Category Archives: Personalities

human interest on individuals

RWC presidency role for Prince Harry

Prince Harry props up a ball for Jonny Wilkinson. Photo: Skysports

Prince Harry props up a ball for Jonny Wilkinson. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Prince Harry, the fourth in line to the British throne, has been appointed as the honorary president of World Cup organisers England Rugby 2015, the organisation announced on Thursday.

The move follows the 30-year-old’s successful role in organising the Invictus Games, a four-day international event for injured war veterans that took place in London and concluded on Sunday.

“With one year to go to the tournament, we are delighted to announce that Prince Harry has agreed to be our honorary president,” said England Rugby 2015 chief Debbie Jevans.

“The prince is a great rugby fan and recently inspired us all with the Invictus Games. We have no doubt that he will help us achieve our aim of staging a tournament that reaches out to new and existing rugby fans.”

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Filed under Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Personalities, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Speight ready to give his all for Wallabies

Henry Speight's family has finally been granted visitor visas. Photo: Getty Images

Henry Speight’s family has finally been granted visitor visas. Photo: Getty Images

After a long four year wait ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight has finally become eligible to suit up for the Wallabies, but it wasn’t his long-term wait to become a Wallaby that had Speight so happy over the weekend, but the Australian government ending years of heartache by granting his family visitor visas.

The Fijian-born star and his five siblings were reunited for the first time in seven years over the weekend, with Davila and Jerry allowed into the country just days after Speight became eligible to play for Australia.

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Filed under Australia, Fijian players, Personalities, Rugby Championship, Wallabies

Fearless Wallaby Taf uses his smarts

Tafs was a nerd in Granville High School. Photo: wikiimages

Tafs was a nerd in Granville High School. Photo: wikiimages

Kamikaze hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was a schoolboy academic who excelled in chess before becoming the Wallabies’ Mr Wreckless.

Now, after nine seasons and countless serious injuries, the Tongan powerhouse believes he can produce his best, and remain on the field, by finally allowing his head to rule his big heart.

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Filed under Australia, Injury, Pacific Islanders, Personalities, Rugby Championship, Tonga, Wallabies

Cockerill hails Goneva’s fine start

Goneva goes in for one of his tries against the Falcons. Photo: Skysports

Goneva goes in for one of his tries against the Falcons. Photo: Skysports

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill admits he was not surprised by Vereniki Goneva’s fast start to the new Premiership season as the Fijian helped himself to a hat-trick in Leicester Tigers’ victory over Newcastle.

Despite four Freddie Burns penalties handing Leicester a 12-3 half-time lead, Newcastle burst out of the blocks after the interval and Juan Pablo Socino – who had added a first-half penalty – converted Richard Mayhew’s try to bring the Falcons to within two points of their hosts.

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Filed under Aviva Premiership, Contract, Europe Fiji players, Flying Fijians, Personalities

Leicester cruise past Newcastle

Tigers prop Logo Mulipola charges against Newcastle. Photo: Skysports

Tigers prop Logo Mulipola charges against Newcastle. Photo: Skysports

Vereniki Goneva’s hat-trick set Leicester on their way to a comfortable 36-17 win over Newcastle.

The Tigers were looking to lay down an early marker following last year’s semi-final disappointment, while the Falcons were out to prove they can be more than relegation-strugglers.

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Filed under Aviva Premiership, Europe Fiji players, Flying Fijians, Pacific Islanders, Personalities

Welcome home prodigal, O’Connor

O'Connor waiting in the wings for a chance at redemption. Photo: Patrick Hamilton, AFP

O’Connor waiting in the wings for a chance at redemption. Photo: Patrick Hamilton, AFP

Yes, I know that James O’Connor has been a prat. An official at the ARU who had to deal with him all the time told me that O’Connor was the worst of the Three Amigos – O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper.

He would encourage and lead his mates into trouble and then, somehow, slide away unscathed, while the other two copped the blame and the punishments.

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Filed under Australia, Feature, Opinion, Personalities, Rugby Championship, Wallabies

Cheika hopeful of keeping Beale in rugby

Kurtley Beale (on deck) celebrates with the Waratahs after defeating the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final. Photo: Getty Images

Kurtley Beale (on deck) celebrates with the Waratahs after defeating the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final. Photo: Getty Images

NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is a lot more optimistic about fending off rugby league’s interest in his playmaking star Kurtley Beale than he was a month ago.

Cheika is confident Australia’s latest mauling by the All Blacks last Saturday won’t push Beale towards league, with his Waratahs and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contract expiring at the end of this year.

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Filed under Australia, Personalities