RFU Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt said: “It is very good news that the Court of Appeal has upheld the judgment of the Honourable Mr Justice Tugendhat. Placing tickets for sale on secondary ticketing sites is in direct contravention of the RFU’s Ticketing Terms and Conditions and, if the seller can be identified, they face tough sanctions including possible court action. Individuals who believe they have anonymity by trading their tickets through such secondary sales sites are no longer invisible and we will do our utmost to ensure that tickets go to genuine fans.”Polly Handford, the RFU Deputy Head of Legal said: “I am extremely pleased that the judgement has been upheld. It is an incredibly important case as not only will it provide us with information on past breaches, it will also enable us to enforce our rights more efficiently and effectively going forward.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The RFU has succeeded in defeating Viagogo’s appeal in the Court of Appeal against the decision of Mr Justice Tugendhat in March this year.In a landmark ruling – the first action of its kind by a national governing body – the order of Mr Justice Tugendhat required Viagogo to reveal the names and addresses of those who placed tickets for sale on its website for the 2010 Investec Internationals and the 2011 RBS 6 Nations. The appeal having been dismissed by the Court of Appeal means the RFU, once it receives the information, will be able to identify and sanction those who have breached its ticketing terms and conditions by selling to secondary ticketing sites. The RFU now intends to take the same position with other similar sites.
Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. A four-week ban for a dangerous tackle against Cardiff Blues has stalled his progress, but head coach Toby Booth has been impressed by his skills and mentality. “He picks nice lines as a carrier and is not afraid to play flat,” he says. “He’s got a good kicking game and is a good goalkicker. He’s handled the move well and is growing in confidence.”The 20 points he kicked for the Scarlets against Irish in last year’s LV= Cup helped draw Shingler to Booth’s attention. “He had a good temperament on the big occasion and temperament is important in the position he plays,” says the coach.Rugby World Verdict: Shingler’s composure makes him an outstanding prospect. Katie FieldThis article appeared in the January 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine. Jack Nowell(Exeter Chiefs)This may only be Exeter’s second season in the Aviva Premiership but with youngsters like 18-year-old Jack Nowell in the ranks, the Chiefs certainly have the talent to stay around for some time yet. Born in Truro, Nowell is starting to make a name for himself in the South-West. Although he’s now a full-time member of Exeter’s academy, Nowell was dual-registered with National Two League South club Redruth last season and has been seen in the colours of Championship side Plymouth Albion this term, making appearances in the starting full-back jersey and from the bench.A good runner with the ball in hand, Nowell is an exciting, attacking full-back, and it’s no surprise that his rugby heroes include former All Black Mils Muliaina, England legend Jason Robinson and Australia’s Kurtley Beale.He has represented Cornwall from U15 to U18 level, South-West U18 and England U17 Academies, and played for Exeter in last season’s JP Morgan Sevens and this year’s Middlesex Sevens at HQ.However, his greatest highlights have been playing for England U18. He took to international duty like a duck to water, scoring a try on his debut against Ireland last December and enjoying great success with the side throughout 2011. Now a member of the England U20 squad, Nowell will be aiming to get his first cap at that level when the team takes on the best in Europe in the U20 Six Nations in February.Rugby World Verdict: Teenager Nowell looks to be treading the path to success. Bea AspreySteve Shingler(London Irish)A new face is popping up in the London Irish back-line this season. Steve Shingler has been a regular starter wearing ten, 12 and 13 and was last season’s Wales U20 full-back, but the aim is to develop him as an outside-half. It was the presence of Rhys Priestland and Stephen Jones at the Scarlets that persuaded Shingler to leave the region last summer and Irish won his signature because former England utility back Mike Catt is on their coaching staff. “I wanted to develop my game with Mike Catt,” Shingler says. “He’s got a World Cup under his belt. He has a great depth of knowledge about my position.”Shingler, 20, was born in Swansea and learned his rugby at Hendy RFC and Coleg Sir Gâr. He went from hooker, to lock and beyond. He joined Llanelli and scored over 300 points in 44 senior games for them from 2009, as well as playing four times for the Scarlets. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170
Trademark charge: Sebastien Chabal makes a burst in one of his final games for FranceBy Gavin Mortimer, Rugby World writerFOR A man who two years ago was reputedly the highest paid rugby player in the world, Sebastien Chabal embarked upon the latest stage of his career at the weekend with less fanfare than he’s been used to in the past few years. The 34-year-old No 8, once of Sale Sharks and Racing Metro, made his debut for Lyon in the French second division.Just over 5,000 fans turned up to watch Chabal help his new club kick off their 2012-23 league campaign with a 30-12 defeat of Tarbes. The beard hasn’t changed and nor has the hair, though it’s now flecked with grey, and the big man is even more one-paced than before.New club: Chabal poses at LyonIndeed Chabal has never had the skills to be a top-class No 8 but that’s not held him back during his club career. Back in 2010 Chabal was reportedly raking in €1m a year, more than Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter, Brian O’Driscoll or any other world-class player whose talent dwarfed that of the man they call ‘Caveman’.Many years from now a rugby historian will chronicle the evolution of the game in the early 21st Century and wonder how it was that Chabal fooled so many people for so long. And their conclusion? It was all about a beard. For the first five years of his Test career he was a clean-shaven and inconspicuous forward, winning the bulk of his caps from the bench. True, he’d put in some good hits from time to time but he lived in the shadow of those great French forwards Fabien Pelous, Imanol Harinordoquy and Raphael Ibanez. TAGS: Sale Sharks NOT FOR FEATURED But we live in an age where image is as important as talent, and Lyon stepped into the breach, offering Chabal a two-year contract. “The officials at Lyon approached me when I left Racing in February,” he said, by way of explaining his step down to the second division. “I was even thinking of retirement but I wanted to have another go.” Perhaps the reported salary of €250,000 a year also influenced Chabal’s decision.Chabal’s coach at Lyon is the former Scotland and Lions prop Tom Smith. Now there’s irony for you. Smith was one of the most underrated players of his generation, a man who never thrust himself into the limelight but one who went about his work with a quiet efficiency and fierce determination. And he did it all without a beard. Chabal’s decision to go Neanderthal proved astute as well as hirsute. French organisers needed a ‘face’ to help promote the 2007 World Cup in a country that – in the north, at least – was proving indifferent to the tournament. Chabal’s caveman look fitted the bill. It appealed to Frenchwomen and men, particularly those sophisticated types working for Parisian marketing and media companies. Chabal conformed to their stereotypical image of rugby far more than the metrosexuality of the gifted Frederic Michalak.Within the space of two years Chabal was the highest paid player in rugby and one of the richest sportsmen in France. And then it all started to go wrong – thanks in no small part to the English. They had him sussed long ago, having seen his limitations at Sale, and these were ruthlessly exploited in the 2009 Six Nations. Chabal was selected to play at openside against England, an astonishing decision even by Marc Lievremont’s dizzying selections standards. In the first minute England centre Riki Flutey exposed Chabal’s leaden pace to put in Mark Cueto for the opening try and later Flutey stripped Chabal of the ball to spark a move that ended in a try for Delon Armitage. England won 34-10 and even French men and women who didn’t really know their rugby could see the Caveman’s roar was on the wane.Hair-raising! A fan dressed as ChabalThe following season Chabal lost his place in the starting line-up (and France won the Grand Slam) and in 2011 he was axed altogether from Les Bleus following their defeat to Italy in Rome. In May the same year he was banned for 60 days for publicly criticising the standard of refereeing in France, and in February this year he was released “with immediate effect” from Racing Metro after an alleged dispute with coach Pierre Berbizier. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
during a Super Rugby Final match between the Chiefs and the Brumbies at Waikato Stadium on August 3, 2013 in Hamilton, New Zealand. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The new headliner: Matt Toomua will be the headline act for the Wallabies against New Zealand this weekendBy Alan DymockTHE GLIB and the dry amongst us would perhaps chuckle to themselves as Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie opted not to look after his faithful servant Quade Cooper to promote his ‘man for all seasons’ Matt Toomua. However, in his first Wallaby squad selection, McKenzie has thrown a lot of unknown elements at the All Blacks.Big calls from the big man: Ewen McKenzieThe Bledisloe Cup is a ferocious first game for the new coach, and while McKenzie has always relied on Cooper to bail out the Queensland Reds when they needed a spark, he has shown that his tenure will not be one for favouring old pals with his first selection. Ok, so this is not the exact same story as the play, ‘A man for all seasons’ – a tale of Sir Thomas More being pilloried for not endorsing the choices of his master, King Henry VIII – but there are some similar themes. The larger gentleman at the helm of Australia will show no sentiment in his quest to get what he wants and he is dealing with complex characters, one of which will never change and the other who is eager to climb to the top of his field, in whichever way his leader wants it done.This may be getting too grand for a simple Wallaby selection, so in order to simplify things it must be pointed out that in this new era, Australia have to compete.The old way was not getting this done and so McKenzie has the opportunity to throw as much new ideas at the Bledisloe Cup as he can. The scrum rules have changed so he has altered the same old Wallaby scrum. He has two whippersnappers at 10 and 12 and he has a zesty full-back in from the start.With New Zealand picking a team that most punters could have, McKenzie needs an element of surprise. Not the kind of surprise that Robbie Deans would have brought in; the kind of surprise that would have had you squinting and tilting your head to the side as you try and understand it. No, McKenzie is adamant that he is picking on form and that the players in more comfy positions can cut loose the right way. This leads to debut call-ups for Brumbies Toomua, Scott Fardy, Scott Sio, Nic White and Tevita Kuridrani.Bring on the Brumbies: Scott Fardy is one of many debutantsIn his first act, McKenzie will have to generate some scintillating attacks with his actors Jesse Mogg, Izzy Folau, James O’Connor and new rudder-man Matt Toomua. If this does not work he always has Quade Cooper for the final scenes and all the while Stephen Moore, James Horwill and Michael Hooper will plug away. McKenzie declared that Toomua at 10 was a choice because he was “a man for all occasions.”He went on: “We want to play with the ball and use it, but we’ve got to be strategic and smart too. I’ve talked about skill and smarts, so we’ve got to ensure both those things are in place.”This is not a dig at Cooper. That would be petty and besides, he has given Cooper a lifeline back into international rugby. The Reds fly-half will be grateful and when his cameo comes he will approach his role with relish.The thing is that McKenzie wants to beat the All Blacks and he has a lot of choreography to plan in order to do so. After all, it is not as easy as some would have hoped it would be for the former Wallaby prop, this running of a whole country thing. Wallabies squad v New Zealand: Jesse Mogg; Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Leali’ifano, James O’Connor; Matt Toomua Will Genia; Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Hugh McMeniman, James Horwill (C), Rob Simmons, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper.Subs: Saia Faingaa, Scott Sio, Sekope Kepu, Scott Fardy, Liam Gill, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani.
Don’t panic – there are no Lottery millions up for grabs here! Pride is all that’s at stake if you tackle these teasers on rugby events in 2015… GRAND NATIONAL1. Who took only five minutes to score the first try of last year’s Six Nations?2. Which Six Nations fixture featured 90 errors and 28 penalties?3. Which Irishman, with more than 26% of the public vote, was named Player of the Tournament?4. George North grabbed Wales’ first championship hat-trick since which Lion scored three tries against England in 1969?5. The points tally of 660 was a Six Nations record – true or false?6. Which is the only country to have won all three Six Nations titles – men, women and U20 – in the same year with a Grand Slam?7. Who came off the bench to win the 2015 Rugby Championship for Australia – but was omitted from the RWC squad?8. How did Liam Messam breach the rules during the New Zealand v Australia game on 15 August, earning the Kiwis a fine?9. Who scored a 19-minute hat-trick as Argentina beat South Africa for the first time?10. Who finished runners-up in the HSBC Sevens World Series for a record sixth time?Total: 10Maximum score: 100Want to know how you’ve done? For all the answers, click here.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. And to find out how to download the digital edition, click here. Arresting sight: There were lots of hakas performed in honour of the All Blacks last year (Pic: AFP/Getty) The surnames of 14 goalkickers, past and present, from the Premiership or Pro12 are hidden in the grid. Score two points for each name you find and for two bonus points, explain what they have in common.Total: 30 IF YOU missed this quiz in the January edition of Rugby World, here’s your chance to test your knowledge of the game now – it’s based on the World Cup and other events in 2015. The quiz is out of 100, with a point for each correct answer unless otherwise stated, and it’s no piece of cake!WORLD CUP 20151. Which team received the most yellow cards (six) at RWC 2015?2. Which England player tweeted to Neil Back: “You’re so old & out of touch your eyes don’t work. I hope ur book sales go better than ur coaching.”3. Which TV personality did David Pocock invite to the World Cup final?4. What did thousands of viewers petition ITV to do?5. Only two men, who each played in their fourth and final World Cup this year, have made more RWC tackles than France’s Thierry Dusautoir. Who? (2)6. Which Argentina player did Matt Giteau call a “beautiful man”?7. Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i called a 35-year-old from Crawley an “idiot”. Why?8. Jack Nowell, Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Nehe Milner-Skudder – who’s the odd one out?9. What did Matt Dawson do that upset New Zealanders?Total: 10 MEN OF MYSTERYCan you identify the ten players pictured at last autumn’s World Cup? Score two points for each you get right.Total: 20 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS WORDSEARCH HAVING A DOMESTIC1. Which four internationals scored a try in the Aviva Premiership final? (4)2. Which stalwart won the Premiership’s Golden Boot for the fourth time?3. Against which team did London Welsh bag their only point of the 2014-15 Premiership campaign?4. Who became only the fifth away team to win a Super Rugby final?5. Which two second-row greats played their last games for Munster and Glasgow in the Guinness Pro12 final? (2)6. Whose late try, converted by Ryan Lamb, broke Bristol hearts in the Greene King IPA Championship final?Total: 10Final act: Worcester score the winner v Bristol in the Championship play-off – but who got it? (Pic: Getty)WHO SAID THAT?Match the quote from last year’s World Cup with the speaker. Two points for each correct answer.A. Stephen BethamB. Schalk BritsC. Michael CheikaD. Kieran CrowleyE. Jean de VilliersF. Eddie JonesG. Steve HansenH. John HardieI. Gavin HastingsJ. Johan van Graan1. “I had to treat it with a bit of respect. You only get one head.”2. “No one died”3. “Sit back, enjoy and criticise and be like Clive Woodward and get a job on the television. That’s my dream.”4. “We talked about what we wanted to do at half-time. It must have been a terrible speech.”5. “We play a similar style of rugby to England but have better-looking players.”6. “I bet they’re getting ready to rip our heads off.”7. “We can’t come to a war with our hands and a pocket knife.”8. “If I see referee Craig Joubert again, I’m going to tell him how disgusted I am.”9. “A talent hits a target no one else can hit, but a genius hits a target no one else can see.”10. “I only got 300 out of 500 in my high-school certificate. My mother wasn’t happy, I assure you.”Total: 20
Scotland came from behind to produce a stirring second-half performance at they defeated Wales for the first time in a decade TAGS: Highlight In a nutshellWales were convincingly beaten by a stirring Scotland second-half performance left the Murrayfield masses on their feet well after the final whistle. After trailing 13-9 in the first-half, where they were second-best to Wales, they ran up 20 unanswered points to register their first win Wales in a decade in a performance. Second-half tries from Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser pulled Scotland clear, and an obdurate defence stopped Wales registering a point in the second-half, stealing turnovers, nicking lineouts and punishing Welsh mistakes as they chased the game. Wales will be left to rue the lack of a clinical edge as they fell well short.Downbeat: It was a day of disappointment for Sam Warburton and the Wales squadWhat’s hotScottish inventionScotland struggled to match Wales in a structured set-piece game in the first-half and profited far more when the game broke up. Early in the second-half, after Leigh Halfpenny had uncharacteristically dropped a kick-off, Scotland pounced, running a neat midfield move, and moving the ball was moved wide for Seymour to streak in in the corner. Tim Visser was another to capitalise from playing what was in front of them as a deft Stuart Hogg offload in the wide channels made Wales pay and took them clear.Finn Russell underlines his Lions credentialsAfter being lampooned for knocking his kick under the goalposts out in Paris, Finn Russell – in the absence of the hugely influential Greig Laidlaw – took on the kicking duties. He put in a brilliant all-round performance, kicking 19 points, with a number of difficult penalty kicks from wide angles and also managed the game adroitly, kicking to the corners, and probing and prodding the Wales gainline and looking to put the bigger ball-carriers through the gaps. With a watching Warren Gatland in the crowd, his outshining of opposite number Dan Biggar will have been noted.Wales take a leaf from England’s bookEarly on, Wales kept up their intensity from the England game and their try after 22 minutes was a perfect example of simple execution. Rhys Webb caught Scotland defence napping and quick hands the ball was worked 50 metres crossfield – in a manner not dissimilar to the way Elliot Daly had scored against them – to leave Liam Williams with a simple run-in. Sadly for Rob Howley’s men that was the highlight of their game.Clinical: Liam Williams scores an early first-half tryThe Scottish weatherOkay, not a sentence you’d usually see written but having spent numerous winter evenings thawing out in a hostelry after losing all sensation in your fingers, Edinburgh was positively balmy. This led to open, free-flowing game days after Storm Doris has lashed the UK.What’s notWales rue missed opportunitiesWales did have their chance to score. When Jonathan Davies hit a sweet line and bore down on the Scotland try-line early in the second-half, he was hauled short with yards to go. He popped the ball up to Rhys Webb but the ball went through his fingers, missing a certain try. Later in the second-half, Webb impudently picked up a loose ball on the touchline and came within inches of scoring and a late Luke Charteris line-break deep in the Scotland half again ended in being turned over. Small margins, of course, but they hurt Wales.So close: Tim Visser stops an opportunist Rhys Webb tryWales use of the bench too conservativeWith Wales failing to register a point in the second-half, it was only after Tim Visser skipped over to score a try with 17 minutes left that Rob Howley send on Sam Davies, with his task to save the game for Wales. Wales were already 13 points down Wales trying to force the game, and unenforced errors were made as the game slipped away from them. With Jamie Roberts brought on to take contact it all seemed predictable and Scotland sucked up Welsh pressure and kicked two penalties to make the game safe. It was too little too late for a shell-shocked Wales side.Scotland make a sleepy start to the gameWith key men missing, Scotland needed Murrayfield to be turned into a cauldron from the off, but their inability to gain any meaningful territory or possession didn’t stir the crowd for long periods of the first-half. A missed penalty by Leigh Halfpenny and three points on the cusp of half-time from Russell kept Scotland in touch. Whatever Vern Cotter said behind closed doors at the break worked and Scotland put in a sensational second-half performance that will be celebrated into the early hours. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Ross MoriartyReps: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts. ScorersScotlandTries: Tommy Seymour, Tim VisserConversions: Finn Russell (2)Penalties: Finn Russell (5)WalesTries: Liam WilliamsConversions: Leigh HalfepennyPenalties: Leigh Halfpenny (2)Good day at the office: Stuart Hogg celebrates after the final whistleStatsWales carried marginally further with 330m carried to Scotland’s 302Scotland beat 14 defenders to Wales’ 13, and made six clean breaks to Wales’ fiveWales completed 89 per cent of their tackles, to Scotland’s 83 per centRhys Webb (73), Jonanthan Davies (67) and Liam Williams carried furthest, with Tim Visser, Scotland’s best carrier with Huw Jones (44)Sam Warburton was the game’s top tackler with 15, followed by Ross Moriarty and Justin Tipuric on 13. John Barclay and Ryan Wilson made 10.Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Alistair Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, John Barclay, John Hardie, Ryan Wilson.Reps: Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Tim Swinson, Hamish Watson, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Mark Bennett. Finisher: Tim Visser rounds the Welsh defence to score Scotland’s second try
Gullivers Sports Travel and Rugby World combine to give you a flavour of what it is like to go on a rugby tour – specifically, during the Six Nations See it in the flesh: Gullivers offer you the chance to see a Calcutta Cup clash That fateful day: Sam Warburton breaks against Italy in 2015Our very own writer Alan Dymock has also left making a Six Nations match until the nick of time. He once got lost in Rome trying to make his was to the Stadio Olimpico before they hosted Wales. Having gone round the underground the wrong way, he made it back to Termini with just an hour to go until kick-off and with a Leviathan taxi queue in front of him.Panic had set in and he was sweating heavily, when a hand landed on his shoulder and a Welsh voice asked: “Have you been sprinting mate?” There stood seven fans from Cardigan, all dressed as female cheerleaders. As bizarre a scene as it was, it helped. The small, cross-dressing crowd drew out some seedy looking locals who kindly offered to bypass the queue and drive the to the ground for a few euros. The group just made kick-off.FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREAnd the final tale from our vaults comes from Martin Macari who fondly remembers one trip south for the Calcutta Cup match. On the train down, one of the group (from Edinburgh’s Watsonians club) brought out a metal briefcase… that turned out to be a portable mini bar. One blurry journey later and they were ready for some rugby. Unfortunately, though, they had a gamer to play themselves. A gentlemen’s agreement was upheld the next day at the match, until one of the travelling players bravely chased a fly-hacked kick from one end of the field to the other… only to see the ball roll dead. As he crawled off the pitch to be sick, everyone agreed his was a bad choice. The Lions tour may be over, and the seasons looks so far away still, but do not despair. There is plenty of time to plan your next tour, for the Six Nations.To help you make up your mind, we have joined forces with Gullivers Sports Travel to give you a little flavour of what it is like to go on a tour during the Six Nations – in 2017 they took nearly 6,000 fans to Six Nations matches, home and away. And as you may well know, Rugby World has a fine tradition of collecting the stories from tours gone by.Gullivers get that too – indeed one of their team’s fondest recent memory came when they put on a tour for the 2014 Six Nations. Among their ranks was a stag do for the Italy versus England fixture, all of them dressed as Roman gods and made to drink pints out of their shoes. The stag, bless him, was attached to a symbolic ball and chain… These matches amongst Europe’s best bring out the best stories.Tour on!: Some fans enjoy the full experience from Gullivers Sports TravelIn poring over the Rugby World archive, this was strongly highlighted. Back in 1930, Bristol hooker Sam Tucker found a novel way of answering a crisis call from England. With just two hours and 20 minutes to make it to the Arms Park for a match-up against Wales, the enterprising forward convinced a pilot at Finton Aerodrome to fly him close to Cardiff and land in a field. Tucker then hitched a ride on a coal lorry for three miles, enlisted the help of a copper at the ground and made it to the changing room just five minutes before kick-off. Phew!That is not the only close shave, though. One reader, Mark Seymour, recently shared with us a tale of his youth team travelling from Cardiff to play in Twickenham before attending the England-Wales Test, in 1986. Rattling around the back of a rickety van, they made their own game in the nick of time before two of them were given one seating ticket and told to haggle for a pair of terrace tickets at the home of English rugby. They managed to make it, too. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS And you too can enjoy a trip to the Calcutta Cup. Just check out this competition below!Gullivers Sports Travel is the UK’s leading rugby tour operator, so you can be guaranteed a real rugby tour experience and a great time. They are offering you the opportunity to win a package for two to the 2018 Six Nations game between Scotland and England on Saturday 24 February 2018 in Edinburgh. Enter here now!
TAGS: Cardiff Blues Get to know Cardiff scrum-half Dane Blacker in this exclusive Q&A. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Hotshot: Cardiff Blues scrum-half Dane BlackerDate of birth 6 July 1998 Born Pontypridd Cub Cardiff Blues Country Wales Position Scrum-halfHow did you get involved in rugby?I used to watch my cousins play at our local rugby club, Ynysybwl, and I started playing myself at about seven. My father played for the local team, too, so I’d go to watch him on a Saturday. My family got me into it and it’s always been rugby for me – it’s about playing with friends.What positions have you played?I started at outside-half but when I realised I wasn’t growing, I had to change to scrum-half when I was 13 or 14. It’s much better for me because I’m small.When did you link up with Cardiff Blues?I played for Blues U16 and have been there ever since. I do a lot with Lloyd Williams, and Richie Rees is there as well as an academy coach. He’s helped me out a lot.What about Wales honours?I got my first Wales U18 cap against South Africa and played U20s last year, in the Six Nations and at the World Cup in Georgia. That was a really good experience.You played in the Singha Sevens at 18. How was that?It was really good. I scored the winning try against the Dragons which meant we qualified (for the finals in 2016) and it was another good experience at senior level. When I was 17, I also played for Pontypridd in the Premiership and I’m now in my second season with them. We’re in Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with the Blues and then have Premiership training on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and play on Saturdays.And you’ve played in the Pro14…Yes, I went on loan to the Dragons and actually made my debut for them. I played two games for them, against Ulster and Southern Kings in September, and then I came back to the Blues and was lucky enough to come off the bench against Glasgow.What are your strengths?Just playing fast, playing with tempo, sniping.Who did you grow up admiring?I used to watch Will Genia a lot and wanted to be like him. He plays fast too.What are your goals for this year?The big thing for me is to be involved at the Blues, and hopefully I’ll be involved in the World Cup with the U20s. I just want to play as much as I can. Hotshot: Get to know Cardiff Blues scrum-half Dane Blacker in our Q&A (Getty Images) RW Verdict: Blacker is doing a sports course as he recognises that rugby will “not last a lifetime”. He is currently out of action after cracking a bone in his back, so he’s missing the Six Nations but aims to be back for the Junior World Cup.This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of Rugby World magazine.
Rugby World Cup Fixtures The 2023 Rugby World… Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 Expand Rugby World Cup Venues Namibia qualify for 2019 Rugby World CupNamibia secured their place at the 2019 World Cup with a comfortable 53-28 win over Kenya in Windhoek.The match was a straight shootout for the Africa Gold Cup title, which would determine World Cup qualification.The side coached by former Wales lock Phil Davies scored seven tries to ensure they topped the table with a perfect 25 points from five matches, picking up try bonuses in all of their matches.Namibia will play in Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage winner at Japan 2019. They have played in every Rugby World Cup since 1999 but have yet to win a game at the tournament, losing all 19 of their matches.Kenya go into November’s repechage tournament in Marseille, where Canada, Germany and Hong Kong will also be competing for the final place at next year’s World Cup.MORE ON THE 2019 WORLD CUP A rundown of the Rugby World Cup groups… TAGS: Namibia Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 Boys in blue: Namibia have booked their place at next year’s World Cup (Getty Images) Namibia were the stronger side in Windhoek in terms of physicality and game management, dominating at the scrum and putting pressure on Kenya with their kicking game and quick recycles at the breakdown.The Kenyans tried to employ their speedy backs but found it hard to break down the Namibia defence, which had conceded just 41 points in their four previous Gold Cup matches.At the double: Chrysander Botha scored two tries against Kenya (Getty Images)The Kenyans took a 7-3 lead in the 14th minute through a try from wing William Ambaka, but Namibia hit back with three tries of their own before half-time. Chrysander Botha, Louis van der Westhuizen and Cliven Loubser, who also kicked seven points in the first half, all crossed.The hosts extended their lead further in the second half, van der Westhuizen crossing early on and Loubser kicking a penalty.Tries came thick and fast in the last half an hour. For Kenya, Ambaka collected a kick through to break for his second try while substitutes Malcolm Onsando – set up by Darwin Mukidza – and Mohammed Omollo also touched down. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rugby World Cup Venues What you need to know about the 12… Namibia’s other scores came from Mahepisa Tjeriko, a penalty try and Botha as they booked their place at next year’s World Cup.Follow Rugby World on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Rugby World Cup Groups Expand Rugby World Cup Groups Collapse Win over Kenya seals Africa Gold Cup triumph for Namibia – and a place in Pool B at Japan 2019
Months later @1CSW is getting his first catch in the NFL for the @steelers pic.twitter.com/mp7egW6Xy9— NFL UK (@NFLUK) August 10, 2018He is not the only former English rugby player to feature in these pre-season games. Ahead of this season the Pittsburgh Steelers took on former Worcester Warriors lock Christian Scotland-Williamson – like Alex Gray, a tight end.Related: Writer claims NFL stars would dominate rugbyAs you can see above, Scotland-Williamson enjoyed taking his first catch in a pre-season match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles. WHAT A STORY First a Pro Rugby Union Player Pro Rugby NFL Football: @1CSW @jordan_mailata pic.twitter.com/aENnrO800L— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 10, 2018The game appeared to be extra special for ex-Warrior, who swapped shirts at the end of that bout with fellow convert Jordan Mailata. The Samoa-born, former NRL player is an offensive tackle for the Eagles. Captaining the @AtlantaFalcons one year on from playing my 1st ever game. Massive honour and a very surreal moment in my career. Thank you to everyone for your support, it means a huge amount . #thejourneycontinues #grind #builtbythebrotherhood pic.twitter.com/QRHko6VmGH— Alex Gray (@AlexShaggyGray) August 19, 2018Captaining an NFL side for the first-time would be an incredible honour for any athlete, but it must have felt doubly-sweet for former England sevens star Alex Gray.As you can see from his social output, leading the Atlanta Falcons out for this pre-season match was a highlight for the tight-end.Gray was first approached by the NFL before Christmas 2016. They were looking to recruit him for their International Player Pathway programme. With Yorkshire Carnegie at the time, Gray was excited, but couldn’t make his mind up until early February of 2017 – he had switched to centre and moved to Carnegie to try to deliver on his rugby potential, but injury curtailed his season. Once he did decide to give it a go, things kicked into a higher gear.Related: What the NFL is learning from rugbyA ten-week crash course in football took place in Florida, which Gray told Rugby World last season was a “pure grind” and “very humbling”. On day one, all the comfort of a grounding in rugby and eight years of experience in elite systems was taken away. He knew nothing of this world, which was just what he needed. “I am very proud of how I approached things,” he said at the time. “I did not stand on ceremony.”Picked out of this nursery, in May Gray signed a contract with the Falcons, beaten Super Bowl finalists two seasons ago. He became No 89, a tight end. He had a “golden ticket” too – a full year’s contract to work with the team, to develop and learn his craft. While others can get fired on a whim in this cut-throat industry, Gray has a full year to suit up at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch base in Hall County, Georgia.He returned to prepare for this season, and having featured in last year’s pre-season run-outs, was chosen to lead the team onto the field this time round. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS On a recent Rugby World visit to the US to discuss the crossover of ideas between rugby and the NFL, the issue of how difficult it is for athletes from other sports to learn a gridiron playbook came up. Setting this aside, which players do you think could convert from rugby to football and thrive?Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.