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John Barclay – Glasgow and Scotland

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Max EvansSimon Webster John Barclay during trainingRugby World headed north into Warrior territory to catch up with John ‘JB’ Barclay to chat about getting lost all the time, his pre-match routine, and having a short attention span when it comes to learning to play the guitar. RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the Glasgow and Scotland squads?JOHN BARCLAY: Let’s think, the jokers at Glasgow… probably Johnnie Beattie and myself. We maybe joke around when we shouldn’t, but we try to keep it semi-serious most of the time. With Scotland, Mike Blair. He’s not a prankster but he likes winding people up. He does it a lot behind the scenes.RW: Do you have a pre-match routine? Any superstitions?JB: I always go for a coffee and a crossword with Graeme Morrison. Most of our games kick off at 7.30pm so there’s tons of time to kill. I also put my left boot on first, but I think that’s more out of habit than superstition.RW: So do you always manage to finish the crossword?JB: For this, I’ll say yes! There are quite a few guys who enjoy a crossword at Glasgow. We just do ones in the papers.RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or heard on the pitch?JB: In one Glasgow game against Munster when Ally Kellock was captain, he and Ronan O’Gara got into a scuffle and the referee called them both over. “You’re both well-known players,” he said. “Try to calm down.” O’Gara then interrupted and said, “Hang on, I don’t know who this joker is.” I’m not sure Al felt too good for a while after that.RW: What are your bugbears?JB: Bad directions – and getting lost in general. My girlfriend is very laid-back and we tend to get lost on a pretty regular basis. That’s frustrating. The worst place I’ve got lost is France, but that’s when I was a kid with my family.Will Ferrell, Stupid purchases, and Life outside rugby…RW: Do you have any phobias?JB: I hate spiders, anything that creeps around on the floor. I’m too scared to ever kill a spider and I can’t pick them up if they’re not dead – it creeps me out.RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?JB: It would have to be to fly.RW: Who would you like to be trapped in a lift with?JB: Probably Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughan, Owen Wilson – those sorts of people. They’d keep you entertained.RW: What couldn’t you live without? JB: TV! I watch it a lot. I like the cooking channel on Sky. I watch that quite a bit.RW: If a film was made of your life, who would play you?JB: Will Ferrell. He’s a funny man. I’m not, but he can add it to my personality!RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?JB: My first cap, I’ve got my first strip framed with it as well. I’ve just got a black Labrador called Inca so I’ll save the dog, too. And my computer because it’s got all my photos on it, everything from holidays and school.RW: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever bought?JB: Probably my TV. I’ve got a 42in, £1,000 TV, which was about my monthly salary when I bought it. I’ve still got it, but the same TVs are now about £400 so I should have just waited.RW: Who’s your ideal woman?JB: Apart from my girlfriend, Megan Fox.RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?JB: I’d like to get good at the guitar. I’ve had it for about two years but tend to pick it up for a couple of months, stop, then pick it up for another couple of months. So I’m always in the same place and then give up. I get frustrated because I’m not absolutely amazing.RW: How would you like to be remembered?JB: Probably as someone who would laugh at anything.Check out his profile for ScotlandCheck out his Twitter Page Learn more about Johns’ teammates at Scotland…Nathan Hines TAGS: Glasgow Warriors last_img read more

Ospreys team gunning for five-point victory

first_imgDan Biggar requires two points to become only the second Ospreys player to reach 500 in the Magners League The following players were not considered because of injury:Jonathan Spratt – ACLMorgan Allen – AnkleTom Prydie – ACLJamie Nutbrown – ShoulderCraig Cross – HamstringBen John – WristShane Williams – KneeCraig Mitchell – ShoulderBen Thomas – KneeRichard Kelly – Lower legLee Byrne – Knee The Ospreys starting XV:15 Richard Fussell14 Tommy Bowe13 Andrew Bishop12 James Hook11 Nikki Walker10 Dan Biggar9 Rhys Webb1 Paul James2 Richard Hibbard3 Adam Jones4 Ryan Jones5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)6 Justin Tipuric7 Marty Holah8 Jonathan Thomas Replacements:16 Huw Bennett17 Ryan Bevington18 Duncan Jones19 Ian Gough20 Tom Smith21 Tom Isaacs22 Ashley Beck23 Sonny Parker Dan Biggar – can hit the magic 500?The Ospreys will be gunning for nothing less that a five-point win against Aironi and have picked a strong team for the trip to Italy. It does not include Mike Phillips, but does include Dan Biggar, who requires two points to become only the second Ospreys player to reach 500 in the Magners League.Head Coach, Sean Holley, commented: “It’s gone down to the wire and we are left in a position where we have to go out and give everything on Friday night and hopefully, get our reward. It’s important that we concentrate on ourselves, that the boys know their roles and responsibilities, that they carry them out to the best of their abilities and we don’t allow ourselves to get distracted by what may be happening elsewhere.“It’s not going to be an easy 80 minutes, they are a very tough nut to crack. Look at their results at home this season and you’ve seen that they’ve given some very good teams a close call. Add into the mix that Rowland will, I’m sure, want to take our scalp, and you’ll see that we have to be professional and do a job.“I expect to see champion spirit, and a champion’s performance from us. Nothing less than that will be good enough.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS CARDIFF, WALES – DECEMBER 31: Ospreys player Dan Biggar makes a point during the Magners League match between Cardiff Blues and Ospreys at Cardiff City Stadium on December 31, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)last_img read more

Life and times of Stephen Ferris

first_img Tempers flare between James Haskell (2nd R) and Stephen Ferris during the Six NationsName: Stephen FerrisPosition: Back-rowAge: 25 (2 Aug 1985)Born: Portadown, Co ArmaghI’d encourage anyone who’s a late starter in rugby to believe they can make it. I didn’t pick up a rugby ball regularly until my mid-teens as I was more interested in playing football. Javelin was another sport that I enjoyed. I threw for Ulster Schools and it’s something I might have continued with before rugby came along.It’s never too late to start playing the game, although I’d acknowledge I’ve been lucky over the years, getting a few good breaks. John Hayes and Tom Court are other good examples of Test players who didn’t start rugby until pretty late.I didn’t play for the first time until I was 11 or 12, when I went to the Friends School in Lisburn. In those early days I’d go to practice two or three times a month, and I didn’t take it too seriously until my final year when I made the first team.I’ve always played in the back row. At school and in my early years with Ulster it was at No 8. I loved it as it allowed me to get my hands on the ball more.I believe I can play anywhere across the back row. In my first season at Ulster I started at No 8 alongside Roger Wilson and Neil Best in a pretty big back row! I’ve also featured at openside as well as blindside.The turning point for me was being spotted by Allen Clarke. The call was out of the blue, and it allowed me to join the Ulster Academy when I left school. But I never dreamt it would lead to me becoming a professional sportsman. Without Allen’s intervention I might not have carried on with the game.I picked up things pretty quickly training with the Ulster Academy. I joined Portadown too and spent a few years there. We had cracking teams and won a lot of trophies, so I’ve great memories of playing there. I also spent a season and a half with Dungannon before moving into the Ulster side.Everyone looks to us because Ulster is the only fully professional sports side in Northern Ireland. That following gives us great inspiration and to see the number of supporters in Milton Keynes, when we took on Northampton in last month’s Heineken Cup quarter-final, was magnificent.It was heartbreaking for everyone involved to lose in the quarter-finals, but I think it shows the team is going places. We have the potential to get there again, and win this time.I genuinely believe we have the potential to go on to greater things. A few years ago we lost players like Tommy Bowe, Roger Wilson and Neil Best. Now Ulster are more ambitious and a number of high-quality players have joined. The core of the team going forward can be formed by players like myself, Paddy Wallace and Rory Best, who are staying around.World-class signings like Ruan Pienaar, Johann Muller and Pedrie Wannenburg have also joined. David Humphreys (Ulster’s operations director) has done a fantastic job of bringing them here. Everyone is settling in nicely and we need to add to that now.A real buzz is in the air around Ravenhill at the moment. All the players buy into the atmosphere at the club and I believe it has a great add-on effect to rugby.Ulster has become a team that people want to play for. Everyone enjoys their time in Belfast. It’s a great city in which to live and to bring up a family.I was lucky enough to be part of an Ulster team that won the Magners League in 2006 through the straight league system, but the play-offs have added something to the end of the season and supporters seem to really like them.Exciting is how I’d describe the new format. Munster’s great start means they’re running away with the regular season, but there’s still everything to play for behind them with the prospect of two massive occasions in May.Did you know? Ferris’s role model growing up was All Black Jerry Collins. “He was my inspiration and I’ve tried to base my game around the way he used to play,” he says. “I don’t think you would play rugby if you didn’t enjoy smashing people.”This article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Tempers flare between England’s Flanker James Haskell (2nd R) and Ireland’s Flanker Stephen Ferris (R) during the RBS Six Nations International rugby union match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium in south-west London on February 27, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Glyn Kirk (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images) Or perhaps you’d like a digital version of the magazine delivered direct to your PC, MAC or Ipad? If so click here.For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visitlast_img read more

Saints & Sinners: Rugby’s weekend talking points

first_img We cast our eye back over the last few days to bring you the saints and the sinners from an action-packed weekend of rugby…The SaintsClub classTheir unorthodox, out-of-the-box thinking rubs some people up the wrong way, but you have to take your hats off to Saracens for bringing 83,889 people to Wembley Stadium to watch Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash against Harlequins. It set a new World Record for a club game and while many of those fans took advantage of special offers and promotions to get in at seriously bargain prices, Sarries still had to persuade them to make the journey to Wembley and pay for transport, lunch etc.It’s a fair bet that a big proportion of those spectators won’t have seen a live rugby match before – let’s hope the seven tries in the 39-17 win for Saracens will persuade some of them to become regular rugby fans.Flying FijianAisea Natoga scored a hat-trick of tries to secure the Ospreys a 34-9 bonus-point victory over Cardiff Blues and keep them firmly in the hunt for a RaboDirect PRO12 play-off place.The Fiji wing scored after 16 and 29 minutes, helping the Ospreys to go into the break with a 17-9 lead, then he crossed for his third with ten minutes to go.Ashley Beck and Rhys Webb were the Ospreys other try-scorers and Dan Biggar kicked nine points.Credit to the coach: Ben Ryan is doing a great jobEnglishman abroadWhat seemed like a dream job – head coach of Fiji Sevens – turned into something of a nightmare for Ben Ryan when he moved to the Pacific island last September, as the Fiji Rugby Union’s financial problems meant they were unable to pay him for the first few months. However, the former England Sevens coach stuck with it and the FRU chief executive Berlin Kafoa was grateful for that saying: “We as a nation should applaud a foreign individual who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the love of rugby in Fiji.”Now, things are looking rosier for Ryan after Fiji beat South Africa 33-26 in the final of the Tokyo Sevens at the weekend, to set themselves up perfectly to defend their Hong Kong Sevens title next weekend. Going into Hong Kong, Fiji sit third in the HSBC Sevens World Series on 95 points, behind South Africa (116) and New Zealand (114).Ryan is pleased with the work his squad are putting in and says: “When they want to turn up and they want to turn it on they are pretty hard to stop.”Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau acknowledges the impact Ryan has made, saying: “There are changes he has brought about, but good changes and positive changes for Fiji.”Rose to the occasionMelrose are the new Scottish club champions after winning the RBS Premiership title on the last day of the season. They and Gala were in contention for top spot and Gala missed out when they lost 34-33 to Ayr, conceding a try deep in stoppage time. TAGS: Cardiff BluesGloucesterHarlequinsHighlight Melrose made no such mistake and beat Currie 26-10 thanks to tries from scrum-half Bruce Colvine and new Edinburgh signing Damien Hoyland, plus four penalties and two conversions from centre Joe Helps.The SinnersA case of the BluesCardiff Blues are in a poor state. Lying tenth in the RaboDirect Pro 12 table, with just four wins out of 17, their bad form has already cost Phil Davies his job this spring and they are showing no signs of turning the corner.On Friday they had a big Welsh derby against the Ospreys to get up for, but instead of giving it all they’d got at the Liberty Stadium, they limped tamely to a 34-9 defeat. They put little or no pressure on the Ospreys when they were in possession, jogging from play to play instead of closing them down. There were too many individually poor performances and no collective passion at all.On BBC’s Scrum V former Wales skipper Gwyn Jones said the Blues “went down like lambs – they were brushed aside,” while their caretaker coach Paul John said: “We have got to get pride and passion in how we play, value possession more and give the supporters something to cheer.”Bemused: Davies and Mike TindallUnfinished businessGloucester are enduring a disappointing season so their fans were enjoying an all-too-rare display of excellence from their team as they built up a 37-7 lead over Newcastle Falcons with five tries. Then, someone flicked the off switch in the Gloucester players’ minds and they proceeded to concede four tries in the final quarter to allow Newcastle to make it 40-33 at the final whistle.Gloucester boss Nigel Davies was less than impressed, saying the loss of control in the closing stages had taken all the shine off a welcome bonus-point victory.“It’s bizarre really. We had all the momentum, all the game for 65 minutes and played some great rugby and then just fell off the side of a cliff,” said Davies. “Our discipline was poor in that part of the game and the whole momentum of the game swung and we weren’t able to stop it.“That game was a microcosm of our season – we have played some great stuff and some really dreadful stuff. The last 15 minutes was unacceptable.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Disaster passThe Saracens v Harlequins match was still anybody’s game, with Sarries ahead 20-10 as half-time approached. Harlequins repelled one Saracens’ attack, thanks to great work from Ollie Lindsay-Hague and were all set to clear their lines, when fly-half Nick Evans decided to fling a long pass across the face of his own goal posts, missing out three of his team-mates. Owen Farrell read the path of the ball and raced through the Quins back line, grabbing the ball on his way and dotting it down under the posts. Thanks to former All Black Evans’s rush of blood, Harlequins trailed 27-10 at the break and Saracens weren’t going to give up that lead.Harlequins and England full-back Mike Brown, not playing on Saturday, Tweeted: “We really need to stop throwing big, long passes.” Evans probably agrees, with hindsight. Wonderful Wembley: Saracens and Quins played in front of a world record crowd at Wembley Stadium The Six Nations is over for another year, but it’s been a weekend full of incident as the domestic season reaches the sharp-endlast_img read more

Nonu set for landmark 100th Test cap

first_imgRoberts recalls his encounters with Nonu as some of the most challenging of his career. “When I was growing up, Ma’a Nonu was one of those players, who at 23 or 24, was scary. In international rugby it’s all about winning collisions and getting on the front foot, which is what he gave New Zealand in his first 30 or 40 caps. It was about giving him space, putting him on inside shoulders.“You know you have to be at the top of your game when you play Ma’a because he’s so abrasive. I remember swapping jerseys with him in 2008 when we had the haka stand-off with the All Blacks, which was a big moment for me.”Nonu with team-mates Jerome Kaino and Joe Rokocoko after defeating Wales in 2008 (Photo: Getty Images)Being recognised as one of the world’s best centres has not come without tremendous hard work and dedication, something that Nonu has shown since the early days of his career.When he first burst on to the scene, Nonu would regularly make crowds wince with his cataclysmic runs into the opposition defence and mammoth collisions in midfield, so it wasn’t long before he turned the heads of the All Blacks’ coaching team.However, to fulfil his dream of becoming an All Black great, it was clear that Nonu had to add to his skill-set if he wanted to play alongside the likes of Tana Umaga, Aaron Mauger and Dan Carter in the All Blacks’ back-line.He worked hard on improving his skills, and a stint playing sevens rugby was one of the best career moves that Nonu ever made.Nonu returned to the 15-a-side game as a much more complete player, equipped with a pinpoint pass and the capability of putting boot to ball when needed.His versatility has seen Nonu become one of the most consistent All Blacks of the last decade, and he has been a vital cog in some of New Zealand’s best achievements, including the 2011 World Cup triumph.His All Black days will soon be at an end after he signed a two-year deal with French team Toulon, which will begin following this year’s World Cup. Ma’a Nonu is set to join the ranks of some of the finest rugby players ever when he makes his 100th Test appearance for New Zealand against Tonga on Friday evening.The dreadlocked midfield predator will become only the sixth New Zealander to achieve the landmark, following Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Dan Carter and Mils Muliaina.Nonu is also only the fourth out-and-out centre to become a Test-match centurion. He joins Brian O’Driscoll, Jean de Villiers and Philippe Sella, all of whom require no introduction.For a player who was on the brink of changing codes to rugby league in 2007, 33-year-old Nonu has made his way into the All Blacks history books through merit alone.From infamously donning eye-liner for a spell in 2004, and tackling a streaker to the ground while playing for Wellington, Nonu has certainly made himself known to the rugby world in more ways than one.At just 21-years-old, he made his international debut for New Zealand in June 2003, starting in the centre in a famous 15-13 defeat by England.Nonu running at Jonny Wilkinson on his New Zealand debut against England in 2003 (Photo: Getty Images)However, even though his first run-out for the All Blacks ended in disappointment, the taste of losing is one that has become alien to Nonu.The All Blacks have only lost on ten occasions when Nonu has featured, giving him a phenomenal win ratio of 89%. The only Test centurion that can trump that statistic is Nonu’s long-term team-mate and captain Richie McCaw.With an enormous arsenal of skills in his locker, Nonu is an assassin in the All Blacks midfield.He is a rugby player of diversity. Nonu cannot be defined as a midfield powerhouse only, or just a creative mind in the middle of the park, because within five minutes he will demonstrate his ability to do both.He can bulldoze his way through defenders like crash-test dummies with an iron-like hand-off, then minutes later leave them looking like they have two left feet as he neatly dances around them.Welsh centre Jamie Roberts is someone who has faced off against Nonu enough times to be fully aware of his talents, and has listed him as one of the top five centres in world rugby. By David MarshAs Ma’a Nonu prepares to make his 100th Test appearance for New Zealand, we look back at his development into one of the greatest centres of the modern era LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Nonu is set to win his 100th cap when he lines up for New Zealand against Tonga (Photo: Getty Images) What better way to bow out of international rugby for the All Black great than to lift the Webb Ellis Cup once again.last_img read more

Uncovered: The highs and lows of Nicky Robinson

first_imgAfter a well-travelled career where he has plied his trade in the Pro12, Top14 and Aviva Premiership, Nicky Robinson chats about a 15-year stint at No 10 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS After establishing himself as a gifted playmaker at Cardiff Blues and winning 13 Wales caps, fly-half Nicky Robinson headed to England and then France to ply his trade. He turned out for Gloucester, Wasps, Bristol and Oyonnax before retiring last summer, but dusted off his boots to return to his boyhood club on a short-term basis this season.Here he talks to RW about Kenny Dalglish, racehorses and avoiding Lesley Vainikolo on a night out…I was more of a footballer as a kid. I played on the left wing and had a bit of pace. My parents were sporty and I also played some county cricket. I loved any sport.Growing up as a kid in Cardiff, I looked up to Mikey Rayer. He was a Cardiff (rugby) legend and helped me out at the start of my career. The other was Neil Jenkins. He was the main man with Wales and a brilliant kicker.After hanging up my boots last summer, I never expected to be coming out of retirement. To end up back at Cardiff Blues was a total bolt from the blue. I knew (coach) Danny Wilson from our time at Bristol and we get on well, so I enjoyed every game.Early days: Nicky Robinson is all smiles after a Test against ArgentinaNo player looks back and thinks, ‘I’ve had enough Test caps’. That’s part of my career I wish I’d made more of. On the flip side, I played more than most young Welsh kids.Playing with my brother Jamie for Wales was a highlight of my career. With all the injuries that occurred between us, I felt lucky to be able to do that on two occasions.I made friends for life at Gloucester. I had an amazing time. It was a wrench to leave Cardiff when they were going well but I’d always wanted to play outside Wales. In our second year we won the LV= Cup and finished third in the Premiership. You can’t complain about that.Lesley Vainikolo was quite a character. If he managed to stay in a nightclub all night without getting chucked out, he’d be doing well. He was so generous and would buy 50 drinks for everyone at the bar, but if you wanted a quiet night out with your girlfriend, it was best to avoid ‘Big Les’.Once a Wasp: Nicky Robinson enjoyed his time at WaspsI’m pleased but also jealous of Wasps’ success. When I was there, there were some hard times but I’m chuffed for players like Christian Wade, Joe Simpson, Elliot Daly and Joe Launchbury. They’ve been loyal and tasted success. It’s a special club.At Wasps I was part of the ‘boys at the back of the bus’ gang. Myself, James Haskell, Chris Bell, Richard Birkett and Tim Payne would watch the youngsters on their iPhones and say, “What’s happened to the chat and banter?” Payney would always be having a slurp on the bus; he was proper old school. TAGS: Highlight center_img I got into horses when I was living in Cheltenham. I just wanted to have a bit of fun and learn a bit more about racing, and I thought the best way was to buy a horse. Myself, Sinbad (James Simpson-Daniel) and Tinds (Mike Tindall) said we’d chip in together and we lucked out.We never expected Monbeg Dude to win the Welsh National. He didn’t cost much, started slowly but really kicked on. Some of the memories I had with Dude I’ll never forget, like coming third in the Grand National (in 2015). It is up there as one of my best sporting memories.Monbeg memories: Nicky Robinson celebrates a very special raceI was a Liverpool fan as a kid, which helped when I ended up with Kenny Dalglish as my father-in-law. My favourite player was John Barnes because he was a left-winger, but I’m not a die-hard like Nugget (Martyn Williams).I love my golf. I play with Kenny but he’s a lot better than me and takes great pleasure in letting me know that fact. Everywhere you go Kenny is admired.I have two boys; Taylor and Archie. They keep me busy and I was lucky I had Archie last summer when I wasn’t doing a pre-season. For once, I was around to help out!The English-speaking boys stuck together in Oyonnax. There was Eamonn Sheridan from Munster and prop Stan Wright, a Kiwi who’d played at Leinster. Lastly, there was big George Robson from Harlequins.Spotting the gap: Nicky Robinson makes a break for Gloucester against SaracensThe passion they have for club rugby in Oyonnax is incredible. When Oyo beat Bordeaux in our first home match, I’d never experienced such an atmosphere. It was so important for the town to be in the Top 14. There was no football there so our results meant everything. Post-rugby, I’ve enjoyed doing some media. I’ve been able to do my research and doing live TV, you also get a bit of a buzz. I’ve played in the Top 14, Premiership and Pro12, so I’ve been about. I want to improve so I’ll speak to producers after the match for feedback. Now I listen to all sports differently, trying to pick up tips.Who knows what I’ll do in the long term? I’d like to be a kicking coach but I have a few things in the pipeline. We’ll have to see. nlast_img read more

Social Media Reacts to Bryan Habana Retirement

first_imgHabana was one of the greatest wingers ever and had an illustrious career. Well played, Bryan Habana.For more news and features on rugby, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bryan Habana celebrates after winning a Super Rugby title with the Bulls (Getty Images) Legendary innings my mate, I watched a young boy become a South Africa icon. Congrats brother and good luck!!! What an incredible ambassador you have been for SA, oh yes and thanks for scoring all those tries!!!— John Smit (@JohnSmit123) April 24, 2018 As did this Toulon supporters’ account: After the news spread, social media flocked to praise the winger, as did many of his contemporaries.The official South African Rugby account tweeted: See how social media reacted when Springbok icon Bryan Habana recently retired from rugby LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Best wishes for your future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/faoDu67tEu— #RugbyToulon (@rugbytoulon_) April 24, 2018Referee Nigel Owens was quick to congratulate Habana on Twitter: @BryanHabanaThanks for the memories, moments & milestones.For all you gave to & Toulon. Social Media Reacts to Bryan Habana RetirementJust a few weeks after the retirement of Irish rugby legend Jamie Heaslip, another icon of the game, Bryan Habana, has decided to hang up his boots too.A World Cup and IRB Player of the Year winner in 2007 with South Africa, Habana has been one of the game’s most elusive and fastest wingers. Once he even famously raced a cheetah!He made his Springboks debut back in November 2004 against England and went on to play 124 times for his country, his last cap coming in November 2016 against Italy. He has also scored 67 Test tries – a total bettered in international rugby only by Japan wing Daisuke Ohata, who scored 69 – and he is tied with Jonah Lomu for the most World Cup tries with 15.In 2009, he was also part of the South Africa side that defeated the Lions, while he has enjoyed immense success at club level too. He won two Super Rugby titles with the Bulls, in 2007 and 2009, as well as a Top 14 title and two European Cups with Toulon. the club he joined in 2013.The 34-year-old took to Instagram to announce his retirement: Come on my friend walk with me you can take of you rugby boots as well.I still have your back after rugby.I salute one of the best in the game and a lifetime friend well done on amazing career @BryanHabana ! LIVING LEGEND pic.twitter.com/oB20y4EPDa— Bakkies Botha (@BakkiesBotha4) April 24, 2018Even those who Habana tormented for years took the time to praise his career, such as the All Blacks: To one of our greatest rivals, we say congratulations for a stunning career. You will be missed by fans across the world. All the best for the next chapter @BryanHabana! #Legend #FlyingBryan pic.twitter.com/HFr77gzNYM— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) April 25, 2018 Congratulations on a brilliant career. Best wishes for the future. It was always a pleasure to referee you and always difficult to try and keep up with you .— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) April 25, 2018Former Springbok team-mates John Smit and Bakkies Botha thanked him for being so effective throughout his career:last_img read more

Six Nations Round Five Talking Points

first_imgFormer France scrum-half Fabien Galthié is apparently being lined up to come into the back-room team for the World Cup, as are a couple of others, but will that be enough, particularly if Brunel is still the head man?France have tended to perform well at World Cups but there is a growing possibility that the 2023 hosts will not make it out of their pool for the first time in 2019.Not such a helping hand for Italy…We’ve often seen post protectors help players score tries, touching down alongside the base as they know that counts as the line, but – as mentioned above – the opposite was true for Italy on Saturday.Tommaso Allan puts in a grubber behind the French defence, Marco Zanon chases hard, the ball bounces off the post and over his shoulder rather than into his arms. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It’s an interesting take from Jones given there are so many new faces in his squad compared to 2015, but if it is an issue that needs to be fixed, it needs to be fixed fast because pressure will only increase come the World Cup – and they don’t have a straightforward group with Argentina and France also in Pool C.Scotland need to deliver 80-minute performancesGregor Townsend endured an injury list longer than the proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement, so to come within a minute of ending the 23-year wait for a Calcutta Cup win at Twickenham was impressive.Bright spark: Finn Russell dives over for a try at Twickenham (Getty Images)It was a quite spectacular Test match between England and Scotland, one that would have drawn in even non-rugby fans such was its unpredictable nature. Yet what could have happened if the Scots had played from the first minute rather than the 40th?It was a similar story against Wales the week before, whereas against Ireland, the Scots did well in the first half and dropped off in the second.If Townsend’s team can start putting together 80-minute performances, opponents will find it hard to live with the pace and freneticism of their game – and they could be the surprise package at Japan 2019.Will France change their coach?But for a post deflection and a couple of knock-ons, Italy would have beaten France in Rome. Instead, the French squeaked a win.Fourth place in the table probably flatters this current France squad and the number of basic errors would embarrass a vets’ XV let alone an international side.It may sound ageist, but does 65-year-old Jacques Brunel have the ability to produce a game plan that can succeed in the modern game? It certainly doesn’t look like it at the moment. Dejected: Bundee Aki reacts during Ireland’s defeat by Wales in Cardiff (Getty Images) Did Ireland peak too early for the 2019 World Cup?It’s only four months since Ireland beat New Zealand in Dublin, yet so much has changed in that time.Back in November, a 16-9 victory over the All Blacks put Ireland firmly in the frame for the World Cup. Steve Hansen described the men in green as the best team in the world, Joe Schmidt was named World Rugby Coach of the Year and Johnny Sexton took the player gong.Talk didn’t just centre on Ireland going beyond the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time but of them being one of the favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.Now they almost look a shadow of their former selves. Beaten by England in round one and Wales in round five, they finished third in the Six Nations table that they had sat atop of 12 months previously.Busy man: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has work to do before the World Cup (Getty Images)One Irish journalist in Cardiff described Ireland’s performance in the 25-7 defeat by Wales as the worst of the Schmidt era.Yes, they have had a number of injuries to deal with throughout the campaign, but the way their clinical, controlled game has fractured will be a major worry for the back-room team. The creative, innovative set plays Schmidt is known for were also notable by their absence.As well as hitting upon the best tactical game plan for the World Cup, the coaches also need to rebuild confidence. Otherwise that wait for a semi-final will go on for Ireland. After all, they are likely to face either New Zealand or South Africa in the last eight.Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe wins over criticsGareth Anscombe could hardly be described as ‘Mr Popular’ since arriving in Wales in 2014.Listen to the teams being read out before a Test at the Principality Stadium and the cheers that follow his name are undoubtedly more muted than for others, particularly his fly-half rival Dan Biggar.In the England match, when Biggar replaced Anscombe, the applause for the new man reverberated around the stadium.He can kick it: Gareth Anscombe chips ahead to set up Hadleigh Parkes’s try (Getty Images)Yet in the Grand Slam decider he will surely have won over at least some of his critics. For a start there was the clever chip off the outside of his boot that delivered the ball into the grateful arms of Hadleigh Parkes for a try after just 70 seconds.Then there was his flawless contribution from the tee, slotting 20 points as Wales wrapped up the Grand Slam in style.The debate over who should play fly-half at the World Cup will go on – it will probably still be happening once the final whistle has blown at RWC 2019! – but Anscombe has shown his talents at Test level at ten and 15 in this Six Nations.England show mental frailty yet againEngland were 31-0 up against Scotland at Twickenham before needing to convert a try with the final play to scrape a 38-38 draw.Related: England and Scotland draw in closerIt’s not the first time England have blown a big lead and Eddie Jones believes the team’s mental frailties come from their early exit at the last World Cup.Mental block? Owen Farrell and his England team-mates look downbeat during the draw with Scotland (Getty Images)“Whenever you have a difficult tournament or difficult games, there’s always a lingering thought process there. Sometimes it takes you longer than you’d like to fix, but it is fixable,” said Jones.“It comes in when you get under pressure, a lot of pressure, and you can’t work out a way to get back to what you want to do.” After a Super Saturday that lived up to the billing, we reflect on the final goings-on in the 2019 championship Oh how things could have been different if that ball had fallen into his hands. Instead, it’s another wooden spoon for Italy.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

2019 Rugby World Cup: Australia 25-29 Wales

first_imgWales hold on for a narrow victory against the Wallabies in Tokyo LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Jump to it: Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes leaps for the ball ahead of his try (Getty Images) 2019 Rugby World Cup: Australia 25-29 WalesHead-to-headPlayed – 43Australia wins – 30Wales wins – 12Draws – 1Did You Know?23 is the most points Wales have scored in a half against Australia in 111 years and 29 is the most points Australia have ever conceded in a World Cup pool game.At 35 years and 185 days old, Adam Ashley-Cooper is now the oldest Rugby World Cup try-scorer for Australia.Alun Wyn Jones has become Wales’ all-time record caps holder by making his 130th Test appearance for Wales.Related: Rugby World Cup FixturesShowing their colours: The red and gold crowd in Tokyo (Getty Images)In a nutshellIt was breathless stuff at Tokyo Stadium in this decisive Pool D clash. Wales bossed the first half while Australia came back strongly in the second, just as they had against Fiji last weekend. Yet the men in red ultimately held on for an important win, which will also be a huge confidence boost given these opponents have so often scored late winners over the past decade.Wales had points on the board within 35 seconds thanks to a Dan Biggar drop-goal after his team won a quick turnover from the kick-off.And they dominated the first quarter. The only time Australia achieved any go-forward was when Samu Kerevi was on the ball and handling errors hurt them, whereas Wales controlled possession well and kept their discipline.Their first try came in the 13th minute when a Biggar cross-field kick was picked off by Hadleigh Parkes, who leapt above Marika Koroibete to touch down in the corner.Dive time: Adam Ashley-Cooper scores Australia’s first try (Getty Images)However, when Australia did get a chance in the Wales 22 they took it. Awarded a penalty after Josh Navidi was put under pressure at the back of the scrum, the Wallabies kicked for a lineout and Kerevi again made ground. When he was hauled down, they recycled, Bernard Foley kicked across for Adam Ashley-Cooper, who cut inside Biggar and Josh Adams for the try.They narrowed the gap to 8-10 when Foley slotted a penalty and Wales also lost Biggar, who went for an HIA after putting his head on the wrong side when making a try-saving tackle on Kerevi and didn’t return.Rhys Patchell’s arrival delivered more points, though, as he slotted two penalties, one from just inside the Australia half, before converting Gareth Davies’s intercept try just before the break.The Wallabies had scored whenever Wales conceded a penalty, but as they had given away only two in the first half, they held a strong 23-8 lead at the break. Could they keep their discipline in the second half? The short answer is no.Fly over: Dane Haylett-Petty dives to score a second-half try (Getty Images)They had already conceded twice as many penalties in the third quarter as they had in the entire first half and this allowed Australia to narrow the gap to just four points, despite Patchell extending the Welsh lead with an early drop-goal.Matt To’omua made a big difference when coming on early in the second half. Soon after, Dane Haylett-Petty went over after the Wallabies had pressurised the Welsh line and David Pocock provided the scoring pass.center_img Then came a series of penalties for Australia and they continually opted for the five-metre lineout followed by pick-and-goes when their maul was stopped. Eventually Michael Hooper touched down next to the post.Despite such an impressive first half, you felt it could go the way of so many of these Wales-Australia matches over the years, with the Wallabies taking the lead in the closing minutes and securing the victory.Yet Wales managed to regain some composure and, with To’omua and Patchell exchanging penalties, they retained that four-point advantage. Plenty of Welsh fans would have been biting their fingernails before the final whistle blew, but their side’s defence held out a late Australia onslaught to put Warren Gatland’s side in pole position in Pool D.Star manSamu Kerevi was a constant threat whenever he had the ball in hand and Matt To’omua certainly changed the dynamic of Australia’s attack when he arrived early in the second half – the Wallabies won that period 17-6.Interception: Gareth Davies breaks clear to score Wales’ second try (Getty Images)However, it was Gareth Davies who was at the heart of everything that Wales did well in the first half as they built a big lead that allowed them to hold on for the victory. He harried Australia attackers with his line speed in defence, delivered quick ball to his back-line and, of course, crossed for that interception try.Related: Rugby World Cup TV CoverageThe ReactionWales coach Warren Gatland: “It became a typical Wales-Australia clash, going down right to the wire. The players showed great composure and I think our bench made some real impact as well, so to win was very pleasing. It means the pool is in our own destiny.”Australia replacement Matt To’omua: “If we had played football for 90 minutes maybe (we could have won), we just gave them too much of a lead. Once we relaxed and started playing we really felt like we had them on the legs.”The TeamsAustralia: Dane Haylett-Petty; Adam Ashley-Cooper (Kurtley Beale 48), James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete; Bernard Foley (Matt To’omua 45), Will Genia (Nicholas White 53); Scott Sio (James Slipper 63), Tolu Latu (Jordan Uelese 66), Allan Alaalatoa (Sekope Kepu 63), Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold (Adam Coleman 63), David Pocock, Michael Hooper (captain), Isi Naisarani (Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 68).Tries: Ashley-Cooper 21, Haylett-Petty 47, Hooper 63. Cons: To’omua 2. Pens: Foley, To’omua.Related: Dane Haylett-Petty’s unique rugby journeyWales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes (Owen Watkin 70), Josh Adams; Dan Biggar (Rhys Patchell 28), Gareth Davies (Tomos Williams 70); Wyn Jones (Nicky Smith 49), Ken Owens (Elliot Dee 66), Tom Francis (Dillon Lewis 63), Jake Ball (Aaron Shingler 63), Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Aaron Wainwright (Ross Moriarty 49), Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi.Tries: Parkes 13, G Daves 38. Cons: Biggar, Patchell. Pens: Patchell 3. DG: Biggar, Patchell.Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Also make sure you know about the Groups, Warm-ups, Dates, Fixtures, Venues, TV Coverage, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Canada: Bishop calls Mississauga Declaration a ‘threat to stay’

first_imgCanada: Bishop calls Mississauga Declaration a ‘threat to stay’ Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Rector Martinsville, VA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Ethnic Ministries [Anglican Journal] At the May 24-27 meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald sought to clarify “misperceptions and misunderstandings” about the Mississauga Declaration. “We’re not threatening to leave,” MacDonald told members. “It is a threat to stay.“We want to work with all of you,” he added. “We’re at a unique place and time to work with you.”While some opposition was expected to the declaration — in which indigenous Anglicans express a long-standing desire for self-determination — it was still a painful shock to hear it coming from people “we always felt were supportive,” MacDonald told CoGS.The goal of The Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), which presented the Mississauga Declaration to CoGS last fall, is “to give spiritual birth to people,” he explained. It’s not about constructing new buildings, but about having “the freedom to go out and pursue these goals.” The Mississauga Declaration states that indigenous Anglicans must “act now to reaffirm our sovereign identity as the people of the Land and to revive, renew and reclaim the ministries in our communities.”The high rates of suicide, poverty, addiction and other “pastoral crisis” issues in indigenous Anglican communities can no longer be ignored, according to the ACIP report presented to CoGS. And while General Synod, in both 2007 and 2010, endorsed a self-determining ministry for indigenous Anglicans, the slow pace of implementation has been an ongoing source of frustration.There is an urgent need for ministry in indigenous communities, where the number of Anglicans is rapidly growing, said MacDonald. “So many people are interested but we have not been able to respond.” The number of indigenous clergy peaked in the 1930s but has been in decline since.While some have seen progress made by government and churches to address historical wrongs, MacDonald said indigenous Anglicans see disposession from their land, language and culture as “worse than it was 100 years ago.” Seeking spiritual authority doesn’t mean demanding jurisdiction, but respect and acknowledgment of indigenous culture, explained MacDonald. “We’re not asking that our elders be put in charge of dioceses but that they receive the same respect for their authority they get in our communities,” he said.Indigenous Anglicans have no desire to over-rule existing church boundaries but would like to see recognition and accommodation to its “mostly natural borders of traditional relationships to their territories,” said ACIP in its report. “We have known, from the beginning that we will need to establish a working relationship with every province, diocese and congregation. We are not claiming authority to act without consultation, we are claiming a vision that will need the cooperation of the whole church and cannot be approached by our present structures alone.”MacDonald sought the support of CoGS to help explain ACIP’s vision. “We need you to help us sell this to others,” he said.Felix Cote-Gaudreau, youth representative from the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, said he could identify with the experience of indigenous Anglicans since francophone Anglicans in his diocese (Quebec) are living the same reality. “We’re not asking to take over the diocese, just moral and spiritual support,” he said.Canon Gene Packwood (diocese of Calgary, province of Rupert’s Land) said there was “something prophetic and valuable” in what he was hearing from ACIP. While it’s hard to do away from the bricks and mortars and other institutional systems, “I think it’s something we have to learn,” he said.Bishop James Cowan, diocese of British Columbia, urged CoGS to ask, “How can we use what is springing up to re-imagine God’s church in this land?”The idea of becoming spiritual communities will be the focus of the Sacred Circle scheduled Aug. 5 to 12 in Pinawa, Man., said MacDonald.— Marites N. Sison is staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Anglican Communion, Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Albany, NY Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Press Release Service AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI 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 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Tags Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Director of Music Morristown, NJ The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Knoxville, TN Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Belleville, IL Submit an Event Listing Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Washington, DC Rector Bath, NC Rector Pittsburgh, PA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Collierville, TN 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 Youth Minister Lorton, VA 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 Smithfield, NC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs By Marites N. SisonPosted May 29, 2012 Submit a Press Release Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Submit a Job Listing Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Tampa, FL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC last_img read more