England coach Martin JohnsonENGLAND FANS got a little glimpse of what they hope will be their future today with one of the great Twickenham tries. From the moment Chris Ashton marked the ball in his own 22 (well done for remembering!), he only had one thing on his mind – let’s get over the line and back into this match.And Ashton’s enthusiasm is infectious. Off he went as the All Blacks waited for the kick to touch. Ashton found Ben Foden and Toby Flood in the mood for tries as well. Foden’s off-load was superb and then Flood’s kick ahead perfectly weighted.Ashton hacked on and gathered and when he was snagged inches for the line who was there first acting as scrum-half, only Flood. And who better to find on your shoulder running like a raging bull than Dylan Hartley another of the young guns. He battered his way over for 13-20. But England failed to capitalise letting the All Blacks score next and seal the deal.Ashton has been one of England’s biggest success over the past 12 months – don’t forget he was making his Twickenham debut against the All Blacks, so would have had every reason to freeze. He didn’t!Others who have to be mentioned in dispatches include Courtney Lawes who played his first full 80 minutes for England.The England front row got completely on top again, winning five penalties at scrum time.And the reason I said Ashton was one of England’s biggest successes of the last 12 months is that Dan Cole is England’s biggest success by a mile. They now have a world-class tighthead, who they can build their scrum around and in Test match rugby that is crucial for any side who has ambitions of making a World Cup semi-final. Understated and humble he has the potential to move into the pantheon occupied by Jason Leonard, and I don’t say that lightly.Of course New Zealand were the better team and the 26-16 scoreline was probably spot on, even if they did beat the bookies handicap of a 13-point start. I told you to back it!But the worry for Graham Henry must be on this showing New Zealand aren’t getting any better while England have heaps of improvement in them. South Africa also with a vastly under-strength side beat Ireland to show how powerful they will be at the World Cup and that’s before you consider my World Cup favourites Australia.The All Blacks looked devastating outside today but once Rokocoko left the field so did their attacking abilities.They have the world’s best player in Dan Carter but outside him they have two inside centres in Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams. Both good players but Henry needs to bring Conrad Smith back in the 13 shirt if they are to unlock defences. Williams’ offload for the first try was genius, but for me he’s an inside centre.England’s reasons to be cheerful:Chris Ashton & Ben Foden – The two Northampton tyros have injected new enthusiasm into the England back lineLewis Moody – An inspirational captain who grows with every game. Like Johnno before they will follow him through a brick wallDan Cole – Worth his weight in gold. Tightheads like him don’t come around too often.Courtney Lawes – A towering performance from a man who hasn’t reached 50% of his potential.Things to improve now:The lineout – this is a set piece and there is no excuse for his misfiring again! England need to do what Woodward did and bring in a specialist lineout coach before it is too late. Call Simon Hardy now!New Zealand’s reasons to be cheerful:They have two of the world’s best players in Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and a devastating finisher in Joe Rokocko, who causes havoc whenever he gets the ball.But they need more depth in the front five, a new scrum-half and when they are on the back foot resist obvious infringing, as yellow cards will come in the white hot environment of a World Cup. They have a lot to discover in the next Super 15, but may well do that! England (6) 16Tries: Hartley Cons: Flood Pens: Flood 3New Zealand (17) 26Tries: Gear, Read Cons: Carter 2 Pens: Carter 4 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS England: Foden; Ashton, Tindall, Hape, Cueto (Armitage, 68); Flood, Youngs (Care, 72); Sheridan (Wilson, 58), Thompson (Hartley, 51), Cole, Lawes, Palmer (Attwood, 64), Croft, Moody (C, Fourie, 66), Easter.Not Used: Hodgson.New Zealand: Muliaina; Rokocoko (Toeava, 58), Williams, Nonu, Gear; Carter, Mathewson (Ellis, 51); Woodcock, Mealamu, O. Franks (Afoa, 71), Thorn, Whitelock (Boric, 68), Kaino, McCaw, Read.Not Used: Elliot, Messam, Donald.Att: 80,350Ref: Romain Poite (France).
A former Australia Schools and Under-21s captain, Salvi has also represented Australia ‘A’ in two IRB Pacific Nations Cup campaigns.Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “We’re delighted that Julian has agreed to join us. He enjoyed a very good season in England a couple of years ago and has been a major performer in Australia too. Losing a player of Craig Newby’s influence and experience is a blow to the squad, especially during a World Cup year when we are likely to be without a number of senior players. But we see Julian as a very good addition to the squad. He will join us by the end of July and his previous experience in this country should allow him to fit in pretty quickly.” DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – MAY 03: Julian Salvi during the Brumbies training session at Northwood School on May 03, 2011 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images) Julian Salvi heads to LeicesterAustralian openside flanker Julian Salvi has agreed to join Leicester Tigers ahead of the new season.Salvi, who has just finished the Super 15 campaign with the Brumbies, is moving to Welford Road as an injury dispensation signing following the news that Craig Newby is likely to miss the opening months of the season with a knee problem which has required surgery.The 25-year-old Salvi has made more than 50 appearances for the Brumbies in two spells either side of a season in the Premiership with Bath Rugby. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
CARDIFF, WALES – FEBRUARY 02: The Wales players look dejected after Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland scored a try during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on February 2, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) Ireland:Tries: Simon Zebo, Cian Healy, Brian O’Driscoll,Pens: Jonny Sexton (3). Cons Jonny Sexton (3) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS ColdJonathan Davies: It was not one of the midfielders better days. Misplaced passes and a butchered a try-scoring opportunity blotted the copybook of one of this season’s best centres. You don’t imagine he will sleep well, but has more than enough class to come back.Dan Biggar: Earning his 12th cap and his first Six Nations start, Biggar thoroughly deserved his chance at fly-half after his consistent form for the Ospreys, but a frustrating day was summed up with his charge down in the 22nd minute for Cian Healy’s try.Top quoteWales assistant coach, Shaun Edwards: “That man O’Driscoll was the difference between the two teams. I wish someone had left him in Ireland!”StatsToby Faletau made the most carries with 19, with Andrew Coombs close behind on 17. Sean O’Brien was Ireland’s top carrier with 12George North ran farthest, making 92 metres, Toby Faletau was second with 66 metres made. Craig Gilroy was Ireland’s most incisive carrier with 52 metresSean O’Brien was the games top tackler with 23 tackles, both Mike McCarthy and Donnacha Ryan made 18 tackles. Sam Warburton and Toby Faletau were Wales’ best with 11 tackles each.ScorersWales:Tries: Cuthbert, Halfpenny, MitchellPens: Halfpenny (1). Cons: Halfpenny (2) Try time: Simon Zebo runs in for the first Ireland score on an emphatic 30-22 victory for Ireland at the MillenniumBy Owain JonesIn a nutshellIRELAND ENTERED the Millennium Stadium with confidence and a resolve to give Brian O’Driscoll, a win on what could be his final encounter in Cardiff. They didn’t disappoint. Ireland went on to dominate the first half, racing to a 20-0 lead within the first half-hour. First O’Driscoll – who else? – found space to put Simon Zebo in for his debut Six Nations try and then Dan Biggar was charged down by Rory Best and in the resulting attack, Cian Healy crashed over from distance, helped by some Zebo ball-skills. Wales couldn’t find any rhythm, throwing misplaced passes, losing their own lineouts and being turned over and had only a Leigh Halfpenny penalty on the scoreboard at the break.The second half started as the first with Brian O’Driscoll when, replete with Seventies-style headband, burrowed over. Wales were looking at a record defeat, so abandoned caution and introduced Justin Tipuric after 45 minutes. His introduction was the catalyst to a gung-ho Wales rearguard action as they dominated the second-half. First Alex Cuthbert scythed through the Ireland defence to score. Then after more concerted Wales pressure, with Best in the bin for repeated infringements, Halfpenny went over in the corner to reduce the Irish lead to 15 points. The last fifteen minutes saw Wales repeatedly hammer the Irish line, first Toby Faletau failed to ground the ball off the post and Jonathan Davies butchered a try-scoring chance. Finally, with Conor Murray off the field, Craig Mitchell, on for Adam Jones, dotted down to leave Wales 30-22 down and out.Legend: O’Driscoll rolled back the yearsKey momentAfter 10 minutes, with the game scoreless and Ireland camped in the Welsh half, Johnny Sexton released Brian O’Driscoll. O’Driscoll didn’t take contact. He showed his experience, first using his pace to jink outside Jonathan Davies, and then vision to release Simon Zebo with a sumptuous weighted pass. Zebo did the rest, rounding a floundering Alex Cuthbert to dot down in Sexton’s range. It was the worst possible start for Wales and set the tone for the first-half procession from the visitors.Star man: Brian O’DriscollAfter scoring a try, O’Driscoll spent the majority of the second-half on the back foot, throwing himself into tackles. Hell, he even offered a brief cameo as a scrum-half in Murray’s absence. However, it was in the first half that O’Driscoll showed his experience, leadership and undoubted genius. His sublime handling skills, for Zebo’s try, in front of the watching Warren Gatland, will have been duly noted. Old father time may soon sound the chimes on the 34-year-old’s stellar career, but neutrals will hope BOD – replace the B with G and you’ll get an idea of how he’s revered in Ireland – will hang around a little longer. When he does finally hang up his boots, he will fully deserve his place among the pantheon of world greats, in any generation.Frustation: Wales rallied, but only after being heavily downLions watchHotBrian O’Driscoll: Had a pretty good day, all things considered. With the Lions just four months away, it seems the old master wants to bow out on the very highest stage.Simon Zebo: The Munster speedster showed finishing prowess with his first try and footballing skills that wouldn’t look out of place on the Copa Copana for the second. Looks very comfortable on international stageLeigh Halfpenny: Okay, he ended up on the losing side, but a poacher’s try, strong kicking performance and usual derring-do saw him come away with immense creditJustin Tipuric: Adorned with his bright blue scrum cap, Tipuric was not hard to miss and he gave his best whirling dervish impression, hitting rucks with zeal, carrying with agression and giving the Irish players a troublesome last 35 minutes.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rumbling on: England’s pack impressed against their cap-laden opponents, winning collisions throughout the gameBy Jamie HosieENGLAND MAY have suffered their first and only defeat of the autumn on Saturday, but there were more positives to take out of their performance against New Zealand than the previous two games combined.Despite succumbing to a 22-30 loss to the world champions, who keep up their hunt for the first ever ‘perfect year’, England showed they have the foundations to keep up with the best in the world.England have the pack to compete with the bestNo shirking: the pack got stuck inThe crushing loss to Wales in the last game of the Six Nations seems like a distant memory now. England’s pack were blown away that day, but on Saturday they proved that they have learnt their lesson. It was a performance brimming with power. Hartley, Marler, Lawes, Launchbury and Vunipola were all exemplary and when you consider who is still to come back from injury, as well as the impact the subs have had this autumn, the future is rosy for the English eight.Missing ManuThe biggest negative this autumn has been the centre partnership. With Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi out, there was a real chance for Twelvetrees and Tomkins to challenge them for selection come the Six Nations. While Twelvetrees found some kind of form in the last two games, Tomkins has not looked at home on the international stage. On Saturday he made eight carries and did not pass the ball a single time – with no line breaks or offloads to show for his efforts, that sort of one-dimensional play doesn’t really cut it at this level. England badly miss Manu to get some go-forward in the backs. Not to get carried away (it was a loss, after all), but England have confirmed that they have the foundations of a squad that could be capable of competing for the top honours at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The pack was dominant in every game this autumn, and if England can find that little bit of stardust behind the scrum (bear in mind that Wade, Yarde, Eastmond and Tuilagi are all injured) then they can certainly challenge the Southern Hemisphere powers on any given day.Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43 during the QBE International match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on November 16, 2013 in London, England. Farrell still has work to doOwen Farrell deserves a great deal of credit for the composure he showed against New Zealand to kick all six of his goals and effectively keep England in the game. However, his play with ball in hand still requires a lot of work. Too often he is guilty of receiving the ball and crabbing laterally across the pitch, eating up the space for the men outside him. Unless he has someone running a hard, short line off his shoulder (which neither Twelvetrees or Tomkins did on Saturday) it is an ineffectual use of possession. Farrell must learn to run straighter and commit the defenders, rather than allow them to drift so easily.Needs a partner: without Tuilagi, the backs lacked dynamismVunipola v Morgan is a selection battle to relishBen Morgan has stormed back into everyone’s good books with two performances that have redefined the meaning of ‘impact sub’. Before this series many people were suggesting he should be out of the squad altogether after some indifferent club form behind a struggling Gloucester tight five. Back behind a dominant England pack, however, he has looked marvelous. Billy Vunipola has also had an excellent autumn, slotting into the test arena with abundant ease. The tussle for the no.8 shirt in the years to come will be a fascinating one.Victory in 2015 is a real possibility
The crossover between 13- and 15-man codes is a well-trodden path. From coaches Phil Larder, Dave Ellis, Shaun Edwards and Mike Ford to megastar players Jason Robinson and Israel Folau, a plethora of rugby league personnel have made a significant impact on union.It is a conveyor belt that does not look like slowing down either. Unless you have been living under a rock since Christmas, you will know that someone called Sam Burgess is honing in on a place in England’s World Cup squad.Inevitably, a great deal of the copious chatter on Bath‘s former South Sydney Rabbitoh has centred upon his limitations and how a history in league has left him with much to learn.During Friday evening’s Challenge Cup semi-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington though, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens reinforced a number of attacking principles that could easily be applied to union.Skeptics might highlight league’s lack of contestable breakdowns and say that with a pristine platform, 10 metres of space and four fewer players on the pitch there is far greater scope for offensive success. In a sense, they would be correct.But the ambition, execution and skill level of each side within their sport’s six-tackle framework was wonderful to watch. Here is a list of pointers that translate across the great divide from an excellent match.1. Art of the offloadPassing out of contact is a key crowd-pleaser offered by code-hoppers. The Hollywood efforts of Sonny Bill Williams, often out the back of his hands, are sure to be a big feature of New Zealand‘s approach over the next couple of months.By half-time of a 24-14 victory over St Helens, Leeds had racked up 17 offloads. For context, the Highlanders managed six more in the entirety of their harum-scarum Super 15 final triumph.Big, bearded Australian front-rower Adam Cuthbertson was a pivotal figure here. Watch his role in the build-up to Leeds’ opening try:Breaking this down step-by-step, we can see both Cuthbertson and full-back Zac Hardaker sizing up the St Helens defence at the play-the-ball:Next up is Cuthbertson’s carry. Rather than crudely attempting to trample an opponent, he uses some footwork and aims at the gap between James Roby and Kyle Amor:This makes it tougher for the tacklers either to get a decent contact with their shoulders or to wrap up the ball. Cuthbertson fights to free his right arm and flips it back to Paul Aiton amid the attentions of Roby and Amor:From the reverse angle, we can see that five St Helens players are tied into a crowded point of contact:Of course, Cuthbertson’s offload transfers the ball away and allows Leeds to probe elsewhere.2. Exploiting a mismatchOften union teams look to take advantage of a a disparity in speed or size – a fleet-footed centre rounding a prop in the defensive line, for instance. League is no different, as Hardaker’s finish demonstrated:Throughout the evening, Leeds ran extremely hard down the channel of Luke Walsh, St Helens’ scrum-half. Weighing 83 kilograms, he was considered a weakness.This time, the ploy pays off as Hardaker straightens up……and beats his man:Leeds were just getting started.3. Instinctive responsesAn early injury to Aiton hastened the introduction of Rob Burrow. The diminutive playmaker lacerated Saints pretty quickly:Again, a snapshot of the ruck is telling. Before bending to pick up the ball, Burrow assesses his options:As he takes off, it is worth taking note of Kevin Sinfield‘s positioning. The Yorkshire Carnegie-bound stand-off is lurking on Burrow’s right:Sprinting into open space, Burrow’s line of running is interesting. He curves back away from the defence, much like a union scrum-half might from the base of a breakdown.Just as wings adjust to link up with All Blacks number nine Aaron Smith, Sinfield responds accordingly and cuts underneath his teammate:As Burrow makes a half-break, Sinfield appears on his left shoulder: Both this score and that of Watkins came with around the 70-minute mark. That is no innocent coincidence. Deploying multiple runners in motion can be devastating when defences tire.Whoever lifts the Webb Ellis Cup at Twickenham on October 31 will have offered exacting attacking accuracy as well as defensive resilience. Ticking off the 10 aspects above is a decent place to start for each of this autumn’s World Cup hopefuls. Watching the telepathic link-up from the opposite viewpoint really underlines the notion that offloading is as much about reactive support play as anything else:What came next was just as impressive.4. Clinical composure in broken fieldAs England have found all too often in recent times, creating and finishing off a line-break are two very different concepts. Leeds had no such trouble here:Centre Kallum Watkins was dangerous all night. His evasion to escape Atelea Vea is crucial:A looping pass to Joel Moon then requires spatial awareness:With wing Ryan Hall retaining width on the left and Saints scrambling desperately, Moon is presented with a two-on-one situation.Reading that Mark Percival is drifting off him to Hall, he throws a dummy and beats covering Adam Swift to the whitewash:This is almost mechanical in its ruthless efficiency. However, Saints hit back before the break.5. Decision-making and option-takingSplit-second decisions underpin every sport and Percival’s first try brought an explicit example of selecting options under pressure.Before anything else, a burly carry and deft offload from Alex Walmsley opened things up:Despite finding the 105-kilogram frame of Jamie Peacock on his back, Walmsley’s two-handed offload to Adam Quinlan is flawless: Livewire: Rob Burrow of Leeds Rhinos gets an offload away Credit: Getty Images And this is where Quinlan’s brain starts whirring. Faced with four defenders, he has just Percival for company. At first, he looks as if he is weighing up a grubber-kick in behind for his colleague to chase:Then there is a change of heart. Given St Helens were only on their third tackle and there is obviously no danger of getting isolated from support in the absence of contested breakdowns, it would perhaps be overindulgent to praise Quinlan too much for keeping the ball in hand.That said, his movement and timing of pass is impeccable.6. Drawing defendersStraightening up before stepping off his right foot – all the time holding the ball in two hands – he sucks in all the defenders in his vicinity:In the instant Hall turns his shoulders towards Quinlan, the pass is made and Percival has an easy walk-in:The game’s next try was less about intricacies and more about sheer industry.7. Off-the-ball opportunismIf Percival gave Saints a sniff, the most popular four-pointer of the match – a spectacular burst by veteran Peacock – hauled Leeds back into the ascendancy:Now, the 30-metre charge is excellent in itself, but watch where Peacock is positioned when Watkins dances ahead:Significantly, St Helens powerhouse Vea had left the field just seconds before this run due to a knee ligament injury.The Tongan’s presence was missed immediately, and Peacock capitalised on a gaping hole in the middle of the field by coming from deep:As if to emphasise the work ethic instilled and expected by Brian McDermott, both Burrow and Cuthbertson flood through the line to support Peacock:Guile is little use without graft.8. Striking on the short sideStuart Lancaster often speaks of ‘two-sided attack’ – essentially the ability for a team to threaten on either flank of any given breakdown.Hitting back once more, Saints showed the confidence to take on a 15-metre channel:Much the same as in union, it is the acting half-backs that call the shots. Indeed, Walsh is organising an open-side pattern at the play-the-ball as Roby swoops to collect:However, Roby identifies an overlap and instigates a foray to the right instead:A straightforward three-on-two is accomplished with minimum fuss. Andre Savelio holds onto the ball and takes it flat, attracting Moon towards him. Matt Dawson stays wide to keep Hall on his toes.Between them, Percival streaks onto a short pass:Reviewing the sequence again, it looks polished and decisive:Leeds would have the final say, though.9. Bringing the ball to the lineIt made sense that Watkins scorched over for the match-clincher – all the more so because it came following a cohesive movement:Now, shielding moves in the midfield are commonplace in union these days. Even so, the league lads still lead the way.Danny McGuire incites it all by taking on the St Helens defence, holding Mark Flanagan, and firing a pass back to Sinfield behind the decoy line of Carl Ablett:In the wake of Ablett’s run, Sinfield has plenty of space.10. Hidden anglesIt will be very intriguing to watch Sinfield in union, although given he turns 35 in September he has not allowed himself a great deal of time to progress.Here, he oozes class, slipping in Watkins between Walsh and a flat-footed Jordan Turner:Watkins’ run itself is interesting. Having lingering almost directly behind Sinfield, he catches Saints unsighted and they cannot halt his curve back against the grain:The angle itself is somewhat reminiscent of Michael Hooper‘s effort against South Africa three weeks back:As Phipps picks up, Hooper comes around the corner in the large shadow of James Horwill:When Phipps then engages the fringe defence, Horwill attracts Lood de Jager and Cobus Reinach. Hooper can step out of his teammate’s slipstream and bundle over past Oupa Mohoje: LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Friday night’s Challenge Cup semi-final between Leeds Rhinos and St Helens showcased attacking play that could be transferred from rugby league to union. If there is still a section of union supporters that believes rugby league is solely based on blown-up blokes biffing one another, they are truly misguided.
They own Paris Saint-Germain, their name adorns the shirts of Barcelona and their Aspire Football Dreams initiative claims to have worked with three and a half million youngsters cross Africa, Asia and Latin America in the last decade. And, of course, they’re hosting the 2022 World Cup.The influence of Qatar in world football has been growing steadily in the past few years and now it appears the Gulf State is eyeing up rugby union. It’s a logical progression, particularly in France, where the Qatar-owned broadcaster beIN Sports has the rights to the Champions Cup.Now the Qatari Investment Fund (QIF) wants to buy Narbonne, often referred to by its initials RCNM, (Racing Club Narbonne Méditerranée), a famous old club that is no longer the force it once was. Currently languishing in the bottom half of ProD2, RCNM won the last of its two Top 14 titles in 1979 but has since been in slow decline.Mega-rich: Qatar sponsor Barcelona, home to Suarez, Neymar and MessiIn the summer of 2011 the club narrowly avoided relegation to the third tier of French rugby, Federale 1, because of financial mismanagement, but the following year some semblance of stability arrived when an Australian Consortium – including former Wallaby and Leicester coach Bob Dwyer and ex-Australian flanker Rocky Elsom – took control of the Mediterranean club.Now Qatar are circling but Elsom – who still plays for Narbonne – isn’t interested. In a statement published on the club’s official website last weekend, the 32-year-old Australian said that no official offer had been made and “even if there had been an offer, I seriously doubt that it would be in the best interests for Narbonne or RCNM, therefore the matter’s closed and we should all move on.”But while many of the club’s supporters back Elsom’s stance, plenty of people in the region want to accept the Middle Eastern money. “I see this arrival as a tremendous opportunity for the town of Narbonne,” declared Didier Mouly, the mayor. “Jihad Manai wishes to reach the top.” Qatar has adorned shirts of football leviathans, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, and now they’re looking to move into rugby with Narbonne in the ProD2 Tough cookie: Former Wallaby captain, Elsom (second left), is no walkoverManai represents QIF and in recent weeks he’s done his best to persuade Elsom to sell. Last month, in an interview with a local newspaper, Manai outlined his vision for the club and the town. “It’s not a matter of bringing a sponsorship to the Narbonne team…it’s a change of ownership, of development, of investment, in order to give a real boost. That’s what we would like to do for the town.”Manai’s vision is clearing having an effect on some, conjuring up images of Qatar money doing for Narbonne what it has done for Paris Saint-Germain. “It’s a wonderful opportunity!” exclaimed Guy Molveau, the regional rugby president. “We can only praise the Australians for [what they did] four years ago. They, and a group from Narbonne, have saved the club…but if the Qataris have the means to take an interest in general, and RCNM Narbonne in particular, it’s an act which can become very important for rugby and also a boost for the economy.”Proud club: Narbonne last hit the headlines when they lost their player, legendary All Black Jerry CollinsQIF haven’t given up hope of acquiring Narbonne, giving Elsom until December 31 to change his mind, but Jihad Manai warned: “If he doesn’t call me, then very sincerely and without arrogance, I have no reason to chase after him.” Explaining that rugby is growing in popularity ‘in our part of the world’, Manai said there was an appetite among the young to learn more about the sport and he envisaged forging a rugby partnership between Qatar and France. “Obviously my preference is for Narbonne,” he added, “but when the bride doesn’t want to get married, should one remain single? If the bride isn’t interested, then it’s best I go elsewhere to get married.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Not for sale: Rocky Elsom and his Australian consortium want to keep Narbonne Of interest: There were noises Stade Francais interested the Qataris in 2012In fact this is not the first time Qatar have courted a French rugby club. In 2012 Thomas Savare, president of Stade Francais, held talks with Nasser al-Khelaïfi, his counterpart at PSG, whose stadium is next door to the Stade Jean Bouin. No deal was forthcoming and when asked why not Savare replied: “It’s a sea snake, therefore it swims between two waters and is always there.”A somewhat enigmatic response but then few things are straightforward when it comes to Qatar’s interest in rugby.
This summer many pro players put away their boots for the last time, but retirement can be challenging. We report on the trials of transition… LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: Investigation 1. Introduction2. Page 2Page 1 of 2 – Show Full ListIntroductionPage 2 Life After Rugby – A Rugby World special reportA tale of two interviews. In the first, an impressive teenager is not only honest in talking about his mental health struggles but mentions undertaking a butchery course and how he’d like to go into the restaurant industry once his rugby days are done. In the second, a player a decade older says he is purely focused on rugby, with spare time spent going for coffee or walking the dog.In this sport, the second interview is by far the more common (although playing computer games is probably the most prevalent pastime) – and that is hugely worrying. A professional rugby career has a finite lifespan. Heard the one about the 55-year-old player in the Top 14? No. Exactly.And given the physical toll the game can take on the body, more players are having their time on the pitch cut short by injury. Rarely a week goes by without a press release dropping into the Rugby World inbox about another retirement on medical advice, and the age of those players appears to be getting steadily younger. Playing until your mid-30s is now considered an achievement.So when you contemplate the fact that players will spend more of their life as a former professional player than a current one and that 95% of retired players need a second career, why are so many not giving their future much thought?In speaking to a number of former pros for this feature, it is clear many players feel they need that narrow focus on rugby to achieve all they want in sport. Yet there is also an argument that having interests away from the game can make you a more rounded person and a more successful player. Saracens actively encourage players to pursue things outside of their rugby habitat – and they are European champions.Another common theme is how those players who had not given their future much thought now wish they had prepared better so their transitions – particularly those that are unplanned and caused by injury – had been smoother. After all, there are enough challenges in adapting to life after rugby that knowing how you’ll support yourself (and your family) financially once the rugby pay cheques stop can help relieve some of the stress.Hang time: James Haskell retired at the end of last season (Getty Images)A recent RPA survey of retired players illustrated how hard the transition can be, with 52% not feeling in control of their lives two years after they retire, 62% experiencing some sort of mental health issue and nearly 50% having financial difficulty in the first five years.It can sound extreme to say players are almost institutionalised in the rugby environment, but so much is regimented that when they retire they can struggle to adapt. As former Ireland lock Mike McCarthy says: “You’re told where to be, what to wear, have your food prepared… there’s nothing quite like it. So it can be a shock to the system when you come out and there’s a loss of identity.”That reverts back to the former point of if your sole focus is rugby, when that is gone – whether due to age, injury or not being offered a contract – there can be a huge void. Who are you without rugby? Will you get a job you enjoy as much? Can you find a sense of purpose? How do you replicate the camaraderie?The mental health challenges of retirement have become more widely reported in recent years, yet there are still tragedies like the suicide of former Australia lock Dan Vickerman in 2017. Carl Hayman, the former All Black prop who was recently convicted of domestic violence in France, has admitted to having a drink problem once his professional playing career ended.There is clearly still work to do in that mental health conversation and former Osprey Ben John has started a social media project in that sphere. The 28-year-old called time on his playing career at the start of this year due to concussion and is now a personal trainer in London. His Let’s Talk Tuesdays project was inspired by the Strong Not Silent campaign run by the Manor gym where he works. He’s asked various people to talk through their transitions and shares their stories on Instagram.“Hopefully it will show people what they can do to help that process,” says John. “I’ve had people from different sports and it can have the same impact whether a team or individual sport. You can’t prepare for how you’ll feel emotionally, but you can prepare to try to make a smooth transition work-wise.”The biggest stage: It’s hard to replicate the highs of international sport (Inpho)There is support available to help pro players get ready for their post-rugby careers. The Welsh Rugby Players’ Association (WRPA) helped John gain his personal training qualification and he is likely to do his Level Three rugby coaching course through them too. The RPA and Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) do the same in terms of suggesting courses, arranging work experience and so on. It’s actually mandatory for academy players in the Gallagher Premiership to do 12 hours’ work a month towards a ‘dual career’, be that education, trade courses or work experience. Click to page two to read a series of case studies… The RPA also now have a dedicated transition manager in Josh Frape, who had to retire aged 25 due to injury and had previously been working as a player development manager. He wants players to take a positive approach.“It’s about how you think about going forward,” says Frape. “I know people who’ve not transitioned successfully who go into it thinking negatively. There will always be ups and downs but you need to think positively. It’s funny how many players ten years after they’ve retired are ‘ex-professional rugby players’. If you’re able to leave that behind and look forward to what’s coming you can enjoy it.“Guys wouldn’t go into a game without analysing the opposition; you do that so you have a chance of winning the game. It’s the same with your career; if you explore it you’ll be in a better position.”Deirdre Lyons, who is head of the RPI’s player development programme, recognises the delicate balance between encouraging players to prepare for the future without being fatalistic about their playing careers. She says: “If you’re an academy player aged 18, talking about transitioning or leaving the game could be viewed as a negative message. If you talk about how this could help your game, then you’re more likely to get a positive response. We’ve tried to change the focus of it to how developing while you’re playing helps you become better players and better people.”When looking at transition, the support offered has to be geared towards the individual. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach because everyone can react differently to retirement. Some relish getting away from the structure of pro sport; others pine for it. Thinking of the individual is also crucial when looking at what might be their second career. After all, only a small number can stay in rugby as a coach or media pundit.End of the road: 95% of retired players need a second career (Getty Images)“If you know who you are, your skills, values and motivators, you’re more likely to make better decisions,” says Lyons. “You don’t have to take the first job offer that comes your way; take time to look at different industries and explore what you want to do.”Both the RPA and RPI ask former pros to share their experiences with current players to get that message across about preparing for the future. Yet while 99% of retired players believe current pros should be offered support with transition according to the RPA survey, the onus is on those players to use the support that is available and plan ahead.Ronan Loughney, ex-Connacht, says: “Although I was good at engaging with Deirdre, I could have done more. She has the skills to help you figure out what you want to do. We’re in a privileged position to have people to help us get set for after rugby; it’s an unbelievable resource and when I was at Connacht guys weren’t availing of it enough.”It’s a thought echoed by Tom Rees, who had to retire due to injury and retrained as a doctor. “I don’t know if I’m now a grumpy old man but I think the ultimate responsibility rests with the player. It’s not fair to turn around to a club and say, ‘You’ve not provided me with that’. You can’t expect them to sort everything afterwards.“When I started in 2003, Rob Smith at Wasps explained signing an academy contract meant nothing more than you’d be here for a year and everything after that was unknown. The PRA, as it was then, said, ‘Players retire every year so think about what your plans are’.“Those messages have been around for so long and ultimately players have to take responsibility. At 20 you feel indestructible and on top of the world; you’re getting paid to do what you love, but it is definitely of value to start looking at life after rugby.”The quote ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ is a fitting conclusion and it’s a message Lyons emphasises. “Players who know they’re finishing are able to cope better than players who are released or have to retire through injury. And players who are prepared transition better than if unprepared. So the best transition is planned and prepared.”This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Rugby World magazine.
Crashing over: Duncan Weir scores for Worcester against Irish (Getty Images) London Irish v Worcester live stream: How to watch from the UKLondon Irish v Worcester, which kicks off at 3pm on Sunday 13 September, will be shown live on the BT Sport App in the UK. If you don’t have a BT contract but want to watch the match, don’t worry because you can still easily watch it online. That’s because BT Sport has a contract-free monthly pass that allows you to get instant access to all four of their sport channels for just £25.That’s great value given they are showing every Premiership match played behind closed doors live and will also be covering the European Champions and Challenge Cup knockout stages in September and October. Plus, you can cancel at any time because there’s no contract.Get a BT Sport Monthly PassIf you’re from the UK but are overseas when London Irish v Worcester takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.London Irish v Worcester live stream: How to watch from the USAIf you live in the States, the official broadcaster of Premiership matches is NBC, with matches streamed on NBC Sports Gold so you can watch them anytime and anywhere.London Irish v Worcester will kick off at 10am EST and 7am on the West Coast.The NBC Sports Gold Pass for rugby is $79.99 and includes coverage of the Gallagher Premiership, European Champions and Challenge Cups, and Guinness Six Nations.London Irish v Worcester live stream: How to watch from AustraliaFor those in Australia, Fox Sports have the rights to show Premiership matches and you can watch London Irish v Worcester at Midnight (AEST).The Foxtel Sports HD bundle is $74 a month – and you get 50+ other channels as well as Foxtel GO so you can watch when on the move.Foxtel Sports HD bundle We recommend VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service)Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroadWe do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing. London Irish v Worcester live stream: How to watch from New ZealandIt’s little wonder that Sky Sport NZ, with ten sports channels, including one dedicated to rugby, is the rights-holder for Premiership matches in New Zealand.If you want to tune in to London Irish v Worcester from the Land of the Long White Cloud, the match kicks off at 2am on Monday on Sky Sport NZ 2.It costs $31.99 a month to add Sky Sport to your Sky Starter pack ($25.99) but if you sign up for 12 months before 30 September 2020 you’ll get your first month free. Plus, you’ll get Sky Go, which allows you to watch live rugby wherever you are.Sky Sport NZ offer LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Can Worcester leapfrog their hosts in the league? London Irish v Worcester live stream: How to watch the Premiership match online from anywhereIt’s changes ahoy for both teams after their midweek Gallagher Premiership matches. Irish retain just one starter, while Worcester replace the whole 15.There’s just two points between Irish in ninth and Worcester in tenth in the tabel, with three league games left. Irish have lost their last eight Premiership games, while the Warriors have slipped to three straight league defeats since beating Quins at home on 26 August. Still, they’ll have scented a golden chance here.The last time these two faced off, in December, it finished at 14-men apiece, but Worcester had enough to see it through (though the second half was a sloppy one, to say the least) taking a 20-6 victory.For this one, look out for the half-back pairings, with both sides recalling their first-choice game-runners. For the hosts, Paddy Jackson and Nick Phipps make up the nine-ten axis, while Worcester have Duncan Weir and Francois Hougaard. Flanker Matt Rogerson captains Irish while Welsh centre Ashley Beck starts for Worcester. Ted Hill also returns to the pack to skipper the visitors.Can Worcester get only their second win away from home in the league this season?London Irish: Tom Homer; Ben Loader, Matt Williams, Terrence Hepetema, James Stokes; Paddy Jackson, Nick Phipps; Harry Elrington, Agustin Creevy, Lovejoy Chawatama, George Nott, Sebastian de Chaves, Matt Rogerson (captain), Isaac Curtis-Harris, Albert Tuisue.Replacements: Ben Atkins, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Ollie Hoskins, Chunya Munga, Ben Donnell, Ben Meehan, Theo Brophy Clews, Ollie Hassell-Collins.Worcester: Melani Nanai; Tom Howe, Francois Venter, Ashley Beck, Noah Heward; Duncan Weir, Francois Hougaard; Ethan Waller, Niall Annett, Nick Schonert, Anton Bresler, Graham Kitchener, Ted Hill (captain), Matt Kvesic, Cornell du Preez.Replacements: Beck Cutting, Callum Black, Richard Palframan, Tom Dodd, Sam Lewis, Gareth Simpson, Billy Searle, Ollie Lawrence.If you want to watch this showdown, here’s where to find a stream…How to watch London Irish v Worcester from outside your countryIf you’re abroad, but still want to watch your local Premiership coverage, like London Irish v Worcester, you can do so by using a VPN – Virtual Private Network.VPNs allow you to get around any geo-blocking by changing your IP address so you appear in a different location and can watch the same legal Premiership live stream you would at home.Our friends at TechRadar have tested hundreds of VPN and recommend ExpressVPN, which is easy to use, has strong security features and allows you to watch on several devices at once, including smart TVs and phones, iPads, tablets, PCs and Macs.Plus, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try it out for a month for free or sign up for an annual plan and get three months free.Check out ExpressVPN 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.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Press Release Service Tags Rector Knoxville, TN Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ April 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm Thank you, Lucy, for the article. I, too, was a Girl Scout and gained so much from the experience. To know our leaders in the Episcopal Church think so much of this organization warms me greatly especially after hearing the horrible comments from a local congressman about this most inspiring group! 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Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Smithfield, NC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector Albany, NY 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 Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Martinsville, VA Ecumenical & Interreligious Rector Tampa, FL Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Comments (1) Featured Events 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 Submit a Job Listing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Hopkinsville, KY Submit an Event Listing Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Collierville, TN An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a former Girl Scout, greets Girl Scouts after an April 28 service celebrating 100 years of girl scouting at Washington National Cathedral. Photo/Lucy Chumbly[Episcopal News Service — Washington, D.C.] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a former Girl Scout, preached at a packed April 28 interfaith service at Washington National Cathedral that celebrated a century of girl scouting.Before the opening sing-along began, with a rendition of “Make New Friends,” girls in green sashes and badge-embellished waistcoats scampered around the cathedral, taking photos of the stained glass windows with tiny phones. (Extra credit went to those who found, and photographed, the Girl Scout trefoil carved into a boss stone in the cathedral’s west entrance).Welcoming the members, families and friends of the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital, the Rev. Canon Mary Sulerud, the cathedral’s interim director of worship, recalled spending a hot July day at the Juliette Gordon Low house in Savannah, Georgia, “so that our daughter could earn her badge.”Juliette Gordon Low, nicknamed “Daisy,” founded the Girl Scouts in 1912 on the principle that all girls should have the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. One hundred years on, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the United States.Low was also a committed Episcopalian and lifelong member of Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia, where she was baptized, confirmed and married. After her death in 1927, hundreds of Girl Scouts attended her funeral there.“The story is that Daisy Low sold her pearls so the Girls Scouts could have a secure start,” Sulerud said, referring to the Parable of the Pearl (Matthew 13: 45-46) in which a merchant sells everything he has to possess a pearl of great value.“Welcome to you who are the pearls of great price,” she said. “God bless you all.”In a touching tribute to Low, the opening procession of religious and Girl Scout leaders was led by pairs of girls bearing flags – and daisies. As the procession divided at the altar, the girls placed the daisies in two vases before a white wreath.Theresa Tancre, of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, recited a surah from the Quran in Arabic, and Imam Mohammed Magid, the society’s executive director, offered a prayer.Prayers also were offered by the Rev. Frank Ready of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, the Rev. Kaz Nakata and Erick Ishii of the Ekoji Buddhist Temple (who scattered paper petals as a sign of welcome), D.C. Rao of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, Rabbi Rachel Gartner, director of Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown University and the Rev. Nancy Lee, of Community of Hope ANC Church.On pink crutches, Glenda Longus, a Girl Scout senior from West Virginia, made her way to the pulpit, where she led the congregation in a recitation of the Girl Scout Law.Then Lindsey Rubin, a Girl Scout senior from Virginia, spoke of the intersection of the teachings of her Jewish faith and the Girl Scout code.“I have found much of my inner strength through faith and girl scouting, and every day they inspire me to strive for change in ways big and small,” she said.Abrar Omeish, Girl Scout ambassador and board member from Virginia, recited the Quran’s Surah 49:13, which calls on the world’s nations and tribes to know each other, not despise each other.Omeish said the Girl Scout code “agreed with my religious mandates and enacted the theme of the verse I read.”Rubin and Omeish each spoke of the importance of the Girl Scouts’ message of sisterhood, and Omeish pointed to the opportunities for dialogue the organization fostered, recalling one camp where “the girls spent a whole night in their cabin discussing each other’s religion rather than sleeping.”The Girl Scouts “have created the perfect area of commonality,” she said. “We all have the honor to worship together today and recognize our similarities.”After Emily Quinn, a Girl Scout ambassador from Virginia, read the story of the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:1-4), Jefferts Schori got up to preach.“I first went to Girl Scout Camp when I was 7 years old,” Jefferts Schori said, noting that among the lessons learned there – identifying birds, learning to plant trees, tie knots or build a fire – the most important was how to live in community “and those gifts of character, like dignity and respect.”Describing a group of students who recently raised $80,000 to help a classmate with a brain tumor – baking cookies, inviting people to sponsor them jumping rope and simply reaching out to ask –Jefferts Schori compared them to the widow in the Gospel of Luke, who was willing to share everything she had.“She puts in her two cents, and it makes a world of difference,” she said. “That’s a big part of what it means to be a Girl Scout.”The foundation for a worthy, meaningful life, she said, is to “use what you have been given – who you are, and the gifts and skills you’re developing – to make a difference. That is how we serve God and our neighbors – by loving them.“Do that, and I expect that Girl Scouts will still be helping girls grow into mature and confident women, sharing and serving the world around us a hundred years from now.”— Lucy Chumbley is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Rector Bath, NC Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC 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 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Director of Music Morristown, NJ This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Shreveport, LA Niki Webb says: Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Belleville, IL Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME
Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Albany, NY 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 Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Knoxville, TN Advocacy Peace & Justice, Israel-Palestine, Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Tags Featured Jobs & Calls Father Ron Smith says: Middle East In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Events Submit an Event Listing By Lynette WilsonPosted Dec 25, 2012 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs The Very Rev. Hosam Naoum, dean of the St. George’s Cathedral, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil S. Dawani, during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr in Jerusalem. ENS Photo/Lynette Wilson[Episcopal News Service – Jerusalem] “A child is born, a prince of peace who will establish justice, here and around this earth. He will be guide and counselor, a ruler to lead us in paths of peace, who will break down walls and make the path straight,” said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in her Christmas Eve sermon.“The prophet promises a prince of peace who will burn all the combat boots and bloodied uniforms, stoking a fire to light the way toward justice and peace.”The presiding bishop preached during Midnight Mass at the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr in Jerusalem; Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil S. Dawani presided over the Dec. 24 service attended by more than 150 people. The Very Rev. Hosam Naoum, dean of the cathedral, and Bishop James Magness, the Episcopal Church’s bishop suffragan for federal ministries, were among those assisting. [The full text of the sermon is available here. A video follows.][ooyala code=”l4dmh1NzrD9XkS3kBGXzrL8Onnd9CbaK”]Earlier, Jefferts Schori and Dawani attended Lessons and Carols services both at the YMCA Field of the Shepherds in Beit Sahour and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, both in territories under control of the Palestinian Authority. The service in Bethlehem was attended in part by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.The Very Rev. Hosam Naoum, dean of the St. George’s Cathedral, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil S. Dawani and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a service of Lessons and Carols at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Dec. 24. ENS Photo/Lynette WilsonThe world the prophet promised, one of peace and justice, “still feels a long way off,” the presiding bishop told the Midnight Mass congregation at St. George’s Cathedral, a center of global pilgrimage and home to two congregations: the indigenous Palestinian Anglicans, often called the “Living Stones,” and a community of expatriate English-speaking members.“More than 2000 years later we are still waiting and hoping and yearning for that light to banish the darkness once and for all, and deliver us from the long night. We gather on this night to celebrate the kindling of that light in human flesh – in the birth of the Holy One among us,” she said. “We are here to remember and discover again the light that burns bright in the darkness, a light the darkness did not put out – not in this land so many years ago, nor through the years since. The darkness did not prevail; it will not and cannot overcome the light of Christ. The light continues to burn through trials and migrations, wars and plagues, political machinations and death. The light is here this night, burning still in human hearts set ablaze by God.“The Holy One comes among us in light and darkness, when we are most in need and despair, as well as in rejoicing. God is here, Emmanuel,” she said.In his Christmas message delivered at the Church of the Nativity earlier in the day, Dawani expressed his hope for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for an agreement of a two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized state of Israel lives alongside a free, viable, and secure state for the Palestinian people, with a shared Jerusalem as the capital of both. He said that he hopes for a time when all people can live life in fullness. As it is now, he said, those who live in fullness have locked the doors on the others.“Such a system plunges all of us into darkness,” Dawani said. “All of us are deserving of peace and justice … to sit in the shade of our own dreams.”Matthew Gould, the British Ambassador to Israel, and Sir Vincent Fean, the British Consul General in Jerusalem, also attended the service at the Church of the Nativity, with Fean reading the first lesson, Isaiah 9: 2; 6–7. The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Jordan, whose seat is in Bethlehem, hosted the Anglican service at St. George’s Orthodox Chapel. And Jordan’s foreign minister also attended part of the service.The Church of the Nativity is located in an area previously controlled by Jordan, which has historically played a role in protecting holy sites; the Palestinian president annually attends services on Christmas Eve at the church to express support for the Christian community, explained the Rev. Yazid Said, a Palestinian Anglican priest and scholar in residence at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.Thousands of pilgrims from around the world gathered in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity in a festival atmosphere of lights, music and other entertainment, in advance of Midnight Mass.An outdoor service of Lessons and Carols at the YMCA Field of the Shepherds in Beit Sahour, West Bank, drew close to 250 people, including some 150 Nigerian Christians. ENS Photo/Lynette WilsonIn the West Bank’s Beit Sehour, in early evening, the outdoor service of Lessons and Carols drew close to 250 people, including some 150 Nigerian Christians.“Coming here to Shepherds Fields we have placed ourselves within the content and concept of St. Luke’s Gospel reading. We are perhaps as close as physically possible to the original location Luke speaks about, and this setting helps us to soak in what happened here more than 2,000 years ago when Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ,“ said Dawani in his service.Jeffers Schori read Luke 2:8-14 and Magness participated in the prayers.The presiding bishop is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Territories at the invitation of Dawani. She is accompanied by Magness, with whom she visited U.S. Navy personnel stationed in Italy prior to arriving in Israel.At the beginning of his Christmas Day sermon at St. George’s Cathedral, Dawani welcomed the presiding bishop and explained to the congregation that the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the U.S.-based Episcopal Church have had a long and important relationship. He thanked the Episcopal Church for its “steadfast” and “generous” support.Then he reminded those present of their proximity, just a few miles from where Jesus was born, and that the incarnation is consistent with mankind’s need for liberation.“The Christ child born in Bethlehem, we are with him and in him we are the holy people and we stand on holy ground,” he said.The Holy Land needs peace and justice, two things all three Abrahamic religions teach, he said.“The Holy Land can and must be a model for peace and justice in the whole world,” said Dawani.— Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service. Submit a Press Release Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Hopkinsville, KY Youth Minister Lorton, VA Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 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 Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Shreveport, LA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Christmas in the Land of the Holy One ‘Light shines in the darkness,’ presiding bishop says in Christmas Eve sermon Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Press Release Service December 26, 2012 at 2:50 am It is very fitting that the Holy Land should be the focus of our attention at this time. The visit of the TEC Presiding bishop, and her thought-provoking message during the Christmas celebrations, brings to mind the fact that Peace in Israel and Palestine would be the most inspirational foundation for the porcess of peace-making in other parts of our troubled world. Thank God for Bishop Katharine! Rector Belleville, IL Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Bath, NC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Director of Music Morristown, NJ Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Comments (2) December 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm And may it be so. 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