Six Nations: France hoping to replicate club form against England

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSSkip AdAds by NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 27: Joe Launchbury (R) of Wasps kicks the ball away from Scott Lawson during the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and London Wasps at Kingston Park on December 27, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) In addition, France have no locks to compare to the young English duo of Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury, players who combine power with almost freakish athleticism. France are likely to rely heavily in the Six Nations on the experienced Pascal Pape, a decent lock but no athlete, and a player with the shortest of fuses, having received five yellow cards in this season’s Top 14.The reason for this shortage of tight forward talent has been well-documented, both in this column and elsewhere. As the foreign players continue to flood into French rugby, opportunities for homegrown players diminish. The FFR and LNR are addressing the problem – and from next season squads must have 55% of their players eligible for France or face heavy fines – but that will take a few years to bear fruit. In the meantime France are going to have to get by on what they’ve already got in the front five, and pray to Dieu that Mas and Domingo stay fit. Conversely, of the 30 tight forwards who started for the six English clubs at the weekend, an impressive 23 were England-qualified with Harlequins managing to select an entire pack of Englishmen. Saracens had the smallest representation with Mako Vunipola and Steve Borthwick the only players eligible for Stuart Lancaster’s squad. So the fact the Aviva Premiership leaders were so comprehensively beaten up front in Toulouse isn’t as alarming as it might have been from an England perspective, particularly given that the opposition front five contained four southern hemisphere players.The tight forwards selected in Saint-Andre’s Six Nations squad are the best of a dwindling bunch, but they are also an ageing bunch: Benjamin Kayser is 29, Dimitri Szarzewski 31, Yannick Forestier 32, Nicolas Mas and Pascal Pape both 33 (even in the back row they’re getting on with Nyanga and Dusautoir the wrong side of 30). Of course there is some youth in the French front five with the likes of Yoann Maestri (25) and Stade Francais’s 24-year-old prop Rabah Slimani, but they are the exceptions.Powerhouse: Launchbury is set to pack down with LawesCompare that to England’s Six Nations squad, where of the 18 forwards selected by Lancaster only Exeter loose forward Tom Johnson is over 30 and the front row trio of Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas and Joe Marler are still in their early 20s. Pack to pack: every Quins starting forward in the game v Clermont is qualified to play for EnglandBy Gavin Mortimer IN THE wake of victories over Quins and Saracens there’s been a certain amount of gloating in France about what Les Bleus might well do to England next month in Paris. Four years since they last beat the English in the Six Nations, the French are more confident than ever that 1 February will be their day.Not so fast. Sure, Toulouse had the Man of the Match in Jean-Marc Doussain from their win over Sarries, though their all-French back row of Dusautoir, Picamoles and Nyanga all ran him close. And Brice Dulin, Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Morgan Parra and Wesley Fofana all caught the eye in their team’s performances.But what about in the trenches, at the coalface, in the engine room, use whatever euphemism you will to describe the front five.Take a look at the statistics from the weekend’s round of Heineken Cup clashes and if you’re a Frenchman there’s cause for concern. For all the talent and options the French have in some positions, it’s a different story in the tight five.Veteran: Nicolas Mas, 33, will face England next monthOf the 35 tight forwards who started for the seven French clubs in the Heineken Cup at the weekend, only 16 are French. More worrying, still, if you’re Philippe Saint-Andre, is that the three clubs that tasted success only fielded four Frenchmen between them in the front five: Toulouse second row Yoann Maestri, the Clermont front-row pair of Thomas Domingo and Benjamin Kayser, and Toulon lock Jocelino Suta. Racing fielded the biggest French contingent with four players, but given their abject defeat at home to the Scarlets, that’s not something to boast about.last_img read more

[email protected] competition to go online for Limerick students

first_imgLimerick social entrepreneurs honoured for their work in response to covid-19 TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Facebook Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites [email protected] competition to go online for Limerick studentsBy Cian Reinhardt – April 1, 2020 171 Twitter Advertisement Pic: Keith ArkinsLIMERICK students registered for SciFest 2020 are being asked to upload their projects online for judging for the 15th annual [email protected] competition.The SciFest regional finals, which usually take place across 16 venues will move online due to the closure of schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Limerick’s second-level students who were due to attend regional finals in Limerick Institute of Technology Moylish and Thurles on April 28 and 30 respectively, are being asked to complete an online form and submit project books and supplementary material for online judging by Thursday, May 14.Students can submit all forms and paperwork on participating in group projects are encouraged to collaborate with each other online and over the phone and then to upload their project and supporting material for judging through the new online portal.SciFest organisers are asking teachers to encourage their students to continue to work on their projects and guide them through any questions they may have.Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO said all schools, ITs and universities being closed for the coming weeks due to coronavirus “is a great disappointment for all of us involved with SciFest”.Ms Porter said, “We want to encourage students to continue to work on their projects in the coming weeks in preparation for the regional finals and submit their projects online for judging.“With over 3,000 students having signed up for [email protected] prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, we want to facilitate this learning opportunity in as much as is possible and we know from speaking to students, teachers and parents that they are eager to participate, and ensure students can take part in the SciFest National Final in November.”The ScieFest Founder said the group appreciates the situation is not ideal “and that these measures won’t be available to all students” but will allow SciFest 2020 to go ahead “supporting as many students as possible, despite the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in”.She concluded, “We would like to thank our partners across higher education, our judges and our sponsors for their assistance in helping [email protected] go online.”In SciFest, second-level students showcase STEM projects at a series of one-day science fairs held locally in schools and regionally at 16 venues in the Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St. Mary’s College, Derry. The winners from each regional STEM fair will go on to compete at a national final in November 2020.The winner(s) of the SciFest National Final 2020 will be presented with a trophy and will represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021 in the USA.For more information on [email protected], the online process and regular updates please visit Email Previous articleLogan says Munster working on specific training plans during Covid 19lockdownNext articleLimerick Post Show | Unite by Staying Apart Cian Reinhardthttp://www.limerickpost.ieJournalist & Digital Media Coordinator. Covering human interest and social issues as well as creating digital content to accompany news stories. [email protected] center_img Local backlash over Aer Lingus threat TAGSeducationIrelandLimerick City and CountyNewsscienceSTEM Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Linkedin Limerick on Covid watch list Print WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

​‘Innovative’ funding attracts Danish pension providers to green projects

first_imgThrough the DCIF, PensionDanmark said it had invested in a solar power project in the Maldives, which now supports a desalination plant with renewable energy, and a large wind farm in Kenya.In its contribution to the report, PensionDanmark says: “Investing in solar power in the Maldives and wind power in Kenya will contribute to reducing the countries’ dependence on the import of fossil fuel.”It said its allocation was only possible due to the use of so-called blended finance models, combining private capital with public aid for developing countries in areas where investments will have a substantial impact.Norway’s KLP has been similarly active in the area of blended finance, funding the development of several renewable energy assets in Kenya and Rwanda.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to white paper by State Of Green The Danish government has credited the use of “new and innovative” approaches to project funding as the reason the country’s pensions sector has been able to support green projects in emerging markets.Troels Lund Poulsen, Danish minister for business and growth, said pension funds had shown “remarkable dedication and innovative skills” when deciding on how to fund infrastructure projects across the globe.He praised new approaches to funding projects pursued jointly by the Danish government and institutional investors in a report outlining several successfully funded projects.The paper, ‘Financing the Green Transition’, highlights the work of EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency, and the Danish Climate Investment Fund (DCIF), both of which have attracted backing from pension providers including PensionDanmark.last_img read more