Benn Robinson first match after knee surgerySarel Pretorius turned in a man of the match performance to lead his new side to a convincing eight try victory over Tonga at the SFS.Last year’s leading try scorer, Pretorius opened his account with barely five minutes on the clock, almost adding another just a minute later, as the home side signaled their intent with some ambitious running rugby.Added to last week’s win over Samoa, the result will boost the team’s preparations for next Saturday’s big opening round FxPro Super Rugby clash against the Queensland Reds.Head Coach Michael Foley was pleased with the outcome; “These two trial matches have given us an opportunity to test the things we’ve been practicing over the last 14 to 15 weeks, an opportunity to look at combinations and a good understanding of where we’re at.”After Pretorius got his team off the mark in the opening minutes, Dave Dennis crashed next to the left upright for the second, making it easy for skipper Berrick Barnes to add a second conversion.Pretorius put in a stellar performanceThe visitors got plenty of defensive practice in, repelling a number of attacks from all angles for 20 minutes, before Rob Horne finally found a hole out on the left wing, capitalizing on a good run from tireless flanker Pat McCutcheon, who set up the centre field ruck that allowed Barnes to release Horne for the third try. SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 17: Sarel Pretorius of the Waratahs is tackled during the Super Rugby trial match between the Waratahs and Tonga at Sydney Football Stadium on February 17, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) Right wing Tom Kingston added a fourth try on 35 minutes, when left wing Brackin Karauria-Henry joined the line to create an overlap. Daniel Halangahu, on for Barnes, missed the conversion.The Tongans staged something of a comeback, stealing the ball in contact before punching their way upfield through a series of ball carries but an equally physical home team defence held firm until the whistle.After a full 40-minute first half, the second period was played in three, 20-minute periods and it was largely the same team that returned to the field, bar Palu and Kingston who were replaced by Lopeti Timani and Nathan Trist.A try from hooker Damien Fitzpatrick, converted by Halangahu extended the home side’s lead to 33-0 on 45 minutes and replacements Brendan McKibbin, John Ulugia and Michael Hodge kept the HSBC Waratahs on the attack for most of the second period. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The third period saw the remainder of the second XV take to the field. Jeremy Tilse retained control at the back of a driving maul to crash over after 78 minutes, leaving Halangahu to add his second conversion to extend the lead to 40 after 80 minutes.In the final period, Alcock sliced through midfield for his first of the night and with Halangahu replaced, winger Nathan Trist took over the kicking duties, successfully adding to the tally, before wing Peter Betham capped off a successful evening diving over in the left corner for his team’s eighth try.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Restrained: Mike Phillips is caught at a ruckPonderous at the base of the ruckMike Phillips is often derided for having a slow pass. But against France his pass seemed to break the sound barrier when compared to the speed at which he actually cleared the ball from the base of the ruck. The Welsh No 9 was constantly scragged and bumped at the base of France’s aggressive ruck defence. The blame doesn’t lie solely with Phillips. The modern game and it’s need for ball retention requires the use of ‘pods’ – groups of three forwards, one of which carries into contact the other two who protect the ball at the ensuing contact situation. Whilst pods are effect at making short gains and securing possession, they require vast amounts of time consuming organisation by the scrum-half. On Saturday, it left Phillips standing at the base of a ruck pointing and shouting like a continental traffic officer. It afforded France an eternity to organise its defensive line and meant that Rhys Priestland often had to stand deeper than he would like in order to have the time and space to execute even the simplest pass or kick. But this stagnant play at the base doesn’t just ruin quick ball, it also ruins the game as a spectacle – at points on Saturday it was like watching red paint dry.Halfpenny and North ‘milking’ itWales may have won a well-deserved Grand Slam on Saturday, but there was one aspects of the game that they shouldn’t be quite so proud of. Both George North and Leigh Halfpenny made soccer style pleas to the officials on Saturday. Having kicked the ball and found themselves blocked by a French defender, both threw their arms up in the air in an effort to get the attention of the referee or his assistant.It is obviously not just a problem that affects the Welsh team. As rugby becomes more ‘professional’ and the need to win becomes more pressing, players will understandably try and eke out an advantage by any means they can. But it would be a shame for rugby to go the way of soccer, where theatrics have become an accepted part of the game. Soccer has many attributes that I would love to see transferred to rugby – the money, the crowds and the mass appeal being just a few – but the desire to fool and deceive officials isn’t one of them. Davies is fast becoming a complete player. His simple, yet powerful lines of running have been very effective during the Six Nations. He has developed a neat offloading game and his ball management in contact is highly reliable. His tactical kicking in the outside channel has become a useful weapon for Wales, and after the Welsh back row and Gethin Jenkins, Davies is one of the team’s most effective ‘jacklers’. Gatland’s penchant for sending Jamie Roberts down the 12 channel often means that Davies is the first to arrive at contact in the midfield. It is a job he performs very well indeed, as he proved in the 66th minute against France. But by far his most impressive skill during this tournament has been his ability to run out of the defensive line and make the sort of tackle that stops an overlap dead in its tracks. His ability to time a man-on-man tackle has resulted in him almost becoming a ‘one-man blitz’; it is highly effective and has saved Wales on numerous occasions during this tournament.Davies is often referred to as ‘JD2’ in an attempt to avoid confusion with the Jonathan Davies from a previous rugby era. However, if he keeps up his current form and consistency it may be the original Jonathan Davies who requires the differentiation. Green grass of home: Wales wing Alex Cuthbert slides over to score the only try of the game against FranceBy Paul WilliamsWales won their third RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam in eight seasons when beating France on Saturday. It was a wonderful occasion in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Here’s my in-depth analysis on the their performance in the final round…Lydiate’s tackling, againIf you spend every waking moment of the rest of your life watching rugby, I doubt you will see a finer display of tackling than Dan Lydiate provided against France – it was truly remarkable. Lydiate led the Welsh team’s tackle count with ten, missing none. But it wasn’t the tackle count that was so impressive. In truth Wales had to make very few tackles (63 compared to France’s 109) – it was the technical perfection of the tackling that was so impressive. Lydiate is redefining the modern tackle. Whilst many back-row forwards are obsessed with the power of the hit, Lydiate is obsessed with the speed of it. His sole intention is to get a player on the floor as quickly as possible. It is a very clever ploy. The quicker you can get the ball-carrier on the floor, the quicker you can steal the ball. Lydiate definitely gets my vote for Player of the Tournament.Priestland back in controlHaving lost control against England and Italy, Rhys Priestland chose the perfect moment to regain it – he controlled the game admirably against the French. But it wasn’t just his ability to guide Wales home to a Grand slam that was so reassuring, it was the manner in which he did it. Traditionally, Priestland is renowned for his hands. His accurate and sympathetic passing has been one of the main reasons why the Welsh back-line has functioned so well in the World Cup and the Six Nations. Yet on Saturday he decided to do it all with his feet.Priestland displayed a wonderful array of tactical kicking against France and allowed Wales to control 65% of the territory. His kicks were clever and executed as a response to what he saw on the field – unlike his opposite number Lionel Beauxis whose kicks had been pre-determined in the changing room. The Scarlet’s outside-half executed some fantastic ‘wipe kicks’ against the French. These low, fizzing diagonal balls almost always resulted in the French defender having to gather the ball near his try-line and, more importantly, near the touch line – the resulting clearing kicks needing to be made at very narrow angles and often resulting in territorial gains for Wales. Of course, not all of Priestland’s kicks were perfect, and there will be those who think that any kick is simply a waste of possession. However, Saturday’s performance showed that Priestland can control a game with his boot, which will be vital when Wales tour the rock hard grounds of Australia in June, where the ability to control the trajectory and bounce of a rugby ball could decide matches.Rock-solid set-pieceWales’ set-piece against France was more than stable. Wales won 77.8% of their lineout ball and whilst this number falls below the 85-90% that the coaches would have been looking for, Wales actually won more lineout ball against France than they did against any other team in the tournament (14 in total). The lineout completion stat is slightly skewed because Rhys Priestland’s kicking tactic resulted in Wales having more lineouts against France than in their previous games (18 in total).Whilst Wales may have lost four lineouts, the quality of the ball that they did win was very clean. Wales simplified their lineout against France and reduced the amount of Strictly Come Dancing-style movements from the jumpers and lifters – it resulted in quality ball from the front, middle and back. Whilst the lineout was good, the scrum was better – Wales won five from five and were also awarded a host of free-kicks with the French being whistled for early engagement on numerous occasions.Wales’ dominance in the set-piece will have come as a shock to the French team and their supporters. Whilst many still hold the romantic ideal that French rugby is all about crazy offloads and 80m tries, the modern reality is that the French pride themselves on their set piece. France’s domestic league, the Top 14, is dominated by big packs and outside-halves who put boot to ball. And when that plan fails, so does their national team. On Saturday, Lionel Beauxis executed as limited as game plan as I have ever seen in a Test match. As a fan of French rugby it was sad to see – Philippe Saint-Andre needs to start thinking outside of Beauxis. Centre of attention: Jonathan Davies prepares to jackleAnd a bonus point – Jon DaviesI realise that this article is called ‘Five things we learnt about Wales’, but this week I needed to make a sixth point – about Jon Davies. Davies often wouldn’t feature in a 5 point article. The five points are usually taken up by the headline grabbers like George North, Sam Warburton or, increasingly Alex Cuthbert, who was once again superb on the weekend. You see, Davies rarely steals the limelight. He hasn’t won a single Man of the Match award during this year’s Six Nations, but has arguably been Wales’ most important player. There are some players in the Welsh team who offer more than Jon Davies in attack and there are those who offer more in defence, but there is no one in the Welsh team who offers more in both disciplines. NOT FOR FEATURED
Apart from a week back in Wales, Hook spent the summer in Perpignan with his family and friends. Of course he would have liked to have been with the Lions in Australia but it wasn’t to be so he used the weeks of June and July to unwind the mind and unknot the muscles after nine months of attritional rugby.The result is a man who is feeling fresher than ever. In Perpignan’s 26-23 victory over reigning Top 14 champions Castres on the opening day of the league, Hook kicked 13 points, a haul he increased the following week against Stade Francais. Alas, his 12 points weren’t enough to prevent the Parisians sneaking a 28-27 win with a last-minute dropped goal from Jules Plisson.The result was a bitter blow for the Catalans, and for Hook in particular, who captained the team. “It was the first time I’ve captained a side since I was about ten,” he reflects. “I really enjoyed it and didn’t change any aspect of how I play. It was just a pity that we slipped off too many tackles and didn’t dominant the set-piece the way we had against Castres.”New man: Camille Lopez has joined from BordeauxHook has no problem playing fifteen to Lopez’s ten, explaining that coach Marc Delpoux has a clear strategy in mind for the team. “I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen of Lopez,” says Hook. “He has a great left boot on him, and so with my right foot it gives us more kicking options. But we also both like to attack so I’m full-back at the set-pieces but more of a second 10 in open play. It’s great for me because I’m really getting my hands on the ball.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Heavy traffic: Hook has captained Perpignan this season and is pleased with a cash injection at the club French rugby union player Camille Lopez passes the ball during a training session in Auckland on June 19, 2013. France will play the third test match against the New Zealand’s All Blacks on June 22. AFP PHOTO / Michael Bradley (Photo credit should read MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images) By Gavin MortimerTIMES, THEY are a-changin’ at Perpignan. Who would have thought just a few years ago that arguably the most parochial of French clubs would have a Welshman for a captain? But against Stade Francais last week James Hook led out the sang-et-or [blood and gold] of USAP, a team that for the first time since 1999 contained no Nicolas Mas in the front row.Once considered the granite, growling figurehead of Perpignan, Mas moved to Montpellier in the summer, along with veteran second-row Robins Tchale-Watchou, while scrum-half David Mele headed north to Leicester and experienced full-back Gavin Hume signed for Clermont. There were a raft of other departures, too, but Perpignan welcomed a few new faces in their stead. Most notably the 24-year-old fly-half, Camille Lopez, who joined from Bordeaux in the same month that he won his first cap for France on their summer tour to New Zealand.Marksman: Hook is still prolific with the bootBut it’s not just on the pitch where Perpignan have undergone something of an upheaval. Earlier in the month the club elected a new president, the wealthy businessman François Rivière, who has already invested one million euros of his own money into Perpignan, part of his promise to get the club back among the elite of French rugby.“The new president is a big boost for the club,” says Hook, who’s moved to full-back to accommodate the arrival of Lopez. “Financially, it’s very important to have someone who can build the club back up but it’s also great for the fans to see we’re now financially stable and we can all look ahead without worrying about money.” Hook hasn’t started a Test for Wales since the 2011 World Cup (save for the game against the Barbarians in June last year), and it’s clear from his omission from the Lions party to Australia that his style doesn’t fit into Warren Gatland’s plans. Whether he can force his way back into the Welsh squad this season may depend on how he goes in the Heineken Cup.Perpignan are drawn in the same pool as Gloucester, Munster and Edinburgh, and Hook is relishing the prospect, especially as last season the French outfit had to make do with the Amlin Challenge Cup. “I love the Heineken Cup,” says Hook. “The supporters in particular make it a special occasion and I remember playing for the Ospreys over in Gloucester. The ‘Shed’ was full about two hours before kick off and I had to go and practise my kicking in front of them. They had a lot to say! I’m looking forward to going back and I’m sure Perpignan will thrive on the atmosphere.”
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Star turns: New Zealand won the Sydney Sevens with the last play of the competition RW caught up with 81-cap World Cup winner Matt Burke at the Sydney leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series for a chat about the new venue, the Sevens evolution and the Olympics On Sydney as a location “It was a belting weekend in Sydney. The move of location has been a success. The Sevens had time in Adelaide and the Gold Coast but moving to one of Australia’s major hubs, makes it more of a viable proposition to fill a stadium. We had crowds of over 75,000 over the weekend, which is a credit to organisers. They want to recreate what they do in Hong Kong. They know London has turned itself into a must-visit venue and Dubai is the same. Every leg has its own idiosyncrasies. It’s early days but I can see Sydney turning into a special weekend of Sevens.”Party town: Over 75,000 fans attended the Sydney Sevens over two daysOn party atmosphere“Sevens has a party, fun atmosphere that is hard to beat. Just walking round, I’ve seen Luke Skywalker, guys dresses up as Mexicans, a bloke dressed like Crocodile Dundee. It’s promoting a fun time and because they’re 14-minute game, you can switch off, have a drink and another quality game starts up. It reminds me of being back in the Bigg Market in Newcastle back in the old days.”On the World Cup legacy in Australia“Rugby fans here are basking in the success of the Wallabies reaching the World Cup final in London and having a very positive tournament. We have to thank Michael Cheika and his boys for making us proud.Fast-mover: Lewis Holland steps round an English defender to send Australia into the semisOn the evolution of Sevens“I played in the Hong Kong Sevens in 1993 and played in the first World Cup Sevens tournament in Scotland where we got dusted by the All Blacks in the final. Back then it was a case of fifteens blokes playing seven-a-side. I was speaking to Rod Kafer earlier, and we both joked, ‘could we keep up this intensity? I’m not sure we could’. They are proper athletes On skills and fitness“They are dedicated Sevens athletes these days. It is so specific now. It’s not just one tackle, it’s four or five in a row and then you’re expected to get up and throw a 20-metre pass onto the chest of your team-mate and score. As a spectator, you’re getting exhausted watching it. When I played, the whole goal was not to get tackled. You used the width, you backed off, gave away territory to find a gap. Now there’s more physicality. You watch games and there are four guys at the breakdown. You wonder, ‘who’s covering the rest of the field?’ The speed and skill levels are immense.” It’s the speed and noise in the contact is what surprises you.Star turns: Good friends Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams catch up at the Sydney SevensOn players to catch the eye“There are so many stars on the Sevens circuit these days. Cam Clark, Savenaca Rawaka, Carlin Isles, Akira Ioane, Collins Injera, Seabelo Senatla are all big names. Now there’s Sonny Bill Williams, his contact skills and offloading hasn’t exactly been diminished, has it?Sevens as an entry point to rugby“I watched Kenya play South Africa and they were seriously competitive. Earlier on, Portugal gave the Wallabies a big scare by going 12-0 up. The old order is being challenged quicker than the 15-a-side game. Even in the World Cup, the blow-outs weren’t as heavy as we’ve seen in previous World Cups. Tier 2 sides are starting to compete and that’s down to better coaching and more investment which can only be good for the game.” Crowd pleasers: Bush Mwale of Kenya shows off some in-flight skillsOn the Olympics buzz“The Olympics is a massive pull. I had a chat to the boys, I said ‘you will be known as Olympians’. For all I did, that’s not part of my resume. It’s an incredible opportunity. Lots countries are coming on board. It’s two-days in Rio, where they’re going to hammer it out and the winner will lift an Olympic Gold. How good is that? There is massive excitement from all rugby fans.”
Now or never: Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton have to deliverThe most intriguing change comes in the 10-12 axis, where Johnny Sexton retains the fly-half jersey, with Owen Farrell taking the inside-centre role he has filled with such distinction for England. Both players are very vocal and Sexton and Farrell enjoyed an increasingly fruitful 74-minute partnership against the Crusaders, where both men started to dovetail intricately in the heavy midfield traffic. Even so, the change represents the biggest risk of the Series to date.You can expect Sexton to be tasked with putting pressure on the All Blacks defence though his lofted kicks around the 22m line and subtle passing game to put the big ball carriers into gaps and give Lions precious front-foot ball. With wind and rain expected, the added kicking game of Owen Farrell and the left-footed Jonathan Davies will give the Lions options. With both playmakers offering sharp distribution, they will be expected to bring the likes of Liam Williams and Anthony Watson into play. On the flipside, Sonny Bill Williams will be licking his lips at barrelling down on the 10-12 channel, looking to offload out of contact.Handful: Ben Te’o is unlucky to drop to the bench after some fine displaysArguably the unluckiest player in the Lions 23 is Ben Te’o, who has been one of the standout players, topping the charts for clean breaks, offloads and defenders beaten and he is one of the few players on the planet who relishes the physical contest with SBW.Another notable promotion is that of CJ Stander, who has been preferred to O’Mahony after an outstanding season for Munster and Ireland. An 80-minute physical onslaught is widely expected.The All Blacks haven’t lost on home soil since 2009, against South Africa, so the odds are stacked against the Lions. To win, every player in the 23 will have to execute the game of their lives. The thwack was perceptible through the cold Wellington air. In amongst a throng of All Blacks on the Westpac turf, Beauden Barrett was drilling the ball 40m across field into the waiting arms of Waisake Naholo. For anyone of a Lions persuasion watching on, it was a foreboding sight.A dozen or so balls were launched across the grey skies with the same pinpoint accuracy while the opening training session took place in front of wide-eyed young kids and their parents.Danger man: Beauden Barrett can hurt the Lions in a number of waysElsewhere Israel Dagg, installed at full-back, was also drilling clearance kicks 50m, while Sonny Bill Williams, always a major draw was strutting round like, well, Sonny Bill Williams. As the session came to a natural end, Sam Cane wandered over to sign autographs.In short, with just over 24hrs to showtime, if the All Blacks were feeling paranoid, or under pressure, they were hiding it pretty damn well.It summed up the gargantuan task ahead of the Lions. They’ve yet to taste success at the Westpac, and with 40 Test wins in 109 games, few in Wellington are backing them to make it 41.All smiles: Kieran Read cut a relaxed figure before the gameKieran Read, put in one of the great Test performances at No 8, after a ‘seven week holiday’ recuperating from a broken thumb, this according to the smiling Steve Hansen, and the All Blacks captain was all smiles at the pre-match press conference: “”If anything it’s going to be even more physical than last week and we can’t wait. We won’t change how we’re going to play, but we will look to subtly operate things. We’ve got a gameplan that we think is right for what the Lions will play, but if it changes on the field we’ll adapt on the run.”FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HEREIt’s all so different in the Lions camp, where Warren Gatland knows reputations are on the block. Gatland has endured a roller-coaster that would make most men queasy, after a tour in which he has come under extreme, and at times, unfair scrutiny but he hasn’t shied away from making the big selection calls.After questioning the players after they were physically dominated by the All Blacks pack, the promotion of the dynamic Maro Itoje was expected, with loyalty giving an off-colour Alun Wyn Jones a reprieve, while in the backrow, Peter O’Mahony has been jettisoned after a failing to impose himself at the breakdown. Tour skipper, Sam Warburton, Warren Gatland’s trusted long-time lieutenant, has been tasked with slowing the ball down and adding the raw aggression in and around the fringes. TAGS: Highlight LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The Lions have never won at the Westpac and with the All Blacks unbeaten at home since 2009, the odds are stacked against Warren Gatland’s men… A win is improbable but not impossible. The Lions have reached their judgement day.
Discussions between key decision-makers were held in Hong Kong on Saturday Powering ahead: Hong Kong are in the hunt for Series qualification (Getty Images) So where is the ideal location?“ExCo and World Rugby have been asking the same for the last couple of months – where do we want to take this game forward?” says Pichot. “France have shown interest but we have to look again at how we approach it, at where the growth of the game is taking us.“We need to think again, as we did with Japan some years ago. We have to find a more rational strategy for growth of the game when making the decision. This will come in the next couple of months.New territory: The Sevens World Cup was in San Francisco in July 2018 (Getty Images)“We sent to the unions to show interest and we are having good responses. Then, where do we want to go with the next phase of developing the game? It’s a question I’m asking myself as chairman of sevens. I’ve been here quite often – I think it’s crucial for the growth of the game (to move into new rugby territories). If France is going to be (it) I don’t know, but we need to think of the growth of the game in different places in the world.”Related: Jason Momoa steals show at Vancouver SevensAgain Gosper added his view: “The last two times the Sevens Rugby World Cup has been very much a development tournament. It’s gone to new places. Either successfully, and slightly less successfully – Moscow didn’t quite get the crowds, whereas San Francisco was a resounding success. It blazed some new trails in a very important market for us.“But even France could say they need a development sevens, even though they’ve got an HSBC (event) they could have their arguments about why it develops the sport. I’ve heard people like South Africa might be interested too. There are geographies – the USA has a tournament as well each year, but another part of America could get the tournament and so on. Second Tier Sevens World Series in the pipeline for World RugbyWork is going on behind the scenes of World Rugby to create a second tier of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series as soon as possible.A meeting between key figures in the global sevens game was held in Hong Kong on Saturday to discuss how any new competition for the men and women could be realised. Nothing is set in stone and further discussion will be held in the coming months in Dublin to hammer out more details.According World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot and the organisation’s CEO, Brett Gosper, initial conversations have been positive.“Where it is going to be held is still under discussion and it is part of a broader discussion but we decided in the Executive Committee (ExCo) strategic plan that part of the resources, money, is there to cover the expansion of the circuit for a second tier,” said Pichot, who is also chairman of sevens. “I don’t like to call it a second tier but it would be a different tournament that will provide access to other countries that don’t play regularly and they have a sevens programme.”As it stands, there is only the stand alone qualifier for the Sevens World Series each season, held in conjunction with the Hong Kong Sevens.Reaching the big time: Brazil qualified for next season’s series (Getty Images)Adding more on the ExCo view of a series below the current elite circuit, World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said: “There’s nothing that has completely landed yet as we’re still with work groups on formats, number of days, combined events women and men, not combined events in some situations, and how does that affect the programme.Related: Sebastien Chabal performs at the Hong Kong Sevens“Broadcast is a very important parameter in that as well. We had meetings today talking about these things but nothing has landed yet. There are a lot of good conversations around all those areas. We are very conscious that the next level is very important to keep the depth of the game and also for new hosts in other parts of the world too, to drive some interest and test new destinations.”Nine of the ten men’s legs for 2019 to 2023 have been decided, but while ‘New Zealand’ have won hosting rights for this period, and it is understood that Hamilton are the likeliest location for these legs. However, Rugby World understands that the door has also been left open for Fiji to host one of these legs within that four-year cycle. Discussions are ongoing between New Zealand and Fiji on this.There is also a similar expansionary view on the destination of the next Sevens World Cup, with a tender process underway. France supremo Bernard Laporte has already publicly stated that he would like France to stage the event. “It has been a development tool and it’s been a successful one recently and I think ExCo will still be thinking along those lines.”Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest rugby news. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
Best Rugby Boots for Kids in 2021When it comes to buying rugby boots for kids they really only care about two things – how it looks and if its comfortable. Most boot manufacturers understand this and offer child versions of their adult boots. This means that your kid could wear what their hero wears for just a fraction of the cost.There are some specifics when purchasing kids’ boots. Most offer traditional laces as the closure method, but if your kid can’t tie laces or isn’t confident using them yet, many boots offer a Velcro alternative. Your child will be feeling pretty smug when the weather turns wintery and they don’t need to tie laces with frozen fingers.In terms of looks, it is worth putting aside your own aesthetic judgement. Kids love colour and boot manufacturers know this. Whatever colour your child likes, you can be sure that there is a boot out there for them. You would be amazed what difference it makes, when the weather turns and they would rather stay inside and play on the Xbox, to have a colourful boot they think they look good in.And if you’re looking for kit, check out our guide to the best rugby shirts for kids.Best Rugby Boots for KidsCanterbury Phoenix 3.0 Children’s SG Boots(Canterbury)A great boot for the youngsters. The upper is very durable meaning the boots will last as long as they fit. The cushioned tongue ensures comfort and the Velcro straps mean that your kid will have independence and won’t need to rely on the coach to tie up their laces.The colour might look a bit straightforward but there is some nice grey detailing that elevates this boot up in the style stakes.+ Velcro straps make a huge difference for kids who can’t yet tie their laces+ £20 is fantastic value when you consider that you will probably need to buy a few pairs as your child grows– These are good-looking boots but might be a little boring for some kidsBuy Now from Lovell Rugby for £20Buy Now from Sports Direct for £15Buy Now from Canterbury for £24.95Nike Mercurial Academy DF Kylian Mbappe Rosa FG Boots(Nike)These boots are both striking and comfortable. The bootie liner offers extreme comfort thanks to its sock like fit. The plastic moulded studs will be fine on any surface, even artificial ones. Performance shouldn’t really be a consideration for kids’ boots but these are so light that they will encourage regular wear without increased fatigue.The styling, though, is the most noteworthy part of this boot. The boots look great and, although it might not appeal to us dinosaurs, this is the kind of bold style that kids love.+ Great looking boot which appeals to kids+ Extremely comfortable thanks to the bootie fit– A lot of money when you consider you might struggle to get through a full season before the next size up is requiredBuy Now from Lovell Rugby for £63Buy Now from Nike for £67.95Buy Now from ProDirect Rugby for £50Nike Mercurial Vapor Club Children’s FG Boots(Nike)The Mercurial Vapor provide exceptional comfort for tiny feet. The ankle collar and insole are both cushioned which means that they can be worn for a long time without discomfort. The collar padding also means that even if there is some misplaced boots the tears will be kept to a minimum.The Velcro strap works really well for young kids and looks really sleek in this single-strap format.+ The Velcro strap is great for young kids+ Incredibly comfortable, you won’t get any moaning about sore feet– The Nike swoosh is a bit different to normal but these boots aren’t very exciting to look atBuy Now from Lovell Rugby for £28Buy Now from Sports Direct for £28Adidas Predator 20.3 Laceless Junior FG Boots(Adidas)These Predator 20.3s look so good and feel amazingly comfortable. The traditional lace, or Velcro, closure has been replaced with a laceless system more akin to an over-engineered sock.That might look like a sacrifice of performance in favour of comfort but it’s not. The closure is tight enough to give you confidence when making moves without the pinch points of laces or Velcro. Because these are designed as football boots, there is plenty of room for consistent and accurate kicking.+ Really good-looking boots that will appeal to young players Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Please follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS A buyers’ guide featuring the best boots for the talented little ‘uns! + Comfortable enough to be worn all day without complaints– The trade-off for that comfort is that there isn’t really any foot protection from a stray studBuy Now from Lovell Rugby for £48Buy Now from ProDirectRugby for £60Buy Now from Sports Direct for £25Patrick Power X Children’s Rugby Boots(Patrick)Have you even played rugby if you haven’t owned a pair of Patricks? The Power X is ideal when the weather turns bad thanks to the eight-metal stud sole. They are combined with a padded collar and heel to provide maximal comfort for long days at rugby tournaments.The lace closure provides a tight fit and the additional Velcro strap ensures that there is no wiggle room on the heel or upper foot.+ Plenty of traction for the winter matches+ Exceptionally good value for money at less than £20 a pair– Some nice touches with the red and white but still, these aren’t much to look atBuy Now from Sports Direct for £16.50Gilbert Step X9 SG Boots(Gilbert)The six-metal studs on the Step X9s mean that although they are aimed at soft ground, they will also be wearable on all but the firmest of surfaces. That all-round usage is combined with extreme comfort, thanks to a cushioned insole, for all day wearability. The white logo and flashes add a bit of style to this understated classic.+ Very comfortable to wear without sacrificing traction+ Plenty of protection on the forefoot from a stray stud– Quite expensive given the relative lack of exciting featuresBuy Now from Sports Direct for £32Canterbury Junior Stampede 3.0 Plus Boots(Canterbury)We are big fans of the adult Stampedes and the junior version hits those high standards. The upper is durable and scuff resistant so they will look brand-new match after match after match. Those uppers also offer plenty of protection from a wayward stud.The jet black colour with intricate styling elevates these boots above the level of the competition.+ The PU upper offers enough durability that these boots will last for season after season, or even child after child+ Not only do they look great, the adult version will be seen on the feet of many of the best pros– The six-stud set-up won’t offer as much traction as the traditional eight-stud soleBuy Now from Sports Direct for £31.99Buy Now from Amazon from £39.95Kooga Power Boots(Kooga)The Powers have plenty of cushioning in the boot for a locked-in feel without sacrificing comfort. That cushioning is important because the eight-stud sole offers supreme traction but, without cushioning, that comes at the expense of comfort on hard surfaces. Like the Stampede, the Power is an all-black boot that is elevated thanks to some nice styling touches.+ Really good value at less than £30 a pair+ Plenty of grip and comfort for the cold winter months– Styling is good but may be too understated for some kidsBuy Now from Sports Direct for £24.99Buy Now from Lovell Rugby for £25That wraps up our rundown of the best rugby boots for kids in 2020.
The 21-year-old lock, who has some impressive mentors at Leinster, talks to Tom English about his rugby journey New face: Leinster lock Ryan Baird during an Ireland session (Sportsfile/Getty Images) This article originally appeared in the February 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Meet Ryan Baird – Irish rugby’s ‘next big thing’Everybody in Leinster knew about Ryan Baird from a long way off, from way back in his school days when his giant frame, his big stride, his high knee lift was as obvious to those watching him as the grass he was eating up as the star second-row of St Michael’s College.The Dublin school, where Father Ted (Dermot Morgan) once taught, is a rugby academy that has already delivered James Ryan, Dan Leavy, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne and Ronan Kelleher to the Test arena.People in Leinster could see what he was capable of, but it was really only in late February of last year when everybody outside of Ireland began to see it. Baird scored a Guinness Pro14 hat-trick against Glasgow at the RDS that night.A winger and a fly-half until he was 15, he always had pace and a desire to attack. His athleticism, his ball-carrying, his handling were all exceptional. He was only 20. It was just his second start.Just before the hour mark, Baird exploded onto a pass from Harry Byrne more than 40m from the Glasgow line. He was through a gap between Glenn Bryce and Peter Horne before the full-back and the fly-half knew what was happening, he accelerated outside George Horne and there was nothing the scrum-half could do. He thundered all the way to the posts. In touching the ball down he announced himself as a senior rugby player.Before the 80 minutes were up, Leinster folk were imagining the glorious future they were going to have with the dream team in the row – Ryan and Baird, the thought of it was tantalising.“All the stars aligned for me that night,” he says. “The team played incredibly well and I got lucky with so much ball in hand. It was great fun.”The months since have brought some more games, an appearance off the bench against Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final last September, an international call-up in October – and then an injury that checked his progress a little. But not for long. Leinster have a battalion of outstanding young players and Baird is in the vanguard of the movement.“Rugby was always very important to me,” he says, “but when I was at school, around 12 or 13 years of age, I did a lot of athletics, some shot put, some other field events, 4x100m relays. I went to the All-Irelands twice in shot put and finished fourth and second. I’ve always wanted to try different things. I’ve always been into different sports.”Some of his mates were big into NFL and so he got hooked on it. If he could spend a day with one athlete from any discipline in the world then it would be a close call between Tiger Woods (golf is another big deal for him, with a Sunday at the Masters high up on his bucket list) and Tom Brady, the quarterback who achieved immortality with the New England Patriots.“I’d love to hear his thoughts about his (six) Super Bowl wins, the comeback versus Atlanta (in 2017 when the Patriots trailed 28-3 and yet won 34-28 in the greatest comeback in NFL history).“I’d want to know how many hours he puts in, I’d want to know about the dedication required to become the greatest quarterback of all time. That would be special. God, yeah. When my mates told me that NFL was right up my street they were right. I started to look at it when I was about 17 or 18, but I really watch it closely now.”Baird always had that thirst for knowledge, that’s what they’ll tell you about his school rugby days. They’ll tell you something else, too. They’ll mention the Leinster Schools Senior Cup semi-final of 2018. Donnybrook was the venue, Belvedere the opposition. Michael’s were coasting it. With ten minutes to go they were winning 19-3, a place in the final all but guaranteed. They lost 20-19.“When you’re 18 and a rugby player at Michael’s, this is your world, your everything. You’re a team but you’re with your close friends, guys you’re living with day in, day out, guys you’ve grown up with, guys you’ve never really been away from for that long. You’re more like a family than a team.“We lost that game and it was devastating. I was one of the major contributory factors in the loss. Even with one minute and 43 seconds left to play we were six points ahead.“I think it was one minute and 43 seconds, but it was a stupidly low amount of time left and I tried to do a tip-on pass when what I should have done, as one of the biggest ball-carriers, was get the ball, put my head down and run. I tried the tip-on and yer man intercepts it, then I proceed to go offside while trying to fix the problem. Then, we go to the lineout on the five-metre line and four or five lads don’t hit the maul and they drive us over and score. That was a sore lesson that I’ll never forget, but you have to learn them.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Corner stop: Ryan Baird scores a try against Connacht (Sportsfile/Getty Images)These are painfully early days in his career but they’re exciting times. He knows how lucky he is to be at Leinster where the second-row wisdom surrounds him like the cosiest blanket.Ryan is a European Cup and Six Nations Grand Slam winner and an Ireland captain even though he’s only 24. Devin Toner, another sounding board, has 70 caps for Ireland. Scott Fardy is a World Cup finalist. His coach, Leo Cullen, is a former lock himself.“I’ve got brilliant mentors. They’ve seen everything, they’re really approachable, they’re always keen to help and they’re great craic. I pick everybody’s brain. I want to accumulate as much knowledge as possible. I mean, I don’t want to be the guy asking millions of questions and maybe not acting on them, so you pick your moments.“The most important thing sometimes is to say nothing and just look at how the top guys carry themselves. You can soak up a lot of information just by looking at them going about their work, how they train, how they live, what they say, how they say it. There’s an outrageous amount of second-row experience for me to tap into.”Learning at Leinster: Scott Fardy and Ryan Baird during training (Sportsfile/Getty Images)Mindfulness is something he’s gotten into lately. At the start of last year he got to thinking about ways he could improve. He couldn’t do more weights than he was already doing, couldn’t do more physical stuff for fear of causing himself damage.Physically and tactically I was doing everything I was supposed to, but I thought about the mental side. Mentally, could I do more?“I started working with a psychologist called Stephen McIvor (a former Munster scrum-half, capped three times by Ireland) and we worked on mindfulness. How do the really top athletes deliver under pressure? How do they achieve calmness and clarity when the stakes are so high?“Everybody is getting stronger, everybody is getting faster, everybody understands the game, so you’re looking for those edges and mindfulness is a pretty untapped area. It’s not even necessarily about meditation, it’s about visualisation.“You can’t over-rep your body, you can’t do a thousand reps, but you can visualise what you’re going to do in certain situations so that when you get to the game it’s not the first time you have seen yourself make that carry or make that tackle. It’s familiar to you, you’ve seen it before.”Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. Not that he’s getting ahead of himself. Yes, playing for Ireland is the goal – the Six Nations the next opportunity having been called up to train with the national squad following Connacht lock Quinn Roux’s injury – but just getting into the Leinster line-up is a challenge given the savage competition for places.“Every day I go in there, I’m fighting for my spot. I’m not thinking about anything other than getting more games for Leinster. I really want to play international rugby, and getting the call-up was brilliant and surreal, but if I’m not focusing on what I’m doing in the here and now there ain’t gonna be a future for me. Every now and then I might have a dream about winning caps, there’s no harm in it, but the majority of time I’m in the moment.”He says the most vivid rugby memory of his youth was the European Cup final of 2009, when Leinster beat Leicester 19-16 at Murrayfield. He went to Edinburgh with his dad, Andrew, a former player, coach and referee and a devoted disciple of the oval ball. Johnny Sexton played that day and is the last man standing.“Johnny wants it now more than ever I think. He has an incredible hunger and that’s what I mean when I say that sometimes all you’ve got to do is look and learn. I remember one Sunday morning going in for a medical check-up and Johnny was in there rehabbing. There was hardly anybody around. He was by himself, just rehabbing. As a young fella, that’s a fairly powerful image.“He’d done it all. Grand Slam, European Cups, Lions tours, probably around 34 years of age at the time I’d say. That mindset he has is inspirational. That kind of determination is what makes him a great player and it’s something that all of us can learn from. I watched Johnny on telly when I was a kid and now I get to train with him and play in the same team. I pinch myself the odd time.”It might feel like a dream but it’s very much reality. Baird is only starting out in the rarefied air of pro rugby but, as Glasgow found out, once he gets going he’s a really, really hard man to stop.
Rector Hopkinsville, KY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Featured Events Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Belleville, IL Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH La inesperada militancia de una seminarista Submit an Event Listing Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest 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 Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Press Release Service Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Featured Jobs & Calls An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Youth Minister Lorton, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit a Press Release An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Tampa, FL Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Shreveport, LA Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Por Sharon SheridanPosted Feb 29, 2012 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Smithfield, NC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Bath, NC Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Washington, DC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Albany, NY Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Martinsville, VA Submit a Job Listing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis 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 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Collierville, TN This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Curate Diocese of Nebraska [Episcopal News Service] Durante el Mes de la Historia de los Negros, ENS publicará entrevistas con episcopales que participaron en el movimiento de los derechos civiles y en la obra de reconciliación de la Iglesia.La Rda. Judy Upham no pensaba ir a Selma, Alabama.Ella estudiaba en la Escuela Teológica Episcopal en Cambridge, Massachusetts —algo inusual para una mujer en esos tiempos— cuando vio por la televisión las agresiones policiales a los manifestantes pro derechos civiles que intentaban cruzar el puentes Edmund Pettus el 7 de marzo de 1965, fecha que para algunos se conoce como “el domingo sangriento”.“El Dr. [Martin Luther] King compareció en la televisión el lunes y le pidió a los buenos cristianos que vinieran y estuvieran a su lado”, recordaba ella. “Algunas personas del seminario iban a ir. Yo llevé mi chequera porque en verdad no tenía tiempo de hacer cosas como ésa. Todos estábamos apiñados de pie mirando la televisión. Yo miraba a todas esas personas que eran golpeadas por la policía.Y cuando el compañero seminarista Jonathan Daniels le preguntó si ella iba a ir a Selma. “me escuché respondiéndole, “Cómo llegamos allí?”.Cuando volvió a saber algo, estaba en un vuelo fletado a Atlanta. Sentada entre Daniels y otro seminarista, ella le dijo: “Esto no era exactamente lo que tenía en mente”.Ese vuelo que ella no había planeado la puso en el camino del centro de la lucha por los derechos civiles y de toda una vida de activismo.,Aterrizaron en Atlanta a medianoche y descansaron hasta por la mañana en la oficina de King. “Estuvo bien. Yo logré dormir en su sofá”.Al día siguiente, alrededor de 10 seminaristas y otras personas que habían venido en el avión, celebraron “uno de los más significativos oficios de oración matutina” a que ella había asistido nunca, luego se dirigieron en autobuses a Brown Chapel en medio de los proyectos de vivienda para personas de bajos recursos de Selma. “Ese era como el centro del movimiento en Selma”, explicó Upham.Dirigiéndose a amplio terreno de la vecindad, se unieron “a otros montones de personas que se encontraban allí a la espera de que empezara la manifestación”. En columnas de cinco en fondo “comenzamos la marcha, llegábamos hasta el puente y dábamos la vuelta, nos deteníamos y orábamos un momento arrodillándonos en la calle… y regresábamos”.“El liderazgo no quería otra confrontación”, añadió ella. Tampoco estoy segura de que esos guardias quisieran golpear a toda esa gente blanca. En ese tiempo, el color marcaba una gran diferencia.Si bien la manifestación misma fue pacífica, la violencia se desencadenó cuando el Rdo. James Reeb, un ministro unitario blanco de Boston, que había estado en el avión con Upham, se detuvo con unos amigos “a cenar en el lugar equivocado”, afirmó ella. “En el momento de marcharse, fueron abordados por algunos paletos que los golpearon. Como consecuencia, él [Reeb] falleció esa noche”.Celebraron una vigilia frente al hospital y, después que él murió, intentaron desfilar en protesta hasta el juzgado a la mañana siguiente. [La policía] bloqueó las calles, de manera “que básicamente nos sentamos y cantamos. El movimiento de los derechos civiles consistía en gran medida en estar por ahí y escuchar y ser categóricos respecto a ‘esto es lo que vamos a hacer, chicos”.La gente de los proyectos trajo alimentos y frazadas. “Comimos montones de sándwiches de basura y mantequilla de maní y sándwiches de jalea y café malo”.“El domingo, varios grupos fueron a las iglesias locales. Por supuesto, la iglesia episcopal de la localidad no nos dejó entrar, de modo que nos arrodillamos en la acera y oramos”, contó ella. “La Iglesia Episcopal era básicamente una iglesia de clase alta en ese momento, en Selma, y los negros no asistían a la Iglesia Episcopal. Resultó que tampoco nos quisieron en la Iglesia Bautista. El grupo llegó allí y los ujieres le dijeron: ‘ustedes no pueden entrar aquí’”.Cuando alguien replicó, “creíamos que ésta era la iglesia de Dios”, dijo ella. “nos contaron que el ujier respondió: ‘no, es nuestra iglesia, y ustedes no pueden entrar’”.El lunes, les dejaron desfilar hasta el juzgado. Al regreso, “el jefe de la policía local estaba a la entrada de los proyectos de vivienda dándole la mano a la gente”. Ella recuerda a los manifestantes levantaban las manos con asombro y decían: “le di la mano a un blanco”.En Washington, D.C., el presidente Lyndon Johnson pronunció un vehemente discurso ante el Congreso sobre los derechos civiles. En Selma, algunos de los partidarios de afuera “empezaban a distanciarse”. Era el momento de regresar al seminario.Pero Upham comenzó a pensar: “Parecería extraño que digamos el lunes, ‘estamos aquí para apoyarlos y arriesgar nuestras vidas por ustedes’ y luego, dos o tres días después, digamos “bueno, caramba, tenemos que regresar a la escuela’. No parecería lo correcto”.Ella y Daniels regresaron al seminario y obtuvieron permiso para pasar el semestre en Selma, con el razonamiento de que “al menos se quedaran allí algunos blancos. Al menos la policía sabría que habría algunos testigos”. También estarían allí “como testigos de que a Dios sí le importa… y estamos aquí como una especie de signo de ese amor de Dios [que insiste en que] eres un ser humano como todos los demás”.Regresaron a Selma el 21 de marzo, al tiempo que autorizaban finalmente la marcha de varios días a Montgomery y la Guardia Nacional protegía a los manifestantes. Ella se mudo con una familia de la localidad y ayudaba en lo que hiciera falta. La noche antes de que la manifestación entrará en Montgomery, se unió a los que acampaban afuera de una escuela. “Era lluvioso y lodoso a más no poder”.Hubo diversión por la noche. “Honestamente no recuerdo todos los que estaban allí”, dijo. “Gente como Joan Baez y Harry Bellafonte. Algunas celebridades”.Al día siguiente, entraron en Montgomery, donde se unieron con un grupo del seminario que había volado allí para la ocasión. “La gente se alineaban en las calles, algunos nos abucheaban y nos silbaban y nos escupían”, dijo. Pero otros los vitoreaban. Se reunieron frente al capitolio. “Martin Luther King pronunció un discurso extraordinario cuyo tema sería ‘¿Cuánto tiempo? No mucho’”.De nuevo, la violencia siguió a la manifestación. Algunos miembros del Ku Klux Klan mataron a tiros a Viola Liuzzo, un ama de casa de Michigan, mientras ella llevaba a algunos manifestantes de regreso a Selma.“Después de la marcha, Jon y yo estuvimos dando vueltas, haciendo lo que podíamos por ayudar”, contaba Upham. Si una manifestación necesitaba participantes, se sumaban. Ayudaban a estudiantes a rellenar sus solicitudes de ingreso en la universidad, jugaban con los niños, ayudaban en la campaña de inscribir a electores, visitaban escuelas. Asistían todos los domingos a la iglesia episcopal de la localidad y dedicaban alrededor de una hora cada semana tratando, sin éxito, de convencer al rector para que actuara. Él estaba demasiado empapado en la manera de ser del Sur, y tenía que considerar su trabajo, tenía una familia”.“Nosotros estábamos en la veintena, éramos jóvenes e ingenuos, y suponíamos que si las personas llegaban a saber lo que era justo, lo harían… Parte de nuestro trabajo era educativo. Visitábamos a cualquiera en la parroquia que estuviera dispuesto a recibirnos”.La labor de Upham a favor de los derechos civiles reflejaba los valores de su familia. Cuando le dijo a su papá que iba a Selma la primera vez, cuenta ella “lo primero que me dijo fue ‘ten cuidado’. Lo segundo que me dijo fue ‘Muy bien’, porque no había manera de que él pudiera dejar el trabajo”. Dos de sus hermanos se le unieron parte del tiempo que ella estuvo en Alabama.Pero trabajar en el sur le enseñó algo acerca del prejuicio. “Me di cuenta, también, de que si me hubiese criado en Selma y los únicos negros que yo hubiera conocido eran mis empleados o los borrachos de la calle, probablemente yo también habría estado prejuiciada”.Upham y Daniels mantenían sus estudios a larga distancia. Después del semestre, ella hizo su programa de educación pastoral clínica en un hospital psiquiátrico de San Luis. Daniels le pidió prestado su auto, primero para visitar a su familia en Nuevo Hampshire y trabajar con la juventud diocesana sobre derechos civiles, luego al regresar a Selma para el verano.Daniels era parte de un grupo que trabajaba en el Condado de Lowndes —“uno de los lugares más difíciles”— cuando él y otros fueron arrestados y pasaron un tiempo en una celda al lado de Stokely Carmichael, que entonces era miembro del Comité de Coordinación Estudiantil de la No Violencia, con quien él (Daniels) llegó a entablar una relación de amistad. Luego de varios días, los liberaron el 13 de agosto de 1965.“Estoy convencida de que fue una trampa”, dijo Upham. Mientras estaba esperando por un transporte, Daniels, junto con un sacerdote católico y dos manifestantes negros, entraron a comprar una gaseosa en una tienda. “Habían estado antes allí en grupos mixtos, de manera que teóricamente no era una gran provocación”. afirmó ella. Se encontraron con un auxiliar del alguacil que llevaba una escopeta y quien le apuntó a Ruby Sales, una chica de 16 años. Daniels la empujó para protegerla y recibió una herida mortal (Él ahora es conmemorado en el calendario de los santos de la Iglesia Episcopal).Upham viajó a Keene, Nuevo Hampshire, para el funeral. “Me acuerdo de haber ido de compras con mi madre. Me compré dos vestidos, que nunca más volví a ponerme. Mi padre era abogado y se culpaba de no haber ido a Selma y haber sacado a Jon bajo fianza”.Después de eso, Upham participó en el movimiento en la medida en que podía, pero las cosas fueron cambiando. Se estaba desarrollando el movimiento “Poder Negro”, “y en consecuencia la participación de los blancos no era bien recibida”.“Para Stokely, la muerte de Jon fue el colmo”, dijo ella. “Yo creo que Stokely ya se había hartado de la no violencia. A él también le habían matado a muchos amigos”.Upham estuvo un tiempo como directora de educación religiosa, luego se diplomó en asistencia social. Cuando la Convención General aprobó la ordenación de mujeres al diaconado, en 1970, cuenta que para ella fue “como un repique de campanas”.Comenzó a trabajar en pro de la ordenación de las mujeres al presbiterado, llegando a ser miembro fundadora de la Agrupación de Mujeres Episcopales y asistió como delegada suplente a la Convención General de 1973. La ordenaron diácono en 1975 y su primer trabajo fue en San Esteban [St. Stephen’s], una iglesia mayoritariamente negra al sur de San Luis. Fue la primera mujer que cruzó las fronteras diocesanas para convertirse en rectora de la iglesia episcopal de la Gracia [Grace Episcopal Church], una iglesia deliberadamente integrada en Syracuse, Nueva York.En la actualidad, a los 69 años, es sacerdote auxiliar de San Albano en el Teatro [St. Alban’s in the Theater], en Arlington, Texas, una congregación de la renovada diócesis de Fort Worth que se congrega en un teatro, y labora por la reconciliación en la diócesis, cuyo obispo anterior y muchos líderes diocesanos abandonaron en noviembre de 2008.Mirando retrospectivamente, ella dijo: “sé que el legado de Jon produjo un cambio enorme en la educación teológica, al menos para la Escuela Teológica Episcopal en lo que respecta a cómo practicamos lo que decimos creer”.Ella cree haber marcado una notable diferencia también. “Si Jon fue un misionero, yo también lo fui. Él fue el único que alcanzó el martirio por ello”.En Selma, ella llegó a temer “a veces, pero no muy a menudo”, dijo, juzgándose “demasiado estúpida para tener miedo”.También fue, añadió, “una de las pocas veces en mi vida en que me he sentido 100 por ciento segura de que estaba haciendo lo que Dios quería que hiciera. Si eso me costaba la vida, estaba bien. Después de todo hay cosas peores que la muerte.“Tenemos una promesa de un futuro con Dios. ¿Qué tienes que perder? Al menos estás defendiendo lo que es justo… Esa es tu tarea como cristiana y como ser humano”.—Sharon Sheridan es corresponsal de ENS. Traducido por Vicente Echerri.
Rector Bath, NC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Rector Collierville, TN In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Washington, DC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC 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 Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Theological Education Submit an Event Listing Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Peder Berdahl says: Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Tags The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group 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 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis 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 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Curate Diocese of Nebraska Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Comments (1) Youth Minister Lorton, VA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Martinsville, VA Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Tampa, FL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET People, Rector Shreveport, LA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Hopkinsville, KY Comments are closed. Rector Pittsburgh, PA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Submit a Job Listing [Seabury Western/Bexley Hall] At historic meetings this month, the boards of Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago and Bexley Hall in Columbus unanimously voted to federate and to elect the Rev. Roger Albert Ferlo, Ph.D., D.D., as the Federation’s first president. Ferlo, who is currently the associate dean and director of the Institute of Christian Formation and Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of religion and culture, will take up his duties on July 1.“As we searched for a new president, we asked ourselves what kind of leaders the Episcopal Church of the 21st century needs,” said the Rev. Gwynne Wright, chair of the Seabury Board of Trustees and co-chair of the presidential search committee. “Roger embodies that ideal, and we are eager for him to lead the formation of our next generation of students.”Since 2007, Bexley and Seabury have worked to assess their compatibility for possible partnership in serving the Episcopal Church in the Midwest and beyond. In 2010, the boards of the two schools began to hold joint meetings. Between February 2011 and March 2012, they operated according to an interim joint partnership agreement under which their boards have met jointly. During that time, the two seminaries have begun the process of combining communications, development programs and financial services. The votes earlier this month brought the Federation into being.“Early on, both boards recognized that we could become even stronger together,” said Cathy Bagot of Westerville, Ohio, secretary of the Bexley board and a member of the joint task force that oversaw the Federation’s creation. “We share a vision, and our Federation is born of that common strength. Our theological education is innovative and rigorous, our business model is sustainable, and our balance sheet is sound.”Together, Seabury and Bexley offer the full spectrum of graduate level theological education and lifelong learning. Bexley offers the Master of Divinity degree in conjunction with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, while Seabury offers Doctor of Ministry degrees in partnership with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, as well as a wide array of non-degree programs for church leaders.“Roger’s rich experience in both innovative and traditional theological education makes him a perfect fit for the Federation’s broad spectrum of academic courses and programs,” said the Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of West Virginia, co-chair of the Bexley Hall Board of Trustees, and co-chair of the presidential search. “With him leading the way, Bexley and Seabury are poised to realize our potential as an Episcopal educational center in the Midwest.”Prior to working at Virginia Seminary, Ferlo, who trained for the priesthood at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, spent 19 years in parish ministry, serving in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has 14 years of teaching experience at the university and seminary levels; 15 years of service on the board of the National Association of Episcopal schools, including a term as President; and nine years of service on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Colgate University (’73, summa cum laude), where in 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate. Ferlo holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (’79) and has authored and edited three books and numerous published essays, sermons and reflections. He has served as a deputy from New York to General Convention and has traveled internationally for teaching and research in South Africa, Australia and Italy.“The Federation of Seabury and Bexley offers a new model for sustaining high-quality theological education for the changing church,” said Ferlo. “I’m honored that both schools have entrusted their new venture to my leadership, and I look forward to working with their faculty and staff, and with our Lutheran and Episcopal partners, to build a strong presence for theological education in the Midwest and beyond.” Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Albany, NY March 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm Glad this is coming to fruition. We began working on this when I was Canon to the Ordinary of Indianapolis and establishing a relationship between Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and Bexley for our postulants and candidates for Holy Orders. Some very good correspondence with Mark Ramseth during those days. We need this to happen. Featured Events Rector Belleville, IL Press Release Service Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Roger Ferlo to lead Federation of Seabury and Bexley This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Posted Mar 27, 2012