Force Matt Hodgson avoids shoulder surgery

first_imgPERTH, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 02: Matt Hodgson of the Force is assisted from the ground with a shoulder injury during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels at nib Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Hodgson is the second of the club’s Wallaby capped backrowers to be ruled out through injury this season, joining David Pocock on the sidelines, however Graham said the club maintained depth in that area of the ground and another player will be given their chance from this weekend.Openside flanker Jono Jenkins was one of the standout players in the Emirates Western Force ‘A’ game against the Rebel Rising last Saturday while Tevita Metuisela has made an impact from the bench in four Super Rugby appearances this season. Hodgson was injured playing against Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby fixtureTough Emirates Western Force loose forward Matt Hodgson has escaped the need for surgery after injuring his left shoulder in the club’s match against the Rebels on Saturday night but will still be sidelined for at least a month.While scans revealed some damage to his AC joint, he will undergo rehabilitation under the watchful eye of the club’s medical team without surgical intervention.“Obviously it is disappointing to lose a player of Matt’s quality for any period of time however this is probably one of the better case scenarios we could have hoped for after seeing the injury unfold on the weekend,” Coach Richard Graham said. “He will have an opportunity to return to Super Rugby around the week of the Crusaders match.  Matt is the ultimate professional in the way he goes about preparing for games and I have no doubt that he’ll give the same dedication to getting back onto the field as soon as possible.”last_img read more

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Ryan Jones – Man on a mission

first_img“I’ve just had to move on, but I still have a function in this team. I’ve handed the reins over to Matthew and I try to support him as much as I can. It’s about playing a supporting role with the youngsters too.”Dan Lydiate and Sam Warburton, who formed an impressive back-row triumvirate with Jones, would agree with that last comment. Warburton says: “Someone said he’s like a father figure for us! Ryan’s been under pressure lots of times and knows what calls to make and how to deal with that pressure. He’s a great guy to have in between us.”As well as his back-row buddies, Jones believes Wales have a lot of young talent in their ranks – pointing to that as just one positive to take from the Six Nations. “Alun Wyn and Bradley have established themselves as international second-rows. Jonathan Davies and George North have been good additions, and Craig Mitchell didn’t get the credit he deserved. No one gave him a shout going into the tournament at tighthead but he was nothing short of superb.“We’re better than we were pre-Six Nations. We ground out three wins – results that we couldn’t get several months ago. Players have come in and put their hands up, which can only be good for Wales. We’ll make sure we come back as a better team. That’s what we’ve all got to do as a group of individuals. We need to fire on all cylinders.”Jones has been doing that for the past few months – and Wales fans will hope he keeps doing that all the way to the World Cup.This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK 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 visit Star man: Ryan JonesThings change quickly in rugby, just ask Ryan Jones. Back in November he had “the worst 20 minutes of my rugby career”. First he was responsible for conceding the late penalty that allowed Fiji to draw 16-16 with Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Then, after he had trudged into the changing room, Warren Gatland announced that Matthew Rees would lead the side against New Zealand the following week, stripping Jones of the captaincy he had held since the start of 2008.Come the RBS 6 Nations, Gatland selected him as a lock rather than in his preferred back-row position, and with Bradley Davies and Alun Wyn Jones such a dynamic duo in the engine room it seemed the former skipper was destined to spend much of the championship on the bench. However, an injury to Andy Powell early in the opening game against England saw Jones come on at No 8, and he started the next four games in the role and proved to be one of Wales’ standout performers in the tournament. He even ended the Six Nations as Wales captain, taking over when Rees was replaced against France.Despite the upward spiral from a personal perspective, however, Jones was frustrated by the way Wales’ campaign petered out. They had a chance to win the championship against France – albeit with a 27-point winning margin required – but they simply didn’t turn up at the Stade de France, lost 28-9 and slumped to fourth in the final table. “Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament,” says Jones.“I played a lot of rugby and I did it with a smile on my face. I’m enjoying my rugby. But that doesn’t detract from the disappointment. You don’t often get in the position of competing for the championship and that’s what we were doing when we arrived at the Stade de France. Opportunities to do that are few and far between, and at this point in my career when we miss them I feel it. We didn’t deserve to finish fourth.”Many pointed to mental frailties for the way Wales crumbled in Paris – a claim Jones strongly denies – but what do the squad need to put right between now and the World Cup this autumn? “We’ve got to be technically and tactically efficient,” he says. “We have to make the right decisions at the right times and we can do that by being exposed to training under pressure, by learning in that environment.“We were technically poor in Paris and made too many errors, conceding turnovers and not being accurate in the way we played. We need to step up and thrive on the disappointment of that night.”Making it to New Zealand 2011 is something Jones is “desperate” to do after injury forced him to miss the last tournament in France, but he did tick another achievement off his to-do list during the Six Nations.He won his 50th cap against Ireland – not that the experience went as smoothly as planned. “I was poorly that week so it was touch-and-go whether I was going to play,” he admits. “You don’t really think about it until it’s on your doorstep and it was a huge occasion – something I’ll treasure forever.”The honour also gave him the chance to run out onto the Millennium Stadium pitch first, part of the captaincy role he misses. “I don’t get to do the fun bit anymore – walking out first. It has been difficult. It meant the world to me and I miss it dearly, but I always said it was only ever a seat I was keeping warm for someone else.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

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Last ride for RaboDirect

first_imgHomecoming: Sky and likes of Ieuan Evans will cover Pro12It is perhaps a shock that Irish company RoboDirect have shied away from extending their deal, however it is not the first time the Rabo brand have pulled out of a major competition. Their Dutch parent company Rabobank, who funded a Tour de France team through their sports arm Rabo Sports, pulled their sponsorship from the competition in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal. The signs just weren’t there: RaboDirect have, perhaps surprisingly, decided not to renew their Pro12 sponsorshipTHIS SEASON is the last the Pro12 will have the title sponsor, RaboDirect.The bank have opted not to renew its sponsorship contract with the league, meaning that just as the Celtic and Italian teams take their bow on Sky in the 2014/15 season it will be so under a completely different banner than when their new television deal was inked.This season games will still be ‘RaboDirect’ matches and still shown on BBC Alba, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Wales, RTE, TG4 and S4C, using these myriad channels as a platform to court potential sponsors. Matches being on Sky the season after this coming term is a carrot for potential sponsors. Sky no longer hold exclusive rights to Aviva Premiership rugby and will have to make do this season with the odd English Championship match interspersed with Amlin Challenge and Heineken Cup games, as well as autumn internationals. It will be a full season before Sky again show weekly games from a top domestic league. RaboDirect’s move to leave the Pro12 is not one borne out of lack of belief in the sport’s integrity, but purely because the company felt they had promoted their brand as much as they could during their term as league custodians.This may seem an odd decision as the Pro12 head towards a four-year deal with Sky that promises 33 televised games a season for a company’s name to shine out of. However, it is a pretty prospect for any potential sponsor. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS DUBLIN, IRELAND – APRIL 27: during the Amlin Challenge Cup Semi Final match between Leinster and Biarritz Olympique at Royal Dublin Society on April 27, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) last_img read more

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Hotshots: Meet up and coming Leicester Tigers 9 Scott Steele

first_imgFine nine: Steele, here in action for Leicester, has played for Scotland U20 TAGS: Leicester Tigers When did you first play?I joined a local club, Dumfries Saints, when I was at primary school and stayed there until U17s.How did the move to Leicester come about? I played for Scotland U18 with Corey Venus from Leicester and he said they needed a scrum-half, so I wrote to them and got a week’s trial in the summer of 2011. I got invited back for the JP Morgan Sevens and was given an academy contract, then a two-year full-time contract in 2012.Have you played in different positions? I was a wing, then a full-back. I moved to scrum-half at about 15. My dad John suggested it because I wasn’t that big. What representative rugby have you played? Scotland U17, U18 and U20. I really enjoyed the World Championship. My highlight was scoring a try against the USA.What are your hopes for this season? To get more opportunities to play at Leicester so I can show what I can do.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS RW verdict: Having turned 20 in July, it’s time for Steele to step up from age-group rugby and fulfil his potential.Want to see who’s turning the heads of international rugby coaches every month? Then subscribe to Rugby World! Click here to get the latest subscription deal, or find out how to read RW on your iPad or android tablet here.last_img read more

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Wasps Rugby move to the Ricoh Arena

first_img Same faces… but Tom Varndell & his team-mates will be playing on a different pitch soon I cannot believe what I am reading about @WaspsRugby – what an utterly heartless decision. No consideration of the fans or heritage.— Tim Fox-Godden (@TJFoxGodden) October 8, 2014 Some pros… Wasps have long been looking for a permanent home, and owners will be hoping that moving the club to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry will provide much-needed stability for the club, who previously played at Adams Park and Loftus Road.Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood explains the reasons for the move in the below video The side, which has shared a ground with Wycombe Wanderers FC since 2002, have been subject to well-documented financial troubles for a number of years, which came to a head two season ago when they narrowly avoided going into administration. A consortium took over ownership in 2012, led by Ken Moss, and then in 2013 Irish businessman Derek Richardson became the majority shareholder, and the ambition to move to their own ground has been in the forefront of their minds. Rumours of a ground share with Brentford RFC in west London, where Wasps originally laid their roots before the move to High Wycombe, surfaced last season, but instead Wasps announced the acquisition of a 50% share in in the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The club will play their first home game there in December, against Castres or London Irish (TBC).New paddock: Coventry FC will still play at the RicohSome cons… Coventry is 83 miles from Adams Park, Wasps’ current ground, and there has been an angry backlash from the fans. Some have told RW they intend to cancel their season tickets, and there’s even been a petition started to keep the club in London. With gates of around 5,500 to 6,500 this season, the club’s priority will be expanding their fan base.Disappointment: some Wasps fans may cancel their season ticketsFurthermore, Wasps are now moving to the rugby hotbed of the midlands, and will be competing with Premiership giants Northampton and Leicester, as well as the Championship’s Worcester and National 1’s Coventry RFC for bums on seats. Furthermore, with the Ricoh Arena being in Worcester’s catchment area, the recruitment of players could become problematic for both clubs.Click here to watch a couple of Wasps take part in Pump Up The BallWorcester coach Dean Ryan said: “I can’t imagine we’re the loudest voice. There’d be two major players on the other side of Warwickshire with louder voices than us, who won’t be over the moon about it either. We’re investing a lot of money in the region, We’ve got an academy. We’re all working for the same thing. We have support that comes from that area and kids who come from that area. Warwickshire has been over the years a productive source for us. I can’t quite see the merits of this, other than purely commercial for Wasps’ first team.”Click here to find out what Simon Shaw has to say about Wasps’ move to Coventry. What you had to say about it…  @WaspsRugby surely these two statements are contradictory? #everyfancounts @Rugbyworldmag pic.twitter.com/h6N4JFp40t— Michael Agar (@michaelagar) October 7, 2014 This week Wasps have announced a move to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Here’s what you had to say about the club’s new chapter… Want to keep up to date with all the latest news & views? Why not subscribe to RW? Click here for the latest deals and discounts. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS https://twitter.com/justwotsit/status/519596081915498496 TAGS: Wasps last_img read more

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England select training squad to prepare for Wales in the Six Nations

first_img TAGS: Highlight Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)Backs Brad Barritt (Saracens)Mike Brown (Harlequins)Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)Danny Care (Harlequins)Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)Kyle Eastmond (Bath Rugby)Owen Farrell (Saracens)George Ford (Bath Rugby)Alex Goode (Saracens)Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby)Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) SO THE selections that we expected arrived during a senior side and Saxons announcement, with England naming a senior training squad to face Wales in the opening game of the Six Nations that initially includes Danny Cipriani and Nick Easter.With Jonathan Joseph also selected, this is a nod to form. Some would suggest it is also a nod to the power of popular pressure – Sale DoR Steve Diamond’s recent assertion that: “If Danny doesn’t get picked and he goes then we’ll find somebody else,” could imply that Cipriani would leave England if Lancaster didn’t act – but it is worth noting that this is a squad only for the Wales game, and even then only a wider training squad.However, it is a lifeline, even if Cipriani is one of four fly-halves. Lancaster admitted that Stephen Myler had the edge on Cipriani, but that the Sharks stand-off had always been in the loop, having toured New Zealand with England in the summer and training with the squad in the autumn.As for Easter, Lancaster felt it was time to welcome the Harlequins veteran back. “Nick is slightly different,” Lancaster said. “There is a real need for specialist No 8s. Billy Vunipola was outstanding at the weekend but we need some specialist No 8s and Nick, to be fair, has been outstanding and deserves a chance to see if he can replicate that again at international level.”Taking stock: Nick Easter will be in a camp with Lancaster for the first timeWith focus on the midfield, there is still no sign of Manu Tuilagi recovering. Andy Farrell highlighted the opportunity presented to others – with Kyle Eastmond, Joseph, Brad Barritt, Luther Burrell, and Billy Twelvetrees in the mix and with Sam Burgess set to start in the centre for the England Saxons against the Irish Wolfhounds on 30 January – but was also cautious on the Leicester Tigers powerhouse’s health. He said: “He (Tuilagi) would have liked to have played in a few more Test matches than he has. But we want a fully fit Manu and his priority is to get 100% fit. But, in the meantime, it gives other people a chance.”Take your pick on which one of these is the more exciting story: Cipriani and three rivals; Easter’s return to the fold or the continued quandry in the centres. Because many will be happy to see Joseph reaping rewards for his Bath form. Oh yeah, and the second row is a wide open area. Graham Kitchener has forced his way into the second-row reckoning thanks to his recent performances for Leicester while the coaches were effusive with praise for Saracens‘ George Kruis. There is an opportunity to impress in the boiler house for several locks, while there are finally several options in the front row.Elsewhere, there is a chance for assorted Saxons to impress, with their squad also announced. All eyes will be on Burgess, but with Marland Yarde dropped down a level while England only pick three out-and-out wingers in their training squad for Wales, he will have a point to prove.Others have their chance to show what they have against the Wolfhounds, with Kieran Brookes and Rob Webber lining up for the Saxons and Christian Day called up off the back of Northampton’s impressive showings so far.England Senior training squad Forwards Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby)Calum Clark (Northampton Saints)Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)Alex Corbisiero (Northampton Saints)Nick Easter (Harlequins)Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)James Haskell (Wasps)Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers)George Kruis (Saracens)Joe Marler (Harlequins)Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers)Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain)Billy Vunipola (Saracens)Mako Vunipola (Saracens)David Wilson (Bath Rugby) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS MAn on the run: Cipriani has earned a recall to the England training squad Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)Christian Day (Northampton Saints)Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs)Matt Garvey (Bath Rugby)Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks)Maro Itoje (Saracens)Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby)Matt Mullan (Wasps)Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby)Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs)Alex Waller (Northampton Saints)Rob Webber (Bath Rugby)BacksChris Ashton (Saracens)Sam Burgess (Bath Rugby)Elliot Daly (Wasps)Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby)Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, captain)Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)Joe Simpson (Wasps)Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)Marland Yarde (Harlequins)Christian Wade (Wasps) England Saxons squadForwardslast_img read more

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Hotshots: Leinster and UCD scrum-half Nick McCarthy

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS When did you start playing rugby?When I was about six, at Old Belvedere and St Michael’s College.Have you played different positions?I was a scrum-half from the start. My dad, Conor, was a scrum-half with Connacht way back  when and he was always passing the ball to me in the garden.Who do you model your game on?I look up to Eoin Reddan. I’m similar in body size to him and he has great skills. I’m constantly working on my skills, with a big focus on kicking.When did you link up with Leinster?I was involved in the U16s for training one summer, then the U18s, and I joined the sub-academy last year and the full academy this season.When did you first play for Ireland?For the U18s in 2013.How do you feel about captaining Ireland U20?It’s a massive honour, a challenge and a responsibility. Date of birth: 25 March, 1995. Country: Ireland On the ball: Nick McCarthy is captain of Ireland U20s. (Photo: Inpho). Is most of your rugby with Leinster or University College Dublin?It’s mostly for UCD but I get pulled out to play for Leinster A.What are your interests outside rugby?I am studying engineering at UCD. I have split my degree up to do fewer modules each year, but it’s still hard work to get it all done.What are your hopes for the World Championship in June?We got to the semi-final last year for the first time so that’s a good place to start from and we have about eight lads back from last year’s squad. RW verdict: With a dad who played provincial rugby and a sister, Lisa, who is on a hockey scholarship in the USA having played for Ireland’s age grades, McCarthy has great sporting genes and the attitude to make the most of them. TAGS: Leinster last_img read more

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Saints and sinners: The weekend’s talking points

first_img TAGS: Wasps Try records tumble around Europe’s leagues, Christian Wade emulates a 20-year-old feat, the delay at Wasps and why Ealing Trailfinders were hard done by in Leeds Hat-trick! Thomas Young celebrates his third try v Saracens as Wasps topped the table (Getty Images) THE SAINTSIt’s raining triesA decade ago, it was so easy for attacking teams to offend at the breakdown that many resorted to kicking the ball away. Rugby could be an unedifying spectacle in those days, but now the balance is redressed – as the stats for the European professional leagues show.There were 725 tries scored in the Aviva Premiership regular season that concluded on Saturday, the highest figure since the 1999-2000 campaign (750) when all those rugby league defence coaches hadn’t yet switched codes.Wasps (89) and Exeter (86) both beat the previous record number of tries for a 22-match campaign – Newcastle’s 85 in 1997-98.Exeter celebrate Ian Whitten’s try at Gloucester, one of 86 by the Chiefs in this season’s PremiershipElsewhere it was a similar tale. The 711 tries in the Guinness Pro12 regular season smashed the 2003-04 record by 60 while there were 854 tries in France’s Top 14 – surpassing the previous high of 824 for 26 rounds established last year.Onward Christian soldiersSeventeen of those 725 Premiership tries were scored by Wasps winger Christian Wade, which matched the long-standing mark held by Richmond’s Dominic Chapman. Wade’s record-equalling try was the easiest he’ll ever score, as a series of ricochets against Saracens presented the ball to him inches from the try-line.The two men have much in common. Like Wade, Chapman was 5ft 9in, lightning quick and has one England cap to show for his efforts.The Richmond man was not short of confidence. Ahead of the 1998 Tour to Hell, when his 17 tries had earned him a place in a denuded England squad, the then 22-year-old said: “I’m not in awe of anybody. I don’t think anyone can run around me. I’m quite comfortable in giving wings the outside and cutting them down.”Chapman’s single cap came off the bench in England’s 76-0 thrashing by Australia.Wade, capped in Argentina four years ago under Stuart Lancaster, will be 26 next Monday and still has time to avoid becoming a one-cap wonder.Wade the leveller: Christian Wade dots down almost apologetically for the record (Getty)His Premiership feat is far more impressive than Chapman’s because of the era in which he achieved it. Not only have defences been transformed since 1997-98 but there are no easy-beats now (barring the 2014-15 London Welsh team).Wade, whose five hat-tricks is also a Premiership record, may have equalled Chapman’s record but in truth he’s out on his own.Top SteffStaying on the flyers, well done to Steff Evans for finishing top try-scorer in the Guinness Pro12 with 11. The Scarlets wing is sure to be included in the Wales tour squad that will be named tomorrow.The Scarlets ended their regular season in some style, demolishing the Ospreys 40-17 to clinch third place and the dubious pleasure of a semi-final trip to Leinster a week on Friday.Red day: Steff Evans runs in a try during Scarlets’ win in the West Wales derby (Huw Evans Agency)Wayne Pivac’s men are fantastic to watch and their drubbing of the Ospreys featured 22 offloads and 737 metres made with in ball in hand. They will certainly give it a crack at the RDS Arena.Ospreys, meanwhile, will regroup for a visit to Munster’s Thomond Park the following evening.Champions Cup qualifiersThe Champions Cup qualifiers are as follows:Aviva Premiership Wasps, Exeter, Saracens, Leicester, Bath, Harlequins.Guinness Pro12 Munster, Leinster, Scarlets, Ospreys, Ulster, Glasgow Warriors, Treviso.Top 14 La Rochelle, Clermont Auvergne, Montpellier, Toulon, Castres, Racing.The 20th place for next season’s tournament will be decided by a series of play-off games. If Gloucester win Friday’s Challenge Cup final against Stade Français at Murrayfield, they will replace Northampton – the seventh-ranked club from the Premiership – in Play-off 1.Champions Cup play-offs, 19/20/21 May:Play-off 1 Northampton (Premiership seventh-ranked club) or Gloucester v Connacht (Pro12 ninth-ranked club) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Play-off 2 Stade Français (Top 14 seventh-ranked club) v Cardiff Blues (Pro12 eighth-ranked club)In the hunt: Stade Français hope to snatch the final Champions Cup place (Huw Evans Agency)The two winners will meet in the final on the weekend of 26-28 May, with the Play-off 1 winner having home advantage.The pool draws for next season’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions take place in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on Thursday 8 June.Double dangerDown under, the likelihood of the Lions facing two Barretts in this summer’s Test series increases by the week.The influence that the uncapped Jordie Barrett is having in Super Rugby is extraordinary for a 20-year-old. Although nominally a full-back, he frequently pops up at first or second receiver for the Hurricanes and, as can be imagined, has an almost telepathic understanding with his brother Beauden.The pair pulled the strings in Hurricanes’ 41-22 win over the Stormers, Jordie pulling off one of the cheekiest tries you’ll ever see when stripping back-row Nizaam Carr of the ball over the try-line and touching it down with inches to spare as the pair slithered towards the dead-ball line.Audacious: Jordie Barrett rips the ball off Nizaam Carr to score against the Stormers (Getty)Beauden’s kick-passing – cross-kicking isn’t quite the term – is also a joy to behold. His delightful dink for Cory Jane opened the ‘Canes account and whoever the Lions pick in their back three will need to be on red alert for this. No one in world rugby does it better than Beauden Barrett, though Gloucester’s Henry Trinder gave a brilliant illustration of the skill when setting up Jonny May for a try at Bath the other week.THE SINNERSDelay at the RicohHow unfortunate that the Wasps-Saracens kick-off should be delayed by 15 minutes – because of congestion outside the stadium – when all the final-round matches were meant to start at the same time.I’m not agreeing with those who felt it was sharp practice but certainly Wasps may have benefited.With Exeter’s result decided, Wasps knew in the latter stages of their game that they needed a bonus-point win to secure the easier semi-final against Leicester Tigers. Elliot Daly crossed for that vital fourth try with less than ten minutes remaining.Should Exeter have been allowed to delay their kick-off at Gloucester by 15 minutes so both matches started simultaneously? That creates other issues and in any case, players just want to get going after they’ve warmed up and prepared for a specific kick-off time.It’s typical of Rob Baxter, Exeter’s director of rugby, that he should choose not to make a fuss of the episode.Rising above it: Rob Baxter, Exeter’s DoR, took the kick-off delay at Wasps in his stride (Getty)“If it helped them (Wasps) it helped them but it’s not something for me to be concerned about. These things happen,” he said.“We had a delayed kick-off at Sandy Park a couple of weeks ago. And if we had been at Sandy Park today and we’d had trouble I would have expected the game to be delayed. We did what we could do and got a five-point win. And they did what they could do and got a five-point win. I’ve got no problem with it.”Are pushover tries banned?Another pop at a ref. In Friday night’s Greene King IPA Championship semi-final second leg, Ealing Trailfinders had Yorkshire Carnegie’s number at the scrum, picking up from their first-leg dominance.Three times in succession they won a scrum penalty close to Yorkshire’s line and they might have wondered whether they had already done enough to earn a penalty try.Referee Tim Wigglesworth wasn’t obliging, however, and so Ealing packed down again. This time they marched forward, with the ball between the feet of No 8 Mark Bright and a pushover try a certainty unless Yorkshire infringed.Inexplicably, Wigglesworth then called “use it” to Ealing, and scrum-half Luke Carter obeyed, but things went awry and Yorkshire cleared their lines.Yorkshire grit: Ollie Steadman tests Ealing’s defence during a tie marred by poor refereeing (Getty)Why on earth is the ref calling “use it” when a team is close to the opposition goal-line and advancing rapidly? Are pushover tries not allowed any more?It brought to mind the series of Stade Francais-Harlequins scrums in the 2011 Challenge Cup final, when George Clancy refused to give Stade the penalty that would have given them a kick to win the trophy.Ealing led 10-6 at the time and were still in contention, despite having incurred an 18-point first-leg deficit. They couldn’t have been promoted to the Premiership, having chosen not to apply for the minimum-standards audit, but they deserved better as they chased a place in the final against London Irish. The Londoners should also have had a penalty try on the hour when the home side illegally stopped an Ealing drive near the line.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

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A week in the life of England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell

first_img A week in the life of England Sevens captain Tom MitchellEngland Sevens captain Tom Mitchell is currently building up to the London leg of the World Series, which takes place on the weekend of 2-3 June at Twickenham.The series then climaxes in Paris a week later, with Fiji and South Africa leading the standings while England currently sit in eighth.Here Mitchell breaks down a typical training week for the England Sevens squad in the build-up to an HSBC World Sevens Series tournament, from rugby to recovery and strength workouts to speed sessions.Monday morningSpeed – At our freshest we do 45 minutes of sprint training, focusing on technique, acceleration and top speed work.Weights – Next is a weights workout (see details below), focusing on powerful, dynamic exercises to replicate the demands needed for the game.Skills – When fatigue is setting in we introduce rugby-specific drills to challenge our ability to perform under pressure.Monday lunchTeam meetings, analysis, physio appointments or some much-needed downtime to mentally switch off and recharge.How it’s done: Tom Mitchell puts some journalists through their paces (John Marsh)Monday afternoonRugby – practise match-specific exercises and scenarios.TuesdayDivided into half strength and conditioning and half rugby training.WednesdayHalf-day for recovery – a time for massages, pilates or pool recovery sessions.ThursdayThe same as Tuesday.FridayThe same as Tuesday. Jump to it: Tom Mitchell scores at the Singapore Sevens (Getty Images) Saturday and SundayTournament time!Weights workoutHere’s an example of a weighs workout England Sevens will do. Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds, continuously rotating around the three stations for three to five rounds.Show of strength: Battle ropes are part of the circuit (John Marsh)STATION 1Prowler pushFarmer’s carryMed ball slamsBox jumpsBattle ropesSTATION 2Dumb-bell squat pressDumb-bell reverse lungeJammerBanded pull-upPress-upSTATION 3 “Trunk” exercises – variations of static, dynamic and anti-rotation core moves.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS England Sevens captain Tom Mitchell tells Sam Rider what a typical training week looks likelast_img read more

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Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Fuji & Fujinomiya

first_imgHow to get thereIt’s one hour by bullet train from Tokyo to Fuji, and another 35 minutes by bus to Fujinomiya. Alternatively, you can fly to Shizuoka, take the shuttle bus to Shizuoka station and then catch the bullet train (12min) to Fuji. Bright lights: Tagonoura Port offers brilliant views in Fuji City For the thrill-seekers, there is a 54-metre bungy jump (Fuji Bungy) over the Sudogawa Valley. Not only are there great views of waterfalls and Fuji City but it’s one of the best places to see autumn leaves.The Asagiri Kogen Paragliding School offers tandem flights in Fujinomiya and you can go on day-long cycles in the area with Mount Fuji Eco Tours.Drink up: Try craft beer at Mt Fuji Brewing in FujinomiyaThe Party Animal Tagonoura Port provides stunning night views, with lights from the buildings and factories of Fuji City glistening in the water while Mount Fuji dominates the backdrop.In Fujinomiya, good food and craft beer combine at Mt Fuji Brewing (mt-fuji.beer). The local ales are made using Fuji’s spring water, the menu is full of grilled local meats and the beer sommeliers will find the perfect pairing for the dish you choose.For more travel information…www.fujisan-kkb.jp/englishwww.travelfujinomiya.com Advertising FeatureJapan 2019 Travel Guide: Fuji & FujinomiyaThese two cities are perfect for viewing Mount Fuji – Fujinomiya is actually the closest city to the peak…The Culture VultureNot far from Fujinomiya’s city centre is the Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha Shrine, which dates back more than 1,200 years and regards Mount Fuji as God.Historical site: Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha ShrineYou can visit the region’s most important shrine as part of a cultural tour (mtfujiecotours.com). As well as learning about the shrine’s cultural and historical significance from an expert guide, you’ll be fitted with a kimono to walk around in, learn how to make Japanese sweets and enjoy a green tea tasting.At Fuji Takasago Sake Brewery, which was founded way back in 1831, you can take a tour and do a tasting, as well as stock up on the alcoholic beverage.The Foodie From the peak of Mount Fuji to the depths of Suruga Bay, the Fuji area boasts the biggest difference from high to low in Japan. Those conditions bring abundant spring water, a huge variety of fresh fish, and rich ingredients that thrive in the mild weather. That means plenty of variety for food lovers. Dessert-wise, shaved ice and fruit jelly are popular in Fuji, while you can try fresh ice cream at Milk Land in Fujinomiya.The Adventurer TAGS: Japan LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS At the foot of Japan’s highest mountain, lots of adventures awaitlast_img read more

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