Lee Byrne will have the plaster removed from his fractured thumb this week ahead of a potential return to action in time for the crucial Heineken Cup fixtures against London Irish and Toulon later this month, his region, the Ospreys have confirmed. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Ospreys He has been sidelined since suffering the fracture during the Wales V New Zealand game at the end of November, but Ospreys Head Physio, Chris Towers, has confirmed that Byrne is close to making a comeback, saying: “This Saturday is six weeks post injury and Lee is having the plaster removed at the end of this week. He is eager to be back playing as soon as possible, and we will be looking to accelerate his return, with a view to making him available for selection for the London Irish game.”
He is not the first to pack his truck and pop off to regions new. Mike Friday may be currently sitting on the coaching merry-go-round after leaving his post with Kenya, but he impressed while he was with the East African outfit. Many expected him to slot back into a role with England, but with Simon Amor taking up the role there are options for Friday to continue looking around.Top scorer: Gollings will pass on knowledgeSounds like the old England crew have been getting out there, spreading their tentacles? Well, former captain Andy Vilk is coaching with the Italian national sevens side as well as playing for Calvisano and IRB sevens’ all-time top points scorer Ben Gollings is coaching Sri Lanka while also doing work with the Serevi business, which looks to grow rugby in North America. EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – MAY 28: Ben Gollings of England runs in a try during the match between England and Wales during day one of the IRB Edinburgh Sevens Festival at Murrayfield Stadium on May 28, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS On to pastures new: Ben Ryan keeps his 2016 Olympic dream alive by taking the reigns with Fiji’s sevens sideBy Alan DymockSPREADING GOSPEL is part of modern rugby some would have you believe. With several charities taking the game out East and tiny steps taken all the time to encourage more global participation, the hope is that rugby continues to grow.Sevens is undoubtedly one of the most aggressively expanding sports out there and with the 2016 Rio Olympics looming large the race is on to take the truncated version of the game to farther flung places and always, always there are new ‘markets.’ No wonder, then, that several Brits have taken the game with them around the globe.Playing the exciting way: Fiji entertain in any conditionsThis week it was announced that Ben Ryan will become the new head coach of Fiji sevens on a three-year deal, taking the reigns at one of the most consistently exciting and competitive sides on the HSBC World Sevens Series circuit. Of course the ambitious coach may have one eye on the Olympics, but he has a team capable of taking him there anyway. Then there is Scotland’s Clark Laidlaw, son of Roy Laidlaw and cousin of Greig, has taken his experiences with sevens on the Borders circuit with Jed Forest and used them in his move to the Southern Hemisphere. Laidlaw has recently been linked, unsuccessfully, with roles with the Scotland sevens squad, but he has continued to work as the Wellington Hurricanes skills coach, after initially working with Taranaki.New Zealand may be the reigning Sevens Series champions, but all around them the Brits are having an influence.
France’s fly-half Jules Plisson (R) is congradulated by a supporter, followed by France’s flanker Antoine Burban (2nd R), after winning the Six Nations rugby union match between France and England on February 1, 2014 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images) France team v Italy: Dulin, Huget, Bastareaud, Fofana, Bonneval, Plisson, Doussain, Picamoles, Le Roux, Nyanga, Maestri, Papé, Mas, Szarzewski, DomingoReplacements: Kayser, Forestier, Slimani, Vahaamahina, Chouly, Machenaud, Trinh-Duc, Fickou Debut: Saint-Andre has picked in-form wing Hugo Bonneval to make his Test debut against Italy on SundayBy Gavin Mortimer What has happened to Philippe Saint-Andre? The once arch-conservative coach has sprung another surprise by handing 23-year-old Hugo Bonneval, from Stade Français, his first cap on the wing against Italy on Sunday in place of Maxime Médard. Few saw that coming. Admittedly, Saint-Andre also caught most commentators unaware by opting to continue with Mathieu Bastareaud instead of giving 19-year-old Gaël Fickou his first start in the Six Nations.Centre fold: There were calls for Bastareaud to be left outYou’ll need no reminding that it was Fickou who scored the winning try against England on Saturday, though it was created by that lightning burst of speed from substitute hooker Dimitri Szarzewski. The Racing man gets the nod against Italy ahead of Benjamin Kayser although Saint-Andre said it was a tough call to make. “We’re lucky to have two top quality hookers,” explained the France coach. “We thought it better to start with Dimitri.”As for the decision to leave Fickou on the bench, Saint-Andre said of Bastareaud: “Defensively and offensively, he was important against the English.”The only other change sees the return in the second row of Toulouse’s Yoann Maestri with Alexandre Flanquart dropping down to the bench.Unsurprisingly Saint-Andre is continuing with his half-back partnership of Jean-Marc Doussain and Jules Plisson. “For his first cap, Plisson showed his quality,” commented Saint-Andre. “We really want to continue this partnership.”While the win against a naive England was a huge fillip for France – and a great relief for Saint-Andre who was under immense pressure going into the game – the French must be careful not to allow the victory to paper over the cracks. Yes, they are teeming with talent out wide but in the pack there remains a lack of resources. Nicolas Mas and Thomas Domingo had the edge over their English counterparts in the first quarter last week but they were soon flagging and the 33-year-old Mas, once such a dominant scrummager, is becoming a 40-minute front row forward. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Crowd pleaser: Plisson is congratulated for France’s winIn the second row Pascal Pape and Maestri are good players but not in the world-class bracket and again there are few options in that department. Not so the back-row where France – even without injured captain Thierry Dusautoir – have strength in depth. Yannick Nyanga and Louis Picamoles both had strong games against England while Bernard Le Roux gets another outing against Italy.But all the talk going into Sunday’s game will be about Bonneval. “Even if he’s more used to playing at full-back, I saw him play wing against London Irish (in December’s Challenge Cup) and he was exceptional,” said Saint-Andre in explaining his decision to field him on the left wing.He is the son of Eric, a livewire Toulouse wing who won 18 caps for France in the 1980s and was a member of that mesmeric backline that included Serge Blanco, Denis Charvet, Franck Mesnel and Philippe Sella. Bonneval senior’s standout season was 1987 when he scored five tries (including a hat-trick against Scotland) as France won the Grand Slam.It’s tempting to say that the current French threequarter line has the potential to be almost as exciting, what with Bonneval, Fofana, Fickou, Dulin and Huget all gifted footballers who use their brains and their pace – as opposed to their brawn – to beat players. As Eric said recently of his son, his “great strength is his speed”, though he was quick to add: “He looks to see what his options are, he looks for the space…and he’s very skilful.”In short, Bonneval Jnr plays the game like Bonneval Snr, and that can only please connoisseurs of the sport, regardless of their allegiance.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It may be Valentine’s Day on Sunday, but England coach Eddie Jones won’t be giving Italy any presents in Rome, naming a strong side to face the Azzurri with three changes from last week’s win over Scotland.Most notable among the changes is the promotion to the starting XV of scrum-half Ben Youngs (Leicester), who gets the nod ahead of Harlequins’ Danny Care.The only other changes to the starting line-up come in the pack, with Mako Vunipola replacing Joe Marler at loosehead and Courtney Lawes proving his fitness to be named ahead of Joe Launchbury in the second-row.Launchbury drops to the bench, where he is joined by Saracens prodigy Maro Itoje, who travelled to Murrayfield last week but not as part of the matchday squad.Paul Hill (Northampton) is the other uncapped bench player, having been unused against Scotland on Saturday. “We’ve made a few changes to the line up for Italy. I believe this is the strongest 23 to go to Rome and get the performance and result we want.” Jones said. “Mako, Ben and Courtney have been pushing hard for selection during training, but they also fit the game plan we want to implement against Italy. Danny, Joe Marler and Joe Launchbury will all have a significant roles to play to finish the game.”“It has been an intense week of training and I am pleased with how the group have responded to some of the things we’ve asked them to do. Maro has consistently impressed me this week and, together with his excellent club form, has deserved his call up to the match day squad.”England team to face Italy on Sunday Ben Youngs passes the ball during the England training session held at Pennyhill Park on February 4, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) Ben Youngs, Mako Vunipola and Courtney Lawes return to the starting line-up for England’s game against Italy in Rome on Sunday TAGS: Highlight M Brown (Harlequins); A Watson (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), O Farrell (Saracens), J Nowell (Exeter Chiefs); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); M Vunipola (Saracens), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), G Kruis (Saracens), C Robshaw (Harlequins), J Haskell (Wasps), B Vunipola (Saracens).Replacements J George (Saracens), J Marler (Harlequins), P Hill (Northampton), J Launchbury (Wasps), M Itoje (Saracens, uncapped), J Clifford (Harlequins), D Care (Harlequins), A Goode (Saracens)
Times, they may be a changing. The traditional triumvirate of power in the Southern Hemisphere – New Zealand, Australia and South Africa – is no longer the all-powerful force it once was. New Zealand are still way out in front, but the signs are that both the Springboks and Wallabies may be in perilous decline.In recent times, both countries have bought into the folly of Super rugby expansion. Australia added a fourth team to their original three in 2006 (Western Force) and increased that to five in 2011 with the establishment of the Melbourne Rebels. The situation in South Africa is similar, with the Cheetahs and now the Kings added to the Super rugby roster.At the same time, the outflow of home-grown provincial and Test-quality players to European clubs has quickened, especially since the 2011 World Cup. Local problems beset the ARU and SARU, with Australia under constant pressure from Aussie Rules and Rugby League to keep its share of the sporting market, and the political scenario in South Africa dictating the need for ‘quotas’. 50% of players selected to the Springboks must be coloured by the time of 2019 World Cup, with 60% of those to be black African.The leakage of established players to Europe and Japan, and the dilution of the talent remaining have weakened Australian and South African rugby to the point where the door is ajar for someone else to stake their claim on the international scene.England has already jammed its foot in that door with Eddie Jones winning his first nine Tests in charge and sweeping the Wallabies in the June series, away from home.The other country which may fill the power vacuum, and become a regular top three rugby nation, is Argentina. The Pumas reached the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup after despatching Ireland in one of the games of the tournament, and they have started the Rugby Championship by sharing the home-and away series against South Africa one match apiece, with last Saturday’s highlights on Sky Sports (below). If it had been a boxing contest over the two matches, the Pumas would have won it on points convincingly.SAS GEO ERRORThis video is not authorized in your locationRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO
WATCH: Vereniki Goneva Recreates Alan Shearer Celebration At St James’ ParkIt was a spectacular enough sight seeing Newcastle Falcons run out at St James’ Park, home of the famous Newcastle United football side. In black and white stripes, no less.But it all got even better when winger Vereniki Goneva scored. His try was an important one as Falcons edged a humdinger of a match, beating Saints 25-22. Many Falcons fans’ thanks will have to go to Toby Flood, whose assured boot saw the North East side through to the win.The original: Alan Shearer celebrates a goal at his beloved St James’ ParkHere are two big reasons why local lad Shearer is so celebrated. He is the top goalscorer in English Premier League history, with 260 goals to his name. He is also the top scorer in Newcastle United history, having netted 206 times for the Magpies. Lethal and local: it’s the stuff of fans dreams.Goneva can be deadly too. In his debut Premiership season, he scored ten tries in 19 outings for Leicester Tigers. He was the league’s top-scorer the next season and was named the player of the season by the RPA. He already has ten tries to his name this season for Falcons.Related: Itoje sends message with try celebrationHis was not the only notable try celebration this weekend, though. In Saracens’ 24-11 victory over Harlequins – also held at a football ground, with West Ham’s London Stadium a sell-out – Maro Itoje sent a clear message with his own try celebration. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Having bashed through to score in the bottom corner, the lock rolled over with his hands under his head, miming as if he was sleeping. This is a clear reference to comments made in recent days that Itoje is one of several England internationals who had seen a collapse in their form due to tiredness.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter. Having picked up from the base of the ruck, Goneva had a clear run to the line, with Northampton Saints left stunned at the Fijian doing a bit of forwards’ work. After he dotted down, the No 14 wheeled away, right arm held aloft in an homage to one of Newcastle’s favourite sons, Alan Shearer. Big tribute: Vereniki Geneva celebrates like Shearer at St James’ Park
Autumn Internationals: England v Japan previewHow refreshing to see Japan interrupt the usual superpower roster, with the world’s 11th-ranked nation about to play only their second official Test against England.The first was way back in 1987, Mike Harrison’s side winning 60-7 in Sydney in the inaugural World Cup, although England have toured Japan on a number of occasions.In 1971, for example, an England XV led by Budge Rogers had to scrap hard for wins by 27-19 and 6-3. Instead of a coin toss before the first meeting in Osaka, the teams played a game of ‘paper, stone, scissors’ to decide who had choice of ends. How unfortunate that the FA suspended a football referee for taking the same harmless action in a recent WSL match.Mists of time: lineout action from the teams’ only previous official Test, in Sydney in 1987 (Getty Images)England coach Eddie Jones has close ties to this weekend’s opposition, of course. He has a Japanese wife, Hiroko, and has spent years coaching in the country, including his first steps on the coaching ladder in the mid-Nineties when he took charge of the Tokai University team in Tokyo (and banned them from kicking).The seeds of Japan’s famous victory over the Springboks at RWC 2015, when Jones was head coach, were sown by his uncompromising attitude to defeat.Japan captain Michael Leitch referred to that this week, saying: “The great thing that Eddie did in Japanese rugby was to change the mindset. The national team always accepted losing and he changed that and set us on the right track. We can’t accept losing, we can’t accept saying we did our best but we lost.”Look sharp: Danny Care, left, and Elliot Daly do a training drill at Pennyhill Park this week (Getty Images)Once again, the pay discrepancy between England’s players and Tier Two opponents has been highlighted, with news that some Japan players are receiving £13 a day on tour compared to England players’ £25,000 a cap.That’s not England’s fault and they should not feel guilty, nor underestimate a team that two weeks ago stuck 31 points on the All Blacks. Japan are a far cry from the teams that used to crush all Asian opposition but subside against the major rugby nations. They are here to play.Taking some air: Jamie Henry scores in spectacular style during Japan’s 69-31 loss to the All Blacks (Getty)What’s the big team news?Wholesale England changes – 11 in all – were expected but the latest curveball is the selection of Jack Nowell at 13. It’s an idea Eddie Jones mooted last season and, in fact, the Exeter wing replaced Jonathan Joseph at centre in the 2017 win against France.Nowell lines up outside Alex Lozowski and ten George Ford – captain for the second time following the Samoa match last autumn and winning his 50th cap.As expected, 21-year-old Bath bulldozer Joe Cokanasiga makes his Test debut, necessitating a switch of sides for Chris Ashton. Cokanasiga, who was born in Suva but moved to England aged three, was in a troupe of traditional Fijian dancers that performed at the RWC 2015 opener at Twickenham.Size at six: Courtney Lawes, in action last week against New Zealand, resumes his blindside role (Getty)Up front, George Kruis’s calf injury allows Charlie Ewels to come in, with specialist lock Courtney Lawes starting at six – as he did throughout this year’s Six Nations. The All Blacks’ introduction of a third lock, Scott Barrett, at Twickenham last weekend helped turn the game and it seems to be very much in vogue, because on the same day Argentina fielded Guido Petti at six in Dublin.Mark Wilson moves to seven to give a deserved first start to Bath No 8 Zach Mercer and the bench features uncapped flanker Ted Hill, 19, who only made his Worcester debut in September. If Japan know little about him, the same can be said of his England team-mates.Light moment: Fumiaki Tanaka, Japan’s most-capped current player, with Waisake Naholo in Tokyo (Getty)Japan make eight changes to the team that lost to New Zealand earlier this month. Fumiaki Tanaka, who was the first Japanese player to play Super Rugby, comes in at scrum-half while Will Tupou shifts from centre to full-back.Veteran hooker Shota Horie, one of the stars of Japan’s RWC 2015 campaign, is absent, having not made the tour squad because of a fractured foot.Japan finish their European tour against Russia at Kingsholm on 24 November.What have the coaches said?England head coach Eddie Jones said: “Japan is an important game for us as we want to get back to winning ways. We have also tested ourselves in having a shorter preparation. We gave the players two days off after three weeks of intensive work. We’ve had a short preparation but a good preparation.“This weekend is a good opportunity for us to test the depth of the squad. A number of players have changed their roles going from finishers to starters and starters to finishers, so that is the essential change to the squad. It is exciting to be able to give starting opportunities to Zach Mercer and Joe Cokanasiga, and young Ted Hill on the bench.Ted Talks: teenage flanker Ted Hill could win a first cap just weeks after his Worcester debut (Getty)“We are expecting plenty of energy, aggression and fast ball movement from Japan. They will be full of surprises, quick taps, lineouts and plays. They are going to have a bag of magic.“Last week the fans were absolutely exceptional in the atmosphere they created for the players. It was the best I have seen and we are looking forward to more of that on Saturday.” TAGS: Japan Japan head coach Jamie Joseph: “Eddie Jones is a great coach. He has coached club rugby in Japan for many years and has got a lot of relationships. We’ve got a lot of those players here.“The fact England are targeting us physically is no secret; what we do about that we’ll see on Saturday. It hasn’t changed our approach to the game but we’re going to have to tackle them.“We’re going to have to take what comes at us and throw something back. I think some of our players are up to it mentally and physically. We do have smaller men and we do play the game differently because of that, so we try to keep the game quick.”Any interesting statistics?* The only previous Test between the countries, at RWC 1987, saw England score ten tries in a 60-7 rout. Wings Mike Harrison (three) and Rory Underwood (two) scored half of them.* Japan played at Twickenham in October 1986, losing 39-12 in front of 25,000 spectators. Skipper Richard Hill was one of six Bath players in the home line-up.Snared: Stuart Barnes offloads during the uncapped match at Twickenham in 1986 (Getty Images)* George Ford becomes the fourth fly-half to win 50 caps for England after Jonny Wilkinson (91), Rob Andrew (71) and Toby Flood (60). Mike Catt won 75 caps but in multiple positions.* Japan have won 11 of their last 17 matches in Europe. Their last game on the continent saw them draw 23-23 with France last year – the best result of Jamie Joseph’s 25-match tenure.What time does it kick off and is it on TV?The match at Twickenham kicks off at 3pm UK time on Saturday and is live on Sky Sports. There will also be live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and online.Taking the whistle is New Zealand’s Paul Williams, who three years ago became the first full-time professional referee from the Taranaki province.His assistant referees for this match are Welshmen Nigel Owens and Dan Jones, with South Africa’s Marius Jonker again fulfilling TMO duties following his call to rule out Sam Underhill’s late try against the All Blacks last week.What are the line-ups?ENGLAND Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Jack Nowell, Alex Lozowski, Chris Ashton; George Ford (capt), Danny Care; Alec Hepburn, Jamie George, Harry Williams, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Zach Mercer.Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Ted Hill, 20 Sam Underhill, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Henry Slade.JAPAN Will Tupou; Akihito Yamada, Timothy Lafaele, Ryoto Nakamura, Kenki Fukuoka; Yu Tamura, Fumiaki Tanaka; Keita Inagaki Atsushi Sakate, Jiwon Koo, Wimpie van der Walt, Uwe Helu, Michael Leitch (capt), Masakatsu Nishikawa, Kazuki Himeno,Replacements 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Samuela Anise, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 22 Yutaka Nagare, 23 Rikiya Matsuda.Artistic: this Japanese fan went to great effort with his banner for the match against New Zealand (Getty)Japan exhibitionThe World Rugby Museum at Twickenham has opened a special exhibition called ‘Brave Blossoms’ which charts the history of rugby in Japan.The exhibition tells the story of how ‘the father of Japanese rugby’, Ginosuke Tanaka, first brought the sport to Keio University and how a series of sporting pioneers, including members of the Japanese Royal Family, allowed the sport to flourish. Welcome to Twickenham: Japan fans get the chance to see their side at the home of English rugby (Getty) All you need to know about the Test between England and Japan at Twickenham LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It examines how Japanese corporations have nurtured the game at domestic level, allowing Japanese rugby to make significant impacts on the international stage, culminating in the famous victory by the Brave Blossoms over the Springboks at RWC 2015 and the awarding of the 2019 World Cup to Japan.The World Rugby Museum is located in the South Stand of Twickenham. Visitors can watch an extensive interview with England coach Eddie Jones, while notable items on display include the oldest rugby jersey in Japan, the oldest Japanese international jersey and a jersey from the 2015 victory over South Africa.
Advertising FeatureJapan 2019 Travel Guide: NiigataFrom sea views to sushi and straw art to hot springs, there is a huge variety of things on offer in the port city of Niigata…The Culture Vulture September and October are not just the dates for the World Cup; it’s also when the Niigata Wara Art Festival takes place. The festival is held each year on the large grounds of Uwasekigata Park and the giant, carefully-crafted sculptures – often of animals – are made of rice straw collected after the harvest.There are also around 90 sake breweries in Niigata, with the area’s land ideal for producing the rice crops needed. Head to the Ponshukan Sake Museum to taste different varieties.And if you’re a fan of anime, check out the Niigata Manga Animation Museum.Simply the best: A kiwami sushi platterThe Foodie Many sushi restaurants in the city offer a special ten-piece kiwami (‘the best’) platter that includes the chef’s selection of local seasonal offerings together with uni (sea urchin roe), toro (medium-fat tuna), and ikura (salmon roe). Plus, you get a clear soup. A great way to try the best the area has to offer.The Adventurer LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS How to get thereYou can reach Niigata City in approximately two hours by bullet train from Tokyo. Alternatively, there are once-daily direct flights with ANA from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Niigata Airport that take 65 minutes. TAGS: Japan Draw straws: A Niigata Wara Art Festival sculpture Take a scenic drive along the Echigo Nanaura coastal route – there are great views of the sea and rock formations on the shore.Learn how to make Koshihikari rice, then enjoy eating it with other local dishes as part of the Hagama Experience. There are also lots of sushi-making workshops.Hands on: Try a sushi-making workshop in NiigataYou can relax in one of the many thermal spring resorts – Iwamuro, Tsukioka or Senami, for example. The latter faces the Japan Sea, where you can swim.The Party Animal Niigata’s Furumachi Kagai (geisha district) is a historical part of the city with a vibrant culture – and you can buy a TIPSY Pass to sample local dishes and sake at participating restaurants and bars, many of which have been running for more than 100 years.Stroll around to take in the traditional buildings and soak up the atmosphere as well as enjoying the food and drink. It’s a ten-minute taxi ride from Niigata station.For more travel information… nvcb.or.jp/travelguide/en There’s plenty to do in the largest city on Honshu’s Japan Sea coast
In the bronze match in Rio, Canada crushed GB 33-10 in what captain Jen Kish called “a freaking historic moment”.Up to that point, Williams says she was helped by her gymnastics background. She is able to get low in the tackle – “I get folded in my crazy ways, and I’m decently flexible, so I find I’m pretty good really close to the ground” – and she has always had a sharp turn of pace.She laughs about her ability to spring off the ground and those who watch sevens regularly will clock her pushing off would-be tacklers and diving towards carriers from a distance.Improvements? “My biggest work-on has been decision-making. I’ve been lucky enough to have decent speed and strength, it just comes naturally to me. But at the level we play at, that doesn’t really cut it anymore.”Marry athleticism with savviness and Williams may just be jumping for joy at the Tokyo Games, too. DURING HER sporting childhood, it was not sevens rugby players that Charity Williams idolised. In her wildest dreams, she wanted to be just like US gymnast Shawn Johnson on the Olympic stage.“I was a gymnast for like my entire life, pretty much,” Williams tells Rugby World. “But I realised at a young age that it wasn’t going to take me to the Olympics, which had always been my dream. So I was at a crossroads.”When the athletic Toronto native took up rugby in Grade Ten, she could not possibly have known that she would go on to win a bronze medal at the Olympic Games, in Rio in 2016 – by her own admission, she didn’t even know rugby was a sport prior to joining high school.Fittingly, the speedster is also a fast learner and her skill-set learnt on the mats and springboards would eventually set her apart. However, it wasn’t always a guarantee that she would shine.“I had been let go from the team that year and I was off the team for about six months,” she says of her tumultuous build-up to the Rio Games. “The whole year leading up, I didn’t think I was going to go, so I had a different mindset.“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with in my athletic career. I had to really, really think about why exactly I was there and what I wanted to get out of it. So for about six months, I was training by myself and I had to get a job to stay in Victoria.“It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with”“Thankfully one of our old S&C coaches helped me a lot. He was taking time out of his own day to train with me, but I was doing three or four sessions a day and then going into work (at a local department store).Show speed (Getty Images)“It got quite tough but I knew what I wanted and knew this was where I was meant to be. So I battled every single day to try to get back and when I got back I put my head down and worked.” Canada flyer Charity Williams is hunting a second medal for rugby Dynamic: Williams breaks a lot of tackles (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS This piece first featured in Rugby World magazine in February.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Bath, NC ‘Indy Experience’ at General Convention raises funds for mission Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Albany, NY 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 Tampa, FL Rector Hopkinsville, KY General Convention, Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Submit a Press Release Submit an Event Listing In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Press Release Service Associate Rector Columbus, GA Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Featured Jobs & Calls 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 Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET General Convention 2012 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Cate Waynick of Indianapolis cut and serve a cake in honor of the diocese’s 175th anniversary during Indianapolis Day event at General Convention. Photo/Anaceli Ma[Episcopal News Service – Indianapolis] The “Indy Experience” event at the Victory Field ball park in downtown Indianapolis on July 8 was filled with color, music and joy. The Indianapolis diocese, host of the 77th General Convention, organized the event to raise funds for the dioceses of Southern Sudan, Brazil and Haiti.The celebration began with a recognition to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori from Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers (ECCC), which designated Jefferts Schori as it 2012 Hero of Camping, in recognition of her vision and lifelong commitment as educator, priest, bishop and presiding bishop to train new generations of leaders who are changing the world. The ECCC also recognized the presiding bishop’s husband, Richard Schori, for his commitment to help children and young adults discover the beauty and marvel of God’s creation.Rev. Catherine Maples Waynick, bishop of Indiana, joined the presiding bishop to cut the cake in celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Diocese of Indianapolis. The motto of the celebration is “175 Years Deepening our Faith and Expanding our Reach.”The party included a game of musical chairs organized by St. Richard’s Episcopal Church. The prize; a ceramic chalice. The music then changed to samba and even the host bishop joined the dancing crowd, in an event organized by Christ Church Cathedral.Among the revelers were two Latino families from Indianapolis — Gómez-Godinez and Alcauter — both members of Christ Church Cathedral congregation, with the Rev. Canon Zoila Manzanares-Cole, from el Salvador. The other Hispanic ministry in the diocese is at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Speedway.For a true “Indy experience,” a car race is a must and the Indiana University Campus Ministry built a scale model of a racetrack that allowed guests to “drive” model cars.Dancers and musicians from the new republic of Southern Sudan took the center stage and filled it with Christian music and African rhythms, along with Bishop Ruben Akurtdit from the Diocese of Bor (Southern Sudan) and Waynick. Both dioceses are working on a project to provide clean water and support Malek Bible College.Deputy Wesley Williams of the Virgin Islands listens as historical society member Ethel Brewer-McCane portrays her ancestor, Mary Bateman Clark, who was born enslaved in Kentucky and later liberated. Photo/Araceli MaRight across the street in front of the Indianapolis History Museum were Ethel Brewer-McCane and Eunice Brewer-Trotter, who recreated part of their family history as descendants of Mary Bateman Clark. Brewer-McCone portrayed Clark, who was born a slave in Kentucky and was liberated, moved to New York and got a job. Slavery and servitude were illegal in Indiana and Clark demanded her freedom. She later became a leader at the Bethel church in Vincennes, which was co-founded by her husband.The Indianapolis Episcopal churches found creative way to entertain guests and raise funds. The Rev. Robin Myers used his magician skills to amaze visitors at the center stage. Visitors also enjoyed an exhibit of Indiana’s wildlife, including snakes, owls, eagles, armadillos and skunks.One of the booths also offered visitors the opportunity to learn the art of limestone carving. Nearby another booth offered popcorn, a key agricultural product of Indiana.The event included African drums with the Griot Drum Ensemble, choir music from “Ladies for Liberty,” Christian rock and roll with Party Dance Band, classic jazz with Dean Osbourne, Eastbound Bluegrass, salsa with the local group “Tumbao” and many more music groups.It was indeed a very successful party — a real hit at the baseball park from the Diocese of Indiana.— Araceli Ma is a member of the Episcopal News Service team at General Convention. This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Knoxville, TN Submit a Job Listing Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Belleville, IL Rector Pittsburgh, PA Featured Events Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Shreveport, LA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Tags Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA By Araceli MaPosted Jul 10, 2012 Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Curate Diocese of Nebraska Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Collierville, TN Rector Smithfield, NC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET 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 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Martinsville, VA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Director of Music Morristown, NJ