Month: June 2021

Henson to play for Wales again? Want a bet on it?

first_imgTo never play for Wales again – 8/11To participate in any reality television programme in 2011 – 5/1 2011 Rugby World CupTo play for Wales – 6/4To start for Wales – 7/4To score a try for Wales – 5/1 GAVIN HENSON may never play for Wales again according to Ladbrokes. The firm have opened a book on his future and make him 8/11 to never represent Wales at full international level again. It’s 6/4 he plays in this year’s World Cup in New Zealand and 7/4 he starts for Wales in the tournament.He’s 5/1 to score a try for Wales at the World Cup which is the same price that he appears in any reality TV programme this year.Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “It looks like Henson may have pulled on the red jersey for the last time. The odds now suggest that reality TV is just as likely a career path.”Ladbrokes latest bettingGavin Henson specials: LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS STOCKPORT, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Gavin Henson of Saracens looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Saracens at Edgeley Park on January 2, 2011 in Stockport, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)last_img read more

Wales 8 France 9 – The Verdict

first_imgYes, the red card cost Wales, but what is more disappointing is that they still should have won this match; they had the chance and the skills to overcome this French side but didn’t take them – and that is what will be more painful for the players. A proud and courageous performance it was, but also a huge missed opportunity.So can they recover to snatch third place in Friday’s play-off? And will be Warburton be free to play in that game? Big questions for Wales this week. Hard hitting: Sam Warburton tackles Vincent Clerc – and is then sent off LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS 2. KICKINGWales missed three penalties and a conversion, not to mention a couple of wayward drop-goal attempts, and given the minor margin of victory for France they should be kicking themselves (sorry, couldn’t help the pun!). Had Stephen Jones converted Mike Phillips’s try I doubt France would have come back – they offered nothing in attack and had come with a plan to solely capitalise on Welsh mistakes. More accuracy with the boot and they’d be playing for the Webb Ellis Cup.3. TACTICSAt times in this match I was transported back to France 2007 given the almost endless up-and-unders sent skyward by both teams. I know Wales’ kick-chase game is very good, but once down to 14 men they should have been playing for territory and kicking for the corners. It was not until the last quarter that Stephen Jones put in some raking kicks – one of which resulted in Mike Phillips’s try – and had they started playing for field position earlier who knows what might have happened. What a contrast: France celebrate as Wales look devastated at the final whistleBy Sarah Mockford, Rugby World Features Editor at Eden ParkSO CLOSE, but yet so far. Wales could and, more importantly, should be playing in a World Cup final next Sunday, despite the fact that they played three quarters of this match with 14 men. Instead, they missed out by an agonising point against a desperately poor French team and have to make do with the third-place play-off.As Wales coach Warren Gatland said afterwards, the courage and bravery his team showed to remain so competitive in this match when at such an obvious disadvantage is something to be immensely proud of – but the fact remains that they were the better team and had the opportunities to win this match.Let’s look at the main talking points.1. THE RED CARDHard hitting: Sam Warburton tackles Vincent Clerc – and is then sent offIt’s the 17th minute, Sam Warburton tackles Vincent Clerc, lifts him in the air and then lets go. Probably not the best move and it wasn’t a good tackle, but there was no intent or maliciousness to it, and he didn’t drive his head into the ground like a spear tackle, so a yellow card would have sufficed in my opinion. Instead Alain Rolland issued a straight red. At the very least I’d have preferred him to consult with the assistant referees rather than making such a rushed decision, particularly so early on in a game as big as a RWC semi-final.last_img read more

Diary of a new academy recruit in NZ – Part Three

first_imgScenic setting: Ken Murray with fellow Inside Running Academy player Matt Hall atop Mount Maunganui in NZBy Ken Murray, Rugby World competition winnerSINCE MY last blog on my stay at the Inside Running Academy, a huge amount of things have happened in a very short amount of time: finals, gym sessions, tough fitness, friends coming and going, and a lot of hard work. The past six weeks have absolutely flown by and I will be heading back to Ireland next week.Unfortunately for my Tauranga Sports Colts team, we came up short in the final against Mount Maunganui RFC. The final on 3 August at Baypark Stadium was a great experience and throughout a very tight game, we kept in touch with the Mount, but at 28 points apiece, a Mount intercept on our 10m line resulted in us being seven points down with five minutes to go. We couldn’t get past their defence and we had to settle for runners-up in the Colts Championship.Team spirit: the Colts share a few beers after the finalThe Premier and Senior B sides for Tauranga Sports both won their respective finals so it was a successful day for the club, but unfortunately the Colts couldn’t make it an unprecedented treble in the Baywide Competitions. My experience with Tauranga Sports has been an incredible one, though, and I am so grateful to them for hosting me as a player for them this season.The gym sessions in the Academy are always good spirited, but one session a few weeks back stood out as the best one I’ve ever had here. Dan Ward-Smith agreed, naming it the “Extinction Level Event”. It was a primer session before our semi-final game against Te Puke Sports and the guys were all amped up to hit some personal bests. But what happened in the gym that day was absolutely intense and we’ll never forget it. The effort that the lads were putting in was unreal and 22 PBs were set from only 11 lads, which shows the advantages of the strength and conditioning programme we all have assigned to us. The programme that’s set up by Nic Gill and Dan really gets the best out of us as athletes and players, and it’ll be a programme that I continue to use back home. Personally, I’ve come on massively in size and strength since I’ve been here. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The nature of the Academy is that a lot of people come and go based on seasons back home and other circumstances. The lads all bond and gel really quickly from living and training together 24/7. The friends I’ve made here are definitely friends I plan on keeping in touch with and visiting in the future.Game time: Murray and Jack Lloyd in action for ColtsSince the season is over for me here, the training schedule has been changed up with a lot of emphasis on conditioning and fitness. We play a lot of conditioned games, like drop touch, to keep both our skills up and maintain fitness levels. We also incorporate conditioning into our gym programmes on Wednesday and Friday. This should really help me going into the season with my university side, University College Dublin, back home.center_img There is representative rugby ongoing at the moment, with members of the Academy involved in three different rep sides: Bay of Plenty Development, Bay of Plenty U20 and Western Bay of Plenty U21. I am playing for the Western Bay Rep side tomorrow and hope to wrap up my playing time in New Zealand with a win. It’s unfortunate that I won’t be with the side for their whole campaign, but I hope we can get off to a good start with a win.After 12 weeks at the Academy, I think my game has come on massively in all aspects. The gym work really supplemented this and I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to come out to the greatest rugby-playing country in the world to live and train. A big thanks to everyone at Rugby World and Inside Running who gave me the chance to be a part of this, especially the man mountain himself, Dan Ward-Smith.last_img read more

Saints and Sinners: the weekend’s talking points

first_imgSpencer ‘s special daySaracens fans are raising a toast to 22-year-old scrum-half Ben Spencer who won the LV= Cup for them by kicking a penalty with the last kick of the game. Exeter Chiefs had just leveled the score in the final at 20-20 with a try from Max Bodily, converted by Gareth Steenson, but Saracens went back into Chiefs’ territory and when the penalty chance was given, Spencer was up to the task, despite the pressure. No, no Noa!France wing Noa Nakaitaci gave himself and all the French and Irish fans a horrible couple of minutes with a stupid piece of play at Twickenham on Saturday. He raced over for what should have been a simple, comfortable try, but ran on right to the dead-ball line, seemingly trying to get round Ben Youngs, and came within a whisker of stepping over the line before grounding the ball. In a match where every point really mattered, Nakaitaci looked sick with worry as the TMO and referee looked repeatedly at replays, trying to establish if the try was good. They finally judged that his foot which was over the line was still just in the air as he grounded the ball, and the wing was mightily relieved. On the break: Liam Williams made sure Wales hit top gear in Rome. (Photo: Inpho)Liam lights the touch-paperGeorge North took a chunk of the headlines with his 11-minute hat-trick against Italy but another Wales back caught my eye. Liam Williams ran a brilliant line to score the first try of the second half, taking Wales from 14-13 up to 21-13 then just two minutes later, on 50 minutes, he fielded a kick in his own half, made a break and put North through for the first part of his try treble.Suddenly Wales were 28-13 up with half an hour to go, the confidence came rushing into their systems while Italy‘s resolve drained away, and Wales scored five more tries and came within a whisker of taking the Six Nations crown. Captain fantasticAs Ireland kicked off at Murrayfield, they knew they needed to win by a 21-point margin to overtake Wales at the top of the table and they made a seven-point hole in that wall with just four minutes on the clock when Paul O’Connell, of all people, barged over the line for his first Test try since November 2006.The skipper became Ireland’s oldest try-scorer (35 years, 152 days), beating the record set in 1909 by 34-year-old Fred Gardiner, and O’Connell continued to lead his team from the front throughout.As well as his usual magnificent contribution at the lineouts, scrums, rucks and mauls, he made 14 carries – bettered only by Jamie Heaslip’s 15 in this game.Ireland coach Joe Schmidt paid tribute to O’Connell, saying: “In his 101st cap he was the guy he has been for the other 100 caps. He is a leader. He doesn’t know when to quit.” Double joy for IrelandIt wasn’t all about the men’s game this weekend, as the Women’s Six Nations ended in dramatic fashion when Ireland wrestled the trophy from the grasp of France on Sunday with a 73-3 victory over Scotland which took them to the title on points difference. Wing Alison Miller scored a hat-trick and Niamh Briggs kicked 23 points on the occasion of her 50th cap.England prop Rochelle Clark reached an even more notable personal landmark on Saturday as she won her 100th cap and became England’s joint most-capped player of all time. The 33-year-old Worcester player joined Amy Garnett on a century and has been playing for England since 2003.We did it! Ireland Women celebrate with Six Nations trophy after trouncing Scotland. (Photo: Inpho) Critical mistakeExeter’s replacement hooker Greg Bateman is the unfortunate soul who gave away the match-winning penalty at the very end of the LV= Cup final. Bateman came in from the side of a ruck inside the Chiefs’ half as Saracens went looking for a winning score, having seen Exeter equalise at 20-20 a couple of minutes earlier. Blazing a trail: Man of the Match Ben Youngs was superb. (Photo: Inpho)Youngs gives his allIn a team of players who were giving their absolute all to try to win the Six Nations by beating France by 26 points in the last game of the championship, England scrum-half Ben Youngs stood out from the crowd as he played like a man possessed.He spun through a tackle to score his first try after a sublime offload from George Ford, then a fantastic break from Youngs, starting in his own half, led to Anthony Watson’s try on the half-hour, taking England from 15-10 down to 17-15 up.Youngs wasn’t finished there. He dummied and broke from halfway and found Ford with a lovely pass on 46 minutes to give England a 34-22 lead and was a major threat throughout the game. When France drove Benjamin Kayser over the line in the 65th minute to make the score 48-35, a crestfallen Youngs was cursing, almost in despair. He certainly could not have done any more in England’s cause. On his way: James Haskell (left) heads for the sin-bin during the match against France. (Photo: Inpho)Haskell’s howlerJames Haskell landed himself in trouble when he tripped France fly-half Jules Plisson as they both converged on a loose ball at the back of a lineout. Referee Nigel Owens missed the incident initially, but the TMO didn’t and it was clear from the replays that Haskell lifted his leg to trip Plisson.Ten minutes in the sin-bin was the result. England were 16 points up when Haskell went to the bin and only 13 up when the period was over, as France scored two unconverted tries in his absence and England managed one converted try. Who knows if England might have won by a big enough margin to take the Six Nations title if they hadn’t had to manage with 14 men for ten minutes of the second half? LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The SaintsEurope’s finestStand up and take a bow all the players who threw caution to the wind in the final round of RBS Six Nations matches and served up the most entertaining, exciting and nail-biting weekend of rugby anyone in Europe can remember.With England, Ireland and Wales all trying to win the title by beating their rivals’ points difference, they concentrated more on attack than defence and the three games produced an astonishing 211 points between them.When the dust finally settled as the final whistle blew at Twickenham on Saturday evening, Ireland were champions with a points difference that was just six better than England‘s, while Wales finished third, just four more points behind.Is there any hope that this extraordinary day will encourage Europe’s Test players and coaches to put their heads up and play this kind of all-out attacking rugby more often? Wouldn’t that be a wonderful legacy for a great day.center_img The SinnersDoubters dumbfoundedAll the people who were moaning about the staggered kick-offs on the final day of the Six Nations must be feeling a little silly today. In case they hadn’t noticed, the tournament has finished with a Super Saturday like this since 2004, so why was it suddenly a problem this year? Why so much debate about whether or not it was fair this time? Could it be because England looked like the most likely side to benefit beforehand? Star turn: Joe Marchant spins round to score a crucial try for England U20s. (Photo: Inpho)Magnificent MarchantThe U20s Six Nations also reached an exciting climax on Friday evening as England and France met in a winner-takes-all clash to decide the title. The game was in the balance with England 12-11 up after 64 minutes, then their centre Joe Marchant produced an astonishing piece of individual skill to take England further ahead.Stu Townsend charged down a kick from France and Marchant collected the ball and somehow pivoted in the smallest of spaces in the left-hand corner and showed great balance and skill to touch down for a try.England went on to win 24-11 thanks in no small part to that spark of brilliance from the 18-year-old Harlequin, who is still at school. He looks like a special talent, which is why he is one of the Hotshots in the April edition of Rugby World magazine! It was a time for cool heads and patient defence for the Chiefs, but Bateman buckled under the pressure and Saracens won 23-20. Time to talk: Warren Gatland should have a word with Adam Jones. (Photo: Inpho)Pride before a callWales coach Warren Gatland thought he didn’t need Adam Jones anymore and stopped picking the veteran prop in his Test squads last year. Jones responded by announcing his international retirement when he failed to make the squad for this Six Nations. But now tighthead prop Samson Lee is recovering from a torn Achilles and may not be fit for the World Cup, it seems clear to everyone outside the Wales set-up that Jones is needed again.Gatland seems to think he can’t recall him because he has retired from international rugby, while Jones seems to be waiting for the coach to make the first move. It’s a stand-off which does not benefit either party and it is the pride of the two men which is stopping either one from picking up the phone. Jones needs to ask himself if he will live to regret not putting his hat back into the ring for one last World Cup, while Gatland needs to think honestly about whether Wales will be a stronger squad with Jones in that out. Champion tackle: Jamie Heaslip stops Stuart Hogg from scoring. (Photo: Inpho)Great job, JamieWas the Six Nations won for Ireland with a try-saving tackle rather than a piece of attacking play? There is certainly an argument for saying so as, with 75 minutes on the clock at Murrayfield, Ireland were 40-10 up and looked like making sure England had a tough task to beat their points difference.Then Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg made a break and seemed dead set to score a try in the right-hand corner, until Jamie Heaslip brought him crashing to the floor, knocking the ball out of his hands in the process. Heaslip’s tackle was a great example of a player giving his all right to the final whistle and, with Ireland only beating England on points difference by six in the end, that try-saving tackle proved critical. No shortage of fireworks: The 2015 Six Nations finished with a bang. (Photo: Inpho) Well, after a quiet and boring weekend of Six Nations and LV= Cup rugby, there’s not a lot to say really, is there? Or, should I say I don’t know where to start? Shame on youWhoever sent an offensive, homophobic Tweet to referee Nigel Owens after he had refereed the England v France game should be hanging their head in shame – and they could find themselves in trouble with the police.The Tweet, which criticised Owens for his part in a game which meant England went above Wales in the final Six Nations table and featured a homophobic insult, was sent from the account of Edryd James. However, within an hour James had apologised and said his phone had been stolen before the message was sent.Dyfed Powys Police launched an investigation after a complaint from several members of the public, and said: “The Tweet concerned has now been removed from the page. The investigation is at an early stage.”last_img read more

South Africa land on best team by chance

first_imgDe Allende was the pick of the South African centres in Super Rugby for the Stormers, and carried that form onto the Test stage.Kriel, meanwhile, impressed at full-back for the Bulls, and slotted in seamlessly at outside centre on the Test stage.While they looked very good together, the return of skipper de Villiers from injury posed a selection headache for Meyer, who first tried his captain and Kriel together against Japan.After one communication error played a key part in Ayumu Goromaru’s second-half try, Meyer paired up de Villiers and de Allende in the second game against Samoa, to great effect.Decisions: Heyneke Meyer is under pressure. Photo: Getty ImagesNow with de Villiers’ tournament over, the young duo will reunite, and could form the Springboks’ most potent midfield.Scotland would appear to be the unlucky victims of South Africa’s best team coming together more by luck than chance.Add in the recall for Willie le Roux, and this Springbok team could yet be the first team to lose a group game and become world champions. New breed: Damian de Allende will join Jessie Kriel in South Africa’s midfield LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Injuries are occurring at a far greater rate than the last World Cup but in the case of South Africa, they might have a silver lining.It was of course a terrible shame to see Jean de Villiers ruled out of the tournament with a broken jaw, calling time on a great international career and a desperately unlucky World Cup record.Returning home: De Villiers’ World Cup is over. Photo: Getty ImagesAnd the Boks have also lost their vice-captain Victor Matfield for Saturday’s crucial game against Scotland in Newcastle.However those absences mean that Heyneke Meyer has been forced to turn to two in-form combinations in the second row and the centres.Lood de Jager was a long shot to even make the World Cup after an injury-disrupted Super Rugby season, but with the Springbok second row options equally hard hit, he got his chance during the Rugby Championship.Arguably the Boks’ standout player during what was admittedly a below-par tournament for them, de Jager did enough to earn a spot as the third lock for the World Cup.On fire: Lood de Jager is in outstanding form. Photo: Getty ImagesWith Eben Etzebeth left on the bench for the opening game of the tournament against Japan, de Jager again shone, with one fantastic individual try and some powerful carrying.It seemed very harsh therefore, when he was dropped for the game against Samoa, even if Matfield and Etzebeth performed admirably.With Matfield now out, de Jager comes back in, and he and Etzebeth have the potential to challenge New Zealand for the best young lock pairing in the world.The Rugby Championship was also where the centre partnership of Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel got their first shot together.center_img South Africa have picked up some crucial injuries but may have stumbled across their best team as a result Springbok XV: Willie le Roux; JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez (c); Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis; Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager; Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen Reps: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Frans Malherbe, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willem Alberts, Ruan Pienaar, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfonteinlast_img read more

Five talking points from the World Cup semi-finals

first_img All-round abilityIn Cardiff a little over a week ago, New Zealand demonstrated just how lethal and creative their attacking game can be. They scored nine tries against France, offloads here, sidesteps there and Julian Savea simply bulldozing his way over the French defence! At Twickenham this weekend, it was the All Blacks’ defence and tactical kicking that was to the forefront against South Africa. The Springboks never looked close to breaking down the black wall and scoring a try while the range of kicks produced by Dan Carter & Co was impressive.Then look at Australia. Against England they ran the show, attacking from all over. Against Wales, their defence, particularly when down to 13 men, was the key. Against Argentina, they were clinical in attack and scrambled superbly in defence to deny the Pumas a try. Special mention must be made of Scott Fardy, the unsung workhorse in the Wallaby back row, and David Pocock, who won twice as many turnovers as any other player in that match.Kicking on: Dan Carter drops a goal against South Africa. Photo: Getty ImagesBoth the Wallabies and the All Blacks have shown the ability to win games in different ways, the possession of a Plan A, B and C. Wallaby coach Michael Cheika calls it showing “a different skin”; Steve Hansen says good games can look different. The question now is which style will come out on top on Saturday afternoon in the final? If they both show a little bit of everything, it should be a heck of a match and could go right down to the wire.It’s also worth saying that Argentina now have a more rounded game, their willingness to run the ball rather than relying on their forward power obvious throughout 2015 – they just weren’t as clinical as Australia in their semi-final. It’s a style they seem determined to stick with and it should reap rewards in the coming years – and maybe on Friday night against South Africa in the third-place play-off.Softly-softly approachLet’s preface this point by saying that player safety should be the priority in rugby. However, the sin-binning of Tomas Lavanini for a no-arms tackle on Israel Folau on Sunday afternoon should not have been deemed dangerous. It may have been a penalty but the yellow card was too much. Watch it in real time and there was little in it.Seeing yellow: Israel Folau is upended by Tomas Lavanini. Photo: Getty ImagesJuan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said afterwards that it’s simply the way Lavanini tackles while Scotland flanker Ally Strokosch tweeted: “No tip tackles, no chop tackles. Soon there’ll be no tackles. These idiots are ruining the game.”Doing it the hard way If Australia go on to win this World Cup, they will have beaten six of the world’s top ten teams – a quite incredible effort. They were drawn in the same pool as three of them – England, Fiji and Wales – and, as we’ve said before, World Rugby should make future pool draws later to ensure that situation doesn’t happen again.Standing firm: Australia celebrate a decisive penalty in their win over Wales. Photo: Getty ImagesThey have then overcome Scotland and Argentina in the knockout stages, with New Zealand the sixth hurdle they have to overcome. It’s the hardest route anyone’s ever had to take to the final and should they triumph, you could say they will be the most deserving of winners.The power of social mediaOn Saturday night, pockets of rugby fans gathered around their phones to look at a Vine clip of Richie McCaw colliding with Francois Louw during New Zealand’s win over South Africa. Had the All Blacks captain elbowed the Springbok? The following day’s papers ran stories about how rugby’s most-capped player could miss the World Cup final.No tension: Richie McCaw and Francois Louw at the end of the semi-final. Photo: Getty ImagesThen more clips emerged that suggested it was McCaw’s hip that had connected with Louw’s shoulder while South Africa’s doctor confirmed that the forehead cut that required 20 stretches had occurred during a lineout, not the ruck in question. Subsequently the citing officer confirmed there would be no further action. Quite amazing how one incident can snowball, grow arms and legs, purely because of social media. It created a story out of a non-story.The emotion of sportOne particular scene stood out at the end of Argentina-Australia. Mario Ledesma, Argentina’s most-capped hooker who is now in charge of Australia’s scrum, would clearly have had mixed emotions about this fixture and was magnanimous in victory. At the final whistle, he took the time to console his fellow countrymen and particularly those he once played alongside. Break man: Drew Mitchell sycthes through Argentina’s defence. Photo: Getty Images Good friends: Mario Ledesma and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe hug before the game. Photo: Getty ImagesThe most poignant moment of all came when he shared a lengthy hug with Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, a man who knows he will never have another chance to win a World Cup as a player and someone who emptied the tank in this encounter with the Wallabies. The two had also embraced before kick-off. They may have been on opposite sides but their sporting bond was unmistakable.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.center_img After New Zealand and Australia booked their places in the 2015 World Cup final, we reflect on the semi-final action LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Heyneke Meyer Returns to Elite Coaching

first_imgFormer Springboks coach Meyer will become head coach and director of sport at Stade Francais LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Only time will tell if he can be successful for the French side.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter. Tigers: Meyer was briefly the head coach for Leicester (Getty Images)He will be responsible for trying to overturn the clubs current poor run of form and clearly has all the support of Club President Hubert Patricot, and the owner of the team, Hans-Peter Wild.Patricot said: “With the support of Robert Mohr and the all the other coaches, Meyer will allow the club to accelerate its progress on the path of performance and excellence. On behalf of all the teams of Stade Français Paris, I welcome him.”Wild, owner of Stade Francias said: “The arrival of world-renowned coach Heyneke Meyer to head the Stade Français’ sports project confirms the ambition we have to be competitive in the Top 14 and on the European scene. I trust Heyneke to build a professional team. He has my full support for his plan of action.”center_img Heyneke Meyer Returns to Elite CoachingHeyneke Meyer is returning to elite rugby coaching with  Top 14 side Stade Francais.The former Springboks coach signed a two-year deal. He will become head coach and director of sport for a Stade outfit currently third from bottom of the table with only seven wins from 21 games.Meyer had been working as the managing director of a Hong-Kong based company, Carinat Sports, but it appears the lure of coaching at a high level again, was too tempting to ignore.He said: “It’s a great honour for me to join a club with such a rich heritage. The mission is ambitious and I know cannot do it alone, so I am very happy to team up with the players and all the important stakeholders of the club.”He brings huge experience and success to the role after coaching the South African national team from 2012 to 2015. He was also the Bulls coach from 2000-2007 where he won a Super Rugby title in 2007. Maeyer was also Leicester Tigers for the briefest of stints in season 2008-09. Back: Meyer will return to elite coaching with Stade Francais (Getty Images) last_img read more

2019 Rugby World Cup: Tonga 31-19 USA

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Expand USA Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide “We came out with the mindset that we played Tier One nations. We came with the mindset just to leave it all out there, leave no stones unturned. We did that today.”On his future: “I’ve hung up my boots as a player but I see myself coming back, hopefully as a coach. I want to keep giving back. There’s a calling for me to keep being a part of this team.”On kicking the final conversion: “I’ve never taken one before and I didn’t want to take it but they insisted. I certainly didn’t want to miss it because I’d have become an online meme.”Tonga coach Toutai Kefu: “All the effort that we put in over the last two months, I’m really proud of the boys, they deserved to finish off the tournament with a win.”On the team electing to take a scrum rather than kick at goal in the last minute: “I was thinking, ‘What idiot made that decision?’ But what do you do? I’ve aged about ten years in the last two months, so that’s nothing, I’m used to something like that.”Laying down the challenge: Tonga perform the Sipi Tau before the game at Hanazono Rugby StadiumOn captain Siale Piutau’s contribution over the years: “He’s been a great servant for his country. If you’re looking at what you want from a leader, he is what it represents. On and off the field he’s been fantastic, humble, respectful and all the guys will follow him.”On his team not receiving a single yellow card at the tournament: “We’ve ended up on the top as the most disciplined side. Who would have thought that coming into the tournament?”The reaction – USAUSA coach Gary Gold: “We spoke before the game about taking opportunities. We had a fantastic passage of play for 18 phases and we lose the ball and they run the length of the field and that was the game gone right there. So I’m bitterly disappointed. I thought the guys tried really, really hard today but it wasn’t to be.”Stars and stripes: USA fans were out in force, Eagles skipper Blaine Scully paying them tribute (Getty)On positives for the team: “The one thing I’m tremendously happy about is the fight the guys have shown. I don’t think anybody watching any of our games can turn around and say these players haven’t shown a huge amount of character. If you use that as a foundation to build a team on, you’ve got an opportunity to go places.“We’ve touched on defence and probably set-piece. We want to improve in every area but those are probably the two areas where we’ve shown we’re not yet able to go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.”On what hosting a Rugby World Cup would do for rugby in the USA: “The minute it was announced that Japan was going to get a World Cup the game has changed tremendously in this country. Just look at these amazing supporters and the people in the streets. This whole event has just been fantastic, the whole event has been amazing here in Japan and I think we would be able to do a very similar job and it would have the same effect on our game as well.”Nailed it: Cam Dolan wins a lineout for the Eagles but the day ended in disappointment (Getty Images)USA captain Blaine Scully: “We’re disappointed not to come away with the result. That’s our mentality, and our mindset is to stay in the game for the entire contest. We always do that.“It just seemed to be the case in this World Cup that we lacked execution deep inside in the 22 and it ended up hurting us down the other end. Just small margins but that’s Test-match rugby, that’s World Cup rugby.”On his Rugby World Cup 2019 experience: “It’s been a phenomenal experience. We’re all really grateful to the Japanese people for being such wonderful hosts. We want to say thank you to all our friends, families and supporters who made the trip out here. We’re really grateful. Thank you so much.”Related: Rugby World Cup TV Coverage Tonga pick up their first win of Japan 2019 while USA are left empty-handed again Oops @Nigelrefowens gets caught off guard by an on-pitch camera #RWC2019 #ITVRugby #USAvTON— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) October 13, 2019USA were left forlorn again but they contributed immensely. Having struggled against the attacking waves in the first quarter, they struck back when Mike Te’o, only just on for the injured Blaine Scully, scored on 20 minutes after Cam Dolan’s offload, although he nearly failed to touch down before the dead-ball line.Five minutes later he was at it again, taking Will Hooley’s long pass to score in the same corner. Piutau was clearly flustered, arguing about a perceived knock-on with referee Nigel Owens. But USA’s 12-7 half-time lead was soon to evaporate.Colossus: Siale Piutau will be missed by Tonga (Getty)Star man – Siale PiutauTonga’s captain has played all 12 of his country’s matches across the last three World Cups and never fails to impress.He invariably makes the right calls, which often means trying to get Telusa Veainu on the ball, and he was able to mark his 43rd and final Test appearance with his sixth try.His decision to go for the bonus-point try at the end was one for the romantics and it paid off handsomely. Would he tempted to go back on his retirement decision if and when his brother Charles qualifies for Tonga? Only time will tell.The reaction – TongaTonga captain Siale Piutau: “We spoke all week about us deserving to play well and to finish on a high. This brought out the boys in the face of adversity and we’ve put in a performance and hopefully made our people proud. Rugby World Cup Groups Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. “It’s been a tough journey but all of this has been done in her memory”Tonga’s Siale Piutau dedicates his @Mastercard Player of the Match award to his late sister, who passed earlier this year.#StartSomethingPriceless #RWC2019 #POTM— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 13, 2019The TeamsUSA: Will Hooley; Blaine Scully (capt, Mike Te’o 19), Bryce Campbell, Paul Lasike, Marcel Brache; AJ MacGinty, Ruben de Haas (Nate Augspurger 65); Eric Fry (Olive Kilifi 18), Joe Taufete’e (James Hilterbrand 72), Titi Lamositele (Paul Mullen 45), Greg Peterson (Ben Landry 45), Nick Civetta, Tony Lamborn, Malon Al-Jiboori (Ben Pinkelman 65), Cam Dolan (Hanco Germishuys 51).Tries: Te’o 20, 25, Lamborn 77. Cons: MacGinty 2.Tonga: Telusa Veainu; ‘Atieli Pakalani, Malietoa Hingano, Siale Piutau (capt), Viliami Lolohea (David Halaifonua 48); James Faiva (Latiume Fosita 75), Sonatane Takulua (Leon Fukofuka 59); Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (Vunipola Fifita 65), Paula Ngauamo (Siua Maile 75), Siua Halanukonuka (Ma’afu Fia 44), Sam Lousi, Halaleva Fifita (Dan Faleafa 75), Sione Kalamafoni, Zane Kapeli (Nasi Manu 59), Maama Vaipulu.Tries: Fisi’ihoi 16, Hingano 57, Piutau 61, Veainu 80. Cons: Takulua 2, Faiva, Piutau. Pen: Takulua.RELATED RUGBY WORLD CUP CONTENT HE’S SCORED ON HIS BIRTHDAY! @BristolBears’ Siale Piutau bows out of international rugby with a try and just look at what it means to him #RWC2019 #ITVRugby #USAvTON— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) October 13, 2019The islanders always looked likely to prevail against an American team having to cope with a four-day turnaround. However, Tonga let themselves down with slopping handling – nine errors in the opposition 22 alone in the first half – and profligacy in attack.Loosehead Siegfried Fisi’ihoi got them up and running by scoring from a pick and go but later knocked the ball on with the line at his mercy, albeit that Eagles scrum-half Ruben de Haas did superbly to target the ball in his last-ditch tackle.Veainu, the game’s most dangerous runner, butchered a try with a wayway pass to Viliami Lolohea just after half-time and soon after Tonga ignored a massive overlap.Thumbs up: fans pose with the Higashiosaka City mascot Try-kun prior to the match (World Rugby)Yet Tonga were able to strike the blows that brought home the bacon. Veainu’s kick downfield after a turnover near his own line led to centre Malietoa Hingano putting them ahead on 57 minutes and then, after a try-saving tackle by Marcel Brache on Sione Kalamafoni, Piutau went over on the left.The conversions took Tonga 24-12 clear and a lull followed, the match seemingly fizzling out disappointingly, with no sign of the energy and intent that had illuminated the first period.Flanker Tony Lamborn’s late try, grounding the ball against the post protector, revived USA hopes before a finale to gladden the heart of any script writer.Piutau had the option of kicking a penalty in the final minute to make the win safe but chose to go for a scrum and a well-weighted grubber behind the onrushing defenders enabled Veainu to score a record fifth World Cup try for Tonga. Piutau landed the simple conversion, the ball held for him by Kalamafoni, who has also now called time on a fabulous Test career. Tonga Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide The Americans have been building in the right… TAGS: TongaUSA USA Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Tonga Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Collapse Unlikely to proceed to the knockout stages, Tonga… Rugby World Cup Groups We salute you: Siale Piutau and Sione Kalamafoni are chaired off after their final Test appearances (Getty) 2019 Rugby World Cup: Tonga 31-19 USAHead-to-headPlayed – 10USA wins – 1Tonga wins – 9Did You Know?Wing Blaine Scully played his 11th World Cup match, equalling the USA record that is shared by Chris Wyles and Mike MacDonald.Sione Kalamafoni and Siale Piutau played their 12th World Cup match, breaking the previous Tonga record of 11 shared by Soane Tonga’uiha and Vunga Lilo.Both men retired from international rugby after the match, Piutau’s final appearance for Tonga coming on his 34th birthday.Telusa Veainu made 25 carries in the game, covering 157m out of a team total of 632.Hooker James Hilterbrand’s late summons off the bench meant every player in USA’s original 31-man squad appeared in the tournament.Related: Rugby World Cup FixturesIn a nutshellTonga ended their World Cup on a high, registering their first victory of Japan 2019 with a bonus-point success against the Eagles in Osaka. USA’s winless run at World Cups extends to ten matches and they join Russia in finishing the tournament without any points.Tonga captain Siale Piutau got the fairy-tale ending he wanted, converting the last-minute try by Telusa Veainu to bring his distinguished international career to a fitting conclusion. The Bristol centre had earlier crossed for Tonga’s third try and, on the day of his 34th birthday, he was awarded the Man of the Match gong. They say good things come in threes. A rundown of the Rugby World Cup groups… Expand 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

Jaco Peyper causes controversy with fans photo

first_imgKeep track of events in Japan via our Rugby World Cup homepage.Follow Rugby World magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the middle of it: Jaco Peyper gestures during the quarters (Getty Images) Jaco Peyper causes controversy with fans photoJaco Peyper will play no part in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals after a controversial photograph of the referee surfaced on social media which appears to show him replicating the red card incident in the quarter-final between Wales and France.The South African referee was in charge of that last-eight tie in Oita and sent off France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina after he elbowed Aaron Wainwright in the face during a maul, early in the second half.Related: Wales 20-19 France Match ReportA few hours after the final whistle it then seems that Peyper posed with a group of Wales fans and pretended to elbow one of them. Some of the supporters look to be mimicking the elbow incident too.You can see the photo here… Regardless of whether Peyper was simply sharing a light-hearted moment with a few rugby supporters, the photo does not reflect well on the referee and he has since missed out on the chance to feature in the semis.With refereeing appointments announced for the World Cup semi-finals, World Rugby said of incident: ” World Rugby can confirm that the match officials selection committee did not consider Jaco Peyper for selection this weekend.“Peyper recognises that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologised.”Related: Referees for the Rugby World Cup semi-finalsThis goes alongside their initial comments, when on Monday World Rugby told Associated Press: “World Rugby is aware of a picture on social media of referee Jaco Peyper with a group of Wales fans taken after last night’s quarter-final between Wales and France in Oita. It would be inappropriate to comment further while we are establishing the facts.”It remains to be seen if the South African will play any part in the bronze final or final.England face New Zealand in the first of the semi-finals in Yokohama on Saturday while Wales take on South Africa at the same venue on Sunday. While France had no complaints about the red card in the quarter-final, they are not happy about this photo.French rugby federation vice-president Serge Simon tweeted to say: “This photo if it is true is shocking and explanations will be necessary.” France unhappy at the South African referee appearing to replicate red card incident with Wales supporters LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Jamie Gibson: How to defend a maul

first_imgThe Northampton Saints flanker explains how to stop a driving lineout The Bath and England flanker gives his top… Target the ball“Get to the ball. You want to get people through to the ball early, before they set up, or splinter the maul as it is set up or even afterwards. You want to work your way to the front and get to the ball – and if you stop the ball coming out you get the turnover. Also, listen to the referee throughout – there are fine margins and if he tells you to get out, you have to get out.”This article originally appeared in the July 2018 edition of Rugby World magazine. Collapse “Keep the maul as square as possible. If they turn it one way or the other, it makes it harder for the defence because you may have one or two players up against three or four of them. If you keep it square, it limits the options around it.”MORE SKILLS ADVICE… Cory Hill: How to catch in a lineout Sam Underhill: How to make a perfect tackle Sarah Hunter: How to control the ball at No 8 Sarah Hunter: How to control the ball at No 8 Expand The Wales lock gives his tips for getting… In the thick of it: Jamie Gibson gets stuck into a maul against Wasps (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Cory Hill: How to catch in a lineout Sam Underhill: How to make a perfect tackle Expand Jamie Gibson: How to defend a maulA rolling maul is one of the hardest things to stop on a rugby field as a team builds momentum from a lineout. Here Northampton Saints flanker Jamie Gibson offers his advice on how to defend a driving lineout…Disrupt the opposition“Don’t let them win the ball where they want to win it. You never want them to win ball behind you as it opens up more options. You want them to win ball in front of you so you can get numbers behind the ball rather than let them control it.”Focus on the gaps“You can’t touch the catcher until they hit the floor but as soon as they do that, go low and try to get between the lifter and the jumper; look for gaps between them. We’ll usually say that our jumper can go high but everyone else goes low so we can try to control it. We also talk about hitting the right spot; if we overload one side, we give them an area to go down.”Keep it square The England Women’s captain gives her tips for… Every month Rugby World features advice from professional players and coaches on specific skills. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.last_img read more