World Rugby U20 Championship 2015 Match Schedule Announced 2 -23 June in Italy

The match schedule and kick-off times for next year’s World Rugby U20 Championship (formerly IRB Junior World Championship) have been announced.The tournament which runs from 2-20 June, 2015 in northern Italy sees England returning to defend their crown which they retained in June in New Zealand after winning the tournament for the first time in 2013.

Four venues will host the U20 Championship this year – Parma, Calvisano, Viadana with the final held in Cremona on 20 June.

The opening day sees hosts Italy take on South Africa, England play Japan, who return to the U20 competition for the first time since 2009 and four time winners New Zealand v Scotland in Parma. As in previous years, six matches will be played on each match day, and this year kick-off times are set for 16:30, 18:30 and 20:30 (local time)

“More than 300 players have made the step up from the U20 Championship to the international test arena since 2008 and I have no doubt there will be further players graduating up the ranks after this tournament.”

“New Zealand will play a match in each of the venues, England will be divided between Calvisano and Viadana, South Africa will be in Calvisano and Parma as well as the Italian U20 team, so the main contenders for the title and the national team will ensure fans in the region get to see the future stars of world rugby in action.

International stars such as Aaron Cruden and Julia Savea from New Zealand, Australian Quade Cooper, France centre Mathieu Bastareaud, Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray, England backs George Ford and Owen Farrell and South African fly-half Handré Pollard are just some of the players to graduate from the U20 Championship to international test level. Italy centre Luca Morisi, who also represented his country at U20 level, is ambassador for the tournament in Italy next year.

Joan Armatrading on her solo word tour July 2015 – 4 dates in SA

Joan Armatrading has added South Africa to her 2015 world tour and will be performing several shows in South Africa in July 2015 as part of her last ever world tour.(thats what they all say

Concerts will be held in Cape Town, East London, Durban and Johannesburg. Joan was last seen in Johannesburg in April 2014 for the well received show “Anthems of Democracy” produced by Roddy Quinn

Known for her distinctive vocals and consummate musicianship, Joan Armatrading has released over 20 acclaimed albums, received three Grammy nominations, is a Brit Award nominee and has received the highly coveted Ivor Novello Award.

Although she will continue to perform on occasion this will be the final major world tour.

Joan says; “I will never retire but this will be the last major tour that I will undertake. For the first time these concerts will be me solo on stage playing the guitar, piano and singing. I want these concerts to be a special lively interactive one to one experience. I have absolutely enjoyed the last 42 years of performances but now, with my final major tour, I want to capture a unique memory for both myself and the audience.”

Joan Armatrading in South Africa

July 3 – Cape Town ICC

July 6 – Hemingway’s – East London

July 7 – Durban ICC Arena

July 10 & 11 – The Teatro at Montecasino, Johannesburg

This unique series of solo shows will feature Joan’s classic hit ‘Me, Myself I’ as well as a mix of other favourites such as ‘Love and Affection’, ‘Willow’ and ‘Drop The Pilot’ plus some of Joan’s more recent compositions.

Ticket prices range from R450 to R650 from or 0861 915 8000

by Martin Myers

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 22 November 2014

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 22 November 2014
1 Sam Smith I’m Not The Only One Up 2 3 1 4
2 Meghan Trainor All About That Bass Down 1 1 1 (5) 12 Last Week’s #1
3 Tresor Mount Everest Up 2 5 3 11
4 Beatenberg Rafael Down 2 2 1 (2) 18
5 Basement Jaxx Never Say Never Down 1 4 2 11
6 Meghan Trainor Lips Are Movin’ Up 3 9 6 3
7 Bo Seretsane Rise Down 1 6 4 16
8 Ella Henderson Rockets Up 8 16 8 3 Highest Climber
9 Tucan Tucan Sondela Down 1 8 8 8
10 Goapele Hey Boy NC 10 6 6
11 Nicole Scherzinger On The Rocks NC 11 8 6
12 Mr Probz Waves (Robin Schulz Remix) NC 12 7 13
13 Mario Ogle How I Got My Groove Back NC 13 3 18
14 Ralf Gum feat. Portia Monique Free (Is All I Wanna Be) NC 14 11 12
15 Nico & Vinz When The Day Comes NC 15 15 4
16 Chris Brown Time For Love Up 6 22 16 2
17 Mi Casa Your Body Up 3 20 17 2
18 Pitbull feat. John Ryan Fireball Down 11 7 2 7 Biggest Faller
19 Chad Saaiman Loving You Is Easy Down 2 17 12 11 SA Top 10 #1
20 Alicia Keys We Are Here Down 2 18 11 7
21 Gregor Salto Count On Me Down 2 19 1 (3) 14
22 Jennifer Hudson Dangerous Down 1 21 10 10
23 Usher Good Kisser NC 23 6 20
24 Brilynn Quality Time NC 24 17 10
25 Michael Jackson A Place With No Name NC 25 11 14
26 Usher feat. Nicki Minaj She Came To Give It To You NC 26 1 (3) 19
27 Sam Smith Stay With Me NC 27 5 16
28 Clean Bandit feat. Sharna Bass Extraordinary NC 28 1 (2) 22 Longest Running Song
29 Ella Henderson Ghost NC 29 8 13
30 Tank Dance With Me NC 30 13 19

All Blacks dominate World Rugby Awards for 2014

All Blacks again dominated the annual World Rugby Awards announced following the last match of the MyRepublic Northern Tour against Wales.

The All Blacks were named World Rugby Team of the Year for the fifth successive year and Head Coach Steve Hansen Coach of the Year for the third straight year.

Lock Brodie Retallick was named Player of the Year, the fourth All Black to win the prestigious award.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic year in the middle of the All Blacks’ pack and follows in the footsteps of teammates Kieran Read (2013), Dan Carter (2005 and 2012) and Richie McCaw (2006, 2009 and 2010).

He edged out Willie le Roux (South Africa), Julian Savea (New Zealand), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland) and Duane Vermeulen (South Africa) for the award.

“It has been another year where the hard work done by this group has been rewarded on the field with outstanding results,” said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.

“We are extremely proud of this team and on behalf of New Zealand Rugby I congratulate Brodie, Steve and the whole team who have been brilliantly lead by Richie and supported by a large group of very committed professionals all of whom unselfishly contribute.”

All three of these awards are selected by an independent panel of judges, chaired by Australia’s RWC 1999 winning captain John Eales and also comprising Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace.

A towering presence in the lineout, Retallick has played 35 Tests for New Zealand since making his debut against Ireland in June 2012. His powerful runs and work-rate across the pitch have brought him to the fore in 2014. His partnership with Sam Whitelock makes up arguably the best second row in today’s game.

Under Hansen’s guidance in 2014 the All Blacks equalled the record of 17 consecutive victories by a major nation, secured a series win over England in the Steinlager Series, won the Bledisloe Cup for the 12th successive year and a third Rugby Championship title in a row. They also ended the MyRepublic Northern Tour undefeated following this morning’s 34-16 victory over Wales.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Brodie Retallick has been at the heart of another hugely successful year for the All Blacks with his superb lineout skills, ball carrying ability and work at the breakdown playing a huge role in a June series win against England, the Rugby Championship title and a strong November series.

“New Zealand showed again in 2014 that they are the team to beat in international Rugby, demonstrating remarkable consistency and dominance, the likes of which has rarely been seen before. And at the helm is their excellent coach Steve Hansen who has managed to keep his players performing at such a high level, match after match.”

Previous Player of the Year Award winners:

2013 – Kieran Read (New Zealand)

2012 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)

2011 – Thierry Dusautoir (France)

2010 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2009 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2008 – Shane Williams (Wales)

2007 – Bryan Habana (South Africa)

2006 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

2005 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)

2004 – Schalk Burger (South Africa)

2003 – Jonny Wilkinson (England)

2002 – Fabien Galthié (France)

2001 – Keith Wood (Ireland)

Previous Team of the Year Award winners:

2013 – New Zealand

2012 – New Zealand

2011 – New Zealand

2010 – New Zealand

2009 – South Africa

2008 – New Zealand

2007 – South Africa

2006 – New Zealand

2005 – New Zealand

2004 – South Africa

2003 – England

2002 – France

2001 – Australia

Previous Coach of the Year Award winners:

2013 – Steve Hansen (New Zealand)

2012 – Steve Hansen (New Zealand)

2011 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)

2010 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)

2009 – Declan Kidney (Ireland)

2008 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)

2007 – Jake White (South Africa)

2006 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)

2005 – Graham Henry (New Zealand)

2004 – Jake White (South Africa)

2003 – Clive Woodward (England)

2002 – Bernard Laporte (France)

2001 – Rod Macqueen (Australia)

All Blacks 34 -Wales 16 in McCaws 100th game as captain

A roaring haka echoed through the hallways around Millennium Stadium following the All Blacks 34-16 win over Wales this morning.

It was performed in the All Blacks changing rooms to honour the record breaking feats of captain Richie McCaw and veteran hooker Keven Mealamu.

McCaw led his country in a test for the 100th time, while Mealamu became New Zealand’s most capped first class player passing Colin Meads’ mark of 361 matches when he came off the bench with 15 minutes to play

With the season over, the players could for once reflect on a job”I’m pretty satisfied. It’s one of the great places to play and it was like that today,” McCaw said after a grandstand finish silenced the vocal 72,000 strong crowd.

“When the final whistle goes and you’ve found a way to take the opportunities and come off with what the scoreboard said was reasonably comfortable in the end, it’s a pretty proud moment from a team point of view, and from a personal point of view to get theJOB done.”

Once again, McCaw said the All Blacks had shown the ability to remain calm and composed under pressure as they patiently waited for the crucial moment that would sway the test.

“When you talk about tests being 80 minutes you have to believe it’s not all going to go your way all the time, but it’s never going to go against you all the time either,” he said.

“So it’s about influencing the momentum. Sure there were times when we were down on the scoreboard (16-15) with 10 minutes to go, but we were getting into the gama nd they looked pretty tired.

“All we had to do was hold the ball and when you’ve got guys with the talent we’ve got when an opportunity pops up we take it.”

That moment came in the 70th minute when Beauden Barrett chipped ahead, regathered a perfect bounce and tore through Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny for a brilliant solo try.

“You can see that hurt them mentally and our guys lifted,” McCaw said.

“When you go through experiences often enough you start knowing one moment can have an influence on the rest of the game , and that’s pretty much what happened today.”

Wales did what they could to slow the match down despite McCaw saying he repeatedly asked English referee Wayne Barnes about the delays before every scrum and lineout.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen saw the tactic in play , but said it had not affected his side because they simply accepted it as something they had to adjust to on the day.

“I thought the law said you only have to stop if it’s a front rower at a scrum, but every single one was stopped, but again, we can’t control that so there’s no point getting too worried about it. We have to adapt and adjust.”

Hansen praised Wales’ first half defensive effort as the best the All Blacks had faced this season, but said it had clearly taken a lot of of the home team’s legs by the final quarter.

“We talked about that at halftime. You are asking a team to have that much energy defensively and I don’t think that’s possible for a whole game… I think their issue was they had to defend for long periods and it’s a lot harder defending than it is attacking.”

Hansen said the All Blacks had tried to use their short kicking game in the first half to get behind Wales’ rushing defence, but hadn’t held the ball long enough to create momentum.

He was pleased with the way they had worked things out in the second half in that area with a Barrett cross kick to Conrad Smith creating Jerome Kaino’s try, and another from Colin Slade leading to Barrett’s second try.

Hansen was pleased with the way Barrett and Slade worked as dual pivots in the final 25 minutes and singled out the latter for special praise saying he had done the job for the All Blacks every time he was called on this season.

The Mighty McCaw – remarkable career -another milestone today against Wales

The Mighty McCaw – remarkable career -another milestone on Sat against Wales

with Egon Seconds and Myself

As well as captaining the All Blacks in a Test for the 100th time this weekend (and with a winning record as captain of 89 percent),

McCaw has also achieved several other milestones in his career:

He is a record three-time winner of the IRB (now World Rugby) Rugby Player of the Year,

Been New Zealand Player of the Year four times and New Zealand Sportsman of the Year twice;

He became the first All Black to play 100 Tests when he took the field against France in the pool match of Rugby World Cup 2011;

October 2012 he became the first player to record 100 Test wins when the All Blacks beat South Africa in Soweto

Richie McCaw considered standing down as All Blacks captain after their 2007 World Cup failure.

Richie McCaw considered standing down as All Blacks captain after their 2007 World Cup failure, before realising it was time to man up.

McCaw becomes the first player to lead his country in 100 tests when New Zealand face Wales in Cardiff this weekend (early Sunday NZT).

That figure would have stopped at 23 if he acted on his doubts in the wake of their quarterfinal loss to France seven years ago – also at Cardiff.

“I questioned whether I was good enough to do it or the right person to do it,” he said this week, reflecting on a low point of his stellar career.

Confiding with his parents was followed by a period of soul-searching as the fallout from the tournament swirled around him.

Finally came the realisation he would have a lifetime of regret if he walked away from the job.

“You can either man up and get on with it or drift away and remember that experience as one you couldn’t handle,” he said.

“Being the person I am, as soon as I thought like that I thought: ‘There’s no way I’d want to do that’.

“I remember one day I got over it and got on with it.”

McCaw said the despair of the French loss made beating the same nation to lift the world title on home soil four years later considerably sweeter.

Current coach Steve Hansen was the assistant in 2007 and wasn’t surprised to learn of McCaw’s uncertainty.

“There were a lot of us questioning ourselves after ’07 because we had a team that should have won it, but we stuffed it up,” he said.

Hansen said McCaw was a considerably better captain now, something the 33-year-old happily conceded, believing the Cardiff meltdown was the catalyst for growth both on and off the field.

McCaw said he became hungrier to learn about leadership and has never tired of the pressure and commitments that came with one of the highest stations in the land.

“I don’t think you’d carry on doing it if you didn’t want it,” he added.

“You’ve got to want to put yourself under the pressure that comes with it otherwise you wouldn’t last.”

Hansen said the evolution of a player leadership group around McCaw has made the job easier and been a key part of the All Blacks’ success during his nine-year stewardship.

However, he doesn’t want to detract from the achievements of the 136-test flanker, whose physical deeds and winning legacy are incomparable in rugby.

“He’s grown into probably one of the great leaders of any sports team in the world,” Hansen said.



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