Warren Gatland lays out blueprint for future Lions tours

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Man with a plan: Warren Gatland wants to protect the uniqueness oft he Lions. Photo: Getty Images Head coach Warren Gatland explains what needs to happen when the new Lions deal is done and why preparation time is key Then there is the possibility of reducing the number of games on tour. The 1971 Lions in Australia and New Zealand, all amateurs, played a heroic 26 games and the first professional Lions, in South Africa in 1997, got through 13.Ten seems to be the number now but there are talks about cutting that down and for all the chat about the casualty counts on Lions’ trips, Gatland is not having that one either.He added: “I would hate to see the Lions die as an entity and not have the opportunity to prepare properly. I just think it is unique.“If we were going away and playing two warm-up matches and three Tests I don’t think there would be the same interest. I don’t think there would be most of the tour packages sold out and perhaps the next tour would be there and people would go, ‘It is the Lions, only five games, you can watch that in two or three weeks on TV and so what?’Roaring support: Would fans support a shorter Lions tour in such big numbers? Photo: Getty Images“Ten matches is about right and, I personally would hate to see the Lions going for five matches. You would lose the mystique of what the Lions are all about, even for the people who are planning to go on the tour but are only going for the last three weeks. You can get excited watching the first games on TV and seeing the crowds.“It is a little bit special in terms of the build-up and every week now we are talking about this. People write about the Lions team of the week – it is six or eight months away and it has created that interest. I don’t think it would do that if we were just going on a five-match tour.“I understand the pressures that the Lions and the board are under and there is a lot of external stuff from the clubs, the unions and the different competitions about release of players and how long they are going to be off. That is all part of the next negotiations. Clubs do get compensated for the players coming away.“Hopefully when the next deal is done, the stakeholders will sit around the table and thrash out what will be the best thing.”center_img Gatland has got the wrong end of the deal this time and like the lost driver he should not be starting from here. Let’s hope the powers-that-be get it right next time – but don’t bet on it.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. Just under seven months out from the first game of the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and head coach Warren Gatland must feel like the lost driver who stops to ask directions from a passer-by and gets told he shouldn’t be starting from where he is at the moment.Gatland was in London recently to launch the latest Lions shirt – gets yours from Canterbury here – and facing up to the well-documented hardships of doing one of the most prestigious jobs in the game. Knackered players, no preparation time, repeated pleas from former coaches to change the itinerary all ignored and a brutal fixture list.Gatland is not worried about the games – the more brutal the better as far as he is concerned – but he is worried about the lack of preparation time. That was flagged up by Ian McGeechan, after the 1993 tour to New Zealand, who wanted a couple of weeks with his squad before any future tours.That has not happened even though after the last tour to Australia, which the Lions won 2-1, Gatland flagged up the same concerns. And guess what – he is in the same boat again and he might not have a paddle.The big reveal: The new Lions jersey is unveiled in London. Photo: Getty ImagesThe next year is a big one for the whole Lions concept. After the trip to New Zealand the 12-year deal with SANZAR expires and the suits will gather in some swanky hotel and thrash out the next one – everyone wants a slice of the tourists but no one on either side of the equator seems to want them to win.“If I was looking at this thing… if I had one more week’s preparation and no midweek game before the first Test that would give me one week extra,” said Gatland.“I did a report and the last thing I said was I am wasting my time – I could have written this report in three words and the guy said, ‘What are they?’ Preparation, preparation, preparation.“You have got the two (Premiership and Pro12) finals on the Saturday, we get together on the Sunday then fly on Monday, arrive on Wednesday and play our first game (on the Saturday) – so it is going to be a challenge. A third to a half the squad might be involved in the two finals. We would have had two camps with the other squad players so a lot of them will be preparing for the first game.”Gatland has come up with an answer to this conundrum but it involves a bit of give from the home domestic leagues. How about once, just once, every four years they squeeze their fixture lists just a little, by inserting one midweek game, to give the Lions coach in 2021, and it could be Gatland, an extra seven days or so with his squad?Date change: Perhaps the Premiership final could move back a week in Lions years. Photo: Getty ImagesThe New Zealander has got no issues this time round – he knew what he was signing up for – and has to lump it, but something has to give. A personal view is that the Pro12 and the Premiership should ditch their beloved play-offs in Lions years but that is not going to happen.last_img read more

Legislators thank CUs, address new legislation Wednesday at CUNA GAC

first_img Legislators from both sides of the aisle spoke to the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) audience Wednesday morning before an afternoon of credit union visits on Capitol Hill. As if to underscore the importance of those visits, Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announced during her remarks that she would introduce a bill with important credit union governance modernizations.The Board Governance Modernization Act would modify the Federal Credit Union Act requirement that credit union boards meet once a month to not more than six times per year.Porter, who previously taught consumer protection at UC-Irvine and is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said she is committed to finding ways to allow credit unions to continue to advance communities they serve.“What I’ve seen again and again is how important it is that families have access to sustainable financial services, and credit unions are so well positioned to fulfill that role,” she said. “I see it every day in my district…we need to make sure in Congress that we are listening to credit unions, listening to our constituents who are members of credit union members and making sure we’re enacting legislation that allows credit unions to thrive and provide needed services.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »center_img Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) announces the introduction of her credit union governance modernization bill Wednesday at CUNA GAC. (CUNA Photo)last_img read more

Cricket News What must Virat Kohli’s India do to win the Melbourne Test and series in Australia?

first_imgNew Delhi: Before the Perth Test, Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team was on the ultimate high. They had won the Adelaide Test by 31 runs and had won the first Test of a series Down Under for the first time. India outbatted and outbowled Australia in their conditions. The win promised great signs for India. All the hurt of South Africa and England seemed to have gone away. The wicket in Perth was green and Kohli said the team was more ‘excited’ than ‘nervous’ when encountered with such conditions. However, in five dramatic days, Australia leveled the series with a thumping 146-run win. Kohli was the only player who stood tall amidst the ruins. The rest of the batting suffered and the team fell foul to a common factor that has haunted them on each overseas tour, which is wrong team selection and misreading the conditions.In Perth, some members of the Indian cricket team admitted that not playing a spinner was a big mistake on the Perth deck. The form of the Indian openers has been a massive concern, with both Murali Vijay and KL Rahul not getting big scores and a partnership.  There are some aspects of the batting and the bowling that Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri will have to tinker if they are to win the Melbourne Test and ultimately, the series.Read More | Kohli continues to rule the batting charts in the cricketing worldFast-track Mayank Agarwal, open with Hanuma VihariVijay and Rahul have not had a good run at the top ever since the tour of England. With a string of low scores behind them, playing both batsmen who are low on confidence is not ideal. Kohli can think about giving Mayank Agarwal a chance. If Agarwal makes his debut at the MCG, he will finally get some sort of redemption. Agarwal was called as a back-up to the side only after Prithvi Shaw, who would have definitely played had his ankle injury not healed, was ruled out of the tour. Having amassed over 2000 runs in domestic cricket in 2017/18 and displaying consistency on the India A tours and once again in domestic fixtures, many fans were asking, “What must Agarwal do to get selected?”Read More | Sourav Ganguly reveals angry message to Virat Kohli after Perth lossKohli can inject some fresh life into the side by getting Agarwal to open with Hanuma Vihari, who displayed good technique against the Australian bowlers on a bouncy Perth wicket. Vihari can lend solidity to the top order and can help play out the new ball period, something what Aakash Chopra did brilliantly during the 2003/04 series.Play a spinnerOn overseas tours, playing an all-out pace attack has not proven to be beneficial for the Indian cricket team. If Johannesburg gave them success, Perth in 2012 and 2018 has proven to be the opposite. The MCG wicket might not be as helpful to the bowlers as the Perth wicket and Kohli must play a spinner. If Ravichandran Ashwin gains full fitness, he can be a direct replacement for Umesh Yadav, who lacked consistency. With Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah bowling brilliantly, Ashwin replacing Umesh will give the Indian cricket team plenty of depth when it comes to batting and bowling. Ravindra Jadeja, who played well in the England series, might have to wait until the Sydney Test for his opportunity.Rahane must contributeIn both the Test matches, India was benefited by a big knock from one player. Cheteshwar Pujara did it in Adelaide while Kohli did it in Perth. The Indian cricket team would have benefited a lot more had they gotten one more major contribution from one of the batsmen. Ajinkya Rahane has hit two fifties but he has been guilty of throwing away a good start. In Perth, his dismissal in the first over stalled whatever momentum India had built on the second day. If one or two batsmen in addition to Kohli or Pujara contribute, India’s batting can put Australia’s bowlers under immense pressure.India have not won a Test at the MCG since Kapil Dev’s brilliant 5/28 with an injured groin gave India a 59-run win in 1981. All is not lost for Kohli despite the Perth defeat. India have a chance to erase 27 years of pain as they look to bounce back. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

School board meets Thursday to discuss field turf replacement

first_imgRed Bluff >> It’s now time to make a decision on what kind of turf will replace the decommissioned field turf at Spartan Stadium. The Red Bluff Joint Union High School District will meet beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday to discuss item 9-F on the agenda — athletic field replacement. Since the Sept. 5 meeting, two board members, the director of operations, the superintendent and the district’s project manager have toured seven fields as far south as Lodi, according to this week’s agenda. Four of …last_img read more

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for n00bs

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Q&A: How is a bitcoin mined? A look at the virtual currency This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for n00bs (2018, January 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-bitcoin-cryptocurrency-n00bs.html Everyone is talking about it, but no one actually understands it. Read this and impress your friends by explaining bitcoin. Explore further This article first appeared on Particle, a science news website based at Scitech, Perth, Australia. Read the original article. Provided by Particle In a restaurant the other night, I overheard an older couple talking about how their son had made a whole bunch of money with this “new fake online currency”.They were, of course, talking about bitcoin. Bitcoin is indeed an online currency, but it is very far from fake. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth over AU$20,000.Bitcoin and blockchain (the technology behind it) was also the subject of a full-day event as part of the recent West Tech Fest in Perth.The reason technology folk are all excited about bitcoin is that it is seen as a way to privately and securely exchange currency through the internet (although, like every technology, bitcoin is not perfect, and researchers are already finding holes).Cryptocurrency?Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency, which basically means it’s a type of money or medium of exchange that uses cryptography to ensure the security of transactions.While there are now many different types (you may have also heard of Ethereum), bitcoin was the first and is still the most well known type of cryptocurrency.What bitcoin isn’tThe most obvious entry point to understanding bitcoin is to first start with why bitcoin is different. Or in other words, what bitcoin isn’t.Bitcoin isn’t like conventional currency in four key ways. First, it isn’t issued by the government. Second, it doesn’t have any physical instrument. Bitcoin is entirely digital and only exists online. Third, it doesn’t require a bank.And fourth—and perhaps the most important difference between bitcoin and conventional currency—is the ledger. Ah, and what’s a ledger you ask? Think about your bank statement—it’s a type of ledger. On it, you see a list of transactions—the money going into and out of your account. The bank controls the ledger, and only you and the bank are able to see those transactions.In the case of bitcoin, the ledger is public, and because it is distributed, it is controlled by no one. But while the ledger is public, the entries are anonymised. Perth-based Ian Love, CEO of Australia’s first digital asset management company, Blockchain Assets, describes this as “transparency with anonymity”.Bitcoin mining for fun and profitAnother term you may have heard is ‘bitcoin mining’, which is another way of obtaining bitcoin rather than purchasing it with regular money.To understand how mining works, we again need to think about the distributed nature of bitcoin’s ledger.Another way of getting your head around a distributed ledger is by thinking about the internet itself, which was designed as a decentralised, distributed network of computers that no one person or group controls. (This, unfortunately, is under threat as net neutrality laws are being dismantled in the US, but that’s a story for another day.)The work of maintaining bitcoin still needs to be done, but since no one person or group (like a bank) controls it, the work is distributed. This is what bitcoin mining is—it’s adding transactions to the ledger or the blockchain. Anyone can do it with their computer, and you’re rewarded for giving your computing time through bitcoin.In this way then, just as the values of traditional currencies were once linked to gold, the value of bitcoin can in a sense be seen as linked to electricity.The Geocities era of blockchainRemember the early days of the internet, when no one could have really predicted Facebook or cloud computing? That’s the time we’re in for bitcoin and blockchain. And if you consider that blockchain allows for the trading of all sorts of things, not just currency, the possibilities are almost endless. read more

Image 3Dmolded interconnect devices

Citation: Image: 3-D-molded interconnect devices (2018, April 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-image-d-molded-interconnect-devices.html An alternative to conventional circuit boards, these ‘3-D-molded interconnect devices’ add electrical connectivity to the surface of three-dimensional structures. Explore further Credit: ESA/Art of Technology AG New method developed to 3-D print fully functional electronic circuits Provided by European Space Agency This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The aim is to combine mechanical, electronic and potentially optical functions in a single 3-D part, allowing the creation of intricate, precisely aligned designs using fewer parts while delivering significant savings in space and weight compared to conventional electronic manufacturing.”These prototype interconnect devices were produced using injection-moulded plastics incorporating electrical metallisation,” explains ESA’s Jussi Hokka. “In principle, however, other materials can also be used, allowing the incorporation of sensors or the integration of shielding or cooling systems.” read more