Manu Tuilagi – a rare interview

first_img“Everyone who plays rugby wants to play in a World Cup and every English player wants to play for England. Hopefully the dream will continue. Playing at Twickenham for England is in the back of my mind and I’d love to be able to do it.”Click here to find out why Rugby World’s Sarah Mockford believes Manu could be the answer to England’s midfield problems. “Being called up to the England Saxons was a surprise too. It was a real bonus to get a call from [head coach] Stuart Lancaster in the first place and now I’m starting so I’m just trying to keep my cool. For me it’s a massive step from the academy to the first team and then from Leicester to the Saxons.”Tuilagi’s brothers have all played internationally for Samoa but he qualifies for England by residency after coming to the country six years ago and working his way through the ranks at Welford Road. Once last summer’s visa problems were resolved his path was clear.“I was born in Samoa and came over at the age of 13, so all my rugby pretty much has been learned in England and Leicester have been great for me every step of the way,” he said. “You don’t get anything free and easy there.“It [the visa appeal] went on for a long time but I didn’t let it affect my rugby. I thought, well, if I’m gone, I’m gone. I just tried to keep playing and not thinking about it. It all worked out well in the end, thank God.“At the moment I’m just focused on playing well at club level and for the Saxons and the next game on Saturday, but the World Cup? I don’t know. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Teenage Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi is doing his best to keep his feet on the ground as he prepares to make his first start for England Saxons.The Samoan-born 19-year-old was in danger of being sent back to the Pacific island last summer, winning an appeal against deportation and being granted indefinite leave to remain in the country.Since then his progress has been rapid, stepping up out of the Tigers academy to feature for the first team and start their last five games in the Heineken Cup, Aviva Premiership and LV=Cup, following in the footsteps of five brothers to have featured for Leicester.A former England Under 18 international, he was named in the national Under 20 squad in July, then promoted to the Saxons group as an injury replacement for Mathew Tait and will line-up alongside established star turns like Ugo Monye and James Simpson-Daniel as well as Tigers teammate Billy Twelvetrees against Italy A at Sixways on Saturday (3.15pm).On the way, he’s even been mentioned as a contender for a place in this year’s World Cup squad after displaying a frightening combination of power, pace and subtle handling on his arrival in the Tigers team.“Back in the summer I was just looking to get a start in the Leicester first team and that’s quite hard because you’ve got guys like Dan Hipkiss, my brother [Alesana] on the wing, Anthony Allen at 12, and so on all around you.“But because of some injuries I’ve got an opportunity to come on, then get some starts and I’ve started the last five games now. It’s a big step up from the Leicester academy and the standard is very high in the Aviva Premiership and in the European Cup. We’ve played the likes of the Scarlets and Exeter away from home recently and they’re all tough games.last_img read more

John Kirwan returns home to coach the Blues

first_imgAUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 17: John Kirwan, the new coach for the Auckland Blues speaks to media representatives at Eden Park on July 17, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Blues announced their new coach for the Super Rugby competition today. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images) “It’s been a tough season for the Blues. Our supporters expect the team to play winning rugby, as we all do.  The challenge is clearly laid down for John and we look forward to seeing positive results.  While there’s no denying John has a stellar playing record in New Zealand, our interest was in finding the right coach for the Blues – someone who could coach this team to success and we’ve selected John to do that.”Kirwan’s coaching resume includes Head Coach of the UK Barbarians (2012), Head Coach of Japan (2007-2011), and Head Coach of Italy (2002-2005). Is he right for the job?Former All Black Sir John Kirwan has been appointed the new Head Coach of the Blues, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Blues Franchise announced today. The 47-year-old has signed a two-year contract for the 2013 and 2014 Super Rugby seasons.  His contract is effective from 13 August 2012.Kirwan played 142 games for Auckland, 96 for the All Blacks (63 Test caps) before embarking on an international coaching career in Italy and more recently, Japan.  He also had a brief stint with the Blues franchise in 2001 as Assistant Coach.“This is an exciting time.  I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the Blues next season in what I hope will be a new era of success and innovation,” Kirwan said.“I’m also thrilled about coming back to New Zealand and home to Auckland after several years overseas.  I am a proud Blues man and I started my rugby career in the region so I am really excited about connecting with fans and working with the Blues community.  There is certainly some hard work ahead and I am looking forward to the challenge,” Kirwan said.Blues chairman Gary Whetton congratulated Kirwan on the new position, highlighting that the expectations in front of him were significant. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS As a player, he represented the All Blacks from 1984-1994 (named All Black of the Year following the Rugby World Cup win in 1987).  Kirwan represented Auckland from 1983-1994.Kirwan was appointed on the unanimous recommendation of a joint NZRU and Blues panel, which is the standard process for all Super Rugby Coach appointments.last_img read more

Lions 2013: Western Force 17-69 Lions

first_imgForce – Tries: Brown, McCaffrey. Cons: Sheehan 2. Pen: Sheehan. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Leigh Halfpenny – He simply didn’t put a foot wrong. He slotted 11 kicks in all, but more impressive than his consistency was the angles he was putting them over from. He had no problem converting from the touchline – just as well given the number of tries scored in the corner.NotConor Murray – He tried to play like Mike Phillips but couldn’t quite match the Welshman’s physicality. He blew a couple of try-scoring chances by going himself rather than taking the time to weigh up his options.StatsJamie Heaslip contributed the most metres (118) and tackles (12), and beat the most defenders (8).The Lions put in twice as many passes as the Force, 175 to 86, and made 540 metres to 197.ScorersLions – Tries: Sexton, O’Driscoll 2, Croft, Heaslip, Vunipola, Bowe, Farrell, Parling. Cons: Halfpenny 9. Pens: Halfpenny 2. NOT FOR FEATURED Captain’s corner: Brian O’Driscoll dives over for the Lions second try and his first against Western ForceBy Sarah Mockford at Patersons Stadium in PerthIn a nutshellThe Lions scored nine tries as they made it two big wins from the first two matches of the 2013 tour, matches on two different continents it should be added! There were a few sticky patches when it was clear that the new Lions combinations hadn’t gelled completely and Western Force had their own spells of pressure, but overall it was an impressive attack-minded performance from the tourists. The backs linked well, the forwards hit hard, and the power and the pace they all brought to the Perth pitch was too much for a depleted Force side. The only sour note for the Lions was the fact that Cian Healy picked up an injury.Key momentBrian O’Driscoll’s first try in the 34th minute was crucial. The Lions had been defending for a significant period after lurching into a slump, but they then sparked into life down the left wing with some great interplay, Manu Tuilagi and George North putting in neat passes to set their captain on his way to the corner. This gave the Lions breathing space heading to the break.It should also be mentioned that O’Driscoll’s presence in midfield brought the best out of those around him. Tuilagi actually made more of an impact with his passing than his trademark battering-ram charges in this match and it was his pass to O’Driscoll that set up the Irishman’s second try.Great eight: Jamie Heaslip in full flightStar man – Jamie HeaslipThe No 8 produced the sort of performance that he’s delivered consistently for Leinster in recent years and that Ireland missed during the Six Nations. He was a prominent figure at the breakdown and linked well in open play, his power game in contrast to his soft hands, and he grew in presence as the minutes ticked by.Test watch – HotJohnny Sexton – The fly-half proved why he is the most important member of this touring squad. He was favourite for the No 10 shirt before the tour and has surely nailed it down with this display, conducting play superbly, guiding his new team-mates into space and showing sublime skills with hands and feet too.last_img read more

Rugby World’s Championship team guide

first_imgOXFORD, ENGLAND – MAY 30: The RFU Championship trophy during the RFU Championship Playoff 2nd leg at the Kassam Stadium on May 30, 2012 in Oxford, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)  Prediction: 6thLondon WelshLast season: 12th in PremiershipHead coach: Justin BurnellThey’re staying at the Kassam but bouncing back is a tall order for a new coach who’s seen lots of players depart. Gordon Ross is backs coach and Tom May the team captain. Prediction: Runners-up  Prediction: 8th To read an exclusive interview with Bristol’s Director of Rugby, Andy Robinson, check out the October issue of Rugby World – Out now! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Bounce back: Tom May will be hoping he can lead London Welsh back to the promised land at the first time of askingTHE CHAMPIONSHIP season is finally here, arriving just a week after the Aviva Premiership kicked off.With Ealing jumping up to the division and London Welsh dropping down, clubs running out of money or securing plans for a new home, it is all go. Predictable? Probably not, but we’ve given a rundown a go. Look at our team-by-team guide to see where we think everyone will finish once the dust has settled.RUGBY WORLD’S CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM GUIDEBedford BluesLast season: 3rdHead coach: Mike RayerHighly-rated prop Nico Steenkamp returns after a season at Coventry, while a Saracens trio have signed up, including centre Sam Stanley, nephew of All Black great Joe. Prediction: 3rdcenter_img Leeds CarnegieLast season: 4thHead coach: James LowesEx-Leeds Rhinos coach Lowes has switched codes, with  the brief to take Carnegie back to the top flight. Influential back-row Rob Baldwin has extended his contract. Prediction: 4th Leading the charge: Andy RobinsonBristolLast season: 5thHead coach: Sean HolleyAndy Robinson is the man to reawaken Bris in their 125th anniversary season. Fly-half Nicky Robinson is the biggest name among a clutch of arrivals from the Premiership. Prediction: ChampionsCornish PiratesLast season: 6thHead coach: Ian DaviesKiwi fly-half Jonny Bentley has signed for Gloucester, but No 8 Aaron Carpenter and wing Matt Evans are raring to go after helping Canada to a famous win over Fiji in June. Prediction: 5thEalingLast season: National One winnersHead coach: Ben WardAfter winning promotion with 20 points to spare, DoR Mike Cudmore has spent the summer bringing in 17 new faces, including six players on loan from Quins and Wasps. Prediction: 10th JerseyLast season: 11thHead coach: Ben HarveyTonga hooker Elvis Taione and Wales Sevens scrum-half Nicky Griffiths must lead from the front for the Channel Islanders, who are captained by ex-Wasps lock Alex Rae. Prediction: 12thLondon ScottishLast season: 8thHead coach: TBAAll the Exiles are full-time now and they hope to climb to the top. They were in Hong Kong this summer, where they coached children and watched the Lions. Have lost their coach Simon Amor to the England Sevens, but have made some shrewd signings. The prize (beside Premiership rugby)MoseleyLast season: 10thHead coach: Kevin MaggsAndy Robinson’s 20-year-old son, Olly, who has England U18 honours, packs down at openside. In the backs, much will be expected of Simon Hunt, an England Sevens star. Prediction: 9thNottinghamLast season: 2ndHead coach: Martin HaagLack of finance has forced Haag to cut his playing staff from 30 to 23. Tim Streather, Championship Player of the Year last term, has signed for Saracens. May struggle a little. Prediction: 7thPlymouthLast season: 9thHead coach: James ShanahanAll change at Albion after a player influx and new-look coaching team headed by Shanahan and forwards coach Rhys Oakley. Pale Nonu, brother of Ma’a, has signed up. Prediction: 11th RotherhamLast season: 7thHead coach: Lee BlackettEx-Titans captain Blackett says his ambition is to see passion every week. Former Falcons Micky Ward and Ed Williamson will help coach and fans’ favourite Alfie To’oala returns after a ten-year gap.last_img read more

England v Australia: Five things we’ve learned

first_imgBench selection was a masterstrokeDeploying 213 caps in the starting XV with 225 among the replacements seemed unconventional from Lancaster, yet it worked brilliantly. Faith in form was initially rewarded by a strong scrum and rapid ruck-speed that Australia couldn’t live with. Had penalties been kicked England should have been further ahead after the first 40. Enter the insurance policy.Dylan Hartley shored up the lineout, provided Chris Robshaw with a trusted lieutenant and can claim a try assist following the semi-block on Stephen Moore – grizzled know-how at its best. Ben Youngs fizzed about the field with a point to prove, David Wilson is a destructive scrummager who would start regularly in other nations and Toby Flood instilled calm as the clock wound down. Ben Foden didn’t even need to take his tracksuit off.Lawes effect: Courtney grew into his roleCourtney reincarnatedKiwis call it ‘mongrel’ – a element of spite that is unpleasant to play against. It has always been Courtney Lawes’ foremost attribute. Eight months ago when he missed four tackles in 50 minutes against France at HQ – an afternoon that arguably cost him a Lions tour – that fight was oddly absent. The 24-year-old headed to Argentina knowing he needed another dimension.In South America, Lawes added lineout calling to his repertoire – a role he took on Saturday, helped by hours of post-training study this week. There were a couple of teething problems to start with, but even Geoff Parling has those. Things improved on the introduction of clubmate Hartley and, rising to take the final lineout himself, Lawes confirmed his ‘bouncebackability’.Australian aerial skills exposed EnglandTo finish, a negative. Two restarts in five minutes almost spoiled everything. The first followed Farrell’s second successful three-pointer. Lawes spilled it, Cooper unleashed Israel Folau wonderfully and Matt Toomua trampled Billy Twelvetrees all too easily. Seconds later, Yarde steamed in pursuit of England’s kick-off, tackling Adam Ashley-Cooper in the air. The Wallabies worked their way up the field before Twelvetrees flopped into a ruck. Australia had 10 sickeningly cheap points. Collective unit: It wasn’t pretty at times but England showed resolve and worked as a team to defeat the WallabiesBy Charlie MorganLET’S BE frank, of course there were glaring flaws in England’s performance this weekend – defensive narrowness, minimal midfield incision, uncharacteristically errant goal-kicking from Owen Farrell, and an inexplicably slow-witted spell before half-time.But rewind to March 15, one hour after the Cardiff capitulation and if you’d offered Stuart Lancaster a seven-point victory over Australia, you might have earned one long-lasting handshake.Culture can guide a raw sideCynics will dwell on the shortcomings of a disjointed Test at Twickenham. However, winning ugly is essential on the road to 2015. Sir Clive’s crop – who paraded the Webb Ellis trophy with England 13-6 down at the break – perfected it and things worked out fine for them.Restricting Quade Cooper and Co. to a scoreless second half required the dogged resolve normally associated with Antipodeans. Lancaster’s currency is selflessness and hard-graft – traits that defy defeat. Rough diamonds though Billy Vunipola and Marland Yarde may be, they have a fantastic environment to learn in.We all stand together: England showed impressive unityMike Brown will get even betterAutumn optimism couldn’t stop the odd lull in enthusiasm on Saturday, quiet descending on HQ as fans’ thoughts wandered. Funnily enough, that wasn’t a problem whenever Mike Brown had the ball. Eight beaten defenders and 125 running metres only tell part of the story. There was venom in his carries, fierce desperation to writhe out of tackles. He was a rallying figure for 14 men in front of him – as well as the 80,000 plus spectators.That said, Brown got overexcited sporadically, his reluctance to kick bringing undue pressure on England. Cannier decision-making will come with time. And the Cook Cup catalyst has bought plenty of that. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The importance of the restart as a third set-piece has heightened over the years. Folau – a monstrous athlete – thrives there. England weren’t up-to-scratch. The opening kick-off was also gaffed to set a flat tone. As they demonstrated in Dunedin, New Zealand are exceptional at recovering their own restarts. An improvement is required. LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 02: Courtney Lawes of England wins lineout ball during the QBE International match between England and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on November 2, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) last_img read more

Ben Te’o uncovered: The life and times of the England centre

first_img TAGS: Worcester Warriors Ben Te’o uncovered: The life and times of the England centreBen Te’o is back in white with England for this year’s Six Nations, bringing with him the experiences of playing for the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand over June and July. The former NRL star made headlines when he returned to face Italy in the Six Nations this month, having taken himself back to Australia to recover from injury and prepare for a return to the Test stage.Rugby World caught up with Te’o during the summer for an article in our July 2017 issue. He told us about his cosmopolitan life…My parents met in Auckland, at high school. Dad (Tili) is Samoan and Mum (Linda) is English. Dad is retired now but did different jobs – policeman, traffic officer, lawyer. I have five siblings.I played union for the majority of my childhood. I played two years of league at seven and eight, then was hooked on it from age 16 upwards. In New Zealand, people chop and change between league and union, it’s not a big deal. It’s all just footie.Ready to rock: Te’o arrives in his birthplace Auckland for the start of the Lions tour (Getty Images)I played for Silverdale RFC in North Harbour. Luke McAlister was the guy when I was growing up who we looked up to. He was only a little bit older than me but was very talented. His dad coached the top team and Luke played for them while still at high school. I went to Orewa College and Hibiscus Intermediate, both in North Auckland.Jonah Lomu was everyone’s hero. He was the Michael Jordan (of rugby). Christian Cullen and Frank Bunce were other guys that most kids wanted to be like. I started as a 15 but was a 13 for the majority of my youth. I also did a stint in the forwards.At 17 I got a scholarship to Australia. I went to Keebra Park High School, a famous rugby league school on the Gold Coast. Loads of players have come through there. They helped me get a professional contract.My league grounding helps my union. There’s the physical aspect from the tackling, particularly the high-up wrestling that is starting to come into union. I’ve had ten years of wrestling in league. And beating a defender – I’ve done a lot of work on footwork and leg drive. Rugby league is so physically demanding, it gives you a good grounding.Power ranger: Te’o shows his muscle in the Lions’ win over Crusaders in ChristchurchI switched to union because I wanted to see how I would go. I didn’t want to re-sign with league and keep going for three or four years and then say, ‘I wonder if I’d have been a good union player’.I chatted to Michael Cheika about it. He was the Waratahs coach and friends with my agent. I wanted to see what he thought in terms of my body shape, how I play the game, would I be suited to it? I was keen on getting out of Australia, experiencing something different as well as taking on union again. He said, ‘Look, I used to coach this team in Dublin called Leinster, they’re a great team’. I didn’t know anything about Leinster but he told me they would teach me the game.Sam Burgess’s circumstances were different to mine. I was quite happy to disappear and go play rugby. I went to Leinster on a two-year deal but if I’d been no good then I’d have left, I’d have come straight back to league. I wasn’t coming over with any (international) ambition, all I wanted to do was play rugby union.Hard graft: squad training in Wales last monthI moved to England as I’d done my time at Leinster. I felt it was time to move on. I’d heard a lot about the (English) Premiership so I was keen to have a go at that, or go back to Australia to play Super Rugby. Eddie Jones said I’d get an opportunity to impress (for England) if I came to the Premiership.I’ve had a good learning year. I made my Test debut, played in the autumn series and in the Six Nations. I got to meet and mingle with all the guys and learn off them. It’s been perfect.The Italy game was frustrating. We got the win but would I like the game to have been different? Yes. There are a lot of guys in that England team who have put in a lot of work on the training park and weren’t getting the same minutes, so a lot of the time we were helping the starters prepare and then we get our opportunity and the game turns out like that (affected by Italy’s no-ruck tactic). So it was unfortunate but it’s just the way it was. You’ve got to work hard and hopefully you get another opportunity. British & Irish Lions: L Williams; A Watson, J Davies, B Te’o, E Daly; O Farrell, C Murray; M Vunipola, J George, T Furlong, AW Jones, G Kruis, P O’Mahony (capt), S O’Brien, T Faletau.Replacements: 16 K Owens, 17 J McGrath, 18 K Sinckler, 19 M Itoje, 20 S Warburton, 21 R Webb, 22 J Sexton, 23 L Halfpenny. FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREI can’t wait to zero in on the All Blacks. I’d like to really gel with the squad, learn from them and the coaches. And try to learn the All Blacks inside out because England are going to have to play them eventually.I’m no Twitter fan. There’s a parody account (@boringben13) done by some loser at home probably, someone with not much of a life.Eddie Jones is always watching. He’s everywhere. He could be up in that stand, seriously he could be up in that stand (he points) with a fake nose and fake moustache and glasses, watching to see if I’m training well. You never know. He’ll be watching the Lions games. You’ve got to play well and then come back to club land and play well or you won’t be in the England team in November.Watching: With Eddie Jones during the Six NationsNew Zealand: B Smith; I Dagg, R Crotty, SB Williams, R Ioane; B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, S Cane, K Read (capt).Replacements: 16 N Harris, 17 W Crockett, 18 C Faumuina, 19 S Barrett, 20 A Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 A Cruden/L Sopoaga, 23 A Lienert-Brown. After a miraculous recovery, Ben Te’o is back in action with England in the Six Nations. Here is everything you need to know about the former rugby league starcenter_img Hands free: Ben Te’o takes on Italy I wouldn’t say my winning try against France was a highlight. I don’t look at tries as a reflection of how I play. I more admire an 80-minute shift, plenty of involvements, strong carries, work-rate in defence. You might score two tries but not do much else.Match winner: the Worcester centre’s first Test try brought England victory against FranceThe Lions squad announcement mucked with my head. Friends and family sent me stories about the rumours (that he was in the squad) but I don’t believe anything until it happens. I was quite nervous two days out, thinking ‘What if I could?’ or ‘Jeez, now I’d be really upset if I wasn’t picked’, so I was very happy when it was all over. I’m sure there were lots of guys having the same feelings.The boys at Worcester gave me a good reaction. We watched the announcement as a team. It’s great for the young guys here to see someone from Worcester get that opportunity. I’m sure they’ll be thinking that one day they could have a moment like that. It was a nice moment to be recognised on my rugby union journey, it’s another chapter.I supported the Wallabies against the 2013 Lions. I was in a State of Origin camp with Queensland and we all watched in the team room as one of our former team-mates, Izzy Folau, made his debut. We were proud of him and all supporting Izzy.I played in seven State of Origin games. They’re massive occasions and very confrontational, so that experience is really valuable.Star in Oz: Te’o in action for the Maroons during the 2014 State of Origin seriesFatigue won’t be a factor for the Lions. Guys have played a season of rugby but you’ll get yourself up for a Lions series against the best team in the world. Guys have been looking forward to it for four years.I don’t apologise for playing for different countries. People say, ‘I was born here, I grew up here, I represent there’ but it’s not the case for everyone. My parents are from opposite sides of the world, both of their heritages are important to me. I was born and spent my childhood in New Zealand but I also spent a lot of time honing my skills in Australia. I was proud to represent my dad’s (Samoan) heritage in rugby league – he loved that.My mum means a lot to me too. My surname is Samoan but I really enjoy playing for England, I enjoy the satisfaction Mum gets out of that. She’s proud of me and has come over to watch me play (in England). No matter what anyone says, I’m English and I feel that. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Finn Russell: “As long as I’ve got a smile on my face…”

first_imgIt should be another tough season of rugby for Russell, but nothing worth loving was ever easy. Then again, just because things don’t always go your way, it doesn’t mean you should ever stop smiling, either. Just look at his wee face.This feature first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World. Smiles ahead: Finn Russell after scoring against the Wallabies Thick as thieves: With half-back partner Ali PriceThere is a popular gif of the stand-off performing the ‘running man’ dance on the touchline at Murrayfield, with Scotland 34-10 up against Argentina. During a Test match against one of the world’s best, Russell is mucking about.It is that impish quality that makes him so popular with fans. He takes it into his play, too. He is a much braver defender than many realise, but it can be hard to credit anything other than his temerity in attack. Sometimes it fails to come off – one of his overcooked chips against England in this year’s Six Nations epitomises this very trait – but often enough he judges his dinks and line-probing runs just right. No matter the stage or who is in front of him.“I just enjoy it,” he says of his lack of Test nerves. “The bigger the occasion, the more fun I have. No matter who it is, it is just another game of rugby. You just go out and play. In Tests you’ve got to be sharper but in games things just happen.”Some players talk about conditioning, others assume instinct. Russell cannot pretend the whole game goes in slow motion, but sometimes he just gives something a go. So while many chip kicks are pre-planned, it is the moments of pure attack he loves. Against Australia there was one sticky memory, a pass to John Barclay when he spotted the flanker’s run and gave himself up to the moment. Who cares if the pass was forward? He relishes hitting the line, drawing flak and risking late hits so he releases big ball-carriers. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Finn Russell is exactly what the Lions have been missing!— Graham Love (@GLove39) June 16, 2017He describes the past season as “good fun”. Ask him about his ambitions for next season and it’s more of the same stuff. “I just want to play the best rugby I can. If I don’t play well in a game I can get a bit down for a few days and that can knock on to everything else. I just want Glasgow to keep progressing and to enjoy it.“Rugby is just a small part of your life but it takes up the majority of your time. So I want to have fun. I don’t have too many hobbies, so I want to play the best I can. As long as I’ve got a smile on my face…”He tails off but the implication is there. As long as he is smiling, everything is alright with the rugby world. And he is likely to be smiling broadly if Scotland can build on their last Six Nations and Glasgow can improve on their first-ever Champions Cup quarter-final and get back in the play-offs in the league competition.Mind you, if you believed some, Russell almost didn’t hang around to see. Rumours had it that the fly-half would be skipping out to join former Scotland boss Vern Cotter at Montpellier. He shuts this down, though, saying: “I don’t know where that came from. We will have to wait and see about the Top 14, because I’ve still got a year left at Glasgow and we have to wait and see what it’s like with Dave Rennie.”FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREIt is an exciting time for Scottish rugby with three big personalities now in charge of the flagship sides: Townsend with the Scottish national team, Richard Cockerill in charge of Edinburgh and, as soon as Super Rugby concludes, Chiefs boss Rennie with the Warriors. So as a high-profile boss comes in to a settled team, will there be a drop into the unknown?“Me and Tommy Seymour went to see him (Rennie) when we were out in New Zealand. I think he will change up what we do, day to day. Gregor was great for five years but I think it will refresh the boys almost, to have him in. We’ve done so well but Rennie will give us a different routine.“He’s made a few signings too. We also caught up with a couple of them, Callum Gibbins at the Hurricanes and Lelia Masaga at the Chiefs. We should get a different view on rugby with their Super Rugby (backgrounds). Rennie should be similar to Gregor, with some different traits. I’m certain there will be high offloading and playing with speed. Nothing major, just little things.”New boss: Dave Rennie with Aaron Cruden, at the ChiefsFor Scotland’s most creative attacker, success in any sporting sphere is dictated by whether or not you or your team can adapt. He will certainly have to. Whatever the terrain, whoever is in charge, his kin will look to him for a bit of creativity and a lot of action. Forget picturesque Beauly, it’s almost time to pack the bags and head back out on the road again. Finn Russell: “As long as I’ve got a smile on my face…”WITH THE sun shining on Beauly, a Highland hideout west of Inverness, Finn Russell surveys a day with nothing more strenuous than a trip to the beach planned. This Scottish fly-half’s life is one spent darting in and out of beautiful places, not ever really seeing too much of them. On a summer escape with the rest of the Russell family, a week before pre-season starts, here he can take his sweet time.He had enjoyed a trip to Ibiza with some mates from home, as well as national and club team-mates Ali Price and Rory Hughes. However, it’s up in the green expanses of Scotland’s gorgeous North that the fly-half can really allow himself to kick back. You see, while many would have expected him to enjoy some similarly handsome terrain out in New Zealand in late June and early July, it was neither a totally easy-going affair for him, nor did he ever get to see too much of the country.Back in June, after defeating Italy in Singapore, Scotland arrived in Sydney. Before the big game against the Wallabies, head coach Gregor Townsend informed Russell and loosehead Allan Dell that there were discussions about the pair joining up with the British & Irish Lions tour over the Tasman Sea. But nothing was finalised, so the pair should keep focusing on performing against Australia.Bright and breezy: Russell in that Test in SydneyThe Scotland bus leaving the Allianz Stadium after that memorable 24-19 win, in which Scotland led for huge swathes of the game, was noisy. There was a lot of singing at the front of the wagon, but eventually coach Townsend got on the mic and informed the entourage that there were two new Lions amongst them. The cheers went up. There was little time to get his life in a bag, as Russell prepared to leave for life with the Lions the very next day.From his Highland haven, the Glasgow ten reflects on it all.“Looking back now, you can’t say it was a waste of time,” he says, talking of his five solitary minutes of Lions action as a replacement against the Hurricanes while Dan Biggar received a Head Injury Assessment.“Conditions could have been different – someone could have got an injury and you could be playing. It’s not all set up perfectly and that’s part and parcel of professional sport. But it was disappointing to get a call-up and then not get a game.“Even to get on a tour is special. In four years’ time you might not be playing well, you might have an injury. No one would turn it down. Everyone wants to play and for a Scotland player it is the pinnacle of an international career.”That last answer is in response to those rumours that a Scotland player had turned down the chance to travel to New Zealand – a notion anathema to the ambitious Scottish players, Russell suggests.There was, and still is, a disconnect between many fans north of the border and the Lions brand. This discontent loudly evidenced itself in the aftermath of the initial tour squad announcement. The issue flared again when the mid-tour call-ups happened.Mellow yellow: Finn Russell jokes with Robbie HenshawThe players brought in from nearby – Kristian Dacey, Gareth Davies, Tomas Francis and Cory Hill of Wales, plus Dell and Russell of Scotland – were quickly dubbed ‘The Geography Six’. While there was acknowledgment that Davies and Russell would have originally been considered for the tour by Warren Gatland and his coaches, it was mooted that the whole group of recruits devalued the jersey.Considering afresh the unique challenges of being parachuted in, Russell says: “There were a few wee things for me and the other guys to deal with. We didn’t really know the coaches and it was Test week. We had to come in and try to fit in with the group.“I did quite a bit of work with Greig Laidlaw, and I also spoke a bit with Tommy (Seymour). I had to try to pick up a new, full game plan in a few days. It was tough. I also tried to pick up little things while I was there, a lot of it was with the backs. There were a few wee things you would get from seeing how individuals work overall – nothing specific, but looking at how individuals work differently.”Russell, clearly, loves the idea of the Lions tour. He fell foul of initial selection and saw next to no action, but he is confident about future tours. “I definitely think there will be more Scots in four years.“If we keep progressing as we are doing now and there are no injuries, then yeah, I think so. There could have been more this time but Gatland picked what he saw as the best squad to take on New Zealand and he got a draw, so fair play.”That was a chance to take a swipe that many Scotland fans would want Russell to take, but clearly life is too short and he is just too happy a character. You imagine that if Armageddon erupted and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse stormed through Glasgow’s West End, Russell would ask them if they liked showjumping. It will take more than a stint as an unused Lion to get Finn Russell down. This feature first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

Mike Haley: How to perfect your positioning at 15

first_imgSale Sharks full-back Mike Haley gives his top tips on how to defend in different situations Bright spark: Mike Haley makes a burst for Sale Sharks. Photo: Getty Images Mike Haley made more carries (207) and more metres (1,180) than any other full-back in last season’s Aviva Premiership. Here the Sale Shark talks through how a No 15 should defend in a variety of situations…Danger area: A lineout during a Mitre 10 Cup game in New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images1. LINEOUT IN 22“If the opposition have a lineout near their 22, I’ll be on halfway in the middle with one of our wings tight to the same touchline as the lineout. If they box-kick, our wing is there to take it and I support him. If they kick cross-field, I’ll move across to cover it.”2. SCRUM IN 22“For an opposition scrum in their 22, I’ll be deep behind halfway. Our wings are further forward covering the touchlines. I’ll look at their kickers and the way the scrum wheels to predict where the ball will be kicked, then work in a pendulum with the wings.”Central positioning: For a lineout in the middle of the field, Haley would sit deep. Photo: Inpho3. MIDFIELD LINEOUT“For an opposition lineout around halfway: one wing covers the touchline, the other is about 15m in from the other touchline and I’ll be further back to cover the long kick. If their back-line is standing quite flat, it’s an indication that they’re going to kick.”4. BREAKDOWN KICK “If there’s a counter-ruck, I’ll drop deep in the middle of the park. They might have a left-footed and a right-footed kicker and I need to cover both. As soon as it looks obvious who is going to kick it, I’ll hedge my bets – move forward/left/right.”Be alert: It’s important to get your positioning right from a restart. Photo: Inpho5. RESTART“At a restart, if our ten kicks left, we’ll keep the eight back behind halfway close to the touchline and I’ll be a few metres inside him. That covers a box-kick, one to catch it and one to support. If I kick it back, the ten will drop to cover a cross-field kick.”6. GENERAL DEFENCE “If the opposition are attacking between the ten-metre line and our 22, myself and the nine will each cover half the pitch in the 22, standing just behind the defensive line. If I make a tackle, the nearest wing will drop back to cover with the nine.” TAGS: Sale Sharks LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREWHAT YOU COULD DOThe back three is all about support play – communicate and understand what you’re trying to do in defence.Work out what’s best for your team, whether you use the nine and eight in the backfield with the 15 or drop your wingers.To take a high ball, you need a high knee, high elbows, high hands – and your eyes on the ball.This is a drill focusing on support play: someone puts up a box-kick to you and a support player. You take it and decide whether to pass, run or go into contact, with the support player to clear out.Here’s another training game: the attacking team kick from just outside their 22. The defending team kick it back, then the back three look to counter. So it’s a two-kick drill and then you counter-attack.This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Rugby World.last_img read more

Zach Mercer swaps Bath Rugby for Montpellier

first_imgCan’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. Zach Mercer, a Bath academy graduate, will join Montpellier for the 2021/22 season when his contract runs out. Having not been capped for England since 2018, the 23-year old has opted to grow away from the Test stage for a while, with the RFU not picking players who ply their trade abroad.Mercer became a fan-favourite during his spell with Bath in their back-row. However, he has chosen to swap Bath for Montpellier to achieve a dream of playing in the Top 14.“It has been a long-standing dream of mine to play in France. The game is physical and will suit my playing style,” Mercer said on Bath’s website. “I feel like I am able to offer the Top 14 something different and that is what I am looking forward to.“I found it impossible to say no to the offer of a long-term contract with Montpellier and I’m very grateful to have had respectful and honest conversations every step of the way with Hoops (Stuart Hooper). There is a brilliant group of players and staff at Bath and I know they will go on to achieve great things together.”Stuart Hooper commented: “Zach is an exceptional player and one who we feel very proud of at Bath.  We will never hold any players back from realising their dreams and on this occasion, we see a brilliant young man leave to do just this.”Bath are currently struggling this Premiership campaign, as they lie tenth in the table. Montpellier are also struggling, sitting thirteenth in the Top 14 table. Despite this, Mercer is clearly relishing the prospect of joining the Montpellier in southern France, adding to a growing list players from Britain and Ireland playing abroad.Home Nations players abroadAlex Lozowski – Montpellier (loan from Saracens)Pierce Phillips – AgenLaurence Pearce – AgenNoel Reid – AgenGabriel Ibitoye – AgenSam Nixon – BayonneHayden Thompson-Stringer – BriveStan South- BriveStuart Olding – BriveWesley Douglas – BriveRory Jennings – ClermontEoghan Barrett – PauDonnacha Ryan – RacingFinn Russell – RacingSimon Zebo – RacingOwen Williams – Red HurricanesAlex Goode – Green RocketsGreig Laidlaw – Shining ArcsHadleigh Parks – Wild KnightsGeorge Kruis – Wild Knights Tom Savage – SuntoryFreddie Burns – Toyota VerblitzMyles Edwards – Toshiba Brave LupusSam Thomson – Toshiba Brave LupusMurray Douglas – Yamaha JubiloChris Robshaw – San Diego LegionCronan Gleeson – San Diego LegionAdam Ashe – LA GiltinisGlenn Bryce – LA GiltinisMat Turner – Seattle SeawolvesCharlie Connolly – Houston SaberCatsSteven Longwell – Old GloryMungo Mason – Old GloryBen Foden – RUNYWill Leonard – RUNYJames Rochford – RUNYEvan Mintern – RUNYJason Higgins – RUNYConor Kindregen – New England Free JacksRonan McCusker – New England Free JacksJohn Poland – New England Free JacksHarry Barlow – New England Free JacksDougie Fife – New England Free JacksOliver Jager – CrusadersFinlay Christie – Blues LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Zach Mercer will leave Bath at the end of the season to join Top 14 side Montpellier, becoming yet another player to trade British shores for rugby abroad Crossing the channel: Zach Mercer will join Montpellier at the end of Bath’s Premiership season (Getty Images) last_img read more


first_imgRapidísimas 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 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Featured Events Featured Jobs & Calls An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Un reciente estudio de la Organización Mundial de la Salud revela que 5.9 por ciento de las muertes  en el mundo “están relacionadas con el consumo excesivo de bebidas alcohólicas”.  Un oficial de la OMS dice que esa cifra equivale a “una muerte cada 10 segundos”.  Europa es el continente que más alcohol consume.  África y Estados Unidos han llegado a un índice estable no así los países del sudeste de Asia y el Pacífico. En América Latina aumenta el consumo.El nombramiento de una abogada abiertamente lesbiana como jueza del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico ha creado un gran “revolú” entre quienes ven un “paso de equidad” en la decisión y quienes consideran que es una “falta de respeto” al pueblo. Muchos  se sintieron ofendidos cuando ella dijo en la ceremonia de su nombramiento: “A mi pareja Gina, gracias…Sin ti yo no estaría aquí”. Maite Oronoz  tiene 38 años, posee una maestría en leyes de la Universidad de Columbia y fue directora de Asuntos Legales del municipio de San Juan. Los que se oponen al nombramiento son principalmente las iglesias evangélicas.El arzobispo de Cantórbery, Justin Welby, ha viajado a Nigeria para expresar su dolor por los recientes eventos que afectan la vida del país africano especialmente  los bombardeos en la ciudad de Jos y el secuestro de casi 300 jovencitas hace dos meses. El arzobispo visitó al presidente Goodluck Jonathan en Abuja para ofrecerle su condolencia personalmente. El primado de Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, el presidente  y el arzobispo oraron juntos. Welby dijo que entendía la situación de Nigeria porque  la catedral de Coventry en Inglaterra fue destruida durante la II Guerra Mundial.El proceso de la regularización de haitianos indocumentados en Higüey en la República Dominicana ha sido suspendido temporalmente por los desórdenes causados por las personas que pretendían entrar por la fuerza al recinto gubernamental sin respetar su turno. “Golpes y empujones estaban a la orden del día”, dijo un testigo. El orden fue restablecido por la presencia de Grisane Almonte Willman, consultor jurídico del consulado de Haití.  La próxima vez mujeres en cinta y niños tendrán prioridad, dijo. En la República Dominicana hay 524,632 inmigrantes, de los cuales 458,233 son haitianos.En varias partes de Europa y Estados Unidos se ha celebrado el 70 aniversario del “Día D”, (6 de junio) la fecha en que las tropas aliadas  realizaron un gran desembarco en las playas de Normandía en Francia que dio comienzo al triunfo aliado. El desembarco se considera una de las más grandes acciones bélicas de todos los tiempos. Dice un historiador que el número de bajas fue pequeño si se le compara con el total de participantes. El número de embarcaciones se cuenta en 5,000.En España está previsto que la proclamación del nuevo rey tendrá lugar el 19 de junio. Quizás siguiendo el ejemplo del papa Francisco, el rey Juan Carlos y la reina Sofía no usarán ningún título honorífico a que tienen derecho. El príncipe Felipe hará lo mismo según información del Palacio de la Zarzuela. En su proclamación no habrá invitados extranjeros ni ningún servicio religioso. El nuevo rey asumirá el título de “capitán general de los Ejércitos de España”. Se anticipa que habrá protestas en contra del nuevo rey. En España abundan los anarquistas, dice un comentarista. Un portavoz de La Zarzuela dijo que este momento no debe considerarse como “una nueva etapa” como ocurrió con el rey Juan Carlos pues en aquella época se pasó de una dictadura a la democracia.El opositor venezolano Leopoldo López ha sido sometido a un riguroso interrogatorio que ha durado más de tres días. La jueza Adriana López que lo interrogó considera que los delitos que se le imputan son muy serios pero hasta el momento no ha presentado prueba alguna. Los llamados delitos son: asociación para delinquir, incendio, instigación pública a delinquir y daños a la propiedad con motivo de las protestas. La jueza no dejó a Leopoldo hablar con su esposa Lilian Tintori que estuvo sentada en un banquito oscuro en uno de los  pasillos. La jueza ha citado a la diputada María Corina Machado a presentarse para rendir declaraciones. Ella y sus seguidores piden la renuncia de Maduro y prontas elecciones.Un encuentro ecuménico tuvo lugar el día de Pentecostés en la Iglesia Episcopal Poderoso Salvador de Vigo, España. En el evento participaron el obispo Carlos López de la Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal y el obispo Luis Quinteiro de la diócesis católica romana de Tui-Vigo. Paso a paso se llega lejos.VERDAD. Señor, que todos seamos uno para que el mundo crea. Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Press Release Service Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Shreveport, LA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Por Onell A. SotoPosted Jun 11, 2014 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 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 Rector Martinsville, VA center_img Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT 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 Submit a Press Release Submit a Job Listing Rector Tampa, FL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Collierville, TN Rector Albany, NY Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Knoxville, TN Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Belleville, IL Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Hopkinsville, KY Youth Minister Lorton, VA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Washington, DC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Smithfield, NC Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 last_img read more