Visualise what it’s like to hear the crowd and your team-mates celebrating victoryIf you visualise what it feels like to win, it becomes a reality to you and your mind shifts its perception of what is possible and enhances your performance. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Ronan O’Gara drops the winning goalHow to program your mind for mental fitness to make your dreams come trueA LEADING brain training coach has explained how the power of the mind inspired hero Ronan O’Gara to kick Ireland to Grand Slam success for the first time since 1948.The man who scored the winning drop-goal in March’s Six Nations decider with Wales used the same brain training methods that inspired Team GB at last year’s Olympics. And Sonia Saxton, one of Europe’s leading experts in the techniques, has revealed how imagery and the power of visualisation can help players at all levels to improve their game.Britain secured a record medal haul in Beijing after competitors learned how to imagine what winning was like. O’Gara used the same techniques to visualise a successful kick in the vital seconds leading up to his late drop-goal in Cardiff.The technique – a form of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) – has been successfully used to inspire success in America and Russia for decades. Saxton is an international NLP expert and trainer, whose business, Saxton Partners, runs NLP courses that inspire people to achieve in sport and business, and to communicate better as a team.“The Irish rugby team have always had ability, but they didn’t truly believe they could win,” she says. “The Grand Slam is proof that Ronan and the rest of the squad now have that belief.“If you don’t know how to train this way, you don’t know how to achieve.” O’Gara (pictured, watching the ball fly between the posts) vividly recalls the build-up to the drop-goal which clinched the 17-15 win. “I was roaring for the ball for 30, 40, 50 seconds,” he says. “I was very confident.“I had my imagery done. I’d visualised the kick going over and had my point picked out. I took the ball about 15 yards from Peter Stringer and the Welsh got a running start, so I had to concentrate on getting the ball up rather than driving through like a normal drop-kick. It flew ugly, but it flew straight and I was delighted to see it go over.”Key Points:Create a mental picture of yourself crossing the try-line or landing the winning kick
Tour Tale – A wild night out for Adam Jones before the 2003 World CupFor the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS A full list of contents for Rugby World’s December 2015 edition TAGS: Highlight The 2015 World Cup may be over, New Zealand lifting the Webb Ellis trophy, but the new issue of Rugby World delivers the definitive review of the tournament. We cover every match, provide expert analysis of the world champions, meet the headline makers of RWC 2015 and look at what’s next for the home nations. It’s packed with facts, stats and photos – everything you need to reflect in detail on the best World Cup ever.Here’s a full list of contents – find out where to buy your copy here or get our free magazine finder app here. Plus, you can download the digital edition here.WORLD CUP 2015 REVIEWHow was it for you? – From World Cup winner Ma’a Nonu to Canada full-back Matt Evans and from fans to team hosts, we find out what the World Cup was like for themMatch-by-match rundown – Every player, point and card, facts and stats, analysis and fabulous photographs from all 48 matches at RWC 2015How the World Cup was won – Former England fly-half Stuart Barnes analyses the world champions New ZealandPlenty to ponder: England failed to reach the knockout stages. Photo: Getty ImagesHome nations report card – The verdict on the campaigns of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and what needs to change for the Six NationsStephen Jones – After the Sam Burgess furore, does union need to change it’s approach to league converts? Our columnist thinks soHEADLINE MAKERSNehe Milner-Skudder – How the New Zealand wing’s footwork has wowedMario Ledesma – The Argentinian has revolutionised Australia’s scrumAnthony Watson – Why the winger was a bright spot in England’s World CupJohn Hardie – The Kiwi flanker who justified his selection for ScotlandIain Henderson – The Ulsterman can fill the Ireland vacancy left by Paul O’ConnellAgustin Ormaechea – RWC 2015 was bittersweet for the Uruguay scrum-halfGetting his kicks: Ayumu Goromaru was one of the stars of RWC 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesAyumu Goromaru – The Japan full-back talks physical challenges, fishing and the futureGareth Davies – The Wales No 9 who’s taken his try-scoring exploits onto the world stageLood de Jager – How the giant lock has been bossing it for the BoksVasil Lobzhanidze – The Georgian teenager who made history at RWC 2015 COLUMNISTSAgustin Pichot – The former Argentina captain on the Pumas and Tier Two progressFlying show: Juan Imhoff dives over for an Argentina try during RWC 2015. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Secret Player – What makes a great coach? Our former pro gives an insightJonathan Kaplan – The former Test ref reviews the officiating at RWC 2015ADVICENutrition – How to get your intake of carbohydrate rightPro Insight – Fiji’s Leone Nakarawa gives his top tips to be a ball-playing lockOn the ball: Leone Nakarawa in action against England. Photo: Getty ImagesFitness – Exercises to help you carry like Ireland’s Sean O’BrienPro Playbook – A try-scoring lineout move from ex-England lock Nick KennedyMini Rugby – Play passing relays and learn how to jump at a lineoutREGULARSClub Focus – Grass-roots club news from around the country, and we name our first Team of the Month for 2015-16Women’s Rugby – Why England’s Vicky Fleetwood is breaking the mould for front-rowersSevens – World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Werner Kok talks about South Africa’s goals this seasonEssentials – Reviews of the latest rugby books and new products on the marketUncovered – The life and times of retiring Namibia prop Johnny Redelinghuys
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS At last! Man of the Match Stuart Hogg jumps for joy after Scotland finally ended their French hoodoo Scotland ended two of international rugby’s most unenviable streaks: this victory was their first home win in the Six Nations in eight attempts, and their first defeat of France since beating them a decade ago – 11 meetings ago. Vern Cotter’s men climb to third on the back of back-to-back wins, while the French slip to fourth.England have won the title with a week to spare – their first since 2011 and the first time a team has bagged the Six Nations swag before the final day. But Paris next weekend will be no cakewalk against a French team who continue to play with great ambition.WHAT’S HOT…Stuart Hogg – The Glasgow full-back is surely the best 15 in the tournament. He took his 33rd-minute try wonderfully, using nifty footwork, and his turnover hit led to the penalty from which Duncan Taylor scored soon after.Then Hogg slotted a goal from his own half to take Scotland three scores clear on 47 minutes, and his magical tip-on gave Tim Visser the room to score Scotland’s third try with 14 minutes remaining. Throw in his booming line kicking and it was a mightily impressive showing from the Man of the Match.Diving school: Tim Visser scores in the 66th minute from Hogg’s terrific tip-on (Pic: Getty Images)Other shout-outs go to WP Nel for his anchor role at the scrum, the ever-excellent John Hardie and the probing Peter Horne, who was summoned from the bench with indecent haste after the concussion suffered by Finn Russell.For France, captain Giulhem Guirado was again to the fore and in scoring he became the first France hooker to bag two tries in a championship. Maxime Machenaud, unfairly neglected under the previous regime, gave the match a great tempo with his tap-and-goes. It was infectious because Taylor’s score came from a tap penalty on his own 10m line!Ambition – France set their stall out from the off, with Virimi Vakatawa and Wesley Fofana offloading on the right flank to give Guirado his try in the fourth minute.First blood: Hooker Guilhem Guirado breaks clear of Josh Strauss to score in the early moments (Pic: Getty)Whatever you may say about Guy Noves, he’s demanding a high-risk attacking game, with offloads in all areas, that is exciting to watch. Had they not lost their best ball-carrier Louis Picamoles to injury this year, the French might still have been fighting for the title.Referee empathy – it took courage to ignore the TMO’s highlighting of a slight tug by Greig Laidlaw on Wenceslas Lauret in the build-up to Taylor’s try. But Glen Jackson was spot on. It was innocuous and had no bearing on the play. Play on!WHAT’S NOT…Scrum tedium – We wouldn’t want to suggest this match was in any way exceptional, because boring drawn-out scrums are now part and parcel of a lot of elite-level matches in the northern hemisphere. But the point must be made again and again – too much time is being frittered away by slow scrum engagements and repeated resets.Jackson was quite passive in his officiating of this area, which didn’t help matters. We counted eight penalties or free-kicks from scrums and something has to change. Justin Marshall and Thomas Castaignede are two ex-pros who advocate reducing the potential for a three-point sanction – is that the answer?French handling – If we are to praise the French for their adventure, we need also to admonish them for their execution. There were simply too many handling errors, some induced by poor delivery from the passer. Why can’t the country that gave us Blanco and Sella and Castaignede move the ball efficiently from one side of the pitch to the other?Gael force: Centre Gael Fickou’s third Test try kept France in touch heading into half-time (Pic: Getty)However, you sense that, on a day when France play with that joie de vivre and the passes stick, someone somewhere is going to be in for a hiding. England need to be on their guard next weekend in a stadium where their last three Six Nations matches have been decided by just two points.STATISTICS TAGS: Highlight What’s hot and what’s not from Scotland’s Six Nations clash with France at Murrayfield For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.Tartan titans: Hogg and Laidlaw show what it means to sample Six Nations success on their own turf 10 – The number of tackles made by John Hardie and Yoann Maestri, joint top in the match1 – France only had one scrum put-in! They won it for a 100% return59% – Scotland’s possession dominance, to go with 57% territory14 – Number of offloads by France. They do like to give it a go12 – Number of carries made by Maxime Machenaud – beating Josh Strauss for top place498 – Test points scored by Greig Laidlaw, who kicked 11 today on his 50th appearance. He will be the third Scot to pass 500 points with his next successful kickScotland: S Hogg; T Seymour, D Taylor, A Dunbar, T Visser; F Russell (P Horne 5), G Laidlaw (capt); A Dickinson, R Ford (S McInally 67), WP Nel (M Low 72), R Gray (T Swinson 77), J Gray, J Barclay, J Hardie, J Strauss (R Wilson 61).Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Sean LamontTries: Hogg, Taylor, Visser. Con: Laidlaw. Pens: Laidlaw 3, Hogg.France: S Spedding; V Vakatawa, G Fickou, M Mermoz (M Medard 68), W Fofana; F Trinh-Duc (J Plisson 68), M Machenaud (S Bezy 74); J Poirot (V Pelo 61-64), G Guirado (capt, C Chat 69), R Slimani (U Atonio 61), Y Maestri, A Flanquart (S Vahaamahina 51), W Lauret, Y Camara (L Goujon 64), D Chouly.Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 Jules Plisson, Maxime Médard.Tries: Guirado, Fickou. Con: Machenaud. Pens: Machenaud 2.Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)Man of the Match: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS But before all of that you must appreciate exactly what the win meant for all involved with Scotland sevens. It is another season in which they have stepped back from the brink, past several obstacles – only this time they have brought a trophy with them.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. With less than 20 seconds to go it seemed all too impossible: Scotland had to snaffle the kick-off, hold on to it without drawing the ire of the referee, break down a Blitzbokke side who had impressed all season long, and cross the line again, all to win their first ever HSBC Sevens World Series title, in London. It looked bloody hard, but then this is a side who know a thing or two about toughing it out.This time last year Scotland sevens were facing extinction. Players were strung along with promises of meetings and negotiations as wrangling continued over what guise, if any, the team would come in the next season. Behind closed doors many of the athletes felt under-valued by their own union, with only one member of the playing squad contracted beyond that off-season. They suspected the programme they had toiled to keep afloat was being forced under.With that going on off the field, Scotland finished the series in seventh place, their highest ever finish.This posed a problem. As the clamour increased, as more and more within the game called for a stay of execution and board members were switched on to the ‘situation’ with the sevens programme, money had to be factored into provisional budgets for the next year. A compromise of sorts had to be decided upon, with a small core of seven full-time, experienced sevens specialists contracted for another single year, with the group supplemented by youngsters and players on the fringes of the two pro 15s sides. They lost some support staff and vastly experienced athletes like Colin Gregor – third on the list of all-time point-scorers on the HSBC Sevens World Series and a man synonymous with the game north of the border – had to step away from the programme, all too sadly.From that point, the group could not come together as a single sevens squad until November. Being generous, one saving grace was that some of the senior sevens players have strong coaching backgrounds. At least they knew how best to look after themselves… Try time: Jamie Farndale dives over for one of five Scotland sevens tries in the finalA legitimate piece of good news is that those same core sevens players have been offered another one-year contract, although negotioations are ongoing. Much like last season, the players were promised they would know their fate early – in this case they were told they would know by April – but again there were delays and offers were not formalized until the second week of May, during a time when athletes would be anxiously considering other avenues.However, the last thing these professionals would want is a line of “boo-hoo, don’t we have it rough?” In a season of unpredictability on the series – before London, five different sides had won titles, including Kenya winning a first one in Singapore – every tournament could be different. It has been a series where teams have chopped and changed, trying to bring athletes from other disciplines up to speed, which is a task that has proved much harder than many assumed. While the party line in Scotland during all of this is that sevens is for developing 15s in Scotland, they have not had too many complete shake-ups and the squad have believed with every passing game that they are a competitive force. Indeed, next season a few players who were not slated to be part of the core of full-time sevens players, in contractual terms, should be offered the chance to be on sevens and sevens only next season. The SRU could do worse than extend offers to Nick McLennan and Dougie Fife – although the former may well have offers elsewhere.The reason for that become brightly evident as the clock stopped in London. Having just scored against South Africa, Fife found himself with the ball again. A big angry zero sat at the top left hand of viewers screens, with the next stoppage halting the final. Catching a pass from left to right, Fife turned one way, then the other, made a crescent run for the gap and plunged for the line to wrestle a 27-26 win off the Boks. Disbelief, relief and elation all jostled for a place on his face. He and they had done what looked impossible only seconds before.Now all the hopping and hollering is over, talk will drift past Scotland’s first ever series title, and we may even forget about that score from a driving maul… Everyone will now focus on Team GB. Five of the extended squad for Rio are Scots. Realistically these players have until the Exeter leg of the European Grand Prix sevens events, over 9 and 10 July, to snatch a place in the 12 for the Olympics. Another big challenge. Pure elation: Scotland claim their first ever HSBC World Sevens Series title (Getty Images)
THE RULESTHEN WE get into the juicier stuff, where panels, governing bodies, rules and testers get involved. As with the Racing three.According to WADA’s rules, glucocorticoids – like our mate cortisone – are prohibited in-competition, whether they are taken orally, through an intra-muscular injection, rectally or via intravenous drip. However, if a player needs an intra-muscular injection in-competition they can apply for a TUE to the relevant authority – here national-level players go to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD); international-level players will apply to World Rugby.The decision to grant a TUE comes down to a panel, with, say, three medical experts judging. Asked if this process could speed up at all, UKAD pointed to WADA’s rules: “The TUE Committee shall decide whether or not to grant the application as soon as possible, and usually (ie, unless exceptional circumstances apply) within no more than 21 days of receipt of a complete application.”World Rugby’s regulations give a time frame of up to 30 days. According to UKAD, a decision normally comes in quicker anyway, depending on the nature of the application and when the athlete next plays. The window to administer any injection shuts 12 hours before kick-off.When asked for further comment on painkiller use in rugby, a representative of World Rugby said they felt this was an ethical issue rather than one of doping, and as such was linked to individual risk management strategies. Giving direct advice is a union and club matter, they suggested, though they intoned that education is key and they strongly supported WADA’s stances.Illustration by Jamie LatchfordAn official spokesman stated: “World Rugby’s priority is player welfare and, as demonstrated by our published research (in October), the appropriate management of individual player load and recovery following injury is key to injury prevention.“Matches account for 70-75% of injuries and players are at greatest risk of injury when returning from injury or when injuries are unresolved. It is therefore appropriate that teams do not do anything that increases the chance of injury to high-risk players and this would be generally well adhered.”All unions approached to discuss the level of painkiller use within their systems agreed that players’ interests are at the heart of their plans. While in one instance it was suggested there was not enough data to comment on specifics, another made clear that when it came to prescription drugs the agreed manufacturer’s guidelines in place for dosage and those set out by WADA were adhered to. It was stated that players were made aware of what they were being given and why.An additional note came from the SRU’s Dr James Robson who finished: “The correct use of analgesics (pain relievers) has its use in the game, as they do in society more widely, but if we can resolve an injury through other means then we’ll also investigate that.”NOT ACCEPTING THE STATUS QUOIT IS heartening to hear governing bodies and unions say they want injury risk to be decreased and that players are treated as any patient should be. However, it could be difficult to keep track of it all. As Richard Ings, former CEO of Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, insists, the important question is: “Does this sport have a definable, responsible, measurable policy on monitoring painkiller use and injections?”Ings wonders why WADA went from once having prohibition for painkilling injections to now having some leeway. Banning a substance comes down to three things, he says: If they are performance enhancing; if they are potentially damaging to an athlete; if their use contravenes integrity in sport.“Sport at the elite level is very demanding. You are expected to play well, you handle more pressure, you may have to play to keep a contract, and commercial interests are significantly raised. This is how performance-enhancing drugs slip into sport. Painkillers are not banned by WADA, but what are the rules and regulations? What are the standards within the sport? To combat that you need a really good club environment and a governing body with clear protocols and a culture in place. What about a no-needle policy outside of club doctors? The Australian Football League has a strong no-needle policy in place and though it is hard to enforce, at least it appears an effort is being made.”Taking a toll: Andrew Coombs has had numerous surgeries post-rugbyThe human cost of keeping players playing can be easily dismissed in a game where, at the elite end, for every young man or woman dropping out there is a willing replacement. They might not be as good – which may lead to key players being called on more often – but if someone’s out they can be easy to ignore.Look at Andrew Coombs, once of the Dragons and Wales. He has had eight knee operations in the wake of a dislocated patella. The 32-year-old former forward will likely have two more operations. He has had extreme issues with his injuries but although he was on the region’s group medical insurance policy, he is no longer a Dragons employee and the club no longer have medical treatment insurance. Coombs is paying thousands of pounds more than he hoped to.There is more. For the past 14 months, after many operations, his body is worn down. He is ill incredibly often. Every little thing knocks him off his stride. He must deal with chronic pain and regularly discussing pain management strategies with consultants. This is the toll playing the game can have. You could argue that is the risk all players run, willingly. But what can we say about the lifestyle leading to up to this?“My locker was full of medication just to get through training,” Coombs reveals. “You become your own chemist in a way. I saw players go to the local GP away from the club. I certainly did. I suffered from a bad back and remember getting naproxen and diclofenac – you just want to stay in the job for as long as possible.”Illustration by Jamie LatchfordCoombs has memories of a coach screaming at him to “just f*** off!” when he pulled out of a captain’s run, in pain. He has seen physios, diligent medics with welfare at the heart of their thinking, being pressured to put players on the park.Coombs came to the pro game relatively late, at 25, so had no problem fighting his corner. But like Moody he wants young athletes who slide into the top of the sport early to know they can stand up for themselves. He regularly meets with other players spat out of the pro machine. It’s hard not to view these broken players as collateral.Ings believes there is only so much responsibility an athlete can take – that their education is third on a list behind professional and ethical medical support at source and appropriate protocols and cultures at the level of governance. But then Coombs and Burger both suggest there is one other area where education and outside monitoring is needed – when players are sent home from the hospital after major surgeries. Because sometimes these guys are the most at risk…ADDICTIONEBEN JOUBERT has enjoyed setting up a family life in The Hague. As an Afrikaaner with a German wife, the language barrier has not proved too strenuous to cope with and it’s great to settle after a pro rugby trip that took him from Pretoria to the fringes of the Blue Bulls and then on to Otago’s provincial side. But all of this pales in comparison to his personal journey.In 2010, in a Ranfurly Shield tie against Southland, a scrum collapsed and tighthead Kees Meeuws fell on the flanker, dislocating Joubert’s shoulder. Eventually he went for reconstruction, hoping it would begin his healing process. But months of torment followed.Going hard: Eben Joubert from his time with OtagoHe recalls: “After my operation the surgeon went to Europe for eight weeks. I didn’t get better. I was in the worst possible pain – I thought it’d never go. They thought it was just nerve damage so another doctor prescribed me with amitriptyline and gabapentin. But it didn’t help. After two weeks it was still no use.“In New Zealand they still prescribe methadone (for pain management) and I had been on morphine in hospital – they just upped my dosage. So I had been on methadone and had oxycodone. I had to do it, it was never a choice. I needed the high number of pills to maintain my sanity. When my surgeon came back and heard what I was taking, his face went white. After all of this he pretty much marched me to hospital to clear out some infections. I had six operations in three weeks. They took the screw out of my shoulder as it turned out that’s where the infection was. They had to get me off everything to do that and I said, ‘Aw great, no painkillers.’ When they stopped it my body went into serious withdrawal. By five o’clock that first day I couldn’t stop shaking.”The upshot of all of this? “I was addicted.”According to Joubert, with his surgeon away he got three different diagnoses from three different docs. The pain was so bad he barely slept. He struggled on, trying not to be soft, and took massive doses. If he was sat watching TV he’d pop a pill, think nothing more of it. He needed it.Back in South Africa for Christmas, he decided to kick the habit and aimed for a return to play. He managed to wean himself off the pills in a fight Rob Nichol of the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA) tells Rugby World deserves our strongest praise. Joubert is happy to share his story and is grateful for the “special” help he got from Nichol and Dave Gibson of the NZRPA and Dr Simon McMahon, his surgeon. He feels it’s important to shine a light on what is an enormous social issue – in 2016 the head of addiction charity DrugWise said of prescription painkiller abuse in the UK: “We are in the midst of a great public health disaster, which is killing hundreds of people a year and ruining the lives of millions.”When in serious pain, you can understand how some fall into abuse. But Joubert also touches on a social snare when he mentions “blueys” in passing.Opened up: Former NRL hero Matt Cooper has spoken about his issues with painkiller abuseTo understand what this means, Rugby World spoke to a man with Super Rugby and Champions Cup experience who wished to remain anonymous. He explains that taking sleeping pills – blueys – like diazepam on a night out engenders lightheadedness. Staying awake is the thrill. But it can become slippery.“In no way do I want this to sound like a good thing,” he warns. “It’s absolute naivety but it is an issue. Maybe only a few dudes per team try it once but there are men who go out and try something stronger. It’s not widespread and they never think they’ll get addicted, but I know a few players who are and who always try to source it.“My first experience came when I was injured and was given codeine. It was my first real experience of prescription drugs. It changed my perception. I didn’t take a lot but it made me feel funny.“I remember one time I got prescribed tramadol. At the time it made me feel like I had no worries in the world. It took me away from myself, changed my mindset. I remember being injured and in my spare time looking for a buzz. I ended up taking more. You see other guys who are injured – ‘Hey mate, if you’re not taking any…’ No, you can’t have more.“Your body adapts quickly. This creates an issue. It is irresponsible and genuinely naïve and it’s about people recognising this. You take this stuff and then you need to double the dosage to feel the same. That’s why prescription meds are addictive. You get a buzz from tramadol initially and then you have to take more. You’re bored and you try it again but it’s not the same… you need more. That’s the trap.”CONCLUSIONTHERE IS something in the tone of the last source that pleads for watchfulness. I wracked my brains. With Cudmore wanting a bigger bench, Ings on a no-needle policy, and a few asking for stronger monitoring of players returning from surgery, I considered whether I needed bazooka-style bullet points highlighting what I feel we can do about this. But in straining to pin a firm list down, the answer hit me hard: I don’t have to.From the off the point was to make one big statement: It’s time to seriously talk about this. “OUR DOC used to walk around with a frisbee full of painkillers before the game.” It’s the kind of sentence that stops you in your steps, but as it was said during small talk at the buffet of a corporate box at a sevens event, it was enough to make you inhale a sausage roll.The line was put out by an ex-Premiership stalwart, looking back with a wince. But it was a statement with queries tacked on, an invitation to answer doubts: Does this kind of thing still go on and if it does, is it really something worth worrying about as he did?A few former gladiators were asked: “Am I barking up the wrong tree?” There was some reticence, yet in asking around about painkiller use in rugby there were often new, unexplored lines of inquiry to be teased out like inky black strands of silk. In the process we discussed pressure to play, stomach aches resulting from frequent use, those popping pills like candy and even the social abuse of painkillers.We love the game, all fire and confrontation. But we had to ask about rugby’s relationship with pain…GOING THROUGH THE WRINGERIllustration by Jamie LatchfordON A FARM in Stampriet, some 300 miles south of the Namibian capital Windhoek, in the middle of a drought, Jacques Burger finds a spot with some signal so he can talk. Burger is one of those men who embody ‘physicality’ – that word that only really exists in rugby. Some players put their hide on the line, but to have seen Burger throw himself into the fray was to see Wile E Coyote coming back with tyre tracks across his chest. Seven knee operations, three shoulder ops and a full cheekbone reconstruction due to the excesses of contact he’d taken on; if anyone can talk about playing through pain it’s the retired flanker.“In my last three years, every day I took painkillers,” the Saracens icon says. “It was a way of life. It was mostly paracetamol and ibuprofen, but that can be hard for the stomach. Some guys take co-codamol but it made me sleepy. Celebrex is an anti-inflam (drug) that is easier on the stomach.“I took them every day, but not every day now. In the last year I cut down a bit because the danger is it can lose its effect. I knew I’d stop playing, adjust. I was lucky. At Saracens the club docs were very wise and looked after you. I’ll not name names but there are some places where they take everything out of you.”Burger aches to point out the professional, thorough manner his last club used with him. He is comfortable knowing that others receive the same fine treatment. But will is a powerful driver. Burger is aware there will be a legacy of him pummelling through rugby. He would change nothing. He loved it, even – especially – after long lay-offs, wondering if he’d play again. But it was hard getting him out on the grass.“I wanted to be ready, powerful or managing things. I’d do anything and it takes its toll. It’s a tough one. There is no miracle drug to make it all better, just stuff that picks you up. You use it at your own discretion. If someone said of ibuprofen: ‘Take this’, I’d use it because getting through the pain was important.”He issues a warning for youngsters never to take any pressure to play lying down. Make the most of your talents but accept nothing. As he says: “No one wants to see their childhood heroes at 50 as broken men.”He will never tell kids not to play – he feels rugby builds you as a person. Burger’s game was powered by a desire to squeeze every last drop of blood out of his talents. But he also feels education and protection are a fundamental necessity for players. He wants everyone from club docs, World Rugby bods and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) to spread the word, so players know more about what is acceptable to put yourself through and what you should take.A hard man: Jacques Burger had the respect of his fellow professionalsUnderstandably some do push through games for the glory at stake. That was hard to ignore as news broke via L’Equipe that Racing 92’s Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Juan Imhoff were under the scrutiny of French anti-doping authorities after testing positive for the use of banned corticosteroids in the build-up to last season’s Top 14 final against Toulon.Given Carter’s fame, the story generated global coverage. The agent representing the All Black great and Rokocoko slammed the leak, with his men reportedly “disgusted and sickened” by it all. The players were cleared by the French federation as they had the appropriate Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) in place – ie, clearance from anti-doping agencies and their experts to use the injections.Racing released a spiky statement that began: “The term corticosteroid has strong emotional connotations because it can correspond to immoral and illegal conduct. It also corresponds to legal conduct, justified by medical science.”They had the TUEs and everything was above board. But what of the culture where stars push through in order to shoot for silverware – this is simply human, right? When news of the Racing tests broke, I began chatting to David Flatman about his experiences. He had seen good people work around the clock to get players out on the field and he had good and bad experiences of painkilling and anti-inflammatory injections. He suffered an Achilles “blown to bits” because of a cortisone injection, but had others that were more effective. In his own words he would have taken a thousand injections if it meant more rugby. And anyway, most rugby players are just better at dealing with pain than your average Joe.“I would agree with that,” says one-cap Wallaby Beau Robinson of players’ durability. The former Queensland Reds flanker, now at Doncaster Knights in the English Championship, had gone through hurting himself for the sake of possible gongs.In 2012, after someone fell on him on a cold day in Auckland, he damaged his foot. For the rest of his season he played on it until it became a stress fracture. At the time the Aussie union had moved from having junior teams linked with franchises to centralised academies, so squads were smaller. But the Reds were reigning Super Rugby champions and backed themselves to go far again. In the end they were in the hunt for a home semi-final but fell to the Sharks before they got the chance. Was that season torturous?On the charge: Beau Robinson playing for Queensland Country“Well, a thing like that, with the foot, it’s going to be getting worse and worse with every step,” says Robinson. “I was missing training and wasn’t really training by the end. I had the option to get a scan during the June Test window but didn’t want to know how bad it was. It wouldn’t get better but I didn’t want to know the severity.”Much like Flatman, Robinson believes he had all the best advice and recommendations and leeway. The importance of informed consent comes in here – he is an adult and he knew what he was risking. He did it anyway. He toughed it out because he wanted to. Much like the great Richie McCaw did in 2011, winning a World Cup on a broken foot. Robinson made his own call. He clarifies.“It does come down to the individual and there are contact injuries you’ll not get in, say, football. But if you’ve got good medics they’ll take you through the options. They have your best interests at heart and are putting decisions in your hands, no pressure. Look, of course coaches can put pressure on the medical staff. At the Reds I always felt very comfortable. Had it been a different coach, a different team, who knows.”EXPLOITATIONThere is the rub. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be treated brilliantly all the time. Particularly not when jobs are on the line. Some can be pressured to play, some can hide things. But there are also some hard, hard men asking serious questions now.In France, Canadian bruiser Jamie Cudmore is pushing his Rugby Safety Network. He finds it horrifying that we can clap in delight as a player like James Horwill nearly gets his finger ripped off, then straps it up and insists on playing on. Or that, in some places he has heard of, clubs and wins are being put ahead of an individual’s welfare. He says he would not be able to count on his fingers how many times he and others have conspired to push him through to play by several means. “I wanted to play so they gave me the tools – strappings or injections. I’m a big boy and I took my decisions seriously. But I wanted to play and I’ll be a pretty decrepit old man.”Drawing defenders: Canadian lock Jamie Cudmore whilst with ClermontHe’d love to see World Rugby make the bench bigger and for each team to have a full-time doctor who knows their group intimately. He also wants issues like major injuries and concussion to be taken a bit more seriously in some places, with more outside medical help potentially coming in to assist.Then there is the issue of exploitation. Cudmore has “heard horror stories about the ProD2 and Fédérale 1 and 2”. There are rumours of referees’ reports on injuries, particularly concussions, being suppressed or rejected by club officials while some players are run into the ground.Dan Leo, the retired Samoa lock and now campaigner for Pacific Island players’ rights, worries about young islanders being taken advantage of in such a manner. “You have to be aware of the cultural side of it,” he tells Rugby World. “Sometimes a (Pacific Islander) will say yes when they don’t really mean yes. They can be susceptible to being pressured. Then they can come into a macho environment where signs of weakness are not appreciated. It’s a dangerous industry, but then there is also the non-sustainable economy of the islands – if remittances were to stop from Pacific Islanders living abroad, it could collapse. Guys who don’t want to risk that can play through injuries. There may be pressure from coaches or clubs but I reckon the pressure to provide for those at home is a much heavier burden!”LONDON, ENGLAND – Last posting: Dan Leo evades Bristol during his time with London IrishWith younger and younger players journeying around the world to earn a living, Leo wants to teach as many as possible to ask why; not just to accept unfavourable terms. He wants them to look after their bodies better, and he wants no to mean no. He mourns three Pacific Islanders who in the past three years felt their only way out from their desperate lifestyle was to take their own lives. And to a lesser extent, he has been frustrated by personal experiences where a club promised him time off that never materialised.Cudmore sums up his view succinctly: “Playing hurt is one thing. Playing injured has got to stop.”THE MEDICAL IMPACTLewis Moody cannot prove it, but he is certain the amount of painkillers and anti-inflammatories he took as a player contributed to him developing chronic inflammation of the colon: ulcerative colitis. It was something he kept to himself at first, but in time he had to change his whole life to factor in the pain and unpredictability of his using the toilet.He explains his hardship. “It wasn’t until 2005 that I got diagnosed with colitis. I had horrific stomach cramp. There was blood left there in the toilet.“I was taking drugs so I could play, like ibuprofen and diclofenac. It was like I was a walking medicine cabinet. I don’t think I’d change much about my life, but I would probably change my lax approach to this.Mad dog: Former England captain Lewis Moody has spoken out“I remember one story. We were on a bus. It was almost like a kind of challenge to see how many ‘smarties’ we could take. Around then I was 27 or 28, in 2008, and I would be s****ing myself, essentially. Losing blood, losing weight. I certainly didn’t understand that. I didn’t ask questions then.“I don’t think you’ll ever change the single-minded sportsman, but I think they could be better informed (about the risks of taking such pills). You want to play, no bother, but what about when you’re 40? Make guys aware now that they have a choice but they must also take advice. Not everyone will struggle but why take a risk?”Although Moody’s recollections may shock, he is not the only one who has had gut trouble. Burger took extra medication due to his painkiller use. Remember Celebrex was easier on his tummy than ibuprofen? The build-up of pills caused him some stomach ache.Another tough cookie, Paul O’Connell, mentioned this issue in his book The Battle. He wrote: “In that little battle with my own body, anti-inflammatories were my friend. After taking Difene, I felt like I could play for another five years.“Towards the end of my career, for a Saturday game I took Difene on Friday and Saturday. It was like a miracle drug, except it could disagree with my stomach. So I took Zoton, an indigestion tablet that dissolves on the tongue and lines the stomach. By kick-off the body felt – at least for a while – pretty much symptom-free. No aches, no pains, nothing.“I was always conscious that anti-inflammatories needed to be taken in moderation. I hated it whenever I had to take Difene to play. Rugby needs to exert vigilance over legal painkilling medication, because when people’s livelihoods are at stake it’s human nature that some will go too far and do themselves long-term harm chasing short-term goals.”A big figure: Paul O’Connell has written about the issuePainkillers are advertised on public transport. People pop ibuprofen as a quick fix. I certainly have. But Celebrex and ibuprofen are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). All NSAIDs are associated with gastro-intestinal toxicity, ulcers and bleeding – in some terrible cases, renal failure – though Celebrex has slightly fewer side-effects. Co-codamol is paracetamol and codeine combined… and here’s a fun fact: although it’s a weak opioid, 5-15% of codeine is metabolised to morphine after ingestion. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rugby World looks into the culture of painkiller use in rugby – from the lengths players may go to in order to stay on the field to potentially harmful social issues. This first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Rugby World magazine. TAGS: Investigation The ills of playing through pain and of any excessive painkiller use may not negatively affect the majority, but awareness that an issue does exist is key. Going back to my original source with this, he ended with one simple sentiment: “I hope it helps.”This first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Rugby World magazine. For the latest subscription offers, click here. And to download the digital edition, click here.
Guinness Pro14 final: Leinster 40-32 ScarletsLeinster completed their first European Cup and domestic league double with a 40-32 win over Scarlets in the Guinness Pro14 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.James Lowe’s try just before half-time gave Leinster the advantage over the defending champions and scores from Sean Cronin and Jordan Larmour in the third quarter put the game beyond Scarlets’ reach, even though they crossed for three tries of their own in the final 16 minutes.It means Leinster become the first team from outside of England and France to lift both the European Cup and their domestic league trophy in the same season.Is this the best Leinster team ever?“A year like no other” is how former Leinster and Ireland wing Shane Horgan described this season, and he could well have been talking about Irish rugby as a whole as well as Leinster in particular.Six Nations Grand Slam, European Champions Cup, Guinness Pro14 – there is no shortage of rugby silverware in Ireland this season and Joe Schmidt’s team will head to Australia in confident mood.So just how good is this Leinster team? They have won the European Cup before – in 2009, 2011 and 2012 – but have never backed that up with the league title. Rob Kearney admitted afterwards that in the past the team had struggled to get themselves right emotionally for the league final after a Euro triumph.There was no struggle this time and it’s clear the fact it was captain Isa Nacewa’s final game – he lasted only 18 minutes before being substituted because of injury – was a huge motivator for the squad.Leading man: Isa Nacewa is bowing out with two trophies for Leinster (Getty Images)Players wanted to pay tribute to the man who first played for the province a decade ago. Kearney describes him as an “even better person than a player” while Johnny Sexton says “he’s arguably our greatest ever player”.They gave Nacewa a fitting send-off and made him lift the trophy on his own (he prefers to share the honour!), but the exciting thing about this Leinster squad is how young so many of them are.There’s Jordan Larmour on the wing, Tadhg Furlong at tighthead and James Ryan, who has yet to lose a game for Leinster or Ireland, in the second row. As another youngster, flanker Dan Leavy, says, “the sky’s the limit” in terms of what this team can achieve.It may be too early to class them as better than the back-to-back European champion side of 2011-12, when Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Heaslip and Gordon D’Arcy wore the blue shirt, but if Leinster back these titles up next season they will have a strong case.And given the consistency of their performances and depth of their talent – they used more than 50 players in this league campaign – it is hard to bet against them lifting more silverware in 2019.A Johnny Sexton masterclass Double time: Leinster celebrate with Pro14 and Champions Cup trophies (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS TAGS: LeinsterScarlets Kicks, hits, flicks – Johnny Sexton produced it all yesterday and the fly-half was deservedly named Man of the Match.He is such a talisman for Leinster and Ireland, central to their success with his astute game management, high skill level and pure desire to achieve. He is the one who sets the standards for his teams.Against Scarlets, he continually peppered Steff Evans and Leigh Halfpenny with high balls, putting them under pressure and looking to find the space behind the defensive line. It was an effective strategy.Flicks and tricks: Johnny Sexton offloads during Leinster’s final win (Getty Images)He kicked superbly for the corners from penalties too, one such kick providing the position for Sean Cronin to score from a five-metre lineout, and was resolute in defence.His distribution game is top drawer and the flick pass to James Lowe as he ran a straight line five metres out to create a try for the wing was sublime.If Leinster are to win more silverware next season and Ireland are to challenge for the World Cup in 2019, they need Sexton to continue to produce quality performances like this.The talents of Johnny McNichollWhen he injured his shoulder back in February it looked like Johnny McNicholl’s season was over, but he returned to play a significant role in both the semi-final and final for Scarlets.His attacking nous came to the fore against Glasgow when he played at full-back and he was just as dangerous on the wing against Leinster, moving to accommodate the return of Leigh Halfpenny at 15.It will be scant consolation but to score a hat-trick in a final is a significant achievement and he provided the cutting edge the Scarlets needed.Fine finish: Johnny McNicholl scored a hat-trick for the Scarlets (Getty Images)His first try came from a simple pick-and-go for the line from less than a metre out after Gareth Davies was just short, but McNicholl was the one who had sparked that attack with his first touch of the ball.His second was an incredible finish in the corner when he dived for the line and touched the ball down despite the tackle of Garry Ringrose. The third came in the final minute when he linked with Scott Williams on the wing. Three talking points from the 2018 Guinness Pro14 final between Leinster and Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium It may have been too little too late in terms of the scoreboard but given the New Zealand-born wing’s talents it’s little surprise people are already considering the possibility of him representing Wales when he qualifies late next year.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Expand The All Blacks have named a 51-man squad… Take a look at which teams are playing… Take a look at Eddie Jones’ 36-man England… England Autumn Internationals Squad What are the line-ups? Expand LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS New Zealand Autumn Internationals Squad New Zealand Autumn Internationals Squad Replacements: Giorgi Kveseladze, Lasha Malaghuradze, Gela Aprasidze, Shalva Mamukashvili, Zurab Zhvania, Levan Chilachava, Shalva Sutiashvili, Beka BitsadzeDon’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news from the world of rugby. After a humbling by Ireland, Italy will look to bounce back against Georgia. England Autumn Internationals Squad Collapse Autumn International Fixtures 2018 Autumn Internationals Italy vs Georgia PreviewEngland may be playing New Zealand, South Africa may be playing France, and Wales may be playing Australia this weekend, but arguably the biggest Autumn International contest on November 10th will be between Italy and Georgia.This result could have long-term implications in the Six Nations largely because Italy collected another uninspiring wooden spoon in the 2018 tournament, and Georgia seem to be constantly knocking on the door asking for involvement. If Georgia win this weekend then those questions are going to get louder and more significant.Held in Florence, Italy have home advantage for the match and clearly they need every advantage they can get a week after getting destroyed 54-7 by Ireland.Georgia have also lost their last two Tests against Japan in which they failed to score any points, and Fiji which they lost 37-15. However they did manage to beat Tonga in June.In what is sure to be a colossal contest up front in the pack, both sides are renowned for being strong scrummagers and whoever wins this contest will allow the backs to work off a strong platform.Right now, Georgia are ranked 13th in the world, one place better than Italy at 14th so this is sure to be a close affair that could have big implications. Autumn International Fixtures 2018 ItalyLuca Sperandio, Tommaso Benvenuti, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Castello, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Allan, Tito Tebaldi, Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, Alessandro Zanni, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri, Jake Polledri, Abraham SteynReplacements: Luca Bigi, Cherif Traorè, Tiziano Pasquali, Marco Fuser, Johan Meyer, Guglielmo Palazzani, Carlo Canna, Luca MorisiGeorgiaSoso Matiashvili, Giorgio Koshadze, Merab Sharikadze, Tamaz Mtchedlidze, Zurab Dzneladze, Lasha Khmaladze, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Mikheil Nariashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Dudu Kubriashvili, Nodar Tcheishvili, Lasha Lomidze, Otar Giorgadze, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, Beka Gorgadze Bounce Back: Italy are coming off a loss to Ireland. They need a performance against Georgia (Getty Images)
From Tonga to Wales, find out about the back-rower’s rugby journey Taulupe Faletau warms up before a Wales match (NurPhoto/Getty Images) 5. He scored a try in the British & Irish Lions’ second-Test victory over New Zealand in 2017. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Who is Taulupe Faletau: Ten things you should know about the Wales No 8Taulupe Faletau has spent a decade excelling at the top of the world game for Wales and the British & Irish Lions.Not only is his work ethic a standout, but he has a softer skill-set in terms of his footwork and link play as a ball-carrier.Here are ten more facts about the Wales forward.Ten things you should know about Taulupe Faletau1. Taulupe Faletau was born on 12 November 1990 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.2. His dad, Kuli, played 20 Tests for Tonga. After RWC 1999, he and his family moved to Wales where he played for Ebbw Vale and Pontypool.3. The Faletaus are good friends with the Vunipola family. England forwards Billy and Mako Vunipola describe Taulupe Faletau as their ‘cousin’. 7. He started all of Wales’ games in the 2012, 2013 and 2021 Six Nations matches when they won a Grand Slam and two championships respectively.8. He was the third top tackler in the 2021 championship, his tally of 77 only beaten by Justin Tipuric and Charles Ollivon.Related: Taulupe Faletau on playing in the moment9. Faletau is in a long-term relationship with Charlotte Rhys Jones, who is the sister of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale’s wife Emma.10. The couple have two sons, Israel and Ezekiel. 4. He made his Wales debut against the Barbarians in June 2011, starting at No 8 in a 31-28 defeat. Since then, when fit, he has been a mainstay in the Wales back row.He scored his first Test try against South Africa at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and won his 50th Wales cap against Fiji four years later at RWC 2015. He started all three Tests of that tour at No 8, and he was also given the nod in that position over Jamie Heaslip for the decisive third Test of the 2013 tour to Australia.Warren Gatland also selected him for the Lions 2021 tour to South Africa.6. He made more than 100 appearances for Newport Gwent Dragons between 2009 and 2016, then he joined Gallagher Premiership club Bath.
Evangelism: Following Jesus Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET December 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm Great job Jason……………..when I read things like this I know God is still using young people in a profound way for His glory within TEC……gives me hope…….press on my brother…….:) Featured Events Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Belleville, IL Curate Diocese of Nebraska By Jason EvansPosted Dec 23, 2012 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Submit an Event Listing Featured Jobs & Calls Rector Tampa, FL Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Bath, NC Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Comments (1) Rector Albany, NY Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ [Episcopal Diocese of Washington] If you’ve followed this series of posts on evangelism you may have noticed that what I’m proposing is basic communication skills. It’s not all that radical. Our unease with the subject of evangelism simply skews what most of us can do quite well in other conversations. Listening well to others, attempting to understand their perspective and communicating in a coherent manner–these are practices we are accustomed to.There are other things you may have noticed about these posts. I work from the assumption that we are interested in relationships with others. Relationships take time. We are all put off by utilitarian efforts at relationships. We can’t expect anything less from others.At the beginning of this blog series I mentioned the cost-effectiveness, or lack thereof, of evangelism in the west. Part of this problem comes from counting the wrong things. What we need to value is often hard to measure. Nonetheless, conversations are something we ought to be counting. And we ought to share with each other, more frequently, of our opportunities to tell and listen to the stories of God at work in our lives. Boiling evangelism down to conversion experiences is short-sighted. We’re called to make disciples, not simply converts, and that takes a lifetime.Every time I travel for work, I cherish the last few moments I have with my family. Those last few words and touches before I get on a plane are precious. They are what I hang on to until we are reunited. Imagine what was like for Jesus before he left those friends he had spent his last three years with. They had laughed and cried together. They had experienced an incredible adventure together, spending almost every waking hour in each other’s company. Then, at the end of his post-resurrection time with these friends, he would ascend into heaven. He knew his last words with them would matter. And they would cement each word in their memories.What does he say to them? In the Gospel of Matthew, we call it the “great commission.” It is the passage in which Jesus tells his closest friends to go and make disciples. Many theologians have argued that a more appropriate interpretation of Jesus’ words would be, “In your going…” That is to say, as you go about your everyday business of life, make apprentices of Jesus. Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Submit a Job Listing 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 (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Hopkinsville, KY Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Collierville, TN Youth Minister Lorton, VA 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 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Rector Smithfield, NC Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Comments are closed. Rector Washington, DC Press Release Service Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC 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 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Knoxville, TN Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Rector Shreveport, LA Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Why would we invite people to be apprentices of Jesus? Because he embodies the good news of heaven. He became God with us. For some, the idea of Jesus as God feels like a stretch. It’s part of the reason why some resist the idea of evangelism. People have often debated whether Jesus intended to say he was God. I’d argue that you can set this worry aside. One thing that is clear in the Gospels is that Jesus said, “Follow me.” And he was called “Lord” by those who did, even though this was a title reserved for Caesar (the king).Few would debate that Jesus was clearly onto something. Even those that have not called themselves Christians, like Mahatma Gandhi, have acknowledged Jesus’ profundity and incredible example. Can you follow the way of Jesus? Can you consider him your leader? If you can, do that and let the rest take care of itself. As Billy Graham once said, “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.” The pressure’s off. I would not encourage you take on the practice of those that have smeared the term “evangelism.” Yet, they will continue to be those that define it for the rest of the world until we reclaim the practice for ourselves. You are invited to share your story of God’s goodness in your life. You are invited to listen to the stories of others and celebrate God’s goodness in their lives. You are invited to tell the story of your faith community where Jesus’ apprentices learn how to live in the world through an ancient–future lens. You are invited on a journey that will transform you as much as others. You are invited to follow Jesus. I hope you will join in.Jason Evans is the diocesan young adult missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Fr. Mike Neal says: Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR
Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Youth Minister Lorton, VA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA 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 (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Tags Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs [Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] Dominicans of Haitian descent, human trafficking and “derogatory” athletic team names were among the issues the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council addressed Feb. 7 during the closing sessions of its meeting here.The council declared its solidarity with Dominicans of Haitian descent, who they said “have been made essentially stateless” when the Dominican Republic’s constitutional court on Sept. 23, 2013, ruled that any children born of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic were ineligible for citizenship. The court also ordered Dominican authorities to audit birth records back to June 1929 to determine who no longer qualifies for citizenship, according to the New York Times.Saying that the court decision could prompt a “potential large-scale tragedy,” council’s resolution urges the church’s Office of Government Relations to encourage the United States and the church’s ecumenical and interreligious partners to advocate for such Dominicans. It encouraged that office’s Episcopal Public Policy Network to educate and alert the members of the church to the issue, and encourage advocacy within their churches and communities.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori also was encouraged to lead a fact-finding delegation to the Dominican Republic together with ecumenical and interreligious partners, and report to council.Diocese of the Dominican Republic Bishop Julio Holguín told ENS shortly after the ruling that “the constitutional court has made a big mistake with that ruling,” pointing out that many of those affected were descendants of immigrants, most of whom came to the Dominican Republic, by agreement between the two governments – Dominican and Haitian – to work primarily cutting sugarcane.Human trafficking work to be coordinatedCouncil voted to reaffirm the 77th General Convention’s commitment to fighting human trafficking as expressed in Resolution D-042. Lelanda Lee, chair of the council’s Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking, said it had become obvious to that committee that the work needed on the issue is so complex that a coordinating committee was needed.The resolution directed the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies to appoint the committee by March 31 “in order to assure the effective, thorough, and collaborative implementation of the policies adopted by the 77th General Convention.”Lee said the resolution fits with what the committee feels is its role of “giving hope and giving leadership for those who are not at the table.”‘Pejorative or disparaging team names’In another Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking-sponsored resolution, the council joined what has become a nationwide effort that has reached to the White House to convince the National Football League’s Washington Redskins team to change its name.The resolution decries the use of “pejorative or disparaging team names,” reminding the church of its commitment to the Baptismal Covenant, which vows to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. The members anchored their call to end the use of such names in the church’s multi-year efforts to fight racism.The resolution calls on athletic organizations at all levels to follow the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s policy to penalize collegiate athletic programs that use pejorative or disparaging team names, images, mascots, and behaviors. The members also asked local dioceses and churches to address the issue of pejorative or disparaging team names if their local schools and community sports teams use such names.Also, the resolution urges the NFL to “not to allow a major football event like the Super Bowl to occur in Washington, D.C.”Council member Terry Star, a Lakota from North Dakota, thanked council for noticing his concern about such names via his tweets.“I’ve been fighting with this issue since I was in high school 22 years ago,” he said.Plan for Province IX sustainabilityCouncil agreed to an 18-year effort that a report calls “a bold plan with a worthy goal of establishing self-sufficient sustainable models of mission and ministry for the dioceses of Province IX.”Martha Gardner, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on World Mission, said that the issue of sustainability “has been emerging over a number of years.”The churchwide staff’s Second Mark of Mission project team recommended the plan to council with the suggestion that it concentrate on those dioceses already furthest along in their efforts to move out of dependence of the church’s historical block grants model. The Diocese of Dominican Republic, with a self-stated goal of achieving self-sufficiency by 2015, will be the initial focus, followed by the Diocese of Honduras and then Colombia.As each diocese attains self-sufficiency from the block grant program, they will in turn commit to working with the other dioceses to help them achieve the same goal.“The overall commitment of block grant dollars from the churchwide budget would be maintained in order to provide revenue for this development work, and for the next diocese in line to deeply engage in the focused work of self-sufficiency and sustainability,” the team said in its report.The team also said such a long-term project will require “commitment, trust, and flexibility” as “the landscape and realities may adjust and change over time,” requiring some sort of covenant agreement which may need periodic renegotiation.In other business, the council:* Gave its consent to the Joint Standing Committee on Planning & Arrangement’s selection of Austin in the Diocese of Texas as the site for the 79th General Convention in 2018.The selection must also be approved by the 78th meeting of convention in Salt Lake City in 2015.The Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, the church’s executive officer, addressed members’ questions about placing the convention in a diocese that has historically been among those giving a small amount of their income to the churchwide budget. He said that prior to including the diocese on the list of possible sites, he and the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies talked with Bishop Andy Doyle and learned of his “personal commitment … in leading the Diocese of Texas towards full participation in the life of The Episcopal Church included the attendant financial responsibilities and other responsibilities.”That commitment, he said, was reiterated during meetings between the site selection group and the diocesan leadership. “We are satisfied that we had explored this in some detail,” Barlowe said, adding that the Standing Committee is “delighted” in the “trajectory” of participation that was explained to them.The Episcopal Church asks dioceses to contribute 19 percent of their income annually to the churchwide budget. Each year’s annual giving in the three-year budget is based on a diocese’s income two years earlier, minus $120,000.In 2013, Texas has pledged 6.7 percent ($463,959 of its $7,094,500 of income), according to information here, due to be approved this weekend, shows a 2014 pledge of $755,338.The last time General Convention met in a Province VII diocese is 1970, which is a longer hiatus than for any other province, Barlowe said.More information on the selection is here.* Authorized spending up to $95,000 for additional professional expertise to assist in the review and analysis of future options related to the Episcopal Church Center in New York. The decision came after the council met in executive session to hear a report from its subcommittee that is exploring the issue.General Convention Resolution D016, passed in July 2012, said “it is the will of this convention to move the church center headquarters” away from that building.A year ago, council received a report that said “God’s mission of reconciliation is best furthered” by remaining at 815 Second Ave. in Manhattan and consolidating DFMS operations at the church center to free up even more space to rent to outside tenants than the 3.5 floors that were then leased out. This choice would be “in the organization’s best interests financially, both in terms of budget effect and for long-term investment purposes,” according to the report.The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, the church’s corporate entity, currently rents 2.5 floors to the Ad Council, one floor to Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations and one floor to the Lyceum Kennedy International School. The church center has nine floors of office space.The study that produced the report began in February 2012, five months before General Convention met, when council’s Finances for Mission committee asked DFMS management to study the possible relocation of the church center. It was conducted by the 10-person Executive Oversight Group.* Agreed to market a parking lot in Austin, Texas, that was purchased in 2009 as a potential site for relocating the Archives of the Episcopal Church. The archives is now located on the campus of the Seminary of the Southwest, also in Austin. Revenue from the parking lot operation has covered the interest on the loan and has allowed for repayment of some of the principal. The property is “no longer likely to be in the best financial interest of the Society,” but has appreciated in value since purchase, according to the resolution’s explanation.Council passed a related resolution calling for a working group to renew efforts to find a suitable location for the Archives.Summaries of each resolution that council passed at the meeting are here.Some council members tweeted from the meeting using #ExCoun.The Executive Council carries out the programs and policies adopted by the General Convention, according to Canon I.4 (1)(a). The council is composed of 38 members, 20 of whom (four bishops, four priests or deacons and 12 lay people) are elected by General Convention and 18 (one clergy and one lay) by the nine provincial synods for six-year terms – plus the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies.– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Council tries to give hope, leadership ‘for those who are not at the table’ Governing body wraps up mid-triennial meeting with long list of resolutions Rector Tampa, FL Rector Shreveport, LA Featured Events Submit a Press Release Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR 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 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Hopkinsville, KY Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Rector Collierville, TN Rector Bath, NC Associate Rector Columbus, GA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector Smithfield, NC Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Featured Jobs & Calls Executive Council February 2014 Submit an Event Listing Submit a Job Listing Rector Knoxville, TN AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Press Release Service Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Belleville, IL Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Washington, DC Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Albany, NY Executive Council, 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 Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted Feb 7, 2014 Rector Pittsburgh, PA Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL