Southern rugby’s export boom

first_img29 June 2007Springbok captain John Smit will be playing his rugby in France for the next two years, joining what could become an exodus of top South African rugby players to Europe. Judging by similar moves by Australian and New Zealand players, the game could be in for a shake-up after the World Cup in France.Smit announced on Wednesday that he has accepted an offer to play for Cleremont Auvergne in 2008/09. Free State Cheetahs’ centre Marius Joubert is joining Smit there, while former Springbok Grant Esterhuizen is already on the club’s books.“Representing the Springboks since my debut in 2000 and also playing for my beloved Sharks was a real dream come true for me and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them,” Smit said on the Sharks website. “However, the time has come to make a change and move on in my professional career.”Smit’s decision notwithstanding, national coach Jake White, should he remain coach of the Springboks after the World Cup, has said he would still pick the hooker to captain the Boks. “Without a doubt, John’s ability to lead a team, coupled with his strength in the scrums and accuracy in the lineout, make him special,” White said.Andy Marinos, the manager of South Africa’s national rugby teams, said Smit had consulted SA Rugby throughout the process and “we respect his decision”.More international skippersSmit might not be the only Springbok captain heading for France. Ambitious French second division side Toulon recently announced that Victor Matfield, who led South Africa against New Zealand in Durban recently, has been signed.Matfield hasn’t yet confirmed the move. The French media, however, have quoted the lock as saying he has only a few loose ends to tie up and is committed to Toulon in principle.Former All Black captain Tana Umaga is both a player and the club’s general manager. He’s been very active signing players, and apart from chasing Matfield – viewed by many as the best lineout forward in world rugby – Umaga has signed Australia’s George Gregan, the most capped player in test, former All Blacks flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens, and Anton Oliver who, like Umaga, has led New Zealand.South Africans at ToulonToulon has a good number of South African players on its books, including Daniel Muller, Nicky Smit, Charl van Vliet, Nico Breedt, Norman Jordaan and Chris Rossouw, so it appears that settling settling in wouldn’t be a problem for Matfield.The club’s most recently announced signing, prop Lawrence Sephaka, brings the number of South African players, excluding Matfield, to seven.Toulon even has a South African coaching connection, with Tim Lane, who previously coached the Cats (now Lions) in Super Rugby and served as a Springbok assistant coach, in charge.While Matfield is 30 and probably doesn’t have that many years left in his career, another Springbok star, Schalk Burger, has drawn the interest of France’s Toulouse and England’s NEC Harlequins, and he is just 24 years of age.Currency issuesNaturally, South African rugby would rather not lose a young superstar to a northern hemisphere club, but it is an uphill battle for South Africa’s provinces and the SA Rugby Union – at current exchange rates the euro is worth close to R10, while the pound is worth over R14.It would be difficult, if not impossible, for South Africa to match the money Europe can offer players of the stature of Smit, Matfield and Burger.The list of players rumoured to be heading north doesn’t end there, however, and, if the number of New Zealanders and Australians also heading in that direction after the World Cup is any indication, a lot of South Africans will be joining them.UK callingPercy Montgomery, who previously had a stint in Wales with the Newport Gwent Dragons, has been linked with Perpignan, as has Bok winger Ashwin Willemse. Gerrie Britz has already signed a three-year contract with the club.Springbok flyhalf Butch James has reportedly been approached by English club Bath, while 39-test veteran De Wet Barry recently signed a two-year contract with Harlequins.Should a large number of frontline Springboks sign contracts with French and English clubs, there could be problems for SA rugby down the line.One need only to look back on England’s recent tour of South Africa and France’s tour of New Zealand, where both touring teams were missing many top players because of club rugby commitments.In both series, the southern hemisphere teams, at full strength, recorded record margins of victory over the northern hemisphere sides. South Africa thumped England 58-10 and 55-22, while the All Blacks hammered France 42-11 and 61-10.World rugby shake-up?Increasingly, countries are selecting teams for test matches that are not their strongest line-ups, but rather selections that are used to gauge whether players are potential World Cup players or not.The rugby world could be in for a big shake-up after the World Cup in France, with more watering down of national teams a definite possibility.An exodus of South African, New Zealand and Australian players could result in a weakened Tri-Nations competition; it could even end up with the southern hemisphere powers sending out third-string teams against the northern hemisphere.When England tackled the Springboks recently, 30 top players were unavailable for selection, mostly because of club commitments. The shoe could soon be on the other foot.SA players in EuropeBelow is a list of South Africans who played club rugby in France or England this past season, or who are set to play in Europe next season (A * indicates players linked with a move to a club, ^ indicates players who have recently signed contracts).Included in the list are a number of English, French, New Zealand and Welsh rugby internationals who were born and/or grew up in South Africa.FRANCEStade FrançaisPieter de Villiers (French international), Boela du Plooy, Brian Liebenberg (French international), Frans ViljoenToulouseDaan Human, Gaffie du ToitCleremont AuvergneGrant Esterhuizen, John Smit*, Marius Joubert*PerpignanGavin Hume, Gerrie Britz*, Percy Montgomery^, Ashwin Willemse^BourgoinRudi Coetzee, Wessel JoosteMontaubanBraam ImmelmanCastresDanie Saayman, Gerhard VoslooBriveVickus Liebenberg, Johan van Zyl, Hendrik Gerber, Charl van RensburgMontpellierDrikus Hancke, Rickus LubbeBayonneRob Linde, Jacques Deen, Sam Gerber, Eduard CoetzeeNarbonneHenk Eksteen, Retief Uys, Tinus van RensburgAgenWillem Stoltz, Adri Badenhorst, Pietman van Niekerk, Conrad StoltzToulouseSchalk Burger^Toulon (Division Two)Daniel Muller, Nicky Smit, Charl van Vliet, Nico Breedt, Norman Jordaan, Chris Rossouw, Victor Matfield^ENGLANDGloucesterRudi Keil, Jake BoerSaracensCobus Visagie, Neil de KockLondon IrishMike Catt (England international), Danie Coetzee, Faan RautenbachNEC HarlequinsStuart Abbott (England international), Hal Luscombe (Wales international), Andre Vos, Schalk Burger^BathPieter Dixon, Hottie Louw, Matt Stevens (England international), Michael Claassens, Butch JamesNewcastle FalconsRussell WinterWorcester WarriorsThinus Delport, Greg Rawlinson (New Zealand international)Northampton Saints Joe van Niekerk, Geoff Appleford (England international), Pat Barnard Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Nicholas Hlobo: art as dialogue

first_img10 November 2008Nicholas Hlobo, winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts 2009, is gaining an international reputation for his experimental use of materials to “create conversations” around issues of masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity.Hlobo is showcased on the Michael Stevenson Gallery website, where he explains his relationship with the material he uses: “I always find that the material tends to dominate the entire process. My ideas evolve in unexpected ways as the material helps me discover new things.“The start usually seems like trying to roll a rock as large as a double-decker bus, and by the completion of the work I go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I went through that and came back sane’.”In 2007 Hlobo exhibited Umdodo at the Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom. During the same year he took Umakadenethwa engenadyasi to the Galeria Extraspazio in Rome and idiom[s] to the Savannah College of Art Design in Georgia, USA.In 2008, he exhibited at the Boston ICA as part of the Momentum Series, and his work is included in the third Guangzhou Triennial in China, which runs until 9 November. His exhibition Flow was on at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and Home Lands – Land Marks was on at Haunch of Venison in London. Kwatsityw’iziko was also on at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town.Hlobo has also exhibited with various other artists, some of his more recent group exhibitions being Skin-to-skin at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg and .za: giovane arte dal Sudafrica at the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, Italy.In 2006 he won the Tollman Award for Visual Art.Hlobo chooses his material strategically, and often challenges stereotypes of sexual identity through his work.In an interview with Sue Williamson, he explained: “Through my works I attempt to create conversations that explore certain issues within my culture as a South African.“The conversations become a way of questioning people’s perceptions around issues of masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity.”The annual Standard bank Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, with Standard Bank coming on board as a sponsor in 1984.The awards, seen as one of the most prestigious of their kind in the country, honour young South African artists who have not yet gained widespread national exposure or acclaim, but who are making a significant mark in their field.The awards recognize and actively promote the talent of these young artists, providing them with financial support and a platform for experimentation. Winners receive a cash prize and financial support for their participation on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.Source: National Arts Festival, Grahamstownlast_img read more

Reports of pests moving into Ohio fields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As the newly planted corn and soybean fields begin to emerge, pests become a major concern for farmers. In this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report, Account Manager Trent Brisby tells Ty Higgins that he is getting reports of pests damaging the young crops in Northwest Ohio. He has some tips on what to look for and what to do to protect fields this season and beyond.last_img

9 days ago​Liverpool loanee Woodburn: I handled record pressure well

first_img​Liverpool loanee Woodburn: I handled record pressure wellby Freddie Taylor9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool youngster Ben Woodburn is determined to become a success at the club.Three years ago, he managed to gain the honour of being the club’s youngest goalscorer.But he has struggled to grab a place in the first team since, and is now on loan at Oxford UnitedThe 20-year-old is insistent that he never let the pressure or sudden attention get to him.”When I scored, I didn’t have a clue about the record,” he told reporters.”I remember walking off the pitch with Trent (Alexander-Arnold). The players were saying well done, the manager (Jurgen Klopp) was saying well done because I’d scored my first Liverpool goal. “It was probably only when I started checking Instagram I realised the significance.”Obviously that game was when I got quite a lot of attention. I was definitely recognised going out in the streets, shopping in Liverpool One, people asking for a few pictures. You had to get used to people looking.”The club helped us and I got a lot of advice from family, friends and my agent, but you also have to take quite a bit of on your own shoulders and it’s a bit strange when it happens.”I look back now and think I handled it well. I don’t think I was big-headed, I took it during the y About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Wisconsin Forward Vitto Brown Had A Funny Interaction Today With A Flight Attendant Who’s A Kentucky Fan

first_imgWisconsin Forward Vitto Brown talks about his interaction with a flight attendant.Wisconsin Forward Vitto BrownWisconsin’s men’s basketball program and its fans likely won’t ever forget the Badgers’ victory against Kentucky in this past season’s Final Four. The same can probably be said about the Wildcats and their fan base about their devastating loss. A flight attendant/Kentucky fan hasn’t forgotten about it, anyway. Today, Wisconsin guard Vitto Brown wore a Badgers’ shirt while flying. A flight attendant on his plane couldn’t stand the sight of it. Walked on the plane with a Badgers shirt.. Flight attendant asked if I played. I said yes. She said she bleeds blue. I said keep bleeding.— Vitto Brown (@SenseiSwat33) June 28, 2015 Lol she was a Kentucky grad, I could see the salt visibly spewing from her face as I sat down with sly grin. She said she don’t like me..— Vitto Brown (@SenseiSwat33) June 28, 2015 Brown and his teammates will be able to brag about that victory for the rest of their lives.last_img read more

First Nations man credits healthy lifestyle for weight loss

first_imgAPTN National NewsA First Nations man from northern Saskatchewan has astonished his community by losing nearly 90 kilograms or 200 pounds.His feat has also prompted others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf visited the man in La Ronge, Saskatchewan.last_img

Onondaga Nation man starring on Saskatoon lacrosse team

first_imgTamara Pimental APTN National NewsLacrosse fans in Saskatchewan have been waiting months for their new team – the Saskatchewan Rush – to play their first home opener in Saskatoon.And there are hopes for Friday’s game after the Rush won their season opener against Calgary.On the team is Jeremy Thompson from the small Onondaga Nation in New York, a place with a strong cultural connection to the game.It’s not just a game, it’s medicine says Thompson.last_img

Spain honours visit of Chinas Xi inks business deals

first_imgMADRID — Spain has rolled out the red carpet for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is seeking global allies amid souring trade clashes with Washington.Xi and King Felipe VI have reviewed Spain’s guard of honour at the Royal Palace in the Spanish capital while Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan and Spanish Queen Letizia observed the ceremony from a podium.Xi is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez later Wednesday and both will preside over the signing of around 20 government and business agreements, including a deal to export on-the-bone legs of Iberian ham to the Chinese market.The Chinese leader follows his two-day visit to Spain by flying to Argentina on Thursday for a G-20 leaders’ summit the next day, and visits to Panama and Portugal until Dec. 5.The Associated Presslast_img read more

CBSE: 5 social science chapters dropped from class 10 syllabus

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to drop five social science chapters from class 10 syllabus from this academic session, according to the new curriculum.The dropped chapters, including three on political studies and two on environment, will only be part of internal assessment, but not the final board exam. The chapters are — Challenges to Democracy, Democracy and Diversity, Political Struggles and Movements, Forest and Wildlife and Water Resources. “The chapter will be assessed in the periodic tests, but will not be evaluated in the board examination,” the brief attached with the syllabus sent to schools read. The board had last month issued a circular to schools, saying it wanted to align its assessment patterns with future needs as the Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2021. “Countrywide consultations were held with CBSE stakeholders, including teachers, students, heads of institutions and experts in the field to suggest ways to strengthen the assessment and evaluation practices of the board,” the circular read. “It was agreed upon that the school-based or internal assessment needs to be strengthened by incorporating more diverse strategies,” it added.last_img read more

USA scraps Iran oil sanction waivers on India, 7 others

first_imgWashington DC: In a move that could have implications on India’s energy security, US President Donald Trump on Monday decided not to grant sanctions exemptions to any oil customers of Iran, further squeezing Tehran’s top export commodity. “President Donald J. Trump has decided not to reissue Significant Reduction Exceptions (SREs) when they expire in early May. This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe US re-imposed sanctions on Iran last November, after President Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The US’ move which is seen as an escalation of President Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” on Iran comes after it last year gave temporary 180-days waiver to eight countries, including India, China, Turkey and Japan among others. As a result of this decision all countries including India would have to bring down its import of oil from Iran by May 2. Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have already heavily reduced their oil imports from Iran. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal). The US, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world’s great energy producers, along with its friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied, Sanders said. “We have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” she said. In a statement, Sanders said the Trump Administration and its allies are determined to sustain and expand the maximum economic pressure campaign against Iran to end the regime’s destabilising activity threatening the United States, its partners and allies, and security in the Middle East. “The President’s decision to eliminate all SREs follows the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, demonstrating the US’ commitment to disrupting Iran’s terror network and changing the regime’s malign behaviour. We welcome the support of our friends and allies for this effort,” Sanders said. China and India are currently the largest importers of Iranian oil. If they don’t go along with Trump’s demands, that could cause tensions in both bilateral relationships and spill over into other issues, like trade, the Washington Post reported.last_img read more