All Blacks building depth that is set to prove a game-changer at 2019 World Cup

Steve Hansen has used 55 All Blacks in 2017, and 44 of them on this northern tour. This does not apply to the Boks at present under Coetzee

As insurance policies go, Steve Hansen may just have a dandy a couple of years out from the next World Cup. The All Blacks have been better, for sure, but have they ever been deeper than they are right now?

It’s a legitimate question to ask as Hansen leads a 43-strong leviathan around France and the UK this November. They will briefly number 44 when Akira Ioane joins them from his Maori commitments in Bordeaux and then return to a more modest 37 following the Lyon midweeker, by which time the injured Jerome Kaino and a half-dozen Baabaas ring-ins will have jetted back to New Zealand.

The answer to the earlier question is almost certainly no. This may not be an All Blacks squad humming on all cylinders, a la the 2015 World Cup champions, or their 2016 successors, or even the 2013 perfect year men, but they are deeper than Voltaire, which could yet be the single most important advantage they hold over their global rivals heading towards Japan in 2019.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has taken the biggest All Blacks squad to the northern hemisphere.

Rugby is a brutal, gladiatorial game, and only getting more so. The professional level of the sport is played nigh on 10 months of the year, and it is exacting a massive toll. Injuries are becoming not just a part of the game, but the dominant factor any coach has to combat when preparing for a campaign of any sort.

France had 19 players officially unavailable for their test against the All Blacks at Stade de France, and that’s just nine games into the new Top 14 season. Clubs in the UK and France are already dealing with long-term injury lists as high as 15 or 16, with some struggling to put full squads on the park.

Of course Hansen knows this. And his 2017 campaign has been mapped out to reflect it. It’s no coincidence that the All Blacks added a Barbarians and midweek French XV match to their three mandated tests on this tour.

That created, in effect, two non-test matchups, and gave Hansen the ideal stage on which to run his dirty-dirties, or second-tier men. It’s all very well bringing people on tour for experience, but if you can give them legitimate international matches as well, then even better.

Ironically injuries in his own group have also helped Hansen further build his depth this year. He had seven top players either crocked or unavailable for personal reasons when he set out for London, and Kaino became the eighth when a knee injury forced him out after the Baabaas clash.

By manager Darren Shand’s count the All Blacks have used 55 players in and around their various engagements in 2017, and that is an unprecedented number.

It is also a number that won’t upset Hansen and assistant Ian Foster as they look to build a depth chart that their chasing rivals, such as England, Ireland, the Springboks and Australia, can only look at with envy.

The All Blacks have legitimate international quality three deep in probably every position bar halfback. And you can bet finding a successor to the departing Tawera Kerr-Barlow will be their No 1 priority in 2018.

“We’re trying to grow some more depth, and we’re doing that,” says Hansen. “People don’t understand just how tough it is when you first come into the All Blacks. They expect the result to be clinical and precise, but the reality is that’s not the case.

“Sometimes, particularly when you’ve got a young group, there is going to be inconsistency. You’ve just got to be patient and take your time. I know for a fact we’ll end up with some quality people [at the end of this tour] and have a good group to be able to select from in 2019.

“The key thing this year is we’ve had a number of injuries, suspensions and personal tragedies that have exposed a wider base than we probably thought we would do this year. But at the beginning of next year when everyone is available we should have a bigger pool to pick from, and more experienced people too which should give us a boost to the next level.’

Think about it. Bring back Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Israel Dagg and maybe even a rejuvenated Julian Savea, and suddenly you have all sorts of options in the back three. Same when you add Owen Franks and Joe Moody to the suddenly bulging prop stock.

Halfback is the only position where Hansen would have just a little concern. Maybe No 8 too, but there are not a lot of opportunities there behind the skipper.

At No 9, behind Aaron Smith and TJ Perrenara, he does not have an obvious backup. It’s why he brought Kerr-Barlow on one final tour, even though he is departing at its end.

But this is New Zealand rugby. That hole will be plugged soon enough. Mitchell Drummond has had a week with the Baabaas, and now one with the All Blacks. Brad Weber remains a contender. Same with Auggie Pulu and Bryn Hall. The national coaches just need to see more from them.

“We’re giving other people an opportunity to grow and get an understanding of what All Blacks rugby is about,” adds Hansen. “Northern tours have always been about bringing extra people so we can develop them. It’s a good platform, you’re in a touring environment where things are quite intense for a month, and you get a good look at the young guys.

“One of our big aims for the year was to expose young guys to touring, test match rugby and playing for the All Blacks. By the end of this season we would have done that in bulk.”

Have a look at this depth chart, and judge for yourself where Hansen’s All Blacks stand less than two years from the World Cup.

Sure, they’ve had a wobble or two, but simply no one – England included – can match them for depth.

ALL BLACKS’ DEPTH CHART

Fullback: Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Damian McKenzie, David Havili.

Wings: Rieko Ioane, Israel Dagg, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Seta Tamanivalu, Matt Duffie, Julian Savea.

Midfield: Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Anton Liennert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue, Charlie Ngatai.

First fives: Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Richie Mo’unga, Damian McKenzie.

Halfback: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara.

Loose forwards: Kieran Read, Sam Cane, Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Matt Todd, Vaea Fifita, Jerome Kaino, Akira Ioane, Luke Whitelock.

Locks: Brodie Retllick, Sam Whhitelock, Luke Romano, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Dominic Bird.

Props: Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Kane Hames, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tim Perry, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Atu Moli.

Hookers: Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Asafo Aumua.

source Sunday Star Times

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TurnUp Music launches on Samsung Z Series

TurnUp Music on Tizen

Being the ultimate gateway that has been successfully hosting local talent for over a year now, TurnUp Music has joined forces with Samsung and officially announced the launch of a streaming service on the Samsung Z Series mobile devices.

 

TurnUp Music has been turning heads over the past year as a disruptor in the local music industry. The mission continues to grow as the service has now partnered with one of the world’s largest tech companies, Samsung, to host local music on their Z Series mobile devices.

 

Through this incredible partnership, TurnUp Music and Samsung are focussed on the development and growth of local artists’ careers through various collaborative opportunities and a strong market reach.

 

“Samsung, as the global smartphone leader, is the perfect partner to accelerate not just the streaming platform, but also to reduce barriers to entry across Africa. The 4G enabled Z Series devices are both accessible and affordable, making it a great tool for listening to music and watching videos” said Thabiet Allie, CEO of TurnUp Music.

 

The announcement of the partnership was unveiled at AfricaCom, one of the largest African telecoms, media and technology events and met with great support from key industry experts and delegates at the event.

 

“Because Samsung always strives to create technology that enriches people’s lives, we are delighted to partner with TurnUp Music in this initiative, bringing local sounds to users and helping to promote local musicians,” said Craige Fleisher, Director Integrated Mobility, Samsung.

 

The TurnUp Music app will soon be available on the Z series, which can be purchased at Ackermans, PEP, Jet and CNA.   

 
About TurnUp Music

TurnUp Music is exclusively focused on local talent and hosts content from various South African superstars like Euphonik, DJ Tira and Vusi Nova. It is also the home to undiscovered artists keen to make their music available to the large South African audience connecting to the internet via their mobile phones.

 

TurnUp is focused on creating opportunities to grow artists and amplify their careers. Our platform will allow you to upload your music, market it and make it available for streaming/download.

 

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

 

For more details, go to: www.turnupmusic.com

 

Looks a great read -Watched all the games regarding the Lions 2017 tour to NZ

In the Line of Fire: The Inside Story from the Lions Head Coach

Looks a top read -just bought it from Amazon

RJ BENJAMINS 5TH STORY ALBUM OUT NOW AND RADIO LOVE THE LEAD SINGLE “NEVER GIVE UP “

Since his last, self-imposed, sabbatical that ended in 2013 RJ Benjamin’s creative and collaborative world has quite simply exploded!

 

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Armed with The Fifth Story, RJ Benjamin’s latest 13-track studio album, the award-winning composer, songwriter, producer, musical director and teacher continues to blend a rich brew of soul, pop, hip-hop, funk and jazz into songs filled with reflective storytelling and tailor-made grooves, all produced by RJ himself. “It’s a good mix of happy and reflective songs,” he unpacks. “Each mood punctuates the next in stark contrast.”

The lead single “NEVER GIVE UP “ has been well received by radio in the last few weeks with KAYA FM, SMILE FM, HEART FM, RADIO HELDERBERG, ALGOA FM all adding the song to their playlists

The Fifth Story arrives with last year’s smash hit single “Dali Wami”, featuring Wanda Baloyi. Better still it also includes his 2017 reworking of “Never Give Up”, and “All Tied Up” (featuring Emtee). A collection of songs that usher in the familiar, while introducing the reimagined and refined.

In 2002, televison personality Caz Abrahams accompanied Big Brother SA season 1 contestant Irvan (Swirve) Damon to a singing lesson he had booked with RJ. Soon after this chance encounter, Abrahams signed RJ to his independent label ‘One Up Music’ and supported the recording of RJ’s first three-song demo. Two of these songs would eventually end up on his first album, namely the title track “Who I Am” and “C U In My Dreams”, which became RJ’s first radio single. Abrahams entered into a joint venture with independent label ‘Ghetto Ruff’ who went on to release RJ’s debut album Who I Am in 2004, shortly after RJ had featured as the vocal coach on the music reality show Project Fame.

The critically acclaimed Who I Am featured collaborations with Tamara Dey, Amu, Ishmael and Pitch Black Afro. RJ wrote & produced the majority of the album, while 37mph, Bongani Fassie & Craig Massive lent their skills as collaborating producers. The album gained a nomination for Best Adult Contemporary at 2005 SAMA Awards.

His 2008 release, Swimming In The Soul Of Music, represented a more sophisticated artist, and showed off the hard work he’d poured into his craft. It went on to win a Metro FM award for Best R&B Album in the same year. Zubz, Nothende, Slikour, Dan Patlanksy and HHP all added their chemistry to an already powerful base of brilliance.

In 2009 RJ released Change The World with Soul Candi. An instant hit and an anthem on radio stations and dance floors all over the South Africa, the track received both a Channel O and SAMA nomination for Best Dance Video and Song of the Yearrespectively.

Following the huge success of “Change the World”, RJ released the album House Bound in 2010. The album showcased his vocal and song-writing skills in the House music genre which, ultimately, returned him to his RnB and soul roots when he released “soulified” versions of the same tracks on the album Inside shortly after . Inside is a reminder to people of his artistic versatility. In RJ’s words, “I’ve taken thirteen house tracks that I’ve sung on over the past five years and re-interpreted them in unexpected ways.” The album features collaborations with Dr Duda, DJ Clock, Danny K and Who I Am collaborator 37MPH.

Late in 2012, a new chapter began in RJ’s career when he reprised his television career, becoming Musical Director of the reality show ‘Clash Of The Choirs SA’. The show received a SAFTA award for ‘Best International Format Show’ in its second season. He has since worked as Musical Director on Idols SA Season 9, In-house Mentor for Idols SA from Seasons 10 to Season 12, Vocal Coach on the Voice SA Season 1 and Musical Director of The Voice Nigeria Season 1 and Season 2.

The 5th Story EP, released in 2015, was the teasing precursor to today’s complete album reveal. The EP featured five tracks – “So High” featuring Can Skylark, “Nobody Else”, “Only Ever Loved You” featuring Ziyon, “Never Give Up” and “All Falls Down” featuring Proverb.

The newly-released, complete album The 5th Story showcases the fact that RJ has sincerely arrived at a new and exciting stage in his career, and further cements his legacy on the South African music landscape.

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Triple M Entertainment

Martin Myers

E-mail: martmyers@gmail.com

Mobile: +27 83 448 4475

World Rugby awards Rugby World Cup 2023 to France

The World Rugby Council today awarded Rugby World Cup 2023 to France, which was selected following two rounds of voting during its interim meeting in London.

France received 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the final round of voting. In the first round, France received 18 votes to South Africa’s 13 and Ireland’s eight.

Following today’s vote, France will be hosting rugby’s showcase men’s event for the second time and hosting the 10th edition of the event 200 years after William Webb Ellis gave birth to the sport.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to France on being elected Rugby World Cup 2023 host. They presented a very strong and comprehensive bid, which clearly resonated with the Council today.

“We had three outstanding host candidates, who raised the bar and overwhelmingly demonstrated that they were all capable of hosting an exceptional Rugby World Cup. There was very little to choose between the candidates and this was reflected in the independently-audited evaluation report.

“I would like to pay tribute to Ireland and South Africa for their dedication throughout a rigorous, and transparent process and hope that they will bid again. We now look forward to working in partnership with France to deliver what I am sure will be a very successful Rugby World Cup in 2023.”

About the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process

The Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection follows a complete redesign of the bidding process to promote good governance and transparency, while providing prospective host unions and governments with an opportunity to gather all the information necessary to ensure hosting capability prior to moving through the process. This re-modelling has been assisted by The Sports Consultancy, which helped develop the documentation and tools and supported World Rugby throughout the process, including the evaluation and assessment phase.

During the applicant phase, the first phase of the process, interested unions were provided with the criteria for evaluation. Initially, there were four applicant unions, but Federazione Italiana Rugby withdrew its application, leaving Federation Française de Rugby, Irish Rugby Football Union and South African Rugby Union to proceed to the candidate stage, which in itself is a mark of their ability to host. On 1 June, 2017, the three candidate unions submitted their full bid documents, which were evaluated by the World Rugby Technical Review Group. The group submitted its report to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board, which in turn made its recommendation to Council today (31 October) prior to the vote on 15 November.

Voting process for selecting Rugby World Cup 2023 host union

On Wednesday 15 November in London, World Rugby Council decided which candidate union would host Rugby World Cup 2023. The three candidate unions were not be able to vote during the process.

That means, in total there were 39 votes left to be won, split up as follows:
• The four remaining Six Nations unions and three remaining SANZAAR unions had three votes each

• The six regional associations (Oceania Rugby, Sudamerica Rugby, Rugby Americas North, Rugby Europe, Rugby Africa and Asia Rugby) and the Japan Rugby Football Union had two votes each

• The remaining four votes belonged to Georgian Rugby Union, Rugby Canada, USA Rugby and Federatia Romȃnă de Rugby

• The unions/regional associations cast their votes as they saw fit, including splitting their votes or abstaining

• The entire process has been overseen by independent auditors

• As no candidate won a clear majority (20 votes or more) after the first ballot, the candidate bid with the lowest number of votes dropped out and then a second ballot was called between the remaining two.

The Rugby World Cup Limited Board is: Bill Beaumont (Chairman), Agustín Pichot (Vice-Chairman), Gareth Davies (Wales), Mike Hawker (independent), Brett Gosper (World Rugby CEO).

Lovely read pre Music Exchange press Wed 6 Sept 2017 pre the conference on 9 and 10 Sept

Great pre press re Music Exchange and BMI Song Camp at South Beach ( for the 2nd year in a row ).
Article was a 1/2 page in Business Report on Wednesday 6 Sept 2017, thanks to Struan Douglas.

#mex17 is in its 7th year in 2017.

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