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Rugby

Canterbury Launch ‘Be Part of Good’ Scheme

Canterbury have launched their ‘Be Part of Good’ scheme in a bid to help develop rugby at school level

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Canterbury have announced their new ‘Be Part of Good’ campaign as they attempt to get more schools playing rugby.

The rugby kit supplier and manufacturer plan to donate up to 350 full rugby kits across 32 schools where rugby is currently not part of their curriculum.

This weekend sees the start of the Rugby World Cup warm-up games and the campaign will be fully launched at the Aviva Stadium and Twickenham during Ireland and England’s respective games.

At both venues there will be short 30-second videos outlining the importance of rugby as an inclusive game, while the hashtag #BePartOfGood will be heavily displayed during both games.

Brand director at Canterbury Charlotte Cox hopes that the new scheme will help develop the next crop of grassroots players.

“Canterbury is excited to launch a campaign that highlights our ambition to champion inclusion and community in rugby, as well as supporting our goals to develop grassroots players and local teams. By donating rugby kits to schools and providing inspiration and support through the Be Part Of Good campaign, we hope to show our commitment to the game and empower the next generation of players and fans to be part of a game for everyone,” she said.

The kits can be unlocked online with the aid of social media users by using the hashtags #Canterbury and #BePartOfGood on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, with a kit being donated after every 500 posts containing the criteria. Schools may also be nominated on the site http://www.canterbury.com/BePartOfGood, where there will also be a counter as to how many kits have been given away.

Former England international and Canterbury ambassador Will Greenwood believes that this is the perfect time to launch the campaign with the Rugby World Cup building momentum ahead of its opening on September 20th.

“Inspiring the next generation of rugby fans is something I’ve always been passionate about and any barrier to the game which can be removed is good news. Donating kits just before a Rugby World Cup – when kids are most likely to be inclined to take up the game – is perfect timing and I’d encourage everybody to get involved. It only takes one Tweet, or one Instagram post and you’re helping to kit out another child in a Canterbury rugby kit,” he added.

The campaign will continue to be promoted at both Ireland and England’s home warm-up games over the next month as Canterbury hope to help spread the love of rugby across the border.

Premiership

New ‘British League’ to Begin Within Two Years

A club chairman has claimed that a ‘British League’ will be made within the next two years merging two major leagues together according to reports

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

An anonymous leading club chairman has told The Rugby Paper that a British League could be created in the next two years.

It is believed that the CVC group, whom are looking to secure a 27 percent share in the PRO14 following a similar deal with the English Premiership earlier this year, are looking to make a major change to the leagues.

The former owners of Formula One and Moto GP are apparently looking to merge the two competitions if they claim a stake in the PRO14.

With a deal sealed to buy into the Premiership during last season, the 13 clubs that own Premier Rugby Ltd will be receiving around £13.5m a piece following the completion of a deal worth around £275m.

It is thought that a similar deal would be on the cards for the PRO14 side’s if they claim their stake in the competition.

The merging of the competitions is of the best interest of the CVC group according to the source and they believe that the Welsh clubs would be very encouraged by the idea.

“A British League will happen in two years’ time. It will happen because it is the best outcome for the game in the four home countries and for CVC. It will appeal to the Welsh regions in particular and the Premiership clubs. Not one is profitable with the exception of Exeter and a British League will go along way towards providing stability,” they said.

The source went on to further discuss how the move could be a real boost for the Welsh regions especially.

“In Wales, it will be seen as the only opportunity to be sustainable Their regions lost between £5m-£6m last year. They have been kept going by the generosity of a few backers and the danger is they will get even fewer unless something radical is done. Fixtures like Cardiff Blues against Bristol, Dragons versus Gloucester, Ospreys against Bath and Scarlets against Saracens will stop the downward spiral of attendances in Wales,” they continued.

Although the Welsh regions appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of the potential merger, it seems as though the Irish provinces are not guaranteed to be involved and the league could go ahead without them.

“Commercially, they could be as much as 50 per cent better off. It will be important to have all four Irish provinces on board but, if necessary, we will go ahead and do it without them,” they finished.

The league is an interesting possibility, but it could cause potential problems by undermining the Champions and Challenge Cups, as well as they question of what happens to the Irish teams if they don’t sign up? All is up in the air at the moment and we will have to wait and see if this project becomes a reality.

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Rugby

Jones Adds Five More to England Training Squad

Eddie Jones has brought in five more players for this week’s World Cup training preparations, while three others have been sent away

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England head coach Eddie Jones has named a 40-man squad for this week’s training camp in Bristol.

That means that Jones has added a further five players to the squad that trained last week, with Mike Brown, Alex Dombrandt, Marcus Smith, Tom Dunn and Ollie Thornley all coming in for a chance to impress.

However, Danny Cipriani, Sam Underhill and Anthony Watson have been sent off site to do specialised strength and conditioning training.

Jones has explained that the rotation of player’s duties is to keep the squad fresh and allow others to impress.

“Our preparation is about making sure the players peak for the World Cup. It’s not about being ready now for it. Some players we feel will benefit now from being away from the camp for a little bit and will do specialised strength and conditioning work. We want to keep the squad fresh and alive which is important and we want to make sure there is a little bit of cooperative competition for selection and edge around,” he said.

The head coach also spoke of how the workload will continue to increase for the squad this coming week while they train in Bristol.

“We are in Bristol this week as a bit of a change of scenery and pace. We have got good facilities and will continue to work very hard on particularly our physical conditioning but also our ability to implement our game plan under those physical conditions. The ante goes up again in this week. The players who have come in from the Premiership final will increase their contribution and the other guys are in their fourth week and are starting to get near good physical condition,” he added.

All of this work is in preparation for the World Cup however, England will play four warm-up games before the tournament itself. They face Wales on August 11th and 17th, before playing Ireland on August 24th and then Italy on September 6th.

The five players added to the squad will be hoping to impress over the next week and by bringing them in it shows Jones is still not certain of his final 31-man squad for Japan meaning places are up for grabs.

Check out the full 40-man training squad below.

Forwards

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 11 caps)

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, uncapped)

Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 10 caps)

Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps)

Jamie George (Saracens, 37 caps)

Maro Itoje (Saracens, 27 caps)

George Kruis (Saracens, 32 caps)

Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 58 caps)

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 71 caps)

Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, uncapped)

Joe Marler (Harlequins, 59 caps)

Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)

Brad Shields (Wasps, 8 caps)

Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 22 caps)

Jack Singleton (Saracens, uncapped)

Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 53 caps)

Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps)

Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons / Sale Sharks, 13 caps)

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins, 72 caps)

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)

Elliot Daly (Saracens, 30 caps)

Owen Farrell (Saracens, 70 caps)

George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 55 caps)

Piers Francis (Northampton Saints, 4 caps)

Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)

Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 40 caps)

Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)

Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 33 caps)

Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)

Marcus Smith (Harlequins, upcapped)

Ben Spencer (Saracens, 3 caps)

Ben Te’o (unattached, 18 caps)

Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)

Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 32 caps)

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 85 caps)

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Rugby

World Cup Winning Springbok James Small Passes Away

Legendary Springbok wing James Small has passed away at the age of 50

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(Photo by Professional Sport/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Former South African World Cup winning winger James Small has sadly passed away at the age of 50 following a suspected heart attack. 

The 1995 World Cup winner was rushed to hospital on Tuesday night having suffered a suspected heart attack and has since passed on.

South African Rugby president Mark Alexander paid his respect to the former Springbok and talked about the impact he had.

“As a member of the triumphant World Cup squad from 1995, James will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the South African public and we were devastated to hear of his passing. He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way. At 50 years old, James Small died too young. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time,” he said.

Small scored 20 tries in 47 appearances for the Springboks between 1992 and 1997 and was a vital member of the World Cup winning squad.

He is also the fourth member of that South African winning squad to have passed away since their success. Coach Kitch Christie passed on in 1998 following a battle against leukaemia, flanker Ruben Kruger died of brain cancer in 2010 and scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen passed away from motor neuron disease in 2017.

Small also won the Currie Cup with the Sharks and Western Province, while also representing the Golden Lions in his provincial career.

He recently started a coaching career as Robert du Preez at NWU-Pukke and the Leopards before joining the Pirates as an assistant once more.

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