you have a shelf life in certain places. In South Africa there is this huge paradigm that when you get older you are finished, which is completely false. As you get older, as long as you keep your passion, you get better as a coach because you have insight, experience and wisdom.“In the second place, I’m one of those adventurous guys who wanted to coach overseas. That was a dream. I’d done everything in South Africa bar coach the Springboks. I’d coached SA Barbarians, the Bulls in Super Rugby, 250 Currie Cup games. I decided to try my luck.”By his own admission, homesickness, as well as some politics, eventually did for him in some jobs. But in the few years he spent with Galway Corinthians, he fell in love with the club, the people, the rugby. He says: “I became a much better coach in Ireland, technically. It added so many new strings to my bow.”Sri Lanka’s Navy Sports Club gave him another good experience, but after three months he was keen to get home. He would take projects in the Caribbean and Eastern Europe but he would not last more than a year in either role. He is now free to enjoy family life more.South Africa on the Med: Jake White worked with plenty of Boks in Montpellier (Getty Images)Of course, not all experiences are equal. With Zebre, boss Michael Bradley is well used to spending time away from his family. With every coaching job he has had abroad, his wife and kids have remained in Ireland. What is that like?He says: “Well, first of all it could be three months (away at a time). It’s not ideal but I think the reference point is if the kids are happy and Gill is happy – and you pick that up on the phone or on Skype. If that changed, that would be a problem. Family would come first.”Going on to talk about coaching in foreign climes, he adds: “First and foremost, it’s a job. The world is a small place and I’ve worked in Edinburgh, Tbilisi, Bucharest, now in Parma but I could be anywhere: it doesn’t matter.“You’re working in rugby. You’re at the club, you have the on-pitch, off-pitch, you have players coming in and out, understanding the cultures and then the ambition on the other side and managing up and down. It’s the same everywhere, just to different degrees.Zebre crossing: Michael Bradley (INPHO)“In terms of the travel, it takes me 12 hours to get home from Parma. I can’t get home any quicker! It took me 12 hours from Georgia as well, which is weird but that’s just the reality.”When he is done with Zebre, Bradley says he would be fine travelling even further afield if that is where the work takes him. He likes the experiences rugby has afforded his family so far.He also agrees that there is a bit of a management merry-go-round in rugby, but there’s a reason you keep seeing coaches like Eddie Jones and Jake White linked with roles around the planet. People know their qualities.So would he recommend working abroad to young coaches out there?“Absolutely. There aren’t enough jobs in Ireland (or the UK) and you won’t get the experience. If you go straight into (a club) you’ll be one-dimensional, until you learn there’s a bigger world out there. It’s a balance, though. You’ll also need some degree of expertise.“The right answer is that if you do get an opportunity, you go, because you’ll learn a lot about yourself as well.”So often the word ‘journeyman’ is seen as meaning less-than or tainted, a tradesman shunted all over. But there are also heroes who move from club to club. There are solid and humble pros who seek their fortunes abroad. Some just need an opportunity.We talk about rugby being for all shapes and sizes. The game should be for all the varying personality types too. Especially those with wanderlust. Beneath the household names in elite rugby lies a huge number of fine professionals making a living off the world game. RW salutes those who are hustling from job to job. This feature first appeared in the magazine in Junecenter_img The life of a Journeyman – a Rugby World special report“I GOT called Pete Tong once because I’ve played in more clubs than him,” says Paul Doran Jones. Now self-employed, renovating property as well as playing for Rosslyn Park, the prop had a career that took him through Leinster, King Country in New Zealand, London Welsh, Gloucester, Northampton, Harlequins and Wasps, as well as repping England six times. For some, he is the quintessential ‘journeyman’.Yet he says on moving clubs: “They were decisions that enriched me as a person. I have seen different clubs, different coaches, different people, and that is what I thrive on. Sometimes there are financial or other incentives, but that’s what drives me. I get stagnant very quickly, so I like to change things up. I make no apologies for that.”In our game we bury one-club players under praise while at the same time devouring the transfer news about the biggest Test stars. But there is a whole other world out there, of levels, nations and cultures we may know little about.On the dawn of professionalism, John Daniell wrote in his book Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary: “The lot of a rugby mercenary is hard to beat.” But how do today’s journeymen see it? Some move for money, others for life experiences, and many more as it is the only way to find a job. We meet a few characters…Representing Perpignan: John Daniell in 2002 (Getty Images)SLIDING DOORSIt is amazing how two contrasting routes can lead vastly different people to the same place. For Irish tighthead Jamie Hagan and English fly-half Sam Katz, their paths to Béziers in the ProD2 differ greatly.Hagan came through the Irish elite system, operating at Leinster on three separate occasions, winning silverware, powering Connacht, winning a single Ireland cap and even playing Super Rugby for Melbourne Rebels. But throughout his time at big teams, fate often stepped in; things would turn out differently than he would have initially envisaged. Not that the philosophical prop is bitter about things – far from it. He is just aware that life is full of quirks.Giving one example, he says: “During my second stint at Leinster, Michael Bent came in and played ahead of me. I was dropped back to third-choice tighthead. Then London Irish signed me (for the following season). It’s a funny thing but when I’d signed, it felt like there was no pressure and I played unbelievably well for Leinster.“I suppose I got the rub of the green with injuries to others. I played when we won the Amlin Cup and I started more. I remember Joe Schmidt asked in March if I’d signed for Irish. He said, ‘Maybe we’ll see if we can get you out of that’.”Nothing ever came from that chat and Hagan moved to the English Premiership. At 25 years old and after five years in the Irish elite game, he was ready for a change. Today he ponders if perhaps he was hasty, but adds even-handedly: “There are definitely those sliding doors moments for everyone.”Which leads to the prop’s next example. His time at Irish was not great. A regime change brought in new management, who Hagan feels just did not rate him, even after a third spell back at Leinster on loan. He left his contract early but on the horizon was yet another superb opportunity, this time Down Under.Time as a rebel: Jamie Hagan (INPHO)“I’d finished at Irish but I was still so hungry to play and a friend was working with the Rebels, who were looking for a tighthead,” Hagan recalls. “At 18 or 19 that was my Friday morning: watching my favourite players in Super Rugby. Irish guys don’t play Super Rugby! This was surreal, like signing for Man United!“But then two games into the Super Rugby season, my now wife (Sinead) found a tumour in her neck. That was devastating. It went on for the majority of the season – I was playing and training but I was in a very bad place. The Rebels team doctor knew about the situation but that was it, no one else did.“I was in such a bad way with lots of different things going on and that was it: my contract there finished early.”Sinead made a full recovery but Hagan has no problem admitting he fell out of love with rugby. The pair prepared to find jobs in Oz, start new lives. But then the chance to sign for a second-tier French side as a medical joker came up.It is in France that Hagan believes he has rekindled his affection for the sport – even if another coaching regime change swiftly after his signing made him wonder if a brick had been put through those sliding doors. However, he’s just enjoyed his third season with the French outfit.It’s here his path crossed with Katz.“My journey is very different to Jamie’s,” says the fly-half, who grew up with a football family and was driven towards academia. He studied for an international business degree while leading the Loughborough University rugby team’s attack. After a year working in the City of London as part of his course, Katz solidified his dream to pursue rugby. No chances in England stood out, so he set course for adventure. He went to Spain.Leaving a mark: Doran Jones at Glaws (Getty Images)“I thought I’d feel it out but it was an amazing couple of seasons there,” Katz says of his time with El Salvador, in Valladolid. “In our second year we did the league-and-cup double and for the final of the Copa del Rey in 2016 they filled a 26,000-seater stadium. The King of Spain came out and we managed to win it. The atmosphere was rocking and up until that point I’d never had an experience like that.”Katz’s confidence was high. He had the chance to qualify for Spain if he stayed on. He’d met his wife there. However, something was nagging at him to take another risk, so he moved on again.After a stint with Jersey, Katz shifted to France to play for freshly promoted Massy in the ProD2. He liked the league, felt he could improve there. A season later he landed with Béziers.The 28-year-old admits the nomadic life can be unpredictable and tough on personal relationships. His wife’s support through each move has been precious.For Hagan, a chance to settle, pass on advice to young players and earn good money for his family has been uplifting.Katz has unwavering belief in his ability. He is switching club again and will be in Italy next season, but he hits on a thought that applies to all players moving: “If you want to earn a living from the sport and be abroad, you have got to be hard as nails about it.”TAKING THE LEAPDORAN JONES went down the academic route, too, but he twinned his medicinal chemistry degree at Trinity College with time at Leinster. And while local kids could live at home and pocket around €3,600 a year, the prop toiled to get by on such a meagre starter wage.He jokes about how coaches couldn’t understand why he couldn’t gain weight – before discovering he was running rickshaws at night to make extra cash. But things got harder when his time at uni, and the associated bursary, ended.He tried to talk coach Michael Cheika into investing in him, explaining that he could not afford to live in expensive Dublin. “What I hadn’t told him was that I’d run out of money and the night before I had to go down the local supermarket and steal my tea,” he reveals. “I was there on my own, no cash, so I ran off with a steak and a couple of spuds.”(illustration by Simon Scarsbrook)In the end the young prop didn’t stay in Dublin and signed with London Welsh to start over. Finding opportunities can be tough all over the world. There are those who love the game and love adventure, but you have to be aware of other elements that pull careers along.Doran Jones says: “I think there is a gig economy in rugby and what I’ve found sampling National One life (with Rosslyn Park) – going all the way through and coming out the other end – you see the lads who were probably talented enough to have had a good career in rugby, but they decide to follow professions and earn whatever they can in the day job, just training Tuesdays and Thursdays and paying the bills. I have a far greater respect for that now than I maybe did before.Related: Rugby World investigations“In hindsight it’s a very sensible play because in rugby, even if you make international grade or get to somewhere where you earn decent cash, unless you’re an absolute superstar you’ve still got to find a career (afterwards).”There is another interesting subplot within the journeyman narrative. Yes, we must be acutely aware that life can be tough for many players and we must look after athletes lower down the pro ladder better. And yes, opportunities are sparse in some famous rugby nations. But you can also celebrate the magical careers borne out of such conditions.He turns 45 in August but Ma’ama Molitika will potentially feature for Ampthill in the English Championship next season. Having left Tonga for New Zealand at 14 and played NPC there, then in Wales, England, Italy and Japan, the veteran player-coach is still up for it.Still powering on: Ma’ama Molitika back in 2008 (Getty Images)He says: “I’ll probably play, yes, but it will definitely be my last season! If I can get through to Christmas, great. We will go week by week and it’s a tough league, with a lot of travelling, but Ampthill’s a good little club: a good set-up, good bunch of boys, good group of people.“I’m still enjoying it. I wouldn’t be commuting to England every week (from Barry, Wales) and running around if I didn’t feel able to compete at that level and enjoy it. Obviously the money’s not the same as the Premiership, but the money does help to pay the bills. It helps with my family and for the enjoyment.”Molitika says his only regret is that he never played Super Rugby, but he left to find a life overseas when you needed a day job if you were in New Zealand’s second tier. It was on the way, he says, that he made great memories, great friends and fell for life in Wales.We know big-name Test stars move abroad all the time. Japan and France are fruitful markets now. But you can also look at guys like Thor Halvorsen.The South African confesses things were lonely when he first left regular Currie Cup rugby with Boland Cavaliers for Italy at 25, joining Mogliano. By his third season, though, he was thriving.After a short-lived return home and time worrying about a debilitating foot injury, he was back in Italy, at the level under Benetton and Zebre, with Rovigo Delta.According to Halvorsen, young South African talents have to be prepared to take a leap of faith abroad. He knows plenty of energetic African players (and coaches) who have made their way in Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka and Russia. This special feature first appeared in the magazine in June.For more rugby news don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Can Saracens avoid relegation from the Premiership?

first_img Can Saracens avoid relegation from the Premiership?Saracens have been Premiership champions for four of the past five seasons – but this campaign will be a different story. Earlier this month they were punished for breaching salary cap regulations for the past three seasons.The offence related to player/owner co-investments between Saracens’ leading international players and business magnate owner Nigel Wray.The punishment was massive: a fine of more than £5m and – crucially – a 35-point deduction in the league, levied immediately. At the current moment Saracens are stuck at the bottom of the table, on -22 points, even though they’ve won three of their opening four games this season.Related: Saracens docked 35 points and fined £5.36mSo, with the Premiership more competitive than ever, can Saracens avoid relegation? We take a deep-dive into the stats – and think about the other factors which will make escaping the drop harder than ever.The statsSince London Welsh’s disastrous 2014-15 season, in which they collected only a single point, the respective points total of the relegated teams has been 20 (London Irish 15-16), 20 (Bristol 16-17), 22 (London Irish 17-18) and 31 (Newcastle 18-19).This averages out at 23.5 points, although the eagle-eyed will have noticed that the total is growing larger each year – a trend that could well continue this year. No team has either won all their games or lost all their games, a sign that teams in the league are more closely matched than ever before.Defending champs: Saracens celebrate last season’s Premiership victory (Getty Images)Saracens will also be disappointed that the promoted team, London Irish, have recruited aggressively over the summer, and have already won two games.Newcastle were sent down to the Championship last season with a total of 31 points, although had they beaten Leicester in the season’s closing weeks, one of the two sides would have been relegated with a total in the mid-thirties!So, lets say that Saracens face a best-case scenario in which they require 24 points, and a worst-case scenario in which they need 35 points – can they do it?Well, over the past four seasons Saracens have accumulated 78, 77, 77 and 80 points – an average of 78 per season, and 3.55 points a game. With 18 games left to play this season, this means we can project them to win 68.3 points over the course of the season.Therefore, if Saracens manage to perform as they have in recent seasons, they will end on around 42 points, which should be enough to avoid relegation, although fourth place (average of 62.5 points since 2015) and Champions Cup qualification (average of 55.5 points since 2015) seems out of reach. However, this season may be even more troublesome for Saracens, for the following reasons…International absencesThe Six Nations will affect at least five rounds of the Gallagher Premiership, with Saracens likely to be one of the hardest hit clubs in the league. In all likelihood the men in black will lose the Vunipola brothers, Billy and Mako, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly to England – and may also lose Jack Singleton, Ben Spencer.Duncan Taylor and Sean Maitland may appear for Scotland, whilst Liam Williams faces a fitness race to recover to play for Wales.England contingent: Maro Itoje, Jamie George, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell (Getty Images)The Six Nations also coincides with a tough set of fixtures for Saracens, as they’re slated to be away to Wasps and early pace-setters Northampton during the championship, and visit current league leaders Bristol the week after the tournament when a lot of internationals are generally rested.Player welfareWith some of Saracens’ World Cup stars having already played ten games this season, and with another five Six Nations games on the horizon, the North Londoners will be forced to rest many of their international stars for more games than usual to comply with player welfare regulations.This is why Mark McCall has publicly said that he will play a rotational side in the Champions Cup – Saracens can simply not afford to use up their key players’ valuable game-time in a competition which will not ensure league survival.They will have nine league games left after the Six Nations and relegation will still be in the balance – they’ll likely still be bottom of the table – but how many games will Farrell, the Vunipolas, Itoje etc. be able to actually play? Or will the young guns have enough to ensure survival?Game time: Manu Vunipola kicks a penalty for Saracens (Getty Images)InjuriesSaracens have some of the best squad depth in the league (which some will point out is no surprise given their recent penalties). Indeed, a back-line shorn of their international stars could read as follows: Wigglesworth, Malins, Lewington, Barritt, Tompkins, Lozowski, Goode.However, this season injuries have piled up, most critically amongst those who didn’t go to the World Cup. Saracens are being forced to play Manu Vunipola, 19, their fourth-choice fly-half after injuries to Max Malins and Alex Goode. The defending champions have been docked 35 points and are now fighting to escape the drop. Jacob Whitehead assesses their chances LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Saracens Relive every moment of the 2019 World Cup in the December 2019 issue of Rugby World magazine – in shops now.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Promising prop Ralph Adams-Hale, who made such an impact in last season’s Premiership final, suffered a horrible ankle injury at Gloucester and is expected to be out for an entire year, while Juan Figallo and Liam Williams have returned from the World Cup crocked.During the Six Nations, rookie Matt Gallagher is set for an extended run at full-back, whilst Manu Vunipola and Malins (when fit) will be expected to shoulder the fly-half burden. All extremely talented players, but inexperienced – not what Saracens would have hoped for when scrapping for premiership survival.Projected results Bath (A) – LBristol (H) – WExeter (A) – LWorcester (H) – WHarlequins (A) – WSale Sharks (H) – WWasps (A) – WNorthampton (A) – LLeicester (H) – WBristol (A) – LHarlequins (H) – WGloucester (H) – WLondon Irish (A) – WWasps (H) – WSale (A) – LExeter (H) – WWorcester (A) – WBath (H) – WThirteen wins and five losses would give Saracens 52 points, while there are likely to be bonus points – of the losing and try-scoring variety – too. So a total of just under 40 points, taking into account the deduction, can be projected for Saracens. Pulling together: Saracens players in a huddle (Getty Images) last_img read more

Newark bishop disputes Roman Catholic colleague’s stance on marriage equality

first_img Rector Hopkinsville, KY By ENS staffPosted Oct 3, 2012 Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA 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 Jesse Glenn says: New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Submit an Event Listing October 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm Thank you, Bishop Beckwith, for speaking out on this issue. Marriage between opposite sex couples is not “defended” by denying marriage between same sex couples. Rather, the whole community is strengthened by extending the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Bruce Smith says: Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Martinsville, VA Fr. Jay Pierce says: Adam Bowers says: Human Sexuality, 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 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 October 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm I would rcommend that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark and the Episcopal Bishop of Newark have lunch together sometime and have a chat about these things. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church at its last meeting recommended a Service of Blessing on a Covenant between two people of the same sex. By the title this is not a same-sex marriage. Marriage in both Roman and Anglican parts of the Catholic Church teach that Marriage is a Sacrament between a man and a woman and as a result of their intimate sexual relation a human being in God’s creation can result. Perhaps this could be a part of the prelate’s luncheon discussion. Fr. Harry Rector Pittsburgh, PA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL October 10, 2012 at 7:02 am I think it is time we start remembering that the Eucharist is the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our gift from Him. None of us own it, Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, or the Orthodox. We must remember that we belong to God. None of us own God or our vision of Him. We do not have all the answers; just our faith and our frailty, which He in His mercy understands and forgives. Same-Sex Marriage Press Release Service Featured Events Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT [Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Newark Bishop Mark Beckwith recently told readers of the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger newspaper that society needs to “move beyond arguments about unfounded threats to the flourishing of families and focus our attention on the real threats, such as the rising tide of unemployment of poverty.”His comments came in response to a Sept. 25 pastoral letter by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark John Meyers in which the archbishop urged the 1 million members of his northern New Jersey flock to vote next month “in defense of marriage and life.” He also said that those Roman Catholics who do not support their church’s teaching on marriage ought to refrain from taking Holy Communion.Beckwith said that in his experience during 33 years of ordained life the act of blessing and supporting “relationships that are marked by love, fidelity and commitment — whether they are headed by a man and a women, two women or two men — provide a foundation of social stability that supports all families. Marginalizing people has never been a pathway to community stability.”The text of Beckwith’s blog post on the newspaper’s website is here. Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Tampa, FL October 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm …. And respect the dignity of every human being.. ( adding to what Bob said above)I wonder if the Archdiocese of Newark ever regrets selling their chancery building on Mulberry St. to the Diocese of Newark. Rev. Robert T. Yeager says: Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Comments (8) Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Albany, NY Bob Van Keuren says: Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Cathedral Dean Boise, ID An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET 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 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Director of Music Morristown, NJ October 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm Clearly the prelates of some denominations think they have a copyright on the eucharist. They do not. The eucharist belongs to God and to the faithful. Interfering with that is sacrilege. I like the way our Baptismal Covenant puts it: “…share with us in his eternal priesthood.” The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Washington, DC Rector Bath, NC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Smithfield, NC October 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm It seems the Bishops of the Roma Catholic Church are experiencing heated instruction from the Holy Father as it regards both the question of marriage and the outcome of the political process in the US. The day has long passed since a directive from the pulpit will determine the voting of a congregation–at least any denomination I’m aware of. In the matter of marriage, we Episcopalians have danced around the issue by persuading ourselves that there is a difference between blessing a same sex relationship and blessing a marriage. In that regard, at least the Roman Bishop is consistent with the teaching and canon of one group of the followers of Christ. Concerning the withholding of the Sacrament, its contrary to the purpose of the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ, and its ineffective. History teaches folks will soon find another server of God’s grace. Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Comments are closed. Submit a Job Listing Fr. Harry Brant says: Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Knoxville, TN Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Featured Jobs & Calls October 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm Bishop Beckwith has reminded us why the Episcopal Church will soon be extinct. It has replaced Christ with an entirely false idol. Because of that, your churches are empty. Your morality is non-existent. Your tolerance is intolerant. Your liturgy is nothing more than an aesthetic. Your “sacraments” are devoid of grace. Your “love” condemns souls to hell. You make me sorry that I can’t leave the Episcopal Church again. And again. dr.peter long says: Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET October 4, 2012 at 5:09 am the bishop of newark is biblically incorrect and could learn much from his catholic brother. Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Tags In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Newark bishop disputes Roman Catholic colleague’s stance on marriage equality Rector Collierville, TN Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit a Press Release Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET last_img read more

WCC general secretary’s deep concern over violence in Gaza, Israel

first_imgWCC general secretary’s deep concern over violence in Gaza, Israel Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Featured Jobs & Calls Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Tags Posted Nov 16, 2012 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME 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 and Chaplain Eugene, OR Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Press Release Service Youth Minister Lorton, VA An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Belleville, IL 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 Rector Shreveport, LA Submit an Event Listing Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Albany, NY Submit a Job Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ center_img Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT [World Council of Churches] The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed deep concern about the conflict in Gaza and Israel. In a recent statement he urged both sides to “cease hostilities” to ensure that “civilians will be protected”.News reports on Friday afternoon said some 20 people have been killed in Gaza and three in Israel because of the violence. Several hundred people, including women and children, have been injured, with most of the injuries in Gaza.Saying that the WCC is closely following the developments in Gaza and Israel, Tveit stated that “violence should stop immediately so that the lives of civilians, who are always the main victims, be spared.”He went on to say that “the loss of peoples’ precious lives in the eyes of God, on both sides, cannot be accepted as a price to be paid in the unresolved political problems and in political agendas.”“We call upon the UN Security Council and the Arab League to take immediate resolutions and measures to put an end to the escalation of violence, in the interest of both parties,” he added.In his statement, he also reiterated the WCC’s call for an end of the six-year blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel.“The WCC declares that the rocket attacks from Gaza into civilian communities in Israel, which are reprehensible and never justifiable, might also have very negative effects at a time when Palestinians are seeking international support of, and recognition by, the international community for a future viable and contiguous state,” concluded Tveit. Rector Bath, NC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Featured Events Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS 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 TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Tampa, FL Curate Diocese of Nebraska Israel-Palestine, Rector Pittsburgh, PA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Collierville, TN Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector Columbus, GA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Advocacy Peace & Justice, AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Middle East This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Martinsville, VA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Washington, DC Submit a Press Releaselast_img read more

Out of Deep Waters: Priests reflect on Mississippi parish’s Katrina…

first_imgOut of Deep Waters: Priests reflect on Mississippi parish’s Katrina experience Submit a Job Listing 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 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 Katrina+10 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Bath, NC Tags Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Hopkinsville, KY 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 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Smithfield, NC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Submit an Event Listing Featured Jobs & Calls Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Belleville, IL Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Tampa, FL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC Rector Knoxville, TN 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 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Albany, NY Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA Featured Events Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Collierville, TN Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis By Mary Frances Schjonberg and Matthew DaviesPosted Aug 27, 2015 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Youth Minister Lorton, VA Press Release Service [Episcopal News Service – Gulfport, Mississippi] Ten years after Hurricane Katrina wiped the building that housed St. Mark’s Episcopal Church from its seaside location, the parish’s retired rector and its current priest-in-charge reflect on the storm and its aftermath for the 169-year-old congregation.The Rev. James “Bo” Roberts, who was St. Mark’s rector for 44 years, saw the congregation through from Hurricane Camille, which struck just four months after his arrival in 1969, through the August 2005 destruction wreaked by Katrina. He led parishioners north away from the beach and oversaw the building of a new St. Mark’s church further inland.The Rev. Stephen Kidd, who succeeded Roberts, says the parish is now flourishing and he is blessed to experience “a resurrection story” that began before his arrival.This video is the second in a weeklong series of Episcopal News Service coverage. Other videos and stories are here.– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg and Matthew Davies are editor/reporters for the Episcopal News Service.Correction: A previous version of this story referred to the previous rector of St.Mark’s as the Rev. James “Bo” Reynolds. He is the Rev. James “Bo” Roberts.last_img read more