Archive for August, 2008

30
Aug
08

My 2008 Dream team / World XVs

We’re at the end of the end of 2007/2008 Rugby Season and the Beginning of the 2008/2009 season. Here is my choice of World’s 1st XV.

Tight Head Prop: Tony Woodcock (New Zealand)

Hooker: Mario Ledesma (Argentina)

Loose Head Prop: Jon Smit (South Africa)

Locks: Victor Matfield (South Africa) / Ali Williams (New Zealand)

Blindside Flanker: Rocky Elsom (Australia)

Openside Flanker: Ritchie McCaw (New Zealand)

No.8: Sergio Parisse (Italy) – Vice Captain

Scrumhalf: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde (France) – Captain

Flyhalf: Dan Carter (New Zealand)

Blindside Wing: Shane Williams (Wales)

Inside Center: Juan Martin Hernandez (Argentina)

Outside Center: Jamie Noon (England)

Wing: Vincent Clerc (France)

Fullback: Cedric Heymans (France)

What say you?

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10
Aug
08

Do your bit to put Rugby in the Olympics


Interestingly, after my last post, the following article was forwarded to me by a reader. Please register yourself to the site listed below and have your say for rugby to be included in the Olympics. Don’t let the those yanks dictate what sports should the world play. (baseball and softball … volleyball and beach volleyball …duh gimme my Duff!)

Let us help IRB promote the game in the Olympics .…. YOU CAN DO IT!

The IRB is asking all Rugby players and supporters to assist in spreading the message that the sport of Rugby should be included in the Olympic Games. The successful re-introduction of Rugby into the Olympic Games is an objective of the Strategic Plan for the Game as agreed by all Member Unions.

The IRB believes the ideal form of Rugby for Olympic inclusion is Rugby Sevens which has a proven and very successful record in similar multi-sports Games such as the Commonwealth Games. The IOC will vote on which sports to include in the Olympic Games in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2009.

The key messages that we believe are important and highlight why Rugby should be in the Olympic Games are:

  • Rugby reinforces the ideals of Olympism, thanks to Rugby’s long-standing ethos of fair play and friendship
  • Rugby Sevens would reach a new and young audience, including Rugby’s 3 million players in 116 countries and the tens of millions of fans worldwide
  • Rugby Sevens does not need a purpose built stadium and would fill the Olympic Stadium in the first week of competition, adding an additional vibrant and youthful tone for the Games
  • Rugby Sevens would extend the number of potential medal-winning nations in what would be a true world championship. Countries that could aspire to Olympic success in Rugby include Fiji, Samoa, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya and New Zealand.
  • Rugby would increase funds to grow the Olympic Movement, by attracting new commercial partners and spectators. At the same time Rugby would enjoy increased funding and access to facilities from National Olympic Committees as an Olympic sport.

Presently we are providing a lot of information to the IOC on why Rugby should be reintroduced to the Olympic Games and you can assist Rugby with this ambition.

How can you do this?

Respond to the IOC’s Virtual Olympic Congress at http://www.2009congress.olympic.org/. (please click here, register and follow the following instructions ….)

The International Olympic Committee is asking the general public all around the world for feedback as its progresses its plans for the future of the Olympic Games. The IRB believes that future should include Rugby. The IOC has created a specific website called the Virtual Olympic Congress to record this feedback between now and December 31 this year.

The online process for submitting information on this website is very cumbersome but we ask you to persevere with it as we believe it is important that the IOC hears from the Rugby family. To help you here is some information on the online feedback process:

1. Please register and accept the General Conditions

2. Once you have done this you will be asked to comment on two of the five core themes:

  • The Athletes
  • Olympic Games
  • The Structure of the Olympic Movement
  • Olympism and Youth
  • Digital Revolution.

3. We believe the best places to place your thoughts are: the “Olympic Games” ; and “Olympism and Youth”. Before adding your online contribution you might like to read the five points above again, and read the IRB’s Olympic magazine “Drive” and “Rugby in the Olympic Games

4. Under “Olympic Games” there are three sub topics. Please add your contribution in the forms that are provided for each topic

5. Under Olympism and Youth there are three sub topics: Please add your contribution in the forms that are provided for each topic

Another way of promoting Rugby’s inclusion in the Olympic Games is to write to or contact your National Olympic Committee. Remember to ask the NOC to forward your comments to the IOC members within that country.

Download the IRB’s Olympic brochure here:-

Drive – Rugby and the Olympic movement

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07
Aug
08

20:08hrs 08.08.08 When will our day come?

It’s not well known that rugby has been on the Olympic program on four occasions — in Paris in 1900, London in 1908, Antwerp in 1920 and Paris in 1924, with the US being the reigning Olympic Champions.

In 1900 in Paris three teams — France, Germany and Britain — entered. France took the gold medal beating Germany 27-17. Germany took the silver beating Britain 27-8 in the only other game, with the Brits awarded the bronze.

In London 1908 there were only two teams, Britain and Australia. In the only match, a straight final, Australia won 32-3.

In 1920 in Antwerp there were again only two teams, the USA and France. The USA had an unexpected 8-0 win in the only match.

Paris in 1924 saw three teams, France, USA, and Romania, enter. Both France and the USA beat Romania in a type of round robin and then played each other in a final at Colombes Stadium, Paris. The USA won the gold with a 17-3 victory in front of a crowd of 30,000.

It seems the USA victory was not popular in France. The American anthem was jeered and the match is reported to have ended in an uproar when a walking-stick brandishing French fan attacked one of the American reserves.

At the Amsterdam games in 1928 the International Olympic Committee turned down a request to include rugby. The reasons thought to be behind the decision were that the IOC sought more emphasis on individual sports; that women’s events had increased the number of competitors; and that the sport didn’t receive the backing expected from the British entries.

In 1980 the Soviet Union, and in 1988 South Korea, attempted to have rugby reinstated as an Olympic sport, with the 1988 attempt nearly achieving success.

While it would be logistically difficult to hold a full fifteen-a-side rugby competition in conjunction with the Olympics, the popularity of Sevens rugby at the Commonwealth Games has been such that a Sevens competition at the Olympics would surely be a worthwhile addition to the program.

Tomorrow, the Olympic torch will set alight again in Beijing for 17 days, and again, there won’t be any Rugby event in this tournament. But, what saddened me most is when the IOC decided not to have Rugby in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Rugby World Cup is now the 3rd most watched Sporting event and the 2nd most watched single sporting event in the World, but yet, IOC still refuse to include rugby in. I wonder why? Is it because the Great US of A (they were the defending Champions, mind you!), Russia, China and the other big nation has no chance winning a medal? Or is it because England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales need to play as team Great Britain? Only they have the answer!

Until then … I’ll just have to put Synchronize Swimming as my MUST watch event …