England rugby: RFU and Premiership Rugby sign £200m eight-year partnership

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS For Jones, who briefed the PRL board and told them the system in England was the best he had worked in, there are several upsides. The bigger EPS squad, up from 33, means he can get his hands on more players. The extra training camps during ‘core’ Test periods, to be attended by 36 of them, one at the beginning of October ahead of the autumn internationals, and one in the first week of January ahead of the Six Nations, give him more time to work with them. Every international coach, especially those from a club environment, moans about not seeing the players enough – it is not perfect but this one is an improvement.Also, the Australian has a later deadline to name his first EPS squad at the start of October – in previous year’s they have been named in July and August then got injured, or lost form, when the Premiership starts. At least Jones will get the chance to see his players in action in the Premiership to see who has kicked on from the tour to Australia and who should be pushing those who haven’t. Ritchie said: “Eddie, over the next three years, has a great clarity as to what he has and how it works. For Eddie to go along and talk to the PRL board, well that collaboration has not been as evident in the past. The directors of rugby have been enormously supportive of the England cause.”Cut short: The agreement could give fringe players like Chris Ashton more time to impress Eddie JonesThe clubs will see slightly less of their big guns because of a couple of rest weekends that have been inserted if they get a lot of Test game-time but most directors of rugby give their England stars a breather for a week after big tournaments. So not too much has changed there.But they will no longer have to suffer the ludicrous situation that Saracens faced last year with respect to the English Qualified Player threshold of 70 per cent in a match day squad. Nigel Wray, chairman of the European champions, brought this up again recently when he explained that his side lost around £160,000 for not having enough English players in their side when half of them were on England duty. That one has been addressed so clubs get credits when players are away with Jones’ squad.The exceptional circumstances clause is unchanged meaning Sam Underhill, the promising Ospreys flanker, or anyone else playing outside England cannot be selected unless there is a glut of injuries in one position. Underhill, like Steffon Armitage before him, is destined to become the poster boy for the critics of this but unlike Armitage, at just 20, he has plenty of time on his side. TAGS: Highlight England have won nine out of nine under Jones, a Premiership club are the European champions and the RFU and Premiership are best mates again. You wonder how long this blissful period of stability will last? History shows it won’t be long before there is another rumpus. It was all smiles at Twickenham this week as Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the RFU, and his opposite number at Premiership Rugby, Mark McCafferty, unveiled the latest agreement between their two bodies and declared peace in our time.The deal, worth over £200million to the clubs over eight years, sees England coach Eddie Jones get a bigger Elite Player Squad, now enlarged to 45 players, and his regular international players will be getting a couple more rest weekends.The relationship between the RFU and the clubs has not always been so cordial – in fact they have been fighting like cats and dogs for most of the 20 years since the game went professional, although the current contract supersedes one made eight years ago which has worked out just fine. Those of you with longer memories will know it was not always like this.Selectors dream: Eddie Jones will benefit from an increased Elite Player Squad as a result of the agreementFrom the time when clubs threatened to quit RFU competitions in 1996 to the dispute over Europe two years ago, through the desperate internecine fighting of the late 1990s and a ruck over payments to clubs over a player who had been on the 2005 British & Irish Lions tour, disagreement has never been far from the surface.Chuck in the furore over the Andrew Plan, drawn up by Rob Andrew, in 1999 when the former England fly-half wanted to play the Six Nations in April and May –  one that has reared its head only recently – and finish domestic rugby by the end of January before Europe kicked in and it has been pretty lively dialogue. Andrew was still at Newcastle then, before he left for the RFU in 2006, and helped negotiate the deal that just expired – he was involved in the new one as well.But what does it all mean? Some of it is tedious, most of it is important, and quite a lot of it is ‘as you were’. The big takeaway is that it’s a whopping load of cash for the clubs – around double what they got last time round – and although it is not a lot by football standards it is a proper adrenalin shot in the arm. The bean-counters at the RFU are a canny bunch. Twickenham is virtually always sold out and there are a series of long-standing commercial deals in place so they have a fair idea of how much money they have got coming in further down the track so there is little chance of their cheques bouncing.Seeing eye-to-eye: Mark McCafferty and Ian Ritchie introduced the new Professional Game AgreementAs McCafferty pointed out, it is essential that when clubs want to go to their local bank manager and borrow money for ground improvements, they know the funds are in place to cover any expenditure. Home of English rugby: Eddie Jones has negotiated a mutually beneficial partnership with Premiership Rugby The RFU and Premiership Rugby have just unveiled their new Professional Game Agreement but what is in the small print of a document that took two years to sort out?last_img read more

Lebanese journalist found shot dead in car

first_img Lokman Slim’s sister had voiced concern about him in a tweet last night, reporting that she had lost contact with him since he set off on his return journey to Beirut after visiting friends in the southern town of Niha.Slim was the founder of Shia Watch, a website where he posted political analyses. He was known for his expertise on the Shia branch wing of Islam and his criticism of Hezbollah, the Shia political party that has a paramilitary wing.In one of his latest interviews for the Al-Hadath TV channel, he talked about the political corruption behind the Beirut port explosion in August 2020. He held Hezbollah responsible for the decline in Lebanon that underlay the tragedy.“We call for an immediate investigation into the circumstances of Lokman Slim’s despicable murder in order to identify those responsible,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “If this murder goes unpunished, it will open the way to a climate of fear for all Lebanese journalists and the prospect of a grim future for critical media in Lebanon.”Slim is the second journalist to be murdered in Lebanon in a matter of weeks. Joseph Bejjani, a photographer working for the Lebanese army, was gunned down after dropping off his daughters at their school on 21 December. His phone was taken. Several media outlets reported that he was one of the first photographers at the scene after the explosion at the port in August, fuelling speculation about the motive for his murder.Lebanon is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. LebanonMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Impunity November 11, 2020 Find out more Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” News Three Lebanese women journalists hounded on social media News LebanonMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Impunity Help by sharing this information January 14, 2021 Find out more Organisation Follow the news on Lebanon News to go further News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an immediate investigation into the shocking murder of Lokman Slim, a well-known political commentator and website publisher critical of Hezbollah, whose body was found in his car in southern Lebanon this morning. He had been shot several times in the head. RSF_en Lebanon : Violence against reporters becoming more frequent in Lebanon Receive email alerts February 4, 2021 Lebanese journalist found shot dead in car October 8, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Drogba reveals how Mata’s advice helped Chelsea win UCL

first_img “Eight years ago, the Manager [sic] had been sacked by the club and we, the players had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,” Drogba wrote. “The captain [John Terry] spoke, [Frank Lampard] [Petr Cech] and other leaders in the group too. “We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our defeat 4-1 against Napoli. “We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner up. Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each over [sic] for the same goal. Promoted Content8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That Exist7 Things That Actually Ruin Your PhoneBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeTop 10 Enemies Turned Friends In TVThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More12 Iconic Actors Whose Careers Were Stunted By A Single Movie10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Disney’s Live-Action Simba Was Based On The Cutest Lion Cub EverTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 83rd minute at the Allianz Arena and Drogba admitted that he was “so discouraged.” But the Ivorian former striker would cross paths with Mata again on the pitch and the Spaniard told him to believe as Drogba was on the verge of tears. Drogba tweeted: “Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave. Loading… Chelsea mounted a successful comeback against Napoli in the second leg and continued to march all the way to the final against Bayern Munich. And the Blues were on the verge of going out of the Champions League after they suffered a first-leg 3-1 defeat to Napoli in their round-of-16 tie.Drogba, 42, has taken to Twitter and explained how the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech stepped up during a team meeting and how the players recognised they were “partly responsible” for Villas-Boas’ dismissal. The Chelsea hero, who retired from football in 2018, also opened up about his exchange with Mata over a series of tweets. I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Côte d’Ivoire.Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich.Guess who took that corner kick… @juanmatagarcia and the rest is history.The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE !!!!— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 19, 2020center_img on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me “believe Didi, you have to believe” , almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score “believe in what? It’s almost over,— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 19, 2020 Didier Drogba revealed that he pleaded with Juan Mata to help him win the Champions League with Chelsea — and the former Blues star delivered in the final. Chelsea experienced an up-and-down 2011-2012 season as Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and replaced with Roberto Di Matteo. Read Also: Ronaldo talks tough after returning to Juventus training Mata whipped in a corner only minutes after Muller’s opener and Drogba connected with a powerful header past Manuel Neuer. Only the Manchester United midfielder would miss his spot-kick effort for the Blues during the shootout as Chelsea sealed a 4-3 win on penalties. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “The hosts took the lead with 8 minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me ‘believe Didi, you have to believe’, almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score ‘believe in what? It’s almost over.’ “I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Cote d’Ivoire. Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich. “Guess who took that corner kick… [Mata] and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!!!!” “After that meeting I asked a young 23 years old [Juan Mata] ‘please Maestro, help me win the champions league’ he looked at me like ‘man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it,’ I then told him I’ve been here for 8 years and never won it. “[So] I believe you’re the one who’s gonna help us win. I’ll even give you a present if we win it, that was end of February.”last_img read more