Steffon Armitage Topsy Ojo TAGS: London IrishSamoa LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Sailosi Tagicakibau didnt want to join in the group hug‘The Samoan Superman’ and London Irish wing took some time out before the 2010 Autumn Internationals had kicked off to chat about banter, church services, and being wary of Seilala Mapusua. Also loving sunday roasts. RUGBY WORLD: Are you looking forward to Samoa’s Tests against Ireland, England and Scotland this month?SAILOSI TAGICAKIBAU: It’ll be good to be playing against guys I usually play in the Heineken Cup, and hopefully some of my London Irish team-mates too!RW: Do you have a lot of banter with the England guys at Irish?ST: There’s never a moment when there’s not banter between me and Delon (Armitage). He won the last match I played against him, when I played for the Pacific Islanders. But I ran round him once during that game so I’ve still got my pride!RW: Who are Samoa’s jokers?ST: Seilala Mapusua is never too shy to speak up when he’s not meant to be speaking and always has a few things up his sleeve, like pulling someone’s pants down at the airport!RW: Are any of the Samoans superstitious?ST: Census Johnston wears the same striped underwear for every game. In video clips of him playing, if his jersey rides up you can see he’s wearing them!RW: What do you guys do to wind down?ST: We have little church services as a team because we’re all quite religious and it brings us together. We have them the night before the game and now and then during the week. It gets everyone calm and chilled out, and we sing a few songs too.RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?ST: Someone farting during a tackle!Team-mates, Putting Macgyver back in business and Rice Pudding…RW: If your house was on fire what three things would you save?ST: My phone and my PlayStation, and a photo of my family.RW: Who have been your best and worst room-mates?ST: Topsy (Ojo) is the worst. He itches his throat when he sleeps and it makes a noise. My best is Seilala. He’s got loads of up-to-date music and movies.RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?ST: MacGyver, because he could get me out!RW: What’s the best game you’ve played in?ST: Against England in the 2003 World Cup. We lost but were leading ‘til the 65th minute. And Jonny Wilkinson missed his first kick at goal!RW: If you weren’t a rugby player what would you do? ST: I’d like to play basketball in the NBA.RW: What are your nicknames?ST: Losi or Los. My favourite, which I saw in the paper, is ‘The Samoan Superman’. I’m trying to make that one stick but no one wants to call me that because it’s such a high name to live up to!RW: What are the best and worst things about living in the UK?ST: The winter here is too cold, and there are no nice beaches I can easily drive to! But I have big expectations coming from a tropical island. And the best – Sunday roasts with all the trimmings. And I love rice pudding.RW: Do you have any phobias?ST: Any creepy crawlies and I don’t like snakes or lizards.RW: What’s your idea of a dream holiday?ST: A hot country on a sandy beach with my family all together.RW: What are your happiest and saddest memories?ST: My happiest is the birth of my son, Zachary. I was there for the whole shebang. And the saddest is when my granddad passed away and I couldn’t get to Fiji for the funeral.RW: What couldn’t you live without?ST: My cellphone. Elvis (Seveali’i) doesn’t have one and it’s so hard to get hold of him.RW: What last made you angry?ST: My brother, Michael (a Saracens wing), didn’t get me tickets to his game at the weekend. He gave them away but you’d think he’d put his family first!RW: When was the last time you laughed?ST: Two seconds ago!Check out his profile for the Pacific IslandersCheck out his sneaky try for London Irish…Find out more about Sailosi’s team mates at London Irish…
Spies (C) hits the half century markPIERRE SPIES will play in his 50th Test for South Africa when they take on England at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.Spies was included in a starting 15 that shows three changes from the one that beat England in the second Test of the Castle Incoming Tour. Willem Alberts (flank) and Pat Lambie (fullback) were not declared fit for the Test.Jacques Potgieter will make his Springbok debut at flank in the place of Alberts, Gio Aplon has been selected at fullback for Lambie and Wynand Olivier comes in at inside centre for Frans Steyn, who is getting married.There are two changes on the bench. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies has been selected in a Test squad for the first time and will earn his Bok debut if he gets game time, while Ryan Kankowski takes over from Keegan Daniel.“Injuries have forced us to make a number of changes, which is never ideal, but this provides an opportunity for players like Gio, Wynand and Jacques to put up their hands,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.“Gio is our third fullback of the series, but he’s experienced and has been part of our planning. Wynand came on as a replacement in both of the first two Tests and knows our game plan, while Jacques has impressed this year as a very strong ball carrier – hopefully he can continue with the good work Willem has done in the last fortnight.” JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 16: Pierre Spies of South Africa breaks with the ball during the second test match between South Africa and England at Ellis Park on June 16, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) Meyer explained the changes on the bench as follows: “Jacques has not played for a while and we felt Ryan is the right option for this game if he needs to take over from Jacques, with his explosive running. Keegan did very well in the first two Tests, but for this match we felt that Ryan is a better option.“Elton comes in to provide cover at flyhalf and is a very good goal kicking option, something we will miss with Frans not available. Bjorn Basson still covers all three positions in the back trio, JP Pietersen or Bryan Habana can play outside centre and Jean will move to inside centre if needed, so we are covered in all positions in the backline.”The starting 15 boast a combined total of 464 Test caps – 299 for the backs and 165 for the forwards.South Africa v EnglandSaturday, 23 June 2012 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethKick-Off: 18:00 (live on Sky Sports HD and BBC Radio 5 Live) Starting XV:15. Gio Aplon, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Jean de Villiers (C), 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (VC), 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Juandré Kruger, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 7. Jacques Potgieter, 8. Pierre SpiesReplacements:16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Werner Kruger, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Ryan Kankowski, 20. Ruan Pienaar, 21. Elton Jantjies, 22. Bjorn Basson LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Wilkinson is also passing on his top tips to Rugby World, so watch this video to hear his advice on passing and dropping goals – something he has a certain knack for! JONNY WILKINSON took time out from his hectic schedule to hold a masterclass with two up-and-coming players in Toulon over the summer. Wales U20 lock Matthew Screech and England U16 hooker Jack Walker were the lucky youngsters given a tutorial, which was part of the Jaguar Academy of Sport programme.The masterclass certainly went down well with Screech, a member of the Wales U20 side that beat their New Zealand counterparts in the recent Junior World Cup. “Jonny is one of my heroes and to be able to meet him is amazing, let alone to receive some mentoring,” said Screech. “ The things he has taught me are so valuable and will help me improve my game.” Talented trio: Jonny Wilkinson with Jack Walker and Matthew Screech at Toulon’s training base in the South of France LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS To see the guys enjoying the masterclass, watch the video below:
6Marcell CoetzeeThe Sharks4 14Bryan HabanaWestern Province78 15Zane KirchnerBlue Bulls16 21Pat LambieThe Sharks13 Starting XV 9Francois HougaardBlue Bulls19 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS 22JJ EngelbrechtBlue Bulls1 13Jean de Villiers (c)Western Province76 4Eben EtzebethWestern Province4 11Lwazi MvovoThe Sharks5 Replacements 1Tendai MtawariraThe Sharks36 8Willem AlbertsThe Sharks12 5Andries BekkerWestern Province25 18Flip van der MerweBlue Bulls15 3Jannie du PlessisThe Sharks34 20Ruan PienaarUlster, N Ireland55 PositionNameProvinceTest Caps 19Keegan DanielThe Sharks4 10Morné SteynBlue Bulls38 “It was a difficult decision between Jacques and Keegan, but we have gone with horses for courses this time,” said Meyer. “We’re expecting it will be very physical early in the game and it might open up later, which perfectly suits the strongpoints of both Jacques and Keegan.“The Pumas also mauled quite well in Cape Town and we were not happy with the defence of their mauls, so with the extra weight Jacques brings, we will have to ensure we stop their drives.“Argentina played a very physical game in Cape Town – as we expected – and they will step it up this weekend in front of their home fans. It will be a very tough Test and we need to be 100% switched on.”Argentina v South AfricaSaturday, 25 August 2012 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, MendozaKick-Off: 20:10 (live on Sky Sports 4) Habana and Boks captain Jean de Villiers are the only team-members to play in ArgentinaTHE SPRINGBOK team preparing for the second Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday received a huge boost when Bryan Habana was declared fit to start on Wednesday.Habana, the most experienced member of the squad with 78 Tests for South Africa, rolled his left ankle against Argentina in Cape Town last weekend and passed a fitness test on Wednesday morning. That means the backline is unchanged from the one that beat Argentina by 27-6 at Newlands.The Springboks will start the match with a combined total of 412 Test Caps – 130 of those in the forwards and 282 in the backs.“Having Bryan is obviously a big boost as we’ve lost a number of players with lots of experience after JP Pietersen, Pierre Spies and Bismarck du Plessis already had to withdraw from our squad,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.Upfront there are two changes and positional shift. Adriaan Strauss replaces the injured Bismarck du Plessis at hooker and takes over the vice-captaincy, while Jacques Potgieter is promoted from the bench to start at blindside flank. Willem Alberts moves to No 8 with Keegan Daniel on the bench.New alongside Daniel on the bench is Tiaan Liebenberg (hooker), who will make his Springbok Test debut if he gets game time as a replacement.Two forwards who were doubtful earlier in the week, Andries Bekker (lock) and Marcell Coetzee (flank), both passed fitness tests. Bekker left the field at Newlands with an ankle injury and Coetzee suffered a slight twinge to his groin at training earlier in the week. 17Pat CilliersGolden Lions1 PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 22: Bryan Habana during the South African national rugby team captains run at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on June 22, 2012 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images/Getty Images) 7Jacques PotgieterBlue Bulls2 12Frans SteynThe Sharks50 16Tiaan LiebenbergWestern Province0 2Adriaan Strauss (vc)FS Cheetahs13
There were triumphs and tries, defeats and debates in a weekend of action-packed Test match rugby. Italian jobLeinster came home from Italy with their tails between their legs after becoming the first Guinness Pro12 team to fail to beat Benetton Treviso this season. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Dancing with delightFor more years than any Scotland players and fans care to remember, their team has struggled to score more than the bare minimum of tries at Test level. But all that seems to be changing, as Scotland ran in no less than 11 in their three November Tests.They crossed for five in their 41-31 win over Argentina, one in the 24-16 defeat by New Zealand and five more in Saturday’s 37-12 triumph over Tonga.What a contrast to last season’s Six Nations, when Scotland managed a total of four tries in their five games, drawing a blank against England, Ireland and Wales and scoring two each against France and Italy. Last November they ran in five against Japan, but couldn’t break through the defences of Australia and South Africa.That Vern Cotter has given Scotland the confidence to score more freely must bode well as the World Cup year looms large. Tommy Seymour led the way by grabbing a try in all three November Tests, but it was stand-off Finn Russell who was dancing with delight as Scotland secured their win over Tonga. The SinnersSystematic failureI do not know who is to blame, but something is wrong with a sport which allows a team – Samoa – to play in front of 84,000 people at Twickenham and pocket none of the gate money. There has been quite a furore around Samoan rugby in the past couple of weeks, with their players threatening to strike to draw attention to what they see as financial mis-management by their own Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) and a neglect of grass-roots rugby.World Rugby (formerly the IRB), tried to broker talks between the players and officials, but the SRU delegation failed to show up.The SRU needs to talk to its players, to clear the air and reassure them, but World Rugby and the tier one nations also need to ensure countries like Samoa get a fairer deal. I don’t know what kind of appearance fee Samoa get from other nations they visit, but surely World Rugby should have some hard and fast rules about such things, rather than letting individual unions give different amounts to different visitors.England’s players joined Samoa’s in a spontaneous huddle and prayer after Saturday’s Twickenham Test and teams from across the globe were Tweeting their support of Samoa last week, but the powers that be in the game need to back up that kind of noble gesture by treating all nations with respect and fairness.Brotherhood: England and Samoa unite after the match, but the islanders need more than a hug No entry: Jamie Heaslip stops Quade Cooper in his tracks as Ireland held on to win The real McCawThis week’s Saints’ list would not be complete without mention of Richie McCaw, who reached the astonishing landmark of captaining the New Zealand All Blacks for the 100th time on Saturday. His team duly paid tribute to him by fighting back from 16-15 down with 11 minutes to play against Wales to steal a 34-16 win.It is still relatively rare for a player to take part in 100 Tests, never mind lead his side in that many. Behind him on the list of men who have been skipper for the most International matches is Brian O’Driscoll with 84, John Smit with 83 and then the trio of Will Carling, George Gregan and Sergio Parisse way back on 59.McCaw has played 137 Tests and won 131 of them. He will turn 34 on New Year’s Eve, so his days on the pitch are numbered now. Yes, he has his critics and many people believe he gets the benefit of the doubt from too many referees on too many occasions, but he is undoubtedly one of rugby’s greatest ever players.Ultimate leader: Richie McCaw runs out at the head of the New Zealand team for the 100th time Through the pain barrierSpecial mention has to go to the Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, who watched Saturday’s win over Australia in pain, then hot-footed it from the Aviva Stadium to hospital to have his appendix removed. That is dedication to duty, above and beyond the norm.Ireland skipper Paul O’Connell said Schmidt had not let on about the severity of his illness. “Guys were aware he was sick, he was kind of stand-offish, he was worried about passing on anything he had,” he said. “If you hadn’t have been told, I don’t think anyone would have known.” The Irish province could only manage a 24-24 draw at Stadio Monigo and would have lost if Treviso fly-half Jayden Hayward had not missed a simple late penalty.Yes, Leinster had ten players on International duty, but their team still boasted a host of household names, including Jimmy Gopperth, Dave Kearney, Richardt Strauss and Zane Kirchner. They put in a lacklustre performance against the league’s bottom side and will know they have to really up their game against the Ospreys next week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC1TkqnSlAc TAGS: LeinsterSamoa The SaintsIrish eyes are smilingFor the first time since 2006, Ireland won all three of their November Tests, as a ferocious rear-guard action in the last quarter of their match against Australia enabled them to secure a 26-23 win.With a 29-15 victory over South Africa and a 49-7 thrashing of Georgia already in the bag, Ireland could not have asked for more from their autumn series.Paul O’Connell led from the front, Simon Zebo and Tommy Bowe scored the tries and Jonathan Sexton kicked 16 points, but plaudits can be handed out all through the Ireland team, with Peter O’Mahony making 17 tackles, Rhys Ruddock 12 and Zebo, Rory Best, Devin Toner and Jamie Heaslip 10 each.Ireland led 17-0 during the first-half and O’Connell said their fear of losing after being so far ahead drove Ireland in the closing stages. “It would have been fairly devastating if we had lost,” he said.
Costly slips Zebre wing Kayle van Zyl cost his team a try when he failed to tidy up a kick up the right flank by Sam Davies and let Justin Tipuric pounce on it for the easiest of scores for the Ospreys. The Italian side were 15-7 down at the time, so that was extended to 22-7, which left them with a mountain to climb.Ospreys prop Dimitri Arhip would have sympathised with van Zyl by the end of the match, as he knocked the ball on when he was tackled as he was crashing over the try-line. Luckily his mistake wasn’t costly, as the Ospreys were 25-15 up by then and went on to win 39-22. Dream victories and nightmarish errors punctuated this weekend’s rugby in the Aviva Premiership, Guinness Pro12 and HSBC World Sevens Series. TAGS: DragonsHighlight The SaintsAmerican dreamNot so long ago, the idea of USA Sevens beating New Zealand in an HSBC World Series tournament would have seemed laughable, but at the Dubai Sevens this weekend they did it for the first time, then repeated the feat a day later.In their pool match the USA – coached by former England coach Mike Friday – edged home 14-12 thanks to a late try from Perry Baker converted by Madison Hughes.New Zealand faced the Eagles again in the third-fourth play-off in the Cup competition and this time the USA romped home 31-12 with two tries from Will Holder and one each from Baker, Folau Niua and Kevin Swiryn.The USA finished sixth in last season’s HSBC Sevens World Series but gave a hint of better things to come as they won their first Cup in London on the last weekend of the series. They have now made a flying start to this season’s competition and will look to build on that in Cape Town next weekend. Super sub Steve Shingler kicked the winning points for the Scarlets as they went to the top of the Guinness Pro12 table, thanks to a 22-20 win in Treviso.With four minutes to go, the Welsh side were losing 20-19 when they were awarded a penalty just inside the ten-metre line and wide on the left. It was Shingler’s first place-kick of the match as he had come on as a replacement, but he calmly lined it up and hit the target to claim the crucial four points for his side.Kicking king: JJ Hanrahan hit the target to secure the win over Bath. (Photo: Getty Images)JJ Hanranhan also rose to the occasion at the vital time when he kicked a 40-metre penalty with eight minutes to go, to take Northampton Saints to a 13-11 win over Bath at the Recreation Ground. The chance was set up by his pack, who won a scrum against the head, and Hanrahan rewarded their efforts in the best way possible. Forward marchWasps and Exeter Chiefs treated us all to a hum-dinger of a match in the Aviva Premiership at the Ricoh Arena, with the Chiefs eventually triumphing 41-27. Thomas Waldrom scored a hat-trick of tries but would not claim all the credit for his three scores as they all owed a great deal to the power and technical excellence of the Exeter pack. Every time the Chiefs had a close-range lineout, they set up such a perfect driving maul that Wasps could do nothing to stop them. Waldrom touched down three times, but former England lock Ben Kay gave his Man of the Match award to Mitch Lees for his outstanding performance in the Chiefs’ pack. Nice one, NicOpenside flanker Nic Cudd played a major part in Newport Gwent Dragons’ 22-6 win over Munster in the Guinness Pro12 when, with Munster piling on the pressure and the scoreboard reading 3-3, he made a fantastic try-saving tackle on Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.Munster had just had a possible try by Simon Zebo disallowed when the Argentine full-back sprinted for the line, choosing not to pass outside to Zebo because Amorosino himself looked odds-on to score. However, Cudd raced back with the best never-say-die attitude, tackled the Munster No 15 short of the line and held him up as they both slid into the in-goal area, finally forcing him to spill the ball.You’re Nicked: Amorosino is brilliantly held up by Nic Cudd. (Photo: Huw Evans Agency)Dragons’ fly-half Dorian Jones was named Man of the Match after he kicked 14 points, including a superb 40-metre drop-goal when the scores were tied at 6-6, and Rynard Landman also deserves praise for a superbly taken try, reaching over his head to touch down when he ended up on his back in the in-goal area. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Flying Scotsman Tim Visser ran in a hat-trick in Harlequins’ 38-7 win over London Irish in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday. He took a crash-ball for the first, cut a good line through the defence for the second and strode over wide on the left for the third, after having another effort disallowed because Alex Lewington just took his feet into touch before he grounded the ball.That’s five tries in four Premiership appearances for the Scotland wing now, plus one in Europe – not a bad start to Visser’s time at the Twickenham Stoop.Running man: Justin Tipuric scored two tries in a barnstorming performance. (Photo: Huw Evans Agency)A trio of back row forwards grabbed two tries apiece and helped their teams to welcome wins over the weekend. Justin Tipuric ran in two tries for the Ospreys in their 39-22 win at Zebre, set up a couple more, and was duly named Man of the Match award. No 8 Morgan Allen scored a brace of tries for the Scarlets to help them to a win in Treviso, in his first competitive match after signing from the Ospreys. And in the Premiership Sione Kalamafoni crossed the line twice for Gloucester as they beat Sale Sharks 23-19.Reach out: Sione Kalamafoni touches down in the corner for Gloucester v Sale. (Photo: Getty Images)Double century Connacht captain John Muldoon made history on Friday evening when he became the first player from any team to make 200 Pro12 appearances. Sadly for the blindside flanker, his team did not reward him with a win as they lost 20-16 at Cardiff Blues.Northampton Saints prop Alex Waller reached a significant landmark of his own, as when he came on as a replacement in the 13-11 win over Bath at the Recreation Ground, he became the first player to feature in 100 consecutive Premiership matches. The SinnersWasted chancesTwo Connacht replacements wasted two try-scoring chances during their 20-16 defeat at Cardiff Blues on Friday. First Sean O’Brien spilled a pass from Rory Parata inside the Blues’ 22 after a fantastic 50-metre break from Bundee Aki had sliced open the Welsh defence.Then, Conan O’Donnell knocked on over the line as the Irish side tried to bundle the ball over for a match-winning try in the last five minutes, which meant Connacht had to be content with a losing bonus point and the Scarlets overtook them to take top spot in the Pro12 table.To no avail: Bundee Aki’s outstanding break didn’t result in a try. (Photo: Inpho) Flying Eagle: Will Holder scores for the USA v New Zealand. (Photo: Getty Images) Yellow fever Donncha O’Callaghan was sent off by Wayne Barnes early in the second half of Worcester’s clash with Leicester Tigers, after committing two yellow-card offences.The Ireland lock was sin-binned in the first half for going off his feet at a ruck on the Warriors’ line, when his side were 17-0 up. While he was away the Tigers scored just one converted try and the score was still 17-7 when O’Callaghan was blamed for collapsing a driving maul close to the line and sent off.He wasn’t the only Warrior to get on the wrong side of Barnes, as replacement prop Gareth Milasinovich was sin-binned when a scrum collapsed on the line and blindside flanker Matt Cox was also shown a yellow card for coming in at the side as the Tigers piled on more pressure. Worcester had to play for too long with 14 or 13 men thanks to their own ill-discipline and the Tigers made them pay the price as they won the match 29-20.
Very chilly: supporters brave the cold to watch the match (Photo: Philip Faryna)In an ideal world there’d be no need for inclusive sports teams like the Hunters, but we’re not in that ideal world yet. Adam Holland, 29, came to train with the team having not picked up a rugby ball since his school days. When asked if he thinks there’s really a need for inclusive sports teams his answer is firm.“Absolutely,” he says. “Now more than ever and with Keegan Hirst (the Wakefield Trinity prop currently playing in Super League) coming out recently it’s really pushing forward on how important it is to be who you are and do what you want to do.“There’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t play rugby no matter what sex, race or gender you are. What’s important is that everyone who wants to play it, can.”Back in the game: 18 year old Edward Shaw after his first match in four years (Photo: Philip Faryna)Edward Shaw, 18, is playing his first rugby match in four years after joining the Hunters. “This is the only one in Leeds that’s an inclusive team and it’s so important for the LGBT community” he says. Making history: Leeds Hunters in green played Yarnbury fifth XV in red (Photo: Philip Faryna) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “We’re a minority as it is, so it’s really important to come together as one and be supportive whatever it is, through rugby, Pride, anything.”Like Edward and Adam many of the Hunters hadn’t played in years before joining. Some had never played at all. But on a dreary January morning at the Weetwood ground, after a roller coaster nine weeks training, they line up in kit borrowed from Leeds Uni to play Yarnbury Fifth XV. They lose 36-3 but it’s still all smiles as they troop off the pitch, one more team in the rugby family. By Rachel King It was a cold day for making history on Saturday. There are more mugs of tea than pints on the sidelines as spectators stamp their feet and hunch their shoulders against the drizzling northern rain. The crowd looks unusually large for a small amateur club, the only hint that this might be something special – apart from the rainbow hats and feather boas bobbing around.Despite the weather’s best efforts, spirits are high and the newly formed Leeds Hunters step out to cheerful applause, becoming Yorkshire’s first-ever inclusive rugby team to play a match.Smiling in the rain: supporters cheer the team on (Photo: Philip Faryna)Given that gay, bisexual and straight men train with the Hunters, ‘inclusive’ in this instance could seem like just semantics. But having that principle means a great deal to the team’s founder Rob Wilson: “It’s a safe space for people having the inclusive thing,” he explains. “People have historically had quite bad experiences in sport with homophobia and biphobia in schools in PE, so it gives them an opportunity to get involved with it again and have the positive experience.”It’s a sentiment echoed by Leeds city councillor James Lewis: “Traditionally LGBT people may not have felt comfortable playing in some sports teams. So giving people the opportunity to be part of an inclusive sports team is a really important part of actually encouraging people to be physically active.”L to R Cllr James Lewis, Team Founder Rob Wilson and Cllr Jonathan Pryor (Photo: Philip Faryna)Recent years have been a mixed bag for LGBT inclusion in rugby. An increasing number of big names like James Haskell, Gareth Thomas and David Pocock are publicly making a stand against homophobia in rugby. Joining the likes of Andrew Purchas and Nigel Owens who’ve been advocating for LGBT inclusion in the sport for years. In addition, campaigns like Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces or World Rugby’s pledge to end homophobia have steadily gained traction and are creating a better awareness of the problem.On the flip side however, for every leap forward there seems to be another high profile incident of homophobic abuse. Two fans received bans from Twickenham in 2014 for aiming homophobic abuse at Owens while he refereed England’s 24-21 defeat by New Zealand. On the other side of the world in 2015 Pocock complained to referee Craig Joubert during a Brumbies match about members of the opposition using homophobic slurs.And this is the tip of the iceberg. Examples like these only come to light because the world is watching. The full extent to which homophobia, biphobia and transphobia prevents people from getting involved with rugby is difficult to assess, although large studies like Out On The Fields paint a pretty damning picture.
TO DOWNLOAD THE DIGITAL EDITION, CLICK HERE10. Plus, all this inside…In a new feature entitled What it’s like to…, England Sevens players Alice and Jo Richardson-Watmore provide an insight into their experiences of playing alongside your wife.Gloucester centre Matt Scott explains his delight at being back in the Scotland mix.Justin Harrison opens up on the difficulties he faced when retiring from playing.The Secret Player reveals what it’s like to play against the All Blacks.We talk to players and coaches in the Land of the Long White Cloud to find out why New Zealanders are so good at rugby.There are fitness drills for inside-centres and a set move from former England hooker George Chuter.Centre point; Matt Scott is part of Scotland’s summer tour squad. Photo: Inpho The July issue features exclusive interviews with five Lions. George North talks about how his life has changed since the 2013 tour, Owen Farrell reflects on key moments in his career, Stuart Hogg explains how he’s become more mature over the past four years and Jared Payne insists there is more to his game than a strong defence. Plus, Ben Te’o talks through his rugby journey.FOR THE LATEST RUGBY WORLD SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HERE6. New columnist Ben RyanFiji’s Olympic gold medal-winning coach Ben Ryan analyses New Zealand’s attack and pinpoints where the Lions have to close them down.Ben strikes: Ben Smith is a huge attacking weapon for the All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images7. All Blacks exclusivesNew Zealand full-back Ben Smith reveals how excited he is to face the Lions while prop Wyatt Crockett talks nicknames, dinner guests and his worst job. Plus, we profile try-scoring machine Julian Savea.8. How to sidestep – by Danielle WatermanEngland Women’s full-back Danielle Waterman gives her top tips on fancy footwork, from getting your body in the right condition to how to fool defenders.Highly rated: Sam Underhill is swapping the Ospreys for Bath this summer. Photo: Inpho9. The next generationAs well as all the Lions content, we interview youngsters making waves. From an England perspective, we chat to Sam Underhill and teenage twins Ben and Tom Curry. We also get the lowdown on Steff Evans, a Guinness Pro12 winner with the Scarlets, and New Zealand U20 captain Luke Jacobson. Ten reasons to buy the July edition of Rugby World magazine LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The British & Irish Lions tour is upon us and the new issue of Rugby World has everything you need for the next six weeks of action in New Zealand. Here are ten reasons you should pick up a copy of the July edition…1. FREE Lions tour wallchartKeep track of all the Lions fixtures and fill in the results of all ten games on the wallchart that comes FREE with the July issue. On the opposite side is a poster of the whole squad.2. The cult of the coachAre pre-game exchanges between coaches overshadowing the rugby itself? RW columnist Stephen Jones says it’s time for the players to reclaim the sport and those on the sidelines to focus on actions rather than wordsChamps: Cork Constitution celebrate their league win. Photo: Inpho3. Champions specialWe salute league winners in our 20th consecutive champions section for grass-roots clubs. There are 120 teams featured and we find out what was key to their successes.4. The 2017 Lions squadAcross more than 20 pages we provide in-depth profiles of all the Lions, including a few interesting facts alongside their rugby strengths. Plus, we pick a theme song for each of them!North star: George North enjoying his time on the 2013 Lions tour. Photo: Inpho5. Lions exclusives TAGS: Highlight
Scotland winger Tommy Seymour stars in big win… Smashed: Watch the Brazilian team demolish the Maori All Blacks scrum (Getty Images) Expand LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Autumn Internationals Week Two: Five things we learnt Tommy Seymour scores a hat-trick against Fiji TMO controversies involving England Yet the Brazilians can still hold their heads high after not backing down for the duration of the contest. Before kick-off they were clearly pumped for the match after meeting the Maori haka head-on with many of the Brazilians looking as if they had to be restrained in the face of the Kiwi challenge.According to reports so 34,000 fans were crammed into the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paolo and despite the hefty loss they clearly enjoyed the game of rugby. TMO controversies involving England Collapse Check out this video of the Brazilians smashing the Maori All Blacks scrum. Paul Williams reflects on the big movers and… Autumn Internationals Week Two: Five things we learnt After Sam Underhill’s disallowed try that denied England… Expand The Maori All Blacks will now head to Chile to play their final match of their South American tour, going up against the national team, Los Cóndores. Tommy Seymour scores a hat-trick against Fiji WATCH: Brazil Scrum Destroys Maori All BlacksOn the football field, the sight of Brazil demolishing New Zealand would not be out of place , in fact we would probably come to expect it. On the rugby field you would normally expect the exact opposite. Yet during one scrum in a match between Brazil and the Maori All Blacks last weekend, we were treated to a humbling sight.With the Maori All Blacks up 14-0 just after half-time, Brazil were awarded a scrum on the halfway line and as the ball was fed in, the men in yellow demolished the All Blacks pushing them back a good 15 metres or so. You can watch it below.The resultant penalty, knocked over by Christchurch-born Joshua Reeves put the score to 14-3.Normal service did resum after this. The Maori All Blacks eventually ran out 35-3 winners with Isaia Walker-Leawere, Jackson Hemopo and Jonah Lowe all scoring tries along with Ash Dixon who scored two of his own. Otere Black converting all five conversions in a solid yet uninspiring performance by their high standards. Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news from the world of rugby.
Six Nations Team of the Weekend: Round ThreeSix Nations action returned this weekend after the fallow week. Scotland managed to see off Italy, France managed to hold on against the Welsh in a pulsating affair, and finally England defeated Ireland in physical fashion at Twickenham. Bearing all these results and performances in mind, Sam Tremlett has once again been tasked with picking a team of the weekend.What do you think on his selections?Six Nations Team of the Weekend: Round Three1. Rory Sutherland (Scotland)Destructive: Sutherland was a wrecking ball into the Italian scrum (Getty Images)As a prop if you can force an early change in the other teams front-row then you must be displaying a significant level of dominance over your opposite number. That is what Rory Sutherland did against Giosue Zilocchi who was replaced after just 31 minutes.2. Jamie George (England)Accurate: George provided England with good ball from line outs (Getty Images)Facing James Ryan and Devin Toner, George was still accurate despite their attempts to disrupt English ball from line-outs. The Irish only managed to steal one all game and he also proved busy in the loose as well.3. Kyle Sinckler (England)Soft Hands: Sinckler showed subtlety in attack, and brute force in defence (Getty Images)It was a tough and physical contest that resulted in several skirmishes. Luckily for England, Sinckler wasn’t really involved in any of them, kept his head, and played very well in both attack and defence.4. Maro Itoje (England)Sustained class: Itoje just makes it in over Bernard Le Roux (Getty Images)Bernard Le Roux was once again brilliant at the heart of the French pack but Maro Itoje was just that little bit better I think. He forced turnovers, disrupted the Irish attack and produced several huge hits to halt any kind of green momentum.5. Paul Willemse (France) Colossal: Courtney Lawes was England’s best player against Ireland (Getty Images) Six Nations Fixtures 2022 The 2022 Six Nations… 20 tackles, 10 carries for 55 metres and a well taken try means Willemse deservedly gets into the team.6. Courtney Lawes (England) Six Nations action returned this weekend after the fallow week. Sam Tremlett picks his team of the weekend once again. What do you think on his selections? Watson has formed quite the partnership with flanker Jamie Ritchie as they both terrorised the Italians. Sam Underhill’s 24 tackles also deserves recognition.8. Braam Steyn (Italy)Touch Tackler: Steyn made 19 tackles and was disruptive against Scotland (Getty Images)Yes he was on the losing side but Steyn was probably Italy’s best player because he was disrupting everything the Scottish threw at him. 19 tackles illuminates that well. 9. Antoine Dupont (France)3 from 3: Dupont makes the team of the weekend once again (Getty Images)He may not have been at his sniping best but Dupont proved he has many strings to his bow, especially in defence in which he put in some huge tackles at pivotal moments.10. Romain Ntamack (France)Inspirational: Ntamack led the French to victory (Getty Images)It was a strong week for tens in round three, unless your name was Jonathan Sexton. Dan Biggar played well as did George Ford however Romain Ntamack was a cut above the rest against Wales. His kicking was excellent and his intercept try totally diminished Welsh momentum.11. Gael Fickou (France)Back Leader: The most experienced French back performed will against Wales (Getty Images)Jonathan Joseph performed excellently given he was out of position but arguably so was Fickou and we have gone for the Frenchman here thanks to a performance with good running, solid defence and probing kicks.12. Owen Farrell (England)Irritant: Farrell clearly got under the skin of Ireland (Getty Images)Forgiving his moment of stupidity in which he held onto CJ Stander’s leg, Farrell otherwise put in a decisive and clinical display. Kicking from the tee and from hand was efficient, his passes fizzed when necessary and his defence clearly got under the Irish skin.13. Manu Tuilagi (England)Explosive: Tuilagi took his physical right at the Irish (Getty Images)The Irish simply couldn’t deal with the strong running and physicality of Tuilagi who looked to be back to his best at Twickenham. His huge hit on CJ Stander was another fine moment.14. Cyrielle Banet (France Women) All the latest news on players injured throughout… Six Nations Table 2021 Expand Six Nations Fixtures 2022 In-form Cyrielle Banet was unlucky not to get her hat-trick of tries against Wales in round 3 after scoring twice in the opening 36 minutes. The first try in particular was a brilliant solo finish from her own half. This adds to the two tries she scored against Italy a week previously too.15. Anthony Bouthier (France) Collapse 2021 Six Nations Injuries Update Expand Six Nations Fixtures 2022 Six Nations Table 2021 Who is leading the way in the Six… 2021 Six Nations Injuries Update On his 31st birthday Lawes was monumental and took home the man of the match award.7. Hamish Watson (Scotland) Hogg may have had a moment of magic against Italy but we have gone for Bouthier after an excellent all-round performance. He too picked up a try after a mistake from Leigh Halfpenny which you can see above. Follow our Six Nations homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Also make sure you know about the Fixtures, Injuries, Table, Venues, TV Coverage by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram