Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby teamSetting up a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team has long been mooted but the idea now seems to be getting closer to reality.Super Rugby has introduced teams from Argentina and Japan in recent years, and another revamp is expected in 2020. That is when a Pacific Islands team could be introduced.The New Zealand government recently released the findings of a feasibility study they had commissioned into basing a Super Rugby side on the Pacific Islands. While insisting such a team should be based in Fiji, Samoa or Tonga – Fiji’s capital Suva looks the most likely location – the report also said that playing a game either on the West Coast of America or on Hawaii would allow them to tap into new markets of large Pacific populations overseas.MORE FROM RUGBY WORLD ON THE PACIFIC ISLANDS Rugby World’s Pacific Islands special issue Rugby World finds out what those in the… Tonga coach Toutai Kefu“There are a lot of positives. One of the biggest ones for me is it keeps a lot of my players here. The biggest issue we have is most of our players are throughout Europe playing in different competitions, so the logistics of gathering together for a campaign are quite a challenge.French sojourns: There are huge number of islanders playing in the Top 14 (Getty Images)“If I had most players here playing Super Rugby I could keep in contact quite easily and track them a lot better. The Super Rugby programmes are much better than France, too, in terms of player welfare and tactical.”Fiji coach John McKee“A Super Rugby team is one of the missing pieces in the jigsaw of Pacific Islands rugby. It would help the Pacific to have more talented players at home. Players would still go to Europe, but they could certainly set their career off through pathways here and other Pacific nations.“It would be a massive benefit for us and the Super Rugby season fits perfectly with the international season.“With a Super Rugby franchise operating out of the Pacific, we could have an academy system underneath feeding into the professional team. It would all give Pacific coaches valuable experience in professional environment and that would strengthen the domestic rugby.Team base: ANZ Stadium in Suva has already hosted Super Rugby games (Getty Images)“For me there seems to be a bit of a shift with support from some quarters for this to happen. It needs to be financially stable and not take money out of the Pacific Island unions because we have to run our own domestic games and national team competitions. So we need support from other funding sources. There are a lot of challenges but it’s very exciting.”Samoa General Manager of High Performance Zane Hilton“In reality the players are not going to be from the existing national programme. It does however give the island nations a huge opportunity to have a pathway for players coming out of Samoa A and potential Manu Samoa players to play professional rugby.“We’ll back it and certainly support it, it just has to be done in a fair and equitable way.” Expand A celebration of Pacific Islands rugby – and… Pacific Combine creates new player pathway on islands Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team New line-up? The addition of a Pacific Islands team could boost Super Rugby (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rugby World finds out what those in the Pacific Islands think of having a Super Rugby team TAGS: FijiSamoaTonga Expand Rugby World’s Pacific Islands special issue Pacific Combine creates new player pathway on islands Collapse There are other obvious benefits. It creates a route to professional rugby for players based in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga without having to head overseas and would give the unions easier access to their best players while also making them more likely to represent their home nation than qualify on residency elsewhere.There are still issues to be addressed, not least how the team would be funded, but World Rugby could decide to back such a project as they did with Argentina’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby through the Jaguares.Making strides: The Fijian Drua already play in Australia’s NRC (Getty Images)When Rugby World was in Fiji and Samoa recently, we asked some of the key figures in the game there what they thought of a possible Super Rugby franchise and we received an overwhelmingly positive response.Here’s what they said…Samoa Rugby Union CEO Vincent Fepuleai“It’s a great idea and it’s a great opportunity for Samoa, Tonga and Fiji to play in that competition. From our point of view, we just want somebody to be able to fund it. We support it, but it all comes down to money.“An independent franchise with a mandate of having Pacific Islands players in the team looks most likely. Fiji is probably the right place for it to be logistically.“SANZAAR will decide whether to expand and a lot of work is going on behind scenes to find the right investors to be able to get it off the ground. Running it separately from the unions is a must.” Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby team Rugby World gets the lowdown on the Pacific… Don’t miss Rugby World’s Pacific Islands special – the September 2018 issue is on sale until the end of August. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Dr Ed Walsh surveys the final work on the Ilen after the last plank was laid.THEY laid the last plank, and so a ship was rebuilt.Last Saturday, the long tradition of wooden shipbuilding reached a significant milestone when the final deck plank on the sailing vessel Ilen was laid at a traditional ceremony hosted by the Limerick Ilen Project.The project, whose primary goal was to bring Ireland’s sole surviving wooden sailing ship back to Limerick, was completed in fine style after six years of education and practice in a near forgotten craft.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up In 1926, the Ilen which was Ireland’s sole surviving wooden sailing ship, sailed from Limerick to an active 70 year working life in the South Atlantic. The completion of the new all-weather deck last weekend marked the final stage of her remarkable return to her home port.The Illen project organisers say that the rebuild highlights the high quality of the materials used, the exemplary craftsmanship and, most significantly, the marine educational role the vessel will play when she goes into operation on the Shannon Estuary, and beyond, from her new home port.Brother Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey, a key promoter of the Ilen Project, officiated at the ceremony and said that what has been achieved so far showed that there was not only a great work ethic in the Ilen Project but also a spiritual commitment to the work being done.“This is an amazing act of faith and commitment come to fruition. This boat, and the people involved with it, rock. It is heading for the sea, like a salmon, and it will not be stopped, even if some of the financial people have still to solve their problems of calculus and apply their mathematics.”Guest speaker at the ceremony was acclaimed film maker Lord David Puttnam who said that “the project underlined what could be done by a determined community.“It also demonstrated that the skills involved and which were being taught, were the skills that younger people could learn, use and remain in their community, without having to leave, and thus strengthen communities. This is a message from the Ilen project.”Dr Edward Walsh, founding president of the University of Limerick, told of how he had, at the outset of the project, exhorted all to simply “go ahead and buy the boat” and “pretend” that the money was there. It was a now a source of great pride for him to see how it had advanced so far. Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Previous articleOpinion – Anthony Foley – RIP Munster’s WarriorNext articleLimerick firm tees up a new approach to golfing holidays Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Linkedin Twitter NewsLast plank laid to bridge a 90 year South Atlantic sailing adventureBy Staff Reporter – October 20, 2016 809 Print RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” WhatsApp Advertisement TAGSIlenlimerick Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email
Indianapolis, In. — Rodney Strong was elected The American Legion, Department of Indiana state commander by delegates from the 11 districts throughout the state during the 100th annual Indiana American Legion Convention on July 14, 2017 in Indianapolis.The American Legion is comprised of military service veterans who have served honorably during times of conflict in defense of their nation and has been active within Indiana since 1919. The Indiana American Legion has supported veterans from every major conflict since World War I, to Iraq and Afghanistan within its membership.Rodney is a proud member of Byron Cox Post 72 headquartered in Crawfordsville, Ind., where he has been a member for 28 years and served the post in various positions including membership chairman, Hoosier Boys State Chairman and post commander.He has also served the Sixth District as a capable and proficient District Vice Commander, Sixth District Commander and is currently the 6th District Hoosier Boys State Chairman.Rodney has served the Department of Indiana as Southern Vice Commander, Rehabilitation Commission Chairman, Americanism Commission Chairman and Internal Affairs Commission Chairman.He is also a 54-year member of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron 72 and served as S.A.L. Detachment Commander of Indiana from 1993-94. Cmdr. Strong is the only person in Indiana to serve as both S.A.L. Detachment Commander and Department of Indiana Commander.Rodney earned his American Legion eligibility by honorably serving in the United States Navy from 1980-84, where he completed two tours off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon and one tour off the coast of Grenada.Rodney has a 100% American Legion Family. He has been married for 32 years to his wife, Sharon, who is an Auxiliary member of unit 72 in Crawfordsville and his three children, Ryan, Patrick and Nicole, who are members of are members of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 72 and Auxiliary unit 72.His motto this year is, “A century of service and still going Strong.”“This is an exciting year for us as we are about to celebrate 100 years of service here in the great state of Indiana.,” said, Strong. ” There is a lot of work to do and we need to build on the momentum of what Cmdr. Marty Dzieglowicz was able to do before us. We will work to secure The American Legion for another 100 years.”Strong’s “Commander’s Project” this year is to help the friends of Ernie Pyle World War II museum to raise $30,000 or more towards the $90,000 they need to make improvements to Ernie Pyle’s birthplace and a museum highlighting the famous journalist’s life and writings as a correspondent during World War II.The historic site is owned and operated by the Friends of Ernie Pyle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Pyle’s legacy in Dana, as well as throughout Indiana and the nation.To learn more about veteran’s benefits, youth scholarships and programs, and how TheAmerican Legion changes lives in your community, visit www.indianalegion.orgIf you have any questions, please contact the Indiana Legion Communications Director Tim Sproles at 317-403-6266 or by email at [email protected]