Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. Fallen angel? The Angel of the North sculpture, near Gateshead, is a symbol of a proud region going through hard times on the rugby fieldThis is not to sound patronising or like a northern send-up à la Monty Python. But probably my happiest times in rugby reporting concern the consumption of mushy peas – in the clubhouse at Orrell. In the days before TV producers started dictating to rugby’s paying public exactly when games would be allowed to begin, almost all top-class club rugby in England took place on a Saturday and was all the better for it. As often as possible, I headed for Orrell. Magnificent club.Orrell were one of the best teams of the era. They had superb facilities and were run on love and passion, not money. When they were at their peak just before professionalism, they were a frighteningly good side, they fielded the most massive pack ever spotted, and the signature forward was the marvellous Bob Kimmins, the gigantic lock who was a stirring sight.And the mushy peas? Orrell had the most convivial and appetising food in the sport. Some of my colleagues and I used to travel up to the North on the Friday so as to be in perfect position for our pre-match nosh. I’ve lost count of the number of storming matches I saw at Edge Hall Road. Or the number of narrow escapes we had as a taxi took us away just as the likes of Simon Langford, Dave Cleary and Sammy Southern were in their dangerous post-match stride.Over the years, it was also possible to see Liverpool St Helens, West Hartlepool and Waterloo play in the top tier. It was also sad when Wakefield had to fold, and Yorkshire rugby folk of my acquaintance are always telling me that the club should be reformed at least to do justice to a proud history.But what do we have now in the North? Orrell are way down the leagues, victims of the pro era. Leeds Carnegie are in the second flight. Newcastle are at the foot of the Premiership, and are anxiously recruiting to try to save themselves. Sale are more of a success story but after a disastrous start to last season they had to fight like mad to avoid relegation. After clearing out almost their whole playing staff last season when operating under the misguided Mike Brewer, they appear to have done exactly the same under the charge of the more rational Steve Diamond.But the truth is that the sport is increasingly anxious about its presence in the North. Unless Newcastle can rally and escape the drop, it could easily be that by next season only Sale are operating at the elite level at any point in England north of Leicester. We’re used to rugby league running a sport with hardly any representations from giant tracts of the country, but not rugby union.Leeds Carnegie players in despair after being relegated last season.Let us get one thing straight: a gigantic fallacy has arisen surrounding the travails of northern rugby as if there is some compelling inner reason, some in-built catastrophe, which prevents a successful pro club operating in Manchester or above. It’s as if simply being in the North means you can’t have a successful union team.This is patent nonsense. The economy is a little more vibrant elsewhere in England but not devastatingly so. The first thing that those charged with producing top clubs in the North should do is look in the mirror. Being in the North never stops you from choosing the right coach or making good deals in the transfer market. I yield to no one in my admiration for Dave Thompson, the ebullient former owner of Newcastle, who did a huge amount to establish the club. But under him, Newcastle made far too many bad coaching appointments and bad signings. With the greatest respect, I was amazed that Newcastle opted for Alan Tait as their most recent coach.Nor have the club ever been particularly wise with their signings. One senior Newcastle official once took me aside and delivered such a withering blast at Mark Andrews, the Springbok lock who they had signed, that I almost blanched. I was told that Andrews had not fitted in, that he had not proved to be an attractive character or a great player. In my usual humble way, I was forced to ask my Newcastle man why on earth their investigations had not uncovered such weaknesses in Andrews before Newcastle signed his contract.Leeds coach: Neil BackNo one would question the appointment of Neil Back as Leeds coach a few years ago but Leeds always put themselves in the gravest danger by leaving their squad denuded of true class. Back clearly needed five more class players last season, and without them Leeds were only operating at the elite level with a tier-two squad. Had the club speculated only slightly, they’d have escaped. Full stop.Nor can Sale escape the Jones lash. I’ve had almost as many great times at Sale as at Orrell, but Sale have also made bad calls. The appointment of Brewer was a disaster waiting to happen and his pruning of so many Sale stalwarts and his vituperative criticism of his own players put Sale on the back foot from the start. So did Brewer’s strategy of signing up a host of mediocre southern hemisphere players.Brian Kennedy, Sale’s owner and a man deserving of utmost respect, is correct to invest in Diamond, a hard-nosed Premiership practitioner, but the club has lost valuable years. They now have to redevelop their squad from scratch and it could take at least 18 months before the squad gels together.My point is this. It doesn’t matter where you’re playing your rugby, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a massive catchment area for rugby or a very small area. What matters is that you make the proper decisions in recruiting those who drive your club and those who play for it.And those who are defeatist about northern club rugby, those who complain of small crowds, have to remember that large crowds will roll up in Greenland provided the team is winning. Sale drew five-figure crowds during their sumptuous run six seasons ago and I’ve seen more than 10,000 people watch Newcastle at Kingston Park and Leeds at Headingley. Don’t turn around and whine if the crowds are small if you’ve just lost five on the bounce.The other feeble excuse given for the paucity of northern success is the rugby league fallacy. This holds that because rugby league exists alongside some of the northern teams, it means they can’t succeed in union. Rubbish. Rugby league is a relatively small operation, even in the North of England. Its marketeers discuss it as if it dominates the map from Watford upwards, whereas it doesn’t. Not even close. Indeed, the inner-Manchester and Newcastle areas are on the ever-growing list of towns and cities in England and Wales where pro rugby league has been a failure. No excuses for union. A few hundred fans may be lost to the game, and thousands of the uncommitted may decide to spend their money at Premier League football. But London and the Midlands have the odd major football club, too. Let us be more sympathetic on some counts. We’ve established that a lack of investors has held back some clubs in the North. Orrell were wrecked when Dave Whelan, owner of Wigan FC, made a spectacularly ill-judged incursion into union with Orrell, leaving the grand club high and dry – although it’s marvellous to hear the club is now rediscovering itself in the lower leagues.Sale are rebuilding but coach Steve Diamond says they can be a giant: “Six million people live within 40 minutes of us, which is more people than in NZ” Yet Kennedy and Thompson have been among the most loyal of benefactors, and I still insist that given good rugby decisions, there’s no reason why at least three northern clubs should not survive and thrive at the top of the Premiership and in Europe.There is some truth in the assertion that the North misses divisional rugby, because it was a great tradition boosted by glorious wins by the North XV against touring sides. It was appealing in the amateur era for fervent and relatively small rugby clubs to feed players through to the North team.Yet with apologies to those traditions, we’re now in the era of stand-alone pro teams leading a splendidly tribal and hard existence. Gradually, the Premiership is becoming more successful. It has been set back by the recession and by the dire performances of the national team since 2003. But it will recover, is there forever.Those who say that the Premiership won’t feel complete without representations from every area of England are correct. But no one deserves a place in the division as of right. Even Leicester have to make the right calls in terms of coaching and playing staff. And if the northern clubs can’t compete with the huge capacity at Welford Road, they must make correct decisions with their home grounds as well – most of the new rugby league grounds are merely big sheds with seats, but at least they have capacity and a certain cachet.There are some disadvantages with life in northern rugby, life will never be easy. But professional rugby was never meant to be. There are millions of rugby followers in the North, huge population centres, tens of thousands of players, millions of people looking for a day out. The sport needs them, needs big clubs at the extremities and at the heart.But it’s up to the northern clubs to come to the party, as well as to hope that the rest of the sport throws a party for them.This article appeared in the January 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. 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TAGS: Highlight SPOTLIGHTS Tom Wood – The Northampton and England flanker talks about responsibilitiesRhys Webb – After a fine start to the season, the Osprey is keen to get going with WalesDavid Kilcoyne – The Munster and Ireland prop has an ambitious to-do listAlex Dunbar – The Scotland centre shoots the breeze about Tasmania, tries and TescoFEATURES England – Who should play in midfield for England at RWC 2015? We have found the solutionScotland – Ross Ford says it’s time for Scotland to achieve a sustained period of successWales – Three experts on what tactics and selection need to change before the World CupIreland – Fly-half Johnny Sexton on why he’s coming home to Leinster next seasonNew Zealand – Get inside the haka and find out how it’s changed over timeCarlin Isles – Rugby’s fastest man opens up about his tough upbringingGermany – Discover how rugby played a part in the fall of the Berlin WallAustralia – The Wallabies are in strife. Stephen Jones asks if they can recover any time soonSouth Africa – Heyneke Meyer is steering the Boks on the right pathUruguay – Meet the play-off winners who will take on England and Wales at RWC 2015 ADVICE SECTION Pro Insight – Will Fraser on decision-making at the breakdownFitness – Wrestle like Springbok back-row Duane VermeulenPro Playbook – George Chuter’s lineout attackMini rugby – Learn how to push pass. You can watch a video of the technique hereREGULARS Rugby focus – A news round-up from clubs, schools and women’s rugby, including an interview with London Scottish’s Mark Bright and England Women’s Alex MatthewsEssentials – The latest books and productsUncovered – Glen Jackson on making the switch from player to refereeTour tale – A cheeky tale from Hannover LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS THE WORLD CUP is now less than a year away so this month’s autumn Internationals carry even more weight than usual. It’s the last time the northern hemisphere sides will do battle with the southern hemisphere before RWC 2015 – and the latest issue of Rugby World brings you news from both sides of the world.Johnny Sexton, Ross Ford and Heyneke Meyer give us an insight into the Ireland, Scotland and South Africa camps, we look at the big issues facing England and Wales, there’s in-depth analysis of the haka and Stephen Jones reports on the latest problems engulfing Australia.On top of all that, there are features on Uruguay, Carlin Isles and Germany, as well as news from the grass-roots game. Here’s a full list of contents – and you can find out where to buy your copy here or download our free magazine finder app here. Plus, download the digital edition here.SIDELINES30 minutes with Joe Marler, players to watch this month, wheelchair rugby, the Varsity Match, Hotshots and moreCOLUMNISTS Brad Thorn – The new Leicester lock looks at the World Cup contendersMartin Landajo – The scrum-half on how Argentina have made the breakthroughNeil Back – England are in good shape, says the World Cup winner A full list of contents for the December 2014 edition of Rugby World
With the Autumn Internationals upon us, RW takes a look back at some memorable scores from recent series Brad Barritt – England v New Zealand, 2012You could argue that Chris Ashton’s try on this record-breaking day was slightly more pleasing on the eye, but in terms of impact, Brad Barritt chose a perfect time to break his international duck. The Saracens centre drifted through a gap in the All Blacks defence following a fizzing pass from Owen Farrell, and a swift one-two with Manu Tuilagi allowed the brutish ball-carrier to kickstart a phenomenal second half display that saw England defeat New Zealand for the first time in a decade.Christian Leali’ifano – Wales v Australia, 2013 This thrilling clash from last year featured a couple of vintage George North scores, but it was a stunning offload from Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper that ensured this try made the list. The fly-half’s deft pass out of the back of the hand to Joe Tomane on the wing left North flailing, and resulted in Christian Leali’ifano running in for the score. The clip below also features another audacious Cooper offload that typifies the unique talent he brings to the game.Fetu’u Vainikolo – Scotland v Tonga, 2012Not one that Scotland fans will enjoy watching back. This flying score from wing Fetu’u Vainikolo was the decisive score in the Scots’ first defeat against Tonga, and it was a try worthy of winning any match. Collecting the ball in his own half, the Connacht man showed sharp acceleration to evade Stuart Hogg, Richie Gray et al on his way to the line.Nick Cummins – England v Australia, 2012 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rob Kearney – Ireland v New Zealand, 2013 Ireland fans must have thought it couldn’t get much better when their side led 14-0 after less than 20 minutes against an All Blacks team aiming for a clean sweep of wins in 2013. That was before Rob Kearney gathered a knock-on from Israel Dagg in his own 22 to race the distance of the field, away from the desperate cover of Kieran Read, to ignite scenes of unbridled ecstasy in the Aviva Stadium.Chris Ashton – England v Australia, 2010Trailing 19-6 at Twickenham, the Wallabies were attacking the England line in search of a score that would reignite the contest. Within seconds, England had secured turnover ball, quick thinking from Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes created a counter-attacking opportunity on the right wing, and Chris Ashton was flying clear of Drew Mitchell to splash down under the posts for 2010’s IRPA Try of the Year.Jean de Villiers – Wales v South Africa, 2013Although it was Springbok captain Jean de Villiers who finished this try last year, it is perhaps best remembered for the speedy brilliance of Bryan Habana. The fleet-footed winger spotted a mismatch in the Welsh defence to round Richard Hibbard, before leaving international rival George North trailing in his wake. Bismarck du Plessis provided the offload to put de Villiers in for the game’s opening score, as Wales went on to record another near-miss defeat at the hands of southern hemisphere opposition.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFYfNad0JNEJames Hook – Wales v South Africa, 2010Three years before de Villiers’s score in this fixture, and on the day that George North made his try-scoring bow into international rugby, James Hook benefitted from the brilliance of another Welsh wing wizard. Shane Williams ran an audacious line to scythe through the Springbok defence after gathering the ball in midfield and send Hook in unchallenged during a humdinger of a Test match. Ash-tonishing: Chris Ashton’s 2010 try against Australia was one of Twickenham’s best The Honey Badger’s first international ‘meat pie’ two years ago was a memorable one. Scrum-half Nick Phipps produced a scintillating break in midfield before sending a questionably flat pass out to Cummins, who showed a clean pair of heels to avoid two English tacklers and score in the corner.
Captain marvel: Stuart Hooper led the Saxons and has made the ninth-most Premiership appearancesRecognised by those on the inside as an outstanding leader, Hooper’s presence might just have been what was missing as Bath failed to qualify for the Champions Cup. Mike Ford could do with finding another player like the 34-year-old if his team are to make an assault on the top four again next year, when Hooper will be on the coaching staff.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Don ArmandThe Harare-born back-rower – six, seven or eight makes no difference – has played in 24 of Exeter’s 29 games this season and although Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Thomas Waldrom have hogged the headlines, he’s one of the players whose name should be in lights too.Signed from the Stormers in 2013, Armand also did a few turns in the second row last season for the Chiefs and the 27-year-old has had a staggering season this time around in a back row that also has to fit in the likes of Dave Ewers and Julian Salvi.He featured in the top rankings for tackling and carrying in the Premiership season and was named Player of the Year by the Exeter Chiefs Supporters’ Club. While we’re at Sandy Park, an honourable mention must go to Robin Cowling, the former England prop, for the work he has done bringing a pile of Chiefs through to the highest level.Steve DiamondSale’s director of rugby will probably not be getting any gongs when the end-of-season awards are handed out. But with all the attention on Saracens, Exeter and Wasps, his side flew under the radar and back into the Champions Cup. And look at some of the clubs who didn’t make it to the European big time.Jewel of the North: Steve Diamond beats the odds time and again with his Sale side (Getty Images)Diamond doesn’t have a bottomless pit of cash, Sale apparently spend under the salary cap, and it’s a fight to get players to the club. But for next season he has secured the services of Mike Phillips, Rob Webber, Kieran Longbottom and league superstar Josh Charnley.The battle he faces every year is shown by the fact that Danny Cipriani and Tommy Taylor are off to Wasps, but Sale will be punching above their weight again – just like Diamond did when he was a combative hooker for the club. He also brought Mike Haley, his full-back, to Eddie Jones’s attention and the likes of Will Addison and Sam James are not a million miles away.Alex LewingtonPlaying in a team that finishes stone-last isn’t the best way to get on the right side of the national coach but Eddie Jones knows his onions and picked Lewington for his training camp in Brighton ahead of the Wales Test match. Lewington, who joined London Irish from Leicester in 2013, scored six tries in his last nine starts of the season in all competitions – in a side that had a gun pressed against its head.Saxons call? Alex Lewington caught Eddie Jones’s eye after shining for struggling London Irish (Getty)The 24-year-old played in England’s non-cap game against the Barbarians last year, coming off the bench, and it wouldn’t be any surprise to see him off to South Africa with the Saxons this summer. Would probably do himself a favour if he wasn’t playing in the Championship next season, though.Christian DayThe lock played 26 games for Northampton as they failed to make the play-offs but secured a place in next year’s Champions Cup. Good in the scrum and the lineout, he’s never far off the action but rarely gets the plaudits handed out to Saints’ brigade of internationals.However, a lot of Day’s most important work comes off the pitch in his role as chairman of the Rugby Players’ Association, where he has to bat for the blokes who actually do the business on the pitch. Player welfare is top of his agenda but drugs, preparing players for life after rugby and the concussion debate are all in his in-tray and being looked at.A cut above the rest: Christian Day is a rock for Saints and works tirelessly for player welfare (Getty Images)He has to play most weeks as well and he does a pretty good job of it. It has been said if you want something done then get a busy man to do it. Day is a busy man alright and is trying to get things done for the sake of his fellow players on top of the day job.Stuart HooperNot even close to a cigar for Bath this year after a miserable season was capped off with the retirement of their club captain Hooper. The second-row only started 11 games before he had to quit in April with a back injury and received a few plaudits then. But in a career of 232 Premiership appearances for Saracens, Leeds and Bath he didn’t get the praise he deserved, although he did captain the Saxons in 2009. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Hail the Don: Back-rower Don Armand has held his own among elite company at Exeter (Getty Images) It’s the awards season for Premiership rugby but not everyone can win them. Here are five people who deserve a nod for their outstanding efforts in England’s top flight
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS All Black great Conrad Smith discusses a few photos from his magnificent career TAGS: Highlight “I was back playing within five-and-a-half months. It was a bad break but it was clean and they fixed it with a rod as opposed to a cast, which made the comeback a lot quicker because you lose less muscle. Pointing the way: Conrad Smith is enjoying life at Pau after his 11-year New Zealand career (AFP/Getty) Conrad Smith is in the final furlong of an illustrious career. One of 20 men to have won two Rugby World Cups, the Pau and former All Black centre is set to retire at the end of this season.Nearly 36, Smith sprung to prominence on the back of his NPC form for Wellington Lions in 2004 and went on to make 126 Super Rugby appearances for the Hurricanes. Internationally, he racked up 94 New Zealand caps and his Test win percentage of 89.89% is bettered by only two other centres in history – current All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty.Before he hangs up his boots, we asked Smith to talk through some of his career highlights for a My Life in Pictures feature – you can see that in the November issue of Rugby World that hits the shops on Tuesday 3 October.As a taster, below he discusses four other photos from his career, starting with one taken in the year of his Test debut…WELLINGTON ALL BLACKS, 2004Fab five: Smith with fellow Wellington players chosen for the All Blacks’ 2004 European tour (Getty)“This is five of the six Wellington players chosen for the All Blacks’ 2004 European tour. Piri Weepu (top right) and myself were new, Ma’a Nonu (top left) had been with the team for the World Cup, and Rodney So’oialo (front left) and Jerry Collins were pretty established players; they were older guys that looked after us. Obviously Tana Umaga (the captain) would normally be there, I don’t know where he was that day.“I had played five minutes as a substitute in Super Rugby in 2004 – we were up by 40 points and I don’t think I even touched the ball. But I had played two seasons of NPC and that was what I got in the All Blacks side with.“It wasn’t completely unheard of (to make the All Blacks without playing Super Rugby), I know Jason Eaton did a similar thing, but it was rare. And also the fact I hadn’t played any age-group rugby, nowadays that’s almost unheard of.“Timing is a wonderful thing. For that 2004 tour they picked a lot of new players. That year’s Tri-Nations was pretty disappointing by All Black standards and there were a lot of cultural changes that Graham Henry and Wayne Smith wanted to put in place, which meant reshaping the team. I happened to have a good season and the opportunity arose.”AN UNLUCKY BREAK, 2006Crocked: Smith talks to the media after breaking his leg in New Plymouth in 2006 (Getty Images)“I’d just come back to Wellington after an operation on a broken leg. If you think I don’t look too happy, I didn’t realise I was having a press conference, I was a bit shocked by it! I suppose it was just sinking in that there was a long road ahead to get back on the field. And it came at a time when Tana (Umaga) had just retired, I’d been groomed to take the jersey, and it was the second game of the season (v Western Force) that the injury happened. FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HERE “We were playing pretty well (against Australia in Sydney) and I threw the ball like an American Football player at the roving camera that sweeps round the in-goal. I got a lot of grief for it because everyone told me they had never seen me do a try celebration like that.”Conrad Smith discusses other photos from his life in the November issue of Rugby World, on sale from Tuesday 3 October. Don’t miss it! “Every player has injuries but if you don’t have one for ten years, you play a lot of rugby and that can be tough. I had a sabbatical (in 2013) that prolonged my time in New Zealand. Playing All Blacks and Super Rugby is a tough gig. It’s a lot of travel and when you start to think about family or having a family, it makes life pretty challenging. So the sabbatical was just about that for me – breaking up the schedule of travelling and playing.“It’s different in Europe: you play a longer season but the travel is so much less and you’re at home for so much more time – I love that.”NICE THROW, 2014Light relief: playing pétanque during a 2014 All Blacks activities session in South Africa (Getty)“This was taken at a school in Johannesburg. Normally the day after a long-haul flight the body is pretty wrecked so you don’t train, but they try to keep you awake by organising a bunch of activities, like a game of pétanque.“I’ve learnt a lot more about pétanque in France. From what was a bit of fun, you realise how serious it can be and you learn the rules properly and see how good people can be at it. It’s huge in France, especially here in the South-West, and I’ve played a lot more of it.”TRY TIME, 2013Letting fly: Smith celebrates one of his 26 Test tries, against the Wallabies in 2013 (Getty)“This is just something bizarre I tend to do when I score and get emotional. I never have any plans, there are no dance moves that I do – I just remember being pretty happy.
2019 Six Nations Team of the Tournament The Six Nations changes nothing heading into the World Cup Maro Itoje Shows Off His Basketball SkillsEngland and Saracens man Maro Itoje has shown he is more than capable with any ball in sport, regardless of its shape or size.Appearing on the Rugby Tonight show Itoje went up against former England World Cup winner Ben Kay in a shooting competition.After making two shots each, Itoje stepped up the difficulty moving to a spot in the studio that would have probably been even further than the three-point line in professional basketball. This didn’t matter though as he cooly banked his shot in before Kay missed. The Six Nations changes nothing heading into the World Cup England Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide Expand LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS England Rugby World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide We knew @maroitoje was a baller… But that shot was ridiculous The @Saracens and @EnglandRugby man drains a shot from WAY downtown in the #RugbyTonight studio! pic.twitter.com/3YkFsES8vE— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 3, 2019On Twitter Itoje responded to the video with a comment referencing Steph Curry, the two-time Most Valuable Player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Curry is famous for his long-range shooting and has helped revolutionise the game somewhat so Itoje’s comment paying homage comes as no surprise. Collapse Expand Sporting Talent: Itoje showed his skill with a round ball recently (Getty Images) The England man made shot after shot going up against Ben Kay. After a disastrous home World Cup in 2015,… Steph Curry with the Shot boyyyyy https://t.co/oNlDQy1hAB— Maro Itoje (@maroitoje) April 3, 2019Itoje has always shown a deep interest in basketball even as a schoolboy. He played at the national level for his boarding school, St Georges along with shot-put.He has also gone to NBA games when they were hosted in London, most recently he was pictured outside the O2 Arena where he watched the New York Knicks go up against the Washington Wizards.NBA Fan: Itoje goes to the London NBA games in January (Getty Images)No doubt with the conclusion of the Six Nations, Itoje’s focus will be back on domestic rugby as Saracen’s are into the last four of the Heineken Champions Cup In the last round they smashed Glasgow and will face Munster who narrowly beat Edinburgh. In the other semi-final Leinster will host Toulouse who somehow beat Racing 92 despite playing most of the match with 14 men. The Six Nations changes nothing heading into the… Who were the outstanding players in the 2019… 2019 Six Nations Team of the Tournament Additionally Itoje will probably be looking ahead to the Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan later this year.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest rugby news.
BAME Representation in RugbyZainab Alema has a vivid memory of sprinting down the wing for Ealing U18. She was so delighted to have scored a try that she didn’t realise her headscarf had come off during the run. These days she wears a scrum cap over the top to keep it in place, with leggings and a long-sleeved top also forming part of her rugby kit to observe her Muslim faith.She admits that when she first played rugby – to complete a practical element for her A Level in PE – she wasn’t sure if she belonged, but ten years later the sport is now a huge part of her life. She has gone on to play for the University of Hertfordshire, Millwall and Barnes – “the friendliest rugby team in London” – and has even set up a rugby charity, Studs in the Mud, to help provide boots and equipment for girls’ and women’s teams in Ghana and Morocco.Family values: Zainab Alema with her children after a Barnes match“At the beginning I felt uncomfortable and didn’t know how I fitted in,” reflects Alema, who moved from centre to No 8 two years ago. “The girls had their legs out, but what was I going to do? In Islam you cover up and I thought I would have to compromise my beliefs to be part of this sport. Then I found out the laws had changed to add that you could wear a headscarf for religious reasons. To know rugby accommodated that, I felt welcome and took it more seriously.“My dad wasn’t too keen at the start and my mum was worried I’d get injured. With my African background, further education was okay but sport wasn’t so common for African women, Muslims especially. I think my dad was scared I would change and I wouldn’t be the same person, but now he can see how much I love it and knows it makes me happy. I’d say playing rugby has even made me a better person. It’s rugby’s values – respect, discipline.”Alema enjoys rugby so much she was back playing early this year, just two months after giving birth to the youngest of her three children last November. However, she wants to see more people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities playing the sport. Alema believes parents can be apprehensive about their children, particularly daughters, playing contact sport but would encourage them to go to watch a game. England’s squad shows diversity but are BAME communities under-represented elsewhere in the game? Rugby World investigates… Diversity: England’s players perform the anthem at RWC 2019 (Getty Images) “I know two other Muslim BAME people playing rugby and that’s shocking,” says 27-year-old Alema. “At the top level there are a few BAME players but significantly there aren’t many Muslims. It goes back to when I first played and didn’t think I belonged, didn’t think it was the sport for me. Watching Maggie Alphonsi when I was younger was a massive help; someone to look up to who looks like you.“Things are changing but changing slowly. I’d definitely like to see more people (from BAME communities at elite level) but it’s easy to say that. We need to encourage more people at grass-roots level so they filter through. It’s a two-way thing – at the top and at grass roots.”“Watching Alphonsi was a massive help; someone to look up to who looks like you”The importance of role models is a common theme. It goes back to the idea that ‘you have to see it to be it’. That is why there has been a huge push to put women’s sport on television. The same applies to ethnic diversity. Ugo Monye grew up idolising Ian Wright, a black footballer who played for his local club, Arsenal. Maro Itoje has spoken of looking up to Monye and Topsy Ojo when he was coming through the rugby ranks. They played different positions to him but they were two of the few black professional players at that time. Seeing yourself represented and reflected in elite sport can be inspirational.Monye says: “Ian Wright looked like me, had a similar upbringing to me. You look at television and build an affinity with people you relate to.”More than a third of England’s 2019 World Cup squad come from BAME backgrounds and that diversity could be hugely significant for the sport. London Irish wing Ben Loader says: “Seeing so many different faces in that England team is pretty powerful. Young kids, wherever they’re from, can see a face in that team and think, ‘That could be me’.“Seeing an England team with so many different backgrounds and races is really inspiring and shows what’s possible if you have ambition and drive.”GRASS ROOTSThe ‘see it’ element looks to be improving, in England at least, but what of ‘be it’? How easy is it for those kids inspired by watching Itoje or Kyle Sinckler or Anthony Watson to get into rugby? Is the sport accessible?Premiership Rugby’s Project Rugby aims to increase participation by those from BAME communities as well as those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people. It introduces young people to the sport, with every Premiership club running programmes in their area. Andy Keast, the London Irish Foundation chief executive, talks about the initiative “breaking down a lot of barriers”.“Seeing so many different faces in the England team is powerful”Alema has participated in Project Rugby events, too, saying: “I did a speech to kids at Allianz Park. I’d been watching them play tag but they didn’t realise I was a rugby player, so it was a bit of a shock when I did the speech. A few Muslim girls from one school were intrigued and happy to see someone BAME up there talking to inspire them.“Seeing is believing. If it’s a white, middle-class guy coming into the school, they might not listen because it’s hard to see the connection. If I’d seen someone like me, a black woman playing rugby, coming into school when I was 17 I’d think, ‘I can do that’.”Monye believes schools are the key to increasing rugby’s diversity, particularly in cities. He’s hoping to work with the RFU on a scheme to introduce the game as an after-school activity and says: “It can be hard to get involved in the game at inner-city schools and I think there’s more to be done to expose groups at a young age, to say rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes and everyone is welcome.“Not everyone will be the next Owen Farrell or Maro Itoje but I believe, without sounding self-righteous, that the values you learn in rugby are transferable to life – communication, confidence, discipline, hard work, enjoyment.“I’d love to get more people at a younger age playing in inner cities, where there is the most diversity of faces and backgrounds. It starts in schools, then through the kids families get involved and then through families they take their kids’ friends to the local rugby club too. Everyone buys in.” This article originally appeared in the June 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. TAGS: long-read Sinckler, who started out at Battersea Ironsides, is also launching a foundation, R3cusants, and says: “My biggest thing is when you hear city kids haven’t had the opportunities to succeed in sport. I want to use the platform I have now to give people who haven’t had a fair crack at it an opportunity.”That might be as simple as providing someone with an Oyster card to get to training. For while there are initiatives to introduce children to rugby, the crucial part is retaining those who engage with the sport – pointing them towards their local clubs and ensuring they can get there, getting parents and families on board, making sure they have access to boots and kit.Wing man: Ben Loader scores for London Irish against Wasps (Getty Images)Loader grew up close to Reading Abbey RFC and his parents were happy to take him and brother Danny, now a striker at Reading FC, to participate in various sporting activities. He says: “A lot of it is to do with access to facilities. I was lucky but a lot of people don’t have the same access and rugby isn’t one of those sports you can play on your own to pick up. It’s not easy to do tackling practice on your own whereas football is a game everyone is aware of and it’s easy to go and kick a ball about.“Projects like Project Rugby get people involved, take rugby to people, to kids who haven’t been exposed to it before, and then they can decide whether they like it or not.”COACHINGCollin Osborne, for a long time the only black coach to have worked in the Premiership, brought through the likes of Monye and Sinckler, amongst many others, at Harlequins. While he admits to being something of a cynic when it comes to diversity programmes, suggesting they can be box-ticking exercises with little legacy built before moving on to the next one, he does think 4G pitches and improved junior set-ups at community clubs mean rugby is more accessible.On the ball: Collin Osborne coached at Harlequins for many years (Getty Images)He also believes the lack of diversity in coaching set-ups should not yet be a big concern. He certainly doesn’t think rugby needs to introduce something similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, where American Football teams are required to interview BAME candidates when coaching roles become available.“In rugby union, to get into coaching at a senior level, you need to have played at a reasonable level to have credibility,” says Osborne. “When you look at the sport’s age profile, it went professional in 1995 so it’s 25 years. The generation who have got a playing background at a professional level, the crop who grew up knowing rugby as a professional option, are only just graduating to coaching and they need to gain experience before becoming head coaches or directors of rugby when they’re a bit older.“I expect it’ll happen to someone like Topsy Ojo. Kyle Sinckler will be an excellent coach when he hangs up his boots and has done a lot of coaching at Guildford already. Rugby has always been a profession for them and there’s a natural progression to coaching. At the moment I don’t think we’ve reached the critical mass of (BAME) people who have come through the game, out of the game and into coaching. It’ll take time but I’m pretty confident it will happen.“When guys like Anthony Watson and Maro Itoje finish playing, I’d like to think there will be opportunities for them in coaching if that’s what they want to do.”REPRESENTATIONAre BAME communities under-represented in rugby? It’s the crucial question and one that is so hard to answer. Traditionally the answer would be yes, but if you look at the current England squad it’s hugely diverse – more diverse than the country itself. The 2011 census showed that 14% of the population of England and Wales are ethnic minorities, while BAME players – 11 of 31 – represented 35% of the England World Cup squad last year.The other home nations don’t have as much diversity in their squads as England but the populations of those countries are also less diverse, with less than 8% from BAME backgrounds.Yet what is so difficult to know is the breakdown of ethnicities playing at grass-roots level. It’s not a statistic the RFU collates and it is hard to source meaningful data. Around 200,000 people from across the country take part in Sport England’s Active Lives survey and figures from that suggest no black participants from that group took part in rugby union even once between November 2017 and November 2018. However, the number of black pros seems to undermine that data.‘Maggie the Machine’: Alphonsi on the attack for England (Getty Images)“Are BAME people under-represented in rugby? It’s not a straightforward question,” says Osborne. “You want representation to reflect the country. There’s no way to get any real hard numbers. In some ways it’s a good thing – if we’ve come as far as we think we have, it shouldn’t be a question any more. If, say, 10% of the population are BAME I’d like to see a similar-level figure in rugby or any walk of life.”While there is growing diversity in rugby, which is reflective of society with ethnic minorities in the UK increasing between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, there still appear to be very few Asians playing the game, particularly at the top level. Marcus Smith, who was born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother and English father, is probably the most high profile, but that lack of visibility could limit growth amongst the largest of the ethnic minorities in the UK and Ireland.Tajiv ‘Tosh’ Masson is thought to be the only Sikh to have played professional rugby, for Quins in the late 2000s, and believes the sport is missing out on an opportunity to broaden its audience.“Growing up I looked for professional British Asian sportsmen to look up to. Harpal Singh played football for Leeds – he didn’t even make a first-team appearance but was someone I could look up to because I could relate to him. Role models let you see that it’s possible.Centre point: Tajiv ‘Tosh’ Masson during his Harlequins days (Getty Images)“I don’t know whether the RFU and the clubs are actively doing things to encourage British Asians to play rugby or whether they think it’s an issue, but they’re missing out on bigger diversity in terms of players and audience. A lot of British Asians would watch rugby if British Asians were playing. If a club like Quins in West London marketed and pushed an Asian player, they could get another 2,000 fans.”Masson was so determined to make it as a pro that he persuaded Quins to let him join the academy and not get paid. Six months later he had a contract and was playing in the first team.“It’s about raising awareness. Someone reading this could be the next pioneer, could take the baton on”He used to think that the reason there were so few Asian players was down to parents not valuing professional sport as a career, but his experiences since have changed that view. He may not have been a “household name” in his rugby-playing days but he is now regularly contacted by the parents of Asian players asking for advice on how their child can progress towards a pro career. He points to an initiative by Chelsea FC, who run a football tournament called Asian Star for Asian children, and suggests that rugby could do something similar.“I used to shy away from the fact I was Asian – I didn’t want it to be a thing and wanted to concentrate on rugby,” he says. “The next generation of Asians can inspire other players. We’ve identified this gap and someone reading this could be the next pioneer, could take the baton on. It’s about raising awareness.”It may be hard to get definitive figures on BAME participation in rugby but it is easy to see how much the people we’ve spoken to from those communities – just like any other – derive enjoyment from the sport and would like to see more people taking part. Alema talks of the friendships formed and values learnt, but it’s this message that provides an apt way to end: “The beauty of rugby is you don’t have to change who you are.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
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Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Tags Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Director of Music Morristown, NJ In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Submit a Press Release Rector Washington, DC The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Martinsville, VA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Bath, NC Rector Collierville, TN Featured Events Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Episcopal Relief & Development, Rector Tampa, FL Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Press Release Service Health & Healthcare Curate Diocese of Nebraska Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Shreveport, LA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Pittsburgh, PA By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted May 23, 2012 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Episcopalians, Methodists unite against malaria Submit a Job Listing Rector Smithfield, NC May 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm This is so great! Cost effective, saving many young lives, and church and corporate partners on something so basic, and proven to work. Kudos to all on this! NetsforLife® volunteers use theater as one way to teach about the importance of using an insecticide-treated net to avoid contracting malaria. Here one such play is part of a community gathering, known as a durbar, in Apodabogo in the northern Ghana Anglican Diocese of Tamale. ENS Photo/Mary Frances Schjonberg[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Relief & Development‘s NetsforLife® program partnership and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) announced May 23 that they have formed a partnership to prevent and control malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.The new effort will be able to reach Africans in 21 countries where malaria is endemic, the two groups said in a joint press release.“The goal of this partnership is to decrease sickness and death due to malaria, build local organizations’ capacity to mobilize their communities against this disease, and strengthen connections across faith denominations, sectors and countries in order to share knowledge and develop best practices,” Episcopal Relief & Development President Rob Radtke said in the release.“The strength of our NetsforLife® program and UMCOR is that we both work with churches and other grassroots institutions to fill gaps in health service coverage – mostly in rural areas – and develop solutions that fit the context and challenges of each locality.”NetsforLife® fosters a “net culture” in communities by combining distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets with community organizing and education about malaria prevention, proper net use and maintenance. Much of the work, including ongoing monitoring and evaluation of net use, is done by trained local volunteers.Since 2006 when Episcopal Relief & Development began to manage NetsforLife®, the program has expanded from eight to 17 countries. It has distributed more than 8.5 million nets, trained nearly 74,000 volunteer malaria control agents and reached more than 25 million Africans, according to statistics here. Between 2006 and the end of 2011, the nets have saved the lives of more than 100,000 children under the age of five and reduced the overall malaria-related death rate by 45 percent in communities where NetsforLife® is active, the program said here in April.The Episcopal-Methodist partnership began informally in 2010 and has been particularly effective in areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone, according to the release.Shannon Trilli, director of UMCOR’s Global Health Initiative, said, “There is still much to be done in our malaria prevention work, especially at the community and village level. By joining UMCOR’s resources and expertise in developing health-care infrastructure and communications to the NetsforLife® programming, monitoring and evaluation approach, we can strengthen and deepen our impact.”In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the relationship led to the successful mobilization of communities through a public launch event hosted by South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The event was followed by a door-to-door distribution of 30,000 nets and the founding of CORESA, a groundbreaking faith-based coalition to promote health, the release said.NetsforLife® and UMCOR aligned their work with the National Integrated Maternal and Child Health Campaign in Sierra Leone, where approximately 400,000 nets were distributed and more than 3,800 volunteers were trained. Aimed at achieving universal coverage of the population at risk of contracting malaria, the project was the largest health effort in the country’s history, according to the release.The two organizations will now work together and in partnership with others in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as continuing the work in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.The Episcopal effort is funded in part by the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund which aims to educate, engage and unite Episcopalians to support the Millennium Development Goals and fight against malaria. It also hopes to raise $5 million by December to help NetsforLife® continue its work.The fund has its roots in the 75th meeting of General Convention in 2006 when the Episcopal Church endorsed what became known as the Millennium Development Goals Inspiration Fund. It raised more than $3.2 million in three years. In 2009, the church renewed that support by endorsing the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund and contributing 0.7% its triennial budget as seed money (about $800,000) for the effort.The NetsforLife® program’s current partners include the ExxonMobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, Starr International Foundation and the J.C. Flowers Foundation.The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria project hopes to eliminate death and suffering caused by malaria in Africa by 2015. The UMC is a founding partner of the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, which works through Imagine No Malaria and focuses on improving health infrastructure and empowering communities for a sustainable victory over the disease, according to the release.Malaria used to kill nearly one million people each year — most of them children younger than five years. Now the World Health Organization estimates 655,000 died last year, a reduction credited to anti-malaria campaigns. Sleeping under insecticide-treated nets is a simple yet highly effective way to reduce the incidence of malaria. However, it is not easy to convince people to sleep under nets.NetsforLife® teaches people about malaria and why sleeping under long-lasting insecticide-treated nets is crucial to avoid contracting malaria. It encourages recipients to keep using the nets, in part by helping them understand that the decrease in the number of times family members get sick from malaria is related to the fact that they are sleeping under nets.Radtke told the church’s Executive Council in 2011 that “NetsforLife® has changed the way the entire global health community is thinking about how to eradicate malaria.”The change is happening because the agency’s statistics show that its efforts have resulted in greater and more sustained net use. The global health community considers sustained use of nets to be “the holy grail” of malaria prevention, he said.Episcopal News Service coverage of NetsforLife® work in Ghana is here, with an accompanying video report here.— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.In Spanish: http://bit.ly/KacjVJ This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 John McCann says: Rector Albany, NY Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC
Rector Albany, NY Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Tags Advocacy Peace & Justice, An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Submit an Event Listing Submit a Job Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ecumenical & Interreligious Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Tampa, FL Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Press Release Service Rector Bath, NC Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Collierville, TN Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Featured Jobs & Calls An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Posted Sep 17, 2012 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Asia, Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Knoxville, TN Curate Diocese of Nebraska Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Submit a Press Release [World Council of Churches] “The misuse of blasphemy law is contrary to the vision of Pakistan as a moderate and democratic country,” said Mohammad Tahseen, in a public hearing on the “Misuse of blasphemy law and religious minorities in Pakistan” organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.“The religious voices, as part of the civil society must reject the concept of second class citizenship, asserting equality of all human beings in a democracy,” said Tahseen.Tahseen, founder and director of South Asia Partnership in Pakistan was addressing the public hearing on 17 September, on its first day. The meeting is organized by the WCC’s Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA).The blasphemy cases have often resulted in death penalties and mob-instigated violence, following the amendments to the blasphemy law made by then military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq in 1980s. The blasphemy law has often been criticized as vague and arbitrary.In his key note address, Tahseen pointed out the lack of democracy in Pakistan, the history of the country’s participation in the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s and developments following 9/11 as major factors behind the violence perpetrated in the name of Islam.“In Pakistan we are fighting against the blasphemy law and its abuse. However, it is also important that the international community supports the values of democracy and people’s struggles in Pakistan,” added Tahseen.Tahseen is one of the renowned activists who had been spearheading struggles for the rights of religious minorities, women and other vulnerable groups in Pakistan.Asiya Nasir, member of the National Assembly in Pakistan, also spoke at the session on “Misuse of blasphemy law and human rights violations in Pakistan”. “In the parliament we have been voicing concerns of the Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan,” said Nasir.“We must go back to the vision of our founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who stressed on the rights of all people, regardless of their religion,” she added. Nasir, who is from Baluchistan province, is the only Christian woman representing Jamiat ulema e Islam (Assembly of Islamic Clergy) in the Pakistani parliament.Bishop Samuel Azariah, moderator of the Church of Pakistan, and Dr K. B. Rokaya, president of the Christian Conference of Asia, shared greetings with the participants. Among the other speakers were Moulana Muhammad Hanif Jallandhari, federal secretary of Wafaqul Madares (Association of Islamic Institutions); Rev. Fr Emmanuel Yousaf of the Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan; and Haroon of the All Hindu Minority Alliance of Pakistan.In an opening message, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed “solidarity” with Christians and other vulnerable groups in Pakistan, who have been victimized by the blasphemy law.“Reports from Pakistan reveal the fact that repression, intolerance, and fear have become the order of the day in many parts of the country. The minority communities in Pakistan continue to suffer because of the misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan, which is used to target different minority communities,” said Tveit.“As we continue to follow with concern the use of blasphemy law against members of religious minorities in Pakistan, it is high time that the international community should address this issue with urgency,” he added.The meeting continues the WCC’s efforts to support religious minorities in Pakistan victimized in the name of its controversial blasphemy law. The public hearing will continue until 19 September and will include a side event at the United Nations office in Geneva.Read also: Church of Pakistan moderator urges government to curb “misuse of blasphemy law” (WCC feature article of 17 September 2012)WCC Central Committee statement on misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan, September 2009WCC Commission of the Churches on International AffairsWCC member churches in Pakistan WCC public hearing debates ‘misuse of blasphemy laws’ in Pakistan Rector Martinsville, VA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Featured Events Rector Washington, DC
Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Posted Jun 25, 2013 Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Shreveport, LA Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET From left, the Rev. Shirley Porter, the Rev. Arlette Benoit, Bishop Rob Wright, Bishop Keith Whitmore, the Rev. Jody Greenwood and the Rev. Robert Fowler.[Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta] Bishop Rob Wright ordained four new Episcopal priests – three women and one man – during a liturgy June 22 at the Cathedral of St. Philip. All have been called to ministries within the Diocese of Atlanta.The new priests are:The Rev. Arlette D. Benoit, who has been called as assistant for children and youth ministry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta. She is a graduate of General Theological Seminary, New York City.The Rev. Robert F. Fowler III, who has been called as curate at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Carrollton. He is a graduate of the School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn.The Rev. Jody L. Greenwood, who will become curate at Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross. She is a graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta.The Rev. Shirley M. Porter, who has been appointed priest in charge at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Macon. She is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Belleville, IL Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Rector Albany, NY Rector Martinsville, VA Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Curate Diocese of Nebraska In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY People TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Washington, DC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Events Submit a Job Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Bath, NC Tags Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Tampa, FL Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Associate Rector Columbus, GA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Knoxville, TN Submit an Event Listing Press Release Service Rector Hopkinsville, KY Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Submit a Press Release Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Collierville, TN Four new Episcopal priests ordained in Atlanta Director of Music Morristown, NJ Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET