Montpellier Herault’s Scottish number 8 Johnnie Beattie attempts a try during the European Cup rugby match between Sale Sharks and Montpellier Herault at Salford City stadium in Eccles, Salford, north west England on January 11, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Right behind him: Many have called for Jonny Wilkinson to tour with the Lions. Is he happy with his “armchair”?By Alan DymockCAUGHT BETWEEN the Devil and a deep red rage, Nathan Hines angered the people of Perpignan in 2009 by skipping the Top 14 final in order to travel to South Africa with the British and Irish Lions.Big game player: Clermont’s Nathan HinesThat year Perpignan triumphed without the oversized lock, besting Clermont Auvergne, Hines current club, 22-13. Hop on a four-year cycle, though, and old ‘Wagga’ may be faced with the same rock and a hard place choice once again, with Clermont currently occupying a play-off place in the French top division.Warren Gatland said in March: “If there are any French players involved when it comes to selection, we might need to have conversations. But ideally we all want to be on the plane to Australia together. If not, you don’t want players arriving a day or two before we play our first game in Australia against Western Force.”If the will of the nations had any influence, it appears Gatland would hold more conversations than One Direction’s hotline.As it stands there are six sides still capable of snatching Top 14 playoff places, with Toulon and Clermont almost certain to keep first and second place, with Toulouse in third, Castres, Racing Metro and Montpellier are all still able to lay claim the last spot.Realistically there are no capable parties in Castres and Toulouse have no British or Irish candidates, while it would be a stretch to suggest that Racing Metro’s Olly Barkley is in the mix. However, in Toulon, Clermont and Montpellier, there may be a few players with a packed bag by the front door and Spencer Davis Group smah Keep on Running on repeat as they contemplate fleeing France for the sake of the Tour.After a controlled and clinical performance that saw Toulon past Leicester Tigers in the quarters of the Heineken Cup, Jonny Wilkinson was asked about the Lions. If you squint hard enough at the words you could say he was not ruling anything out, but in a Cantona-esque retort Wilkinson replied: “As far as I’m concerned, I’m like the guy in the armchair, wishing I could be on the Lions tour. But there’s no need for me to be there with these guys around.”Around him are other guys who may not be so fond of leather upholstery, or as lucky to say they have toured before. Andrew Sheridan has been and may want to win a French title, but his French support act Gethin Jenkins maybe tempted to cut and run having never truly gelled with Mourad Boudjellal’s band of brothers. The Armitage brothers Steffon and Delon are slightly harder to predict, but one can never tell whether they would be asked and whether they would jump. Mr Tickle-armed Nick Kennedy would be seen as a stretch in both senses.Keep on running: Johnnie Beattie for Montpellier HeraultAt Clermont Mister Hines may start getting a bit edgy. With his previous track record those in the Clermont Ferrand region may be getting twitchy. Would he miss a final to play the Baabaas in Hong Kong on the same day as the final? Here a discussion could be had. For teammate Lee Byrne it is unlikely he would be privy to the discussion, but he has enjoyed his time in France more than some of his acquaintances have.In Montpellier, Scotland’s Johnnie Beattie faces a battle getting to the final, particularly after the manner of Clermont’s dismantling of them in the Heineken quarter-final, but were they to do so and with Beattie an influential player, it is hard to see how talks would pan out. Hypothetical conversations, all, but for the Clouseau’s among us, intriguing, nonetheless.
3. James Fish (Trent College) – unstoppable from close range4. Stan South (Whitgift) – hard-working team man5. Charlie Farmer (Sedbergh) – Mr Consistency6. Ollie Lyons (Bedford) – go-forward expert7. Joe Blake (Warwick) – fearless scrapper8. Nick Timoney (Blackrock College) – big, strong, intelligentFine nine: Millfield’s Tom WhiteleyPlayer of the Year – Tom Whiteley (Millfield)Tom Whiteley moved from full-back to scrum-half in the middle of the Christmas term and the change of position had an immediate impact on his side’s fortunes.Whiteley struck up a great half-back partnership with his skipper Callum Sheedy, his quick service and sniping runs bringing a new dimension to the Millfield attack. Rugby World’s schools correspondent Huw S Thomas picks his top XV from the 2013-14 season – and hands out his Player of the Year award But it was his performances on the sevens circuit that marked him out as a special talent. His beautifully balanced running and ability to run in tries from his own line allied to some astonishing covering work in defence, were the highlights of the schools rugby year.To find out which school won our Team of the Year award and for a round-up of news from the schools circuit, see the July 2014 edition of Rugby World – on sale Tuesday 3 June. All Stars Team of the Year 2013-2014OUR XV rewards those players who not only played well individually but were outstanding team men. Selection was difficult – how to choose for example between four very talented full-backs in Ali Needen (Dulwich), Ben Magee (Woodhouse Grove), Ben Nethersole (Bedford) and Johnny McPhillips (Sedbergh) and six terrfic scrum-halves in Tom Whiteley (Millfield) Alex Mitchell (Lymm HS), Ben Pointon (Rughy), Patrick King (Wellington College), Jack Maplesden (Woodhouse Grove) and Akira Takenaka (Hampton)?This was our final choice:15. Ali Needen (Dulwich) – points machine14. George Wacokecoke (St Joseph’s, Ipswich) – powerful finisher13. Sam Arnold (Cranleigh) – outstanding midfield presence12. Matt Gilsenan (St Michael’s, Dublin) – goalkicker and line breaker11. Will Bailey (Clayesmore) – Lambs’ leading try-scorer10. Seaghan Davey (John Fisher CS) – great touch and feel for the game9. Tom Whiteley (Millfield) – brilliant sevens performances to finish great season1. James Lasis (Brighton College) – superb work-rate but also great tackler2. Dafydd Hughes (Llandovery College) – dynamic in the loose LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Remember those games of British Bulldog you played as a kid? Imagine if instead of having to drop out when you were caught, you could just play on. No penalty, no deterrent, no point.It seems England’s top clubs are cooking up something similar in the Aviva Premiership. A proposal to increase the Premiership to 14 clubs and do away with relegation has been discussed, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Bristol and Worcester – streaks clear of the rest in the Championship – could neatly become the two extra additions.This tiresome issue, which was rightly batted away by the RFU when it last surfaced in 2010, has been further fuelled by the week-to-week mediocrity of London Welsh. Unequal funding is one reason why the Exiles are heading for the worst-ever Premiership statistics, but they are the exception to the rule. Most promoted clubs are competitive, despite heavy financial and logistical disadvantages, and those suggesting that the gap between England’s top two divisions is now too big to bridge are being disingenuous.Climbing the ladderThe arguments against ringfencing are so patent and powerful that it beggars belief that Premiership Rugby representatives would waste their breath on the notion in the boardroom.Sport is about competition, not closed shops. Exeter Chiefs are usually cited as proof that an ambitious small club can become an ambitious big club, but Worcester and Rotherham are others who marched up through the leagues to play in England’s top tier. In fact, 28 clubs have played in the top flight and, of the four ever-presents, Leicester are alone in never flirting with relegation.Who are the powers-that-be to decide that, from 2016-17, no one outside their current cosy cabal should be allowed to dream? That Cinderella cannot go to the ball.What of go-getting London Scottish or Yorkshire Carnegie? Or Doncaster, who hope to host Premiership action at their superb 22-acre Castle Park facility? Or Cornish Pirates, who want to do for Cornwall what Exeter have done for Devon.Ambitious: Cornish Pirates harbour hopes of reaching the Premiership (Pic: Action Images)There will be clubs we cannot guess at who might one day make the big time. Doncaster were in Yorkshire Two – level ten – when leagues began in 1987 (had ring-fencing been enforced then, Northampton and Saracens, last year’s Premiership finalists, would have missed the cut). Success story: Exeter are a shining example of what a promoted club can achieve (Pic: Action Images) So let’s not have Premiership clubs playing kingmakers, decreeing that the trapdoor be shut at a given moment in time that suits them.End-of-season thrillsAnd let’s consider the numerous ‘dead rubbers’ that would arise if promotion and relegation was scrapped because there would be so little riding on the outcome. It’s one reason why crowds in Super 15, with its fixed franchises, have dwindled.Many of the game’s most dramatic Premiership moments have arisen because the stakes were high. Like Tom Varndell’s 2012 tackle on Sam Vesty to earn Wasps a vital losing bonus point at Bath. Like the 21-point lead Leeds took at Northampton in 2011 that threatened to save them. Like Mark Cueto’s late try for Sale to send down Harlequins in 2005, on a final day when any of five teams could have been relegated.Last-day drama: Mark Cueto’s try for Sale sent Harlequins down in 2005 (Pic: Action Images)Monetary mattersHowever, to just dismiss ringfencing isn’t enough. Action is required because the funding issue is driving a wedge between the top two English divisions. Championship clubs receive an inadequate £350,000 a year from the RFU, 10% or so of the sums going to top-flight clubs, and Jersey chairman Bill Dempsey was spot-on to describe that financial model as “unsustainable”.Furthermore, Championship clubs have dual-registered players who, were the club to gain promotion, would need to be replaced at great expense. It’s a catch-22 that stymies ambition. So the RFU needs to reach deeper into its pocket, to raise the central funding for clubs that are trying to enter a league where large squads of exclusively full-time players, supported by fully professional coaching, medical and administrative staff, will be essential.Access must remainIt’s been suggested that a moratorium on promotion and relegation be applied, to give a club going up time to bed in. Others favour the licensing system that British rugby league used for seven years, but which they have just ditched in favour of the results-based format that fans know and love. Promotion and relegation is intrinsic to a fair and exciting sports competition, so the Premiership clubs are wrong to contemplate shutting the door on aspiring rivals LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Punching the air: fans want the excitement of promotion and relegation (Pic: Action Images)No, access must exist each and every season, even if you decide to narrow the doorway. Would a play-off between the Championship winner and bottom-placed Premiership side have merit? It’s dubious. If London Welsh played Bristol or Worcester this May, whether over one leg or two, could we really expect the Championship team to overcome a team battle-hardened by a season of Premiership action?Yet the return of a top-v-bottom play-off would be infinitely preferable to a glass ceiling, to a world where clubs climbing Everest will be told to stop and turn round just as the summit is in sight. That’s not what sport is about.
With the constant referrals upstairs, the flow of the game is completely lost and fans are left twiddling their thumbs as officials debate the intricacies of the game. Once a decision is made, the referee should have to stick with it. If it’s wrong, so be it. If he’s in any doubt as to what he’s seen, then that’s the time to go upstairs.Barnes handled the TMO well on Sunday, talking to the official while the game was going to see if he needed to take action. When he didn’t need to, he let the game continue.It’s good to get decisions right, but when it comes at the cost of the quality of the match something’s got to change.Always be yourself, unless you can be Mamuka Gorgodze. Always be Mamuka GorgodzeGeorgia’s number 8 and captain Mamuka Gorgodze stands beside a scrum against TongaHe’s a beast and we knew that well before this tournament, but Mamuka Gorgodze put in the kind of performance against Tonga that showed everyone just how destructive he can be.Standing at 6ft 5in, the back rower is a formidable opponent at the best of times, but when he’s captaining his country in a game they’re expected to lose he puts in some of his best performances.Unfortunately, more often than not in the big games, his performances go under the radar as Georgia fall to defeat, but Tonga will be glad to see the back of ‘Gorgodzilla’ after his dominant display at Kingsholm.A bundling try under the posts was just one of his highlights, but his defence was what set him apart. Gorgodze put in an incredible 27 tackles on the huge Tongans – a huge reason why Georgia upset their opponents.His team face Argentina on Friday and after this performance the Pumas will undoubtedly be taking the challenge a little more seriously.USA could pose a threat if they become more disciplinedChris Wyles (USA) against Samoa at the Rugby World CupOn paper the USA team is pretty strong. They’ve got players with Aviva Premiership experience in Chris Wyles (Saracens), Samu Manoa (formerly Northampton), Eric Fry (Newcastle), as well as a blistering winger in Takudzwa Ngwenya.On the field, however, a lack of discipline proved costly against Samoa, giving away 14 penalties – double that given away by the Pacific Islanders. Their opponents kicked five of those penalties through the posts, which was ultimately what cost them the game.It wasn’t just the penalties where the Eagles lacked discipline, but also in defence, where the team missed 29 tackles over the course of the 80 minutes. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Should they sort out their problems, the USA could genuinely challenge Scotland when they meet next Sunday, but without improvement they’ll struggle to keep teams at bay.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. TAGS: HighlightJapan By Stuart ClarkeUnderdogs can prosperJapan celebrate their win over South AfricaThere’s usually a certain inevitability when it comes to Rugby World Cup matches. The underdogs may sometimes run the favourites close, but in the end the big dogs always win.But Japan upset the formula and the form guide to record the biggest upset in World Cup history, possibly in the history of all rugby. Their win over South Africa was no fluke, though, but carefully masterminded and perfectly executed.Even when the Brave Blossoms were still in contention with 15 minutes to play there was always the sense – as there always is when a supposedly weaker team plays a supposedly stronger team – that they’d tire and fade towards the end.It didn’t happen, though, and the final minutes of the game are probably the best you’ll see in this World Cup. We may as well end it now.Wayne Barnes isn’t afraid to annoy the KiwisWayne Barnes shows Richie McCaw (#7) the yellow cardWayne Barnes hasn’t been particularly popular in New Zealand for the last eight years, since refereeing the World Cup quarter-final that the All Blacks lost to France in Cardiff.Fast forward to 2015 and the Englishman would have had to go into hiding had the Kiwis lost to Argentina on Sunday.As always, the 36-year-old was spot on with the vast majority of his decisions, but he must have flashed back to the abuse he received eight years ago when he was left with no choice but to sin bin Richie McCaw for a trip. The man is pretty much the biggest name in the competition and the face of a nation, but Barnesy isn’t one to be let his decisions be influenced by a reputation.Barnes is made of tough stuff, though, as shown when he carded Conrad Smith just eight minutes later.The All Blacks won, though, and Barnes came out of the match with almost the highest accolade – no-one was talking about his performance, which means he must have had a good game.There was a lot of time wasted talking to the TMOJaco Peyper watches a replay in the England v Fiji gameFans at the opening game between England and Fiji on Friday got to see their heros on the Twickenham pitch for at least 11 minutes longer than normal in the first half. Unfortunately all they were doing was standing around.Referee Jaco Peyper and TMO Shaun Veldsman were savaged on social media for the way they handled the game, with the on-field official going upstairs to review almost every play.No-one would have begrudged Niko Matawala the try that Peyper and Veldsman eventually ruled out, but when it did go upstairs it was very clear that the scrum-half had bobbled the ball and therefore the time spent looking at replays was unnecessary.Then Craig Joubert received criticism on Saturday night for awarding France’s Noa Nakaitaci a try and just as Frederik Michalak was about to take the conversion he was interrupted by the need to look at replays. There was plenty of action in the first three games of the Rugby World Cup, but here is a selection of the things we were talking about this weekend
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Will he stay, will he go? Sam Burgess in action for Bath. Photo: Getty images Ford says Burgess will continue to play rugby union amid talks that he is considering a return to play for his former rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs He added that Burgess still harbours aspirations to partake in next year’s Six Nations Championship.Ford added: “Everything we have spoken about has been about his future and playing well for Bath and potentially getting him to play for England in the Six Nations – or, if not, at the end of the season on tour to Australia.”For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Bath coach Mike Ford has again insisted that England centre Sam Burgess will stay at Bath and will not make a return back to rugby league. Rumours have been rife in Australia that he is going to return to South Sydney Rabbitohs.Burgess was controversially picked for England’s World Cup campaign but was given time off by Ford when he reported back to training. Stuart Lancaster picked him in midfield ahead of international centre Luther Burrell despite Burgess playing as a as a blindside flanker for Bath.Ford told the BBC: “Last week Sam came back into training because initially that’s what he wanted, but then he did and he didn’t quite feel right.“We decided to give him time off there and then, which means that he’s gone away to get refreshed and will be back in training on November 2.Family affair: Sam Burgess’ family are all based in Sydney“There are no dramas here. Everyone has put two and two together, seen him sitting next to [England rugby league coach] Steve McNamara watching his brother play rugby league.”Burgess signed a three-year contract with Bath, which runs until June 2017, and Ford fully expects Burgess to honour that agreement.Ford said: “I’ve spoken to Sam many times and we’ve spoken about coming back to Bath, rolling his sleeves up and playing [at number] six for us.”
Yet, it would do a little more helps to acknowledge the pragmatists, too. When asked about his own X-Factor among the chaos, the Lions’ starting tighthead to face the Blues, Dan Cole, gave a wry response.“I’ve been practising my drop-goals…”Kicking guru: Dan Cole talks kicks with Joe MarlerThe Leicester and England prop had previously explained that the quickest way to the try-line was a straight line but that there are several ways to play – that darn cat again. But here he also had the seasoned pro’s wariness of saying his team had to go to the magic box for the full game.“I think the X-factor he (Gatland) is looking for, if you get the basics in place, physicality, looking after the ball, if you get the 99% right it comes on top of that.“He’s not just going to ask us to pull something out of the bag. It comes out when you get everything else perfect. It’s the 1% on top that brings that out.“I don’t think he’s just looking for me to tap and go from my own goal-line, put it that way.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Fans want to be entertained, but the British & Irish Lions will succeed if they marry box-office play with looking after the ball. There may well be more that one way to skin a cat – from top-tier taxidermists to black market mounters, there will no doubt be a variance in where the first incision starts, for example – but the end result is the same: a skinned cat.In rugby now we think what we want is to be entertained. Much like the cat peelers, there are different ways to do that entertaining – from the off-the-deck offload to the dink over the top and in some rare cases the cut-out pass that does not allow a defence to drift onto you, there are many ways to propel punters’ bums off their seats. However, the end result is the same: rugby at its best is about exploiting space. Sometimes you can do that by doing the basics well.Pass marks: Robbie Henshaw starts at centre against the Auckland BluesOn Saturday the Lions did not do the basics well against a scratch side, and they underwhelmed. By Monday, Warren Gatland was bristling at being asked again if all of his sides played what has been dubbed “Warrenball” – a style of play that is boiled down to big men getting over the gainline and players following the arm to carry in the same manner. The odd assumption here, of course, is that no one else plays like this on the planet or that every phase is the same for any team that wants to.For 80 minutes rugby has ripples of nuance and moments of turgid predictability, regardless of who is playing. Yet, with only one Lions series game under our belts, we are now setting up the game of rugby as having only two options – at one end beefy, direct running into tacklers and at the other hot-potato play, with kick-passes, constant offloads and every player dummying. If one is right, the other is wrong, runs the logic.FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREIt shouldn’t be as simplistic as this, but when we are not entertained we lash out. So the Lions coaches have responded by trying to allay some fears before they face the Auckland Blues on Wednesday. Yesterday Gatland spoke of X-Factor and today Rob Howley consistently mentioned the players preparing for “chaos” – those moments when the game breaks up. The Lions attack coach wanted us to know that as well as this, the boys were going hell for leather.“We have a hugely competitive squad here and we did a drill yesterday, an offload drill, and the contact was explosive,” Howley went on to say of the team’s determination to loosen the shackles and blast everything. “That’s the challenge for us, sometimes you have to sit back sometimes as they want to give everything in training and we have to make sure we’re smart with that.Benchmark: Arch entertainer Sonny Bill Williams starts for the Blues“In terms of the contact, we were playing an offload drill and it got pretty heated. We’re mindful of injuries as well, but we are mindful of putting players under pressure as well. So there’s a fine balance but we went from a technical drill into open play and play what’s in front and suddenly it becomes a highly competitive contact.”This is what many want to hear. Quick hands and a readiness of shoulder is just want the baying crowd will want on Wednesday. TAGS: Highlight Out the back door: Courtney Lawes flips out an offload in training Moments of magic are great. But remember the goal of this series is to beat the All Blacks – a team who build their game on punishing errors, sending up plenty of kicks and often simply passing along the line at pace to the man in space. When the fleeting moment of X-Factor is added in, they sparkle.If or when the Lions are defeated, it will not purely be because they did not employ loads of cross-field kicks or use a cat-flap offload all game. It will most likely be because they still cough up the basics like a fur ball.
But as you can see above, the bar for monikers has been set pretty high so far!Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Rugby is a sport full of legendary figures. So when it comes to the best nicknames in rugby, there are lots of well-known ones from past greats.We know of John Eales being ‘Nobody’ – because nobody is perfect. Big-hitting Brian Lima was ‘The Chiropractor’. All Blacks legend Colin Meads was ‘Pinetree’ and we all remember Springboks bruiser ‘Os’ du Randt – a translation of ‘Ox’. Jason Leonard became the ‘Fun Bus’, Lewis Moody went by ‘Mad Dog’, Keith Wood was ‘Uncle Fester’, Gareth Thomas was ‘Alfie’… There are loads more going through the annals.In modern times we’ve got Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins. There’s Jonathan ‘Fox’ Davies and his younger brother James, who is ‘Cubby’. Tendai Mtawarira is ‘The Beast’, Mamuka Gorgodze is ‘Gorgodzilla’ and Gethin Jenkins is ‘Melon’. Billy Twelvetrees is ’36’ because in a certain accent, 12 x 3 = 36. Wales hooker Ken Owens is known as ‘Sheriff’.But when one of our team asked in a Tweet for other favourites, not just from the elite game but the amateur ranks too, boy did you respond! Here are a selection of a few of the crackers sent through in reply.As you’ll notice, a few players got involved too… Studsy. So far up the coaches **** that you can only see his studs — Richard Vernon (@richievernon) March 19, 2019 Biscuit. He was bald and his name was Gary….. (Garibaldi)— Andrew Barnett (@adb82) March 19, 2019 Related: Sean Maitland on being called ‘Skux’ And because, well, there always has to be some that are slightly off-colour, there are some more pretty funny replies if you scroll through the replies to the original tweet… Do it anyway, there’s plenty of gold in there!So what’s in a name? Some of the above are exceptional and we haven’t even gotten onto the subject of touring team names yet!Feel free to get in touch with us with a few more via our social media channels, or drop us an email with any good stories about the origin of any player nicknames or touring team names – but please keep it clean.We can be reached via [email protected] Related: Sean Cronin discusses his many nicknames Ulster boys call Kyle McCall “Wiggum”. pic.twitter.com/EJWse6Ys3q— Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh (@Ciaran_O) March 19, 2019 Twelve threes are: Billy Twelvetrees is known as ’36’ (Getty Images)
Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Big hand: Semi Radradra in action for Bristol Bears (Getty Images) Semi Radradra voted best Fijian wing from the modern NRL eraBristol Bears breakaway back Semi Radradra has topped a poll of NRL fans as their favourite ever Fijian winger. After 19,000 votes were counted in NRL.com’s poll, former Parramatta Eels star Radradra came out on top.In his time playing top-end rugby league in Australia, Radradra scored 82 tries in 94 matches. A deadly try-scoring record.Jarryd Hayne – another former Parramatta star who would also have a run with the Fiji sevens team (as he tried to make the Olympic squad back in 2016) – finished second in the poll. He garnered 26% of the vote.According to the league, “NRL.com recently launched the search for the Simply The Best players from 1990 to now to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Tina Turner promotional campaign, which was again featured in this year’s advertisement for the Telstra Premiership, and is calling on the fans to have their say on a range of topics on the modern era.“In keeping with the Simply The Best theme of previous top tens, this list includes Fijian wingers who have strutted their stuff between 1990 and 2020.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The Bristol flyer topped the poll for Aussie league Dotting down: Marika Koroibete scores for the Wallabies (Getty Images)And there are other recognisable faces on the list for union fans.Wallabies weapon Marika Koroibete is in the mix for his exploits in the NRL and notably with the Melbourne Storm. He shone there before crossing codes and joining the Rebels.And what about Lote Tuqiri? We know him best for his Wallabies exploits, but as the NRL said on their site of his league stand-outs: “Tuqiri played four Tests for Fiji, nine for Australia and six Origin matches for Queensland across his two stints in rugby league, first as an explosive winger for the Broncos from 1999-2002 and then as an elder statesman with the Wests Tigers and South Sydney from 2010-2014.”
Get to know the powerful new addition to the Scarlets back-line who is part of Wales’ autumn squad This article originally appeared in the October 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Scarlets centre Johnny WilliamsHe burst on to the scene as a teenager at London Irish, was diagnosed with cancer while at Newcastle and is now embarking on a new chapter at Scarlets.Here Scarlets centre Johnny Williams, who has been named in Wayne Pivac’s Wales squad for the Autumn Nations Cup, tells his story…I started playing rugby when I was six. My dad is big into rugby and took me to Redingensians; I never looked back. I played once or twice at No 8 but I definitely prefer being in the backs. Lifting people in lineouts and scrums – I prefer watching that stuff!My first year out of school I was playing for London Irish in the Premiership. We weren’t doing too well and I was chucked in at the deep end in a high-pressure environment. A lot was riding on those games but it made me a lot stronger as a rugby player, knowing how to deal with those situations from a young age.I’m still considered young but I’ve got more experience than most 23-year-olds because I was thrown in quite early. It’s a shame we got relegated that year but I was grateful for the opportunity and the experience it gave me.You can’t just be a crash-ball player now. That’s how the game is evolving. I was bigger than my school friends but don’t consider myself big in a professional environment – there are some monsters! I pride myself on my ball-carrying and it is a strength, but you have to have more strings to your bow. I back my skill-set, my offloading, my kicking.My time at Newcastle was up and down. In my first year we played really good rugby but had a tough start against top-of-the-league teams, got into a bit of a losing habit and lost confidence. We beat Toulon and Montpellier in Europe, which are some of the best moments of my rugby career, but we also got relegated, which was a massive step back from coming fourth the previous year.I went to see three doctors before being diagnosed with testicular cancer last year. Two told me there were no lumps and bumps so not to worry. I left it for a few months, but it (testicle) just got bigger, more swollen, harder and more painful.I took a small knock to that area in training and it still hurt hours later, so I dropped my pride about asking the club doctor to look at my nuts. He rushed me for a scan, they found a tumour and I was booked in for surgery to have it removed. I had to do one course of chemo. If you don’t have chemo there’s a 20% chance of it coming back and if you do it’s 5%, so whilst I was young I opted to do it. I spent four days in hospital on a 24-7 drip. I wasn’t prepared for how intense it is and was quite ill for two weeks afterwards.It’s given me a new perspective on life. I don’t take my health or my job for granted. I never thought it would happen to me and was quite naive to it. I was lucky that I knew two players who’d had it, so I could ask them questions and knew they’d both got back playing. It was good they caught it early and my goal was then to be back playing as soon as possible.I trained through December and I was back playing in January. Even those first games back I felt like I was playing my best rugby and that I was back where I left off, but then Covid hit and that was a momentum ruiner.Moving to the Scarlets is a massive opportunity. I know the coaches (Glenn Delaney and Richard Whiffin) from London Irish; those guys really believed in me as an 18-year-old.Plus, attacking rugby is in the Scarlets’ DNA and I think that suits me. The Scarlets back-line is more or less the Wales back-line – Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies… I’m looking forward to playing with all of them to see where I am as a player and what I can learn.Selector: Wayne Pivac has named Johnny Williams in his autumn squad (Getty Images)My dad was born in Rhyl, North Wales, so I’m Welsh-qualified. He had a debenture at the Millennium Stadium so growing up I remember watching Wales play big games there – Wales-England, Grand Slams, All Blacks… I’ve played rugby in England and was brought up in England, but I’ve also seen my dad so passionate about Welsh rugby. Hopefully the opportunity to play at international level comes along. But I’m not taking anything for granted.I’ve got a property development project in Reading that my mum is helping me with. It’s a really rundown house that needs a lot of work, so it’s a big job and my mum is project managing it. That takes up a lot of my time away from rugby and I also want to do a course in wealth management. Warming up: Scarlets centre Johnny Williams with his new team-mates (Inpho)
Bruce Green says: By Lynette WilsonPosted Feb 27, 2012 Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Presiding Bishop preaches at St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong Lent an opportunity to work on ‘restoring and healing’ relationships Comments (1) Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC February 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm Amen, sister, amen. Anglican Communion, Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Tampa, FL In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS 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 Submit a Press Release Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. 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Featured Events This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Smithfield, NC Press Release Service Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 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 Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Tags Curate Diocese of Nebraska Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori greets parishioners outside St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong following the Feb. 26 first Sunday of Lent service. ENS Photo/Lynette Wilson[Episcopal News Service – Hong Kong] A video stream of the presiding bishop’s sermon is available here. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached to a full house on the first Sunday of Lent during a service at St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong Feb. 26.“This season called Lent is an opportunity to work on healing and restoring relationships of all sorts,” said the presiding bishop.“Lent began as a time of solidarity with those who were preparing for baptism at Easter. It marks the beginning of a special relationship with new members of the body of Christ. When they are baptized, the community promises to stay in relationship. Those ancient Lenten exercises of prayer, study, fasting, and alms-giving are ways of reminding and training ourselves to be better stewards of our relationships with each other and with God.”The presiding bishop preached and Archbishop Paul Kwong of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, or the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, presided at the 9 a.m. service Feb. 26. The service was one of six held that day, including others in Mandarin and Filipino.Jefferts Schori is visiting Hong Kong as part of a three-week visit to Anglican Communion provincial churches in Asia, including the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.The presiding bishop is joined in Hong Kong by Peter Ng, the Episcopal Church’s global partnership officer for Asia and the Pacific; Alex Baumgarten, the Episcopal Church’s director of government relations; the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop, and Richard Schori, the presiding bishop’s husband.“All kinds of relationships are meant to be grounded in the kind of love God has for us, and we have a powerful vision in the story of Jesus’ baptism. When he comes up out of the water, the voice from heaven proclaims, ‘you are my beloved, and in you I am well pleased.’ This happens before Jesus has even begun his ministry, before anybody around him has recognized who he is or what he is about, and before he has done a single memorable thing,” the presiding bishop said in her sermon.“It is an echo of the first creation story in Genesis, when God creates light and waters, sun and moon, plants and planets, the birds of the air, fish of the sea, and animals of the land, and finally the human species. At each stage in creation, God pronounces it good. Human beings are blessed and called very good. A second creation story follows, as Adam and Eve are created in God’s image and begin to exercise their ability to choose, whether for good or ill.”The full text of the presiding bishop’s sermon is available here.In addition to preaching at the 9 a.m. service, Jefferts Schori Feb. 26 visited Macau Protestant Church, which is believed to be the first Protestant church in Asia, and a gambling and counseling and family center operated in Macau by the Anglican Church in Hong Kong.— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service. 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