“The injury audit is the main part of what is a much wider programme of medical initiatives taking place in England designed to promote the safest playing and training environment in world rugby. Cardiac screening, the illicit drugs education programme, the alcohol education programme, pitch side trauma care and concussion management are all examples of what is happening at the elite levelin England and an example of what can be achieved when clubs, players and the union work together.”David Barnes, Bath Rugby player and Chairman of the Rugby Players’ Association, said: “Maintaining good player welfare is key to the continuing success of the game and we are pleased to see injury rates falling in this latest audit. It’s important now to remain vigilant and sustain the levels of research that will improve our understanding of the causes and nature of rugby injuries. Using this knowledge and working to ensure best practice continues to be present and consistent in all club and international teams will enable us to continue this downward trend in rates of injury.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS LONDON – FEBRUARY 02: England team doctor, Simon Kemp signals to the bench for a stretcher to carry off the injured Mike Tindall during the RBS Six Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Twickenham on February 2, 2008 in London, England. Mike Tindall was later admitted to hospital wiith a bruised liver. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) “On behalf of the group I would like to thank the doctors, physiotherapists and strength and conditioning staff at all the clubs and those involved with the England teams for their support in producing the data contained in this report.”England Rugby Head Coach Martin Johnson CBE said: “I am encouraged by the results of the latest injury audit and the reduction in both the likelihood and severity of injury.“Investment in the injury audit has been crucial, providing the game in England with a robust, clinical programme of research that allows the kind of accurate assessment of the injury risk involved in training for and playing elite rugby union that no other country can replicate.”Phil Winstanley, Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby, added: “The reduction in injury rates shown in the latest audit is encouraging, however the value is in the ongoing analysis of data and the changes that can inform. England team doctor Simon KempTHE ANNUAL injury audit by Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Players’ Association and the Rugby Football Union shows a 20% reduction in the likelihood of sustaining a match injury in season 2009-10 compared with the previous season. There was also a reduction in the severity of each injury from 23 days to 22 days and as a result a commensurate reduction in the total number of days absent due to injury of 26%.The data is contained in the seventh England Rugby Premiership Training & Injury Audit 2009-10 presented and accepted by the Professional Game Board on January 20. The injury audit has been conducted since the 2002-3 season and is the largest continuous study of injuries in world rugby.An injury is defined in the study as ‘any injury that prevents a player from taking a full part in all training activities typically planned for that day and/or match play for more than 24 hours’.Data was gathered from all registered Premiership Rugby players and covered training and playing in all the major competitions. Data was also gathered from the elite England team, but due to the relatively low number of matches played, the main body of the audit is based on data gathered from the Premiership Rugby clubs.Key findings:636 match injuries at Premiership Rugby clubs were reported in 2009-10; an average of 1.6 injuries per match leading to an average absence from playing and training of 22 daysThe likelihood of sustaining an injury dropped from 100 injuries per 1,000 hours in 2008-9 to 80 injuries per 1,000 hours in 2009-10Small decrease in the number of knee Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, which had significantly affected the figures in 2008-9, but injuries fell across all levels of severityReduced likelihood and reduced severity meant that the average days’ absence per club, per match, fell from 46 days in 2008-9 to 34 days in 2009-10, a reduction of 26%Largest drop seen in the incidence of recurrence of injury. Days absence per 1,000 hours due to recurrence of an injury dropped from 485 in 2008-9 to 207 in 2009-10, a decrease of 43% and reported as “a marker of the completeness of rehabilitation by Premiership Rugby and England medical and conditioning staff and a very encouraging trend”Dr. Simon Kemp, RFU Head of Sports Medicine and Chair of the England Rugby Premiership Injury and Training Audit Steering Group that produced the report, said: “The data contained in the latest report shows a welcome reduction in the likelihood of match injuries and in that regard is much closer to the results of previous years.“There was a reduction in the severity of injuries across all categories and a marked reduction in the recurrence of match injuries. That suggests a more complete and effective rehabilitation of all injuries by club and England medics.
Stade Francais’ Michael Cheika is pictured prior to the start of the French Top 14 rugby union match Stade Francais vs. Toulouse at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on 08 January 2011. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The second complaint against Mr Cheika is that, after the conclusion of the Amlin Challenge Cup final, he made comments to an employee of ERC that were insulting and/or offensive and/or disparaging and/or intimidatory.An independent Disciplinary Committee will be appointed to hear the complaints. Stade Francais’ Michael CheikaFollowing an investigation by the ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O’Connor a number of misconduct complaints have been brought against Michael Cheika, the Stade Français Paris Director of Rugby, in relation to events which took place during and after the Amlin Challenge Cup final between Harlequins and Stade Français Paris at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday, 20 May.The first complaint against Mr Cheika is that, during the half-time interval and/or after the conclusion of the Amlin Challenge Cup final, he made comments to and/or near the match officials that were insulting and/or offensive and/or disparaging and/or intimidatory, and/or that he conducted himself towards the match officials in a way that was insulting and/or offensive and/or disparaging and/or intimidatory.
If you agree or disagree, please let our presenter @TMacSport know or tweet @Rugbyworldmag WITH THE RBS 6 Nations now consigned to history, there is just over a month to go until the announcement of the Lions squad meaning in pubs up and down the land, rugby fans will be arguing over their pork scratchings over the make-up of the celebrated touring team.RWTV wanted to join in the fun, so decided to throw their hat in the ring with their Lions XV Thanks to Tom Macleod and We Are Iris. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Exasperated: Stephen Myler, who had a hard enough time hobbling around at the weekend, shows his displeasureBy Charlie MorganOne of rugby’s finest assets is how respect for officials gets engrained in players from the moment they first take up the sport. Addressing a referee as “sir” is not a juvenile trait – it’s a proud habit that stays throughout a career. Sadly though, the television review process has put this culture in danger.Friday night at Franklin’s Garden’s should have been a firecracker. The meeting between Northampton Saints and Harlequins – two sides with Test quality – had all the makings of a compelling tie.Moment of magic: George North performed well on the wingEverything started to plan. Both teams sparred skilfully during a fast-paced opening. That the first half descended into an avalanche of scrum re-sets was not the fault of referee Greg Garner. His primary job is to ensure player safety. The muddy surface made that tough. A stunning finish from George North sparked proceedings after the break, Quins fanning out to chase the game in typically attractive style. With less than 20 minutes to go, Ben Botica clawed the visitors back to 13-9 behind.Then came the incident that encapsulated everything wrong about television match officials.North returned an iffy clearance and was smashed by a seismic Joe Marler tackle, sparking a turnover and two separate bouts of handbags in plain view of the touch judge Paul Burton. Courtney Lawes swung an elbow at George Robson, while Salesi Ma’afu aimed an open palm onto Will Collier’s chin.Meanwhile, exciting Northampton full-back Tom Collins launched a counter by chipping over Tim Molenaar, getting body-checked on the chase. From five metres away, Garner saw nothing untoward. A fractured passage of Quins attack continued, ending only when Calum Clark won a penalty for holding on. Spectators, stoic early on, were stirred into frenzy.Garner halted play and asked TMO David Grashoff for a look at Molenaar’s challenge. Moments went by. Vociferous cries of “off, off” from the 13,475 crowd morphed into a slow hand-clap.Numerous replays later, Garner decided to overrule himself (which must feel rather strange) and award a penalty for Molenaar’s challenge. But we weren’t done. Rather than seek the opinion of his assistant Burton – stood spitting distance away from the melee – Garner required a viewing of the scuffle between Lawes and Robson. To complete the farce, Grashoff reviewed Ma’afu’s slap, just for kicks. Keeping up?Omnipresent: TMOs are at every game this seasonNeither exchange was deemed illegal enough to warrant a penalty, so after around ten minutes, freezing cold Saints supporters watched Stephen Myler extend the hosts’ lead from the site of Molenaar’s obstruction. But the encounter had gone flat. At the Premiership launch, Mark McCafferty announced that each of the competition’s 135 matches would have a TMO – not only to review questionable instances up to two phases before a try, but also to look at potential foul play as part of an IRB trial.Wonderful news, we thought. Not any more.Over-reliance has crept in. Not universally, granted – Luke Pearce’s performance during Gloucester’s defeat to Saracens on Saturday was excellent. But it seems on the whole that on-field officials would rather take chunks of time to ‘go upstairs’ than trust their initial (usually accurate) judgment. Touch judges are almost obsolete. They may as well be tracksuit-clad replacements from either team – it’s good enough for the grassroots game.The problem is not restricted to England’s domestic scene. Ulster’s Pro 12 win over Munster on Friday saw Alain Rolland, renowned for rapid decisiveness, spend an age asking his TMO to observe alternative angles. Then he made a pivotal call without help, controversially adjudging Munster to have been held up over the line in the dying moments.Nobody is disputing how hard the job of a professional referee is – quite the opposite. Spurious review sessions encompassing each decision and non-decision in every game are supplemented by an arduous physical training schedule. With rocketing financial rewards, there is more pressure to get things right. The growing influence of a TMO is not always making that easier, though. Time is money, and lulls in action to deliberate over flat passes and rabbit punches are damaging a valuable product.Head back to Franklin’s Gardens for the final exchanges. George Pisi fired in on a one-man blitz and almost took Matt Hopper’s head off. Garner – on the spot again – calmed the situation down admirably and contacted his TMO. Approximately 20 rewinds later, a savage swinging-arm to the face had inexplicably drawn a yellow card on Grashoff’s recommendation.Naughty boy: Nick Easter vented his frustrations on TwitterOccasional human error in the heat of the moment is excusable. It can even enhance the drama of a match. Blunders are far less tolerable when television replays have caused a thumb-twiddling spell beforehand. A post-match tweet by Nick Easter that suggested Saints coach Dorian West had influenced Garner was rather naughty, but it was also symptomatic of disillusionment with the TMO system and growing animosity towards referees as a consequence.Give decision-making sovereignty back to officials and their touch-judges so everyone can start respecting them again. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Nick Easter of Harlequins during the Heineken Cup Pool 4 round 4 match between Harlequins and Racing Metro 92 at The Twickenham Stoop on December 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
It’s a question sure to polarise parents and coaches up and down the country. Is winning all that important, or is taking part the most beneficial aspect for the next generation? I’ve seen the benefits of this approach at Walcot. We want our teams to be as competitive as they can, and are happy for them when they win friendly games. But putting an emphasis on winning matches or tournaments would contradict the developmental focus we put on our coaching, and send a mixed message to children and parents. So when we play fixtures at mini level, we put out mixed-ability teams and not A, B and C teams.We prefer not to enter tournaments where there’s a declared winner and at the end of this season we’ll hold a round-robin festival, with no overall winners. Everyone will get a medal.As players get older, I believe they should experience more competition, and perhaps by 16 to 18 they should be entering leagues and cups. But at U7, does it matter which club wins the tournament? From what I’ve seen, it matters a lot more to the adults.Enjoyment: Minis rugby is thriving up and down the country (Pic Action Images)NOThis flawed thinking deprives kids of the chance to learn the lessons of life, says ex-England centre Simon Halliday Losing, like winning, is a fundamental part of life. How we respond to it helps define us as human beings. So you can imagine my bewilderment on hearing of the new rules imposed on teams participating in a mini festival in Surrey, part of the wider Kids First pilot programme run by the RFU.Teams had to play round-robin games with no knockout element and no overall winner. Sides were of mixed abilities and coaches were expected to discuss the strengths of their selections beforehand to ensure teams were evenly matched. They were asked to adjust them if necessary on the day.Clubs not adhering to these rules were told they would be asked to leave the festival. It’s a player-centred approach designed to bring enjoyment for all. In fact, it’s causing a serious amount of unhappiness.The ‘law makers’ at the RFU tell us that having winners and losers makes kids feel excluded, that mini-rugby coaches are working to an adult-driven agenda, living their own careers through their kids. Yet competition is not only instinctive but essential. As that great man Nelson Mandela said, you need to feel adversity to be able to deal with it.Athletic prowess: Young players are getting ever more powerful at a young age (Pic Inpho)Losing is part of life – it’s in the classroom, with your parents, on the streets. I started playing rugby when I was seven. I was small for my age and got a bit mangled at times, but it toughens you up. You smile, shake hands and vow to do better next time.There can be issues in mini rugby with parents who shout abuse on the sidelines. If that happens, you have to step in – even send a parent off if you have to. Rugby has a code of conduct. And, of course, there should be game time for all. If you’re 40 points up, then take off the best players.But this Kids First initiative is taking a sledgehammer to a nut. These people on the legacy committee talk about players as “customers”. They aren’t rugby people. And they’re missing the point, too, because there isn’t a problem with Surrey mini rugby. At my club Esher, hundreds of kids play the game every Sunday and get huge enjoyment. We have mixed teams, tag, girls – the whole lot.This new concept can work in areas where rugby needs to be developed, where it’s not embedded in the local schools. But don’t mess with the structure in established rugby areas because it’s not broken.We don’t have a tournament each Sunday, but there’s a time when you need one. A tournament is a chance to put everything into practice with a bit of pressure. It makes sure children understand the principles that underpin rugby, such as humility, respect and fair play.People are up in arms about the new rules and Esher weren’t alonein withdrawing from the festival. The dropout rate of young adult players has long exercised the minds of rugby’s rulers. Faced by falling participation rates in recent years, the RFU commissioned research into new ways to teach the younger age groups – with the emphasis on fun and involvement.Nothing controversial about that you’d think, and certainly there were few rumblings when an initial pilot scheme was run in three counties. But, say dissenters, the devil is in the detail. The latest development is the Kids First programme, launched last year and now being trialled by junior clubs up and down England.A key component of the new philosophy is the scrapping of competitive matches – meaning those where results are recorded and trophies can be won. Performance, not outcome, is the creed.Dave Parsons, a youth coach at Bath club Walcot, is one of those embracing the Kids First programme. He insists that a focus on ‘winning’ at festivals would undermine the development message practised throughout the season and that mixed-ability teams should be used until at least the age of 12.“Balderdash!” just might be Simon Halliday’s blurted response. The ex-England centre says children need to experience winning and losing to prepare them for life. He argues that kids need the opportunity to play under pressure, with pride and prizes at stake, and denying them that could see them switch to sports where their competitive juices can be satisfied.It’s a critical issue sure to evoke strong feelings. Read the views of Parsons and Halliday, then tell us what you think…Competitive instinct: Many youngsters are desperate to win (Pic Inpho)YESPutting fun first will develop players better and keep them in the game, says grass-roots youth coach Dave ParsonsThe current rules for mini and youth rugby were devised in 1990 and rely on ‘best guess’ development rather than credible evidence. The RFU decided to address that in 2007, commissioning research from Exeter University to identify how to improve the skills of young players and help retain them into the adult game.The studies show that kids learn best by playing small-sided games where they get lots of touches.Limiting the rules allows them to express themselves – why not play on if the ball is dropped? – and the large inequalities in body size, due to different maturation rates, mean reducing the emphasis on contact promotes skills and decision-making rather than a ‘bigger is better’ ethos.It’s unstructured sport in its purest form and part of this thinking is that winning isn’t important as the focus is on development and enjoyment.Indeed, one RFU survey of U8s and U10s found that 36% cited “having fun” as the prime reason for playing rugby, followed by “playing with friends” (24%) and “being involved in the action” (17%). Only 7% gave “winning” as their answer.Next generation: Tag rugby has been hugely successful (Pic Action images)Last season the RFU launched a pilot programme called Kids First, based on this philosophy. Walcot was one of about 30 clubs invited to take part. With only four-a-side at the youngest level (U7), kids get to run more, pass more, score more tries. They get sticker books in which to record personal achievements.Trying to ensure everyone improves, and builds confidence, is critical. Your focus has to be more about development and enjoyment than winning. Constant shouts of “spread out!” and “run straight!” will have an adverse effect on children.Winning has importance for youngsters but it’s a more transient experience than for adults. Coaches who focus on winning, and only regularly pick the best players, tend to end up with the ‘weaker’ players being marginalised and giving up.So the weaker players leave and, after a few years, between U13 and U16, the team folds. I’ve seen plenty of examples of this locally. The flip side is that coaches who focus on developing all players will retain more players over time. Particularly if they focus on game-based, rather than drill-based, training. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS You can’t tell a ten-year-old to get ready for a tournament that doesn’t have a winner, and in which they might have to change shirts to play for the other side. Nor can you tell them, “Please slow down because that person is slower or fatter than you.” That’s why you have A, B and C teams. It’s not rocket science. Should winning be scrapped in kids’ rugby? (Poll Closed) No 82.65% Yes 17.35% Comments (1) Create Your Own Poll Should winning be scrapped in kids' rugby?This article appeared in our Six Nations issue. For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here Should winning be scrapped in kids rugby? It’s a lively debate (Pic Inpho)
Time to put your national allegiances aside. A tough ask, we appreciate, but we want to know which of the RBS 6 Nations sides you genuinely believe will lift the coveted trophy on 19 March.For example, England are the bookies’ favourites for the Six Nations title almost every single year. But do you think the new dawn, with Eddie Jones in charge spells a return to the good old days?Maybe you think that Ireland can triumph again, as Rory Best steps into Paul O’Connell‘s sizeable shoes and leads his charges to a third Six Nations title in a row. Perhaps you feel that Wales will do what they did after the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups and win a Grand Slam in the next Six Nations. Maybe you think France, now under Guy Noves, can finally realise their potential and clamber back to the top of the pile. Maybe Scotland‘s exciting World Cup will propel them to genuine contenders, in your eyes. Maybe, just maybe, you have a gut feeling, against probability, that Italy will win it for the first time. Old glory: Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell with the Six Nations trophy last season LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS All you need to do is register your vote below and let us know who the best contender truly is… Who will win the Six Nations? (Poll Closed) Wales 33.59% England 27.69% Ireland 19.74% Scotland 11.54% France 6.67% Italy 0.77% Create Your Own Poll Who will win the Six Nations?
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Highlight As a group, the hosts never even came close to playing to their current ability.They undoubtedly played better rugby on their tour of Australia this summer, but to still comfortably see off the Springboks and have so many players missing through injury, well, it’s another positive step forward in Jones’ vision of where he wants England to be in three years’ time. England cantered to their first win over South Africa in 10 years at a packed out Twickenham, but the performance was far from perfect Winners are grinners: George Ford celebrates his try By Alex ShawEddie Jones’ England kept their undefeated year on track on Saturday, recording a 37-21 victory over South Africa and ending a winless streak against the Springboks that extended all the way back to 2006.After a nervous opening 30 minutes – understandable with a 10-year monkey on their back – England moved up a gear and cruised to a comfortable victory at Twickenham, but it was far from a vintage performance from the hosts.We delve into the good and the bad of the performance here, as well as the areas Jones and his charges need to work on ahead of upcoming Tests with Fiji, Argentina and Australia.The good…Starting with the good, impressive individual performances from several players were at the heart of England’s victory and none more so than the one turned in by Ben Youngs.The scrum-half had one of his best games in an England jersey, weighting his kicks perfectly for his chasers and constantly proving a thorn in the side of South Africa’s fringe defence around the rucks. In fact, Youngs’ propensity to take a step before passing saw him find two gaping holes in the Springbok defence, which he promptly exploited and turned into tries for both George Ford and Owen Farrell.Too hot to handle: Ben Youngs had a stellar match setting up two triesAnother standout was dynamic back-rower Billy Vunipola, who could not be stopped on the gain line or by a single Springbok tackler. For 19 carries, Vunipola towed South African defenders with him, sucked in bodies to the rucks and allowed England to find space on the wings on the occasions they could quickly ship the ball out wide.The work rate and general cleaning up duties of Chris Robshaw, Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes also stood out, as did the direction – not to mention the second and third kicking options – of centres Farrell and Elliot Daly. The trio of Robshaw, Launchbury and Lawes accounted for 21% of England’s carries and 26% of their tackles.One last player deserving of mention was Jonny May.Welcome return: Jonny May got on the scoresheet showing his searing paceThe winger did not see too much of the ball, but scored the opening try, chased well and defended manfully. To look so confident and assured on a knee that was only recently surgically reconstructed is quite the achievement. He deserves kudos for his rehabilitation, as much as for his performance.The handling skills of the team in wet conditions certainly exceeded those of England teams of recent years, particularly in their first Test of the season. Both Vunipola and Farrell took the ball to the line with purpose and threat, found options on the outside and inside and the lack of unforced errors from England was anything but customary.Battles such as the tactical kicking game and the contact area were both won, which allowed the hosts to control the territorial and possession contests and even though they never cut loose and put the Springboks away in the fashion they threatened to, it suffocated the South Africans and snuffed out any chance the visitors had to win the game.Wrecking ball: Billy Vunipola makes serious yardageThe bad…The lineout – with three new jumpers in Launchbury, Lawes and Tom Wood – was efficient and a Saracens-esque try line defensive stand towards the end of the second half were both positives, but lead on to two major negatives for England from this performance: the scrum and their defensive concentration.Springbok loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira gave Dan Cole and England a torrid time in the first few scrums, turning the screw on the Leicester man and the fact England’s good handling reduced the number of scrums was a big positive for the hosts. Mtawarira is one of, if not the most adept scrummaging loosehead in world rugby, so his performance was anything but surprising but it will have opened some eyes about an area of the England team that was believed to be one of its biggest strengths.Beast: Tendai Mtawarira gave Dan Cole a torrid time at scrum-timeDefensive concentration also waned at times, specifically leading to the two Springbok tries.Missed tackles as the South Africans put width on the ball led to Johan Goosen’s score, whilst some casual defensive reorganising created the space for Willie le Roux to go over in the final minute of the game.The game was all but wrapped up by the time Goosen went over for South Africa’s first try but that does not excuse the momentary mental switching off from the players and it was clearly something which irked both Jones and Paul Gustard.Attacking decision-making was another area where England will be looking to improve.Ford’s decision to drop back and attempt a drop goal in the first half was a head-scratcher, particularly with the South African defence struggling to stay organised when England put speed and width on the ball. The lead was slim at that point and the desire to put points on the board was understandable but with the phase count still low, it showed a surprising lack of ambition.Defensive lapse: Willie Le Roux was able to score late onSimilarly, Daly had a couple of opportunities to put the afterburners on and go on his trademark outside arcs, but instead cut inside and did not break the gain line on either carry. A safer option, certainly, but one that could have been the difference between victory and defeat in a closer game.The ugly…The most notable and potentially costly negatives about England’s performance, however, were the early discipline issues.England conceded 10 penalties to South Africa’s seven, with the majority coming in the opening 30 minutes.They struggled to stay onside, with Wood and Launchbury both culpable early on. Not only did it prevent England from building any early momentum, it gave the Springboks plenty of opportunities for points and/or pressure relief, something which will prove costlier against a more clinical side.Too easy: England gave away far to penalties in the opening quarterWhilst the handling was markedly improved from the autumnal performances we have seen from England in recent years, the indiscipline was a far more familiar sight.With all that said, England ended a winless streak that had lasted for a grand total of nine years and 359 days in their first Test of the season, against a team that had been playing together, on and off, for the last five months.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Changes are expected for the Second Test, with Warren Gatland looking for the winning formula against a formidable All Blacks side, so who’s in pole position? Point to prove: George North has all the motivation he needs to perform against the Hurricanes Super Rugby’s great entertainers, the Hurricanes lie in wait for the Lions this evening, with a power-packed side feature a smattering of All Blacks including Julian Savea, Nehe-Milner Skudder and the youngest Barrett boy, Jordie. Warren Gatland has demanded a response after a troubling 30-15 loss and changes are expected to the matchday 23 for the Westpac on Saturday. These are a few players who have a genuine chance of forcing their way into his plans…Rory BestOne area the Lions struggled badly in the first Test was the breakdown and Rory Best has often acted as an auxilliary flanker, with countless turnovers for Ulster and Ireland – he is extremely strong over the ball. Coupled with the experience earned with 104 caps, Best’s tackle count regularly hits double-figures and Gatland trusts him to lead the Lions into a game which he hopes will re-energise a squad deflated by a Test loss.Leadership: Rory Best is widely respected by his peers and has beaten New Zealand beforeNeither Jamie George or Ken Owen were error free at Eden Park, with Owens missing a key lineout, and Jamie George being outshone by Codie Taylor, on the Saracens’ first Test start. A big performance by the Ulsterman could earn him a bench spot in front of the watching Best clan.Jack NowellWarren Gatland is rumoured to be a confirmed admirer of the Exeter Chief and despite an inauspicious Lions bow against the Provincial Barbarians, where he made countless mistakes, he has improved as the tour has progressed. His performance against the Chiefs a week ago was eye-catching.Dynamic: Jack Nowell’s industry has impressed Warren Gatland on tourHe scored two tries and was a picture of industry, coming off his wing, looking for the ball and carrying for 57 metres. Deployed at full-back for the Hurricanes game, Gatland will be studying his positioning, strength under the high-ball and broken-field running before deciding whether to keep Liam Williams in situ, or stick with the reliable Leigh Halfpenny.George North TAGS: Highlight North, the star of the 2013 Lions Series, has had a low-key tour, playing in only two games, against the Crusaders and the New Zealand Maori. While he was defensively sound against the ‘Saders, he offered little in attack, didn’t challenge for high-balls and made very little yardage. The audition for the First Test against the Maori, he fluffed his lines, failing to deal with a routine defensive clean-up, going down to collect the ball and gifting Liam Messam a try.Costly error: George North’s mistake against the Maori didn’t help his confidenceFor a player of North’s undoubted stature – he was considered a shoe-in for the Test team – it will be fascinating to see how he responds mentally to being dropped for the first time in his career. His class and match-winning ability are beyond question but he needs to re-find his mojo, go looking for the ball in midfield and make some line-breaks. With Julian Savea parked opposite him, it could prove an intriguing evening at the Westpac.FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HERECourtney LawesWarren Gatland name checked Courtney Lawes at the press conference for the Hurricanes game, saying he’d had a very good tour. While he selected the triumvirate of starters Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis and Maro Itoje from the bench, the common concensus is that spots are up for grabs in the engine room.In-form: Courtney Lawes could add the ballast that was lacking in the First TestThe explosive Lawes, arguably England’s most improved player of the last 12 months, knows a game where he plays to his strengths – namely high tackle-count, destructive collisions and consistency at the set-piece – give him every chance of forcing his way into the matchday 23 for Saturday, especially with Jones and Kruis not enjoying their best games against the majestic Brodie Retallick and Courtney Lawes. The fact that he can play at blindside only adds to his versatility.Jonathan Joseph Jonathan Joseph has endured a roller-coaster first Lions experience. Long rumoured to be overlooked for a squad place, he found his name parachuted in late-on, and after an indifferent performance against the Provincial Barbarians (he was not alone), he has flitted around the squad, without much of an impact so far.Jonathan Joseph has endured a frustrating Lions tour so farA few injury niggles haven’t helped his cause, but days before the First Test, having been ommitted from the squad for the Chiefs, he admitted that hopes were high that he’d made the Test 23 – and he admitted there was a sense of frustration that he yet again, missed out to Leigh Halfpenny for the 23 shirt.
Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Featured Events The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Comments are closed. Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Rector Collierville, TN Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Director of Music Morristown, NJ Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Press Release Service Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Shreveport, LA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID The Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook, assistant rector at St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, dedicates a marker erected by Boy Scout C.J. Kaloudis to highlight the bell tower’s history as a memorial to World War I soldiers. Photo: Dom Gerard[Episcopal News Service] While celebrating the divine gift of the Holy Spirit to the church on Pentecost Sunday, St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, also celebrated the human gifts of service and sacrifice as it honored men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who died serving their country.George Stanley Butcher was a parishioner at St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, who was killed in battle in World War I in 1918 at age 23. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism. Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News ServiceIn particular, the church honored seven parishioners who died during World War I, especially George Stanley Butcher, a former crucifer who posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism.The church’s bell tower was erected in memory of those who died and in celebration of the safe return of other local World War I soldiers. The tower, currently under repair, was donated by Alexander Luchars, a St. James warden for 15 years, and contains bells inscribed with the names of the parish’s seven deceased soldiers.The church’s tribute focused on the World War I soldiers, and on Butcher in particular, to bring a human face to war, the Rev. C. Melissa Hall, St. James interim rector, told Episcopal News Service.Sometimes war is a necessity, she said. “World War II is a perfect example.” There was a “horrible evil” in the world, and people acted against it, said Hall. Her father, Paul, served in World War II, fighting at the Battle of the Bulge and helping to liberate a Nazi concentration camp.But, she said, “If you talk about war in the abstract, if you don’t make that connection and honor those people and name them, war becomes a lot easier. We’re a country at war, and people don’t even think about it.”The May 24 Eucharist included the “last roll call” reading of the names of the seven World War I soldiers – a military tradition in which each deceased soldier’s name is said three times – by parishioner 2 Lt. Phillip Russo of the 50th Brigade Combat Team of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and his childhood friend 1 Lt. Gregory Carnazza of the Weapons Training Battalion of the Marine Corps Installations East. Russo’s father Cole, a Marine Corps veteran and former St. James warden, read a letter written by Butcher’s commanding officer, Maj. Williard E. Tydings, informing Butcher’s parents of his Oct. 27, 1918, death at age 23.The Rev. C. Melissa Hall, interim rector at St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and parishioner C. J. Kaloudis stand in front of the marker he created as an Eagle Scout project to highlight the church’s bell tower’s history as a memorial to World War I soldiers. Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News Service“May God, in his mercy, ease your pain, with the knowledge that only can the finest of men give up their live for others,” Tydings wrote. “It is the wish of myself and the other officers and men who are left that this letter be published that his friends and townspeople may get a glimpse of his noble act.”In her sermon, Hall interwove the themes of Pentecost and Memorial Day.“Pentecost inspires the idea of the beginning of something new for humankind, it marks a new creation, a new church and a new life touched by the peace of God,” she said. “And, on the other hand, there’s Memorial Day which is about endings, and remembering the events of the past, and the lives lost in war.“Pentecost united the peoples of the world with one voice, one mission, one purpose,” she said. “And that purpose was to become the people of God, and to do the work of God. … The disciples are called by one name in the Spirit, and they are all God’s people.“Memorial Day is about naming as well. It is a national holiday that honors the fallen military that died in the service of this country. And as noble and important as that is, once this day is past, it is easy to forget those men and women who sacrificed themselves during times of wars.“Today Saint James has taken on the responsibility to put the faces to the names and to tell the stories of the lives of the fallen from World War I, who came from this church,” she said. “These are the stories we must remember if we are truly to honor our war dead.“War as an abstraction can be a dangerous thing, because it makes it so easy to see it as our only option to conflict,” she said. “I will say the same thing for peace, because peace cannot be done in the abstract. Peace is the outcome of an action. Peace requires at least two people standing face to face.”She concluded, “Let these lost children of Saint James remind us that war in the abstract is not an option, let their sacrifice make us mindful to follow in the ways of Jesus, and may their lives always guide us to choose love and peace first.”After the service, the congregation gathered on the church lawn. Phillip Russo read Butcher’s Distinguished Service Cross commendation. Then Hall and the Rev. Audrey Hasselbrook, assistant rector, led a litany commemorating the seven World War I soldiers and those who have died in other wars. A pair of military boots with a photo of each St. James soldier was displayed on red fabric banners hanging from the tower scaffolding and lining the church walkway – inspired, Hall said, by the sea of red ceramic poppies displayed as a World War I memorial outside the Tower of London.Seven parishioners who died serving in World War I were remembered with a Memorial Day display of boots, candles and photos at St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News ServiceChoir member David Gurniak played taps. Then Hasselbrook dedicated a sign with historic photos and a description of the bell tower’s significance, recently erected as an Eagle Scout project by parishioner C. J. Kaloudis. His Boy Scout Troop 12 meets at the church. The ceremony ended with a tolling of the tower’s bells.Kaloudis, a high school sophomore who aspires to join the Navy, said he liked how the tower was designed to bring church and community together.“The town actually helped pay for this bell tower,” he said. “It was saying that this bell tower is for the town. It’s not just for the church, not just for this one religion.” It was dedicated to all the soldiers who fought, he said, “everyone in Montclair.”Parishioner Katherine Hall-Kapinski examines the photo of one of the soldiers from St. James Episcopal Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, killed during World War I. Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News ServiceKaloudis, who recently was confirmed in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, said he also wanted to do a project to benefit the church as a way of thanking it for hosting his troop and for supporting him through his years in the parish.Phillip Russo and Carnazza each said they appreciated the chance to participate in the tribute.Thinking about the soldiers they memorialized as a serviceman himself, Russo said, “It’s just a recognition that all of us are connected. … We’re just continuing their legacy.”With the St. James Memorial Day tribute, Hall told ENS, “We’re not memorializing war.” Rather, she said, the church is stopping to memorialize those who died serving their country. “We do this because it’s the right thing to do and it’s what we’re called to do.”— Sharon Sheridan is an Episcopal News Service correspondent. Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs 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 Youth Minister Lorton, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Submit a Job Listing Rector Albany, NY Rector Martinsville, VA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Knoxville, TN May 27, 2015 at 8:32 am Nice article. The rectors’ words are very thoughtful and moving. 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Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Curate Diocese of Nebraska Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Jobs & Calls Primates Meeting 2016 reaction Featured Events Rector Bath, NC Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Belleville, IL In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Submit an Event Listing An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Tags Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Washington, DC 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 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Youth Minister Lorton, VA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Primates Meeting 2016, The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit a Job Listing Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Episcopal Church bishops speak to dioceses on Primates Meeting Rector Albany, NY Posted Jan 15, 2016 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Shreveport, LA Submit a Press Release Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Primates Meeting, AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Hopkinsville, KY Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Smithfield, NC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Press Release Service Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Director of Music Morristown, NJ This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 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 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Anglican Communion, Rector Collierville, TN Rector Tampa, FL