Jean de Villiers on facing the British & Irish Lions

first_img“Playing a home game in South Africa is an unbelievable experience,” he says. “You do take a lot of energy from what is a unique home crowd. That said, I got a shock when I ran out of the tunnel and saw a sea of red in the stands.“There we were, expecting home-ground advantage in one of the biggest games of our lives. The travelling support was so significant, however, that it effectively cancelled out the home support. But we took that as part of the challenge. It motivated us in that we thought, ‘Right, we’re going to show these Lions fans how a Bok team performs at home’.”South Africa went on to win that Test in Durban on the back of a dominant forward performance. Experience, says De Villiers, pulled the hosts through a more challenging second fixture in Pretoria.“Jaque Fourie replaced me in the second half after I left the field with a shoulder injury. He ended up scoring an amazing try in the corner that brought us back into the game.“It’s funny how things work out. I don’t know whether I would have been quick enough to score that try.“We were tested a great deal over those first two games, but we had a core of veterans who had played at the 2007 World Cup and who understood what it took to perform under intense pressure. That was the difference on the day in Pretoria.”Jean de Villiers’s South Africa travel tips for Lions fansThe Lions will play two fixtures at the Cape Town Stadium next year. After tackling the Stormers in the tour opener on 3 July, Warren Gatland’s charges will return to the ‘Mother City’ on 31 July for the second Test against the Springboks.De Villiers says that visiting fans – and perhaps a few former Lions players – won’t want for distractions ahead of those matches.“The Western Cape has something for everyone, from the mountains and beaches of Cape Town to the wine farms in the Boland. It’s a short drive from the Mother City to Gansbaai – where braver tourists can experience a cage-dive with a great white shark – and only a two-hour journey to game farms that have the ‘Big Five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo).FIND OUT ABOUT THE LIONS RUGBY TRAVEL PACKAGES FOR THE 2021 TOUR“I’m an avid golfer and nothing beats a day out on one of the region’s golf courses. Often you’ll play a round with the mountain on one side and the ocean on the other. Pearl Valley at Val de Vie Estate is a favourite of mine, as it’s close to where I stay out in the winelands. The Metropolitan Golf Club is another good option and is right in the shadow of the Cape Town Stadium.“I expect that the series in 2021 may prompt the return of some former Lions tourists. I’d love to catch up with old Munster team-mates like Paul O’Connell (who led the Lions in 2009) and serve as a guide to them in this beautiful country. We’ll be competitive on the golf course – that’s always a given – but there will be time for a pint or two in the aftermath.” Jon Cardinelli talks to the former South Africa captain about the 2009 tour and his travel tips for visiting fans LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Boks v LIons: Jean de Villiers beats Jamie Roberts to the ball during the 2009 series (Getty Images) center_img Jean de Villiers on facing the British & Irish LionsThe second Test between South Africa and the British & Irish Lions in 2009 will be remembered as one of the most dramatic clashes of all time. The Lions had the upper hand for much of the contest until the Springboks fought back to level the scores in the final quarter.When replacement Ronan O’Gara mistimed a challenge for a high ball and clattered into Bok scrum-half Fourie du Preez, the writing was on the wall for the tourists. Fly-half Morne Steyn stepped up to slot a long-range penalty that sealed a series victory for the hosts – not to mention bragging rights for the next 12 years.Jean de Villiers left the field with an injury in the second half and was forced to watch the heart-stopping climax from the South African bench. Several months later, as a new signing at Munster, he used that series-deciding incident to break the ice with O’Gara.Key moment: Ronan O’Gara upends Fourie du Preez late in the 2009 second Test (Getty Images)“Munster used to split their training sessions during the week between the grounds in Cork and Limerick,” the former Bok centre remembers. “You really had to maximise your time and engage with players and coaches when you had the chance.“I decided to stay late and do a bit of extra training with the kickers. ROG eventually put up a high ball and I seized the moment. I raced in and as I collected it, I looked at him and said, ‘Please don’t take me out in the air, ROG’. He immediately cracked a smile and said, ‘You’re a funny guy. You and I are going to get on just fine’.“That’s one of the great things about rugby; you can battle these players on the field and still be mates off it. I was fortunate in that I got to play with some of those great players at Munster a few months after the Lions series. Eleven years later, and I still count them among my good mates.”Most of the players who starred in South Africa’s successful 2007 World Cup campaign were prominent in the series against the Lions two years later. On the back of that success, the Boks won the 2009 Tri-Nations and climbed to the top of the World Rugby rankings.Roll back the calendar 12 months, however, and South African rugby was at a crossroads. The Boks blew hot and cold in the 2008 Tri-Nations, and were under pressure to bounce back when they travelled north to face Wales, Scotland and England.“In that era, very few players who represented overseas clubs were selected for the national side,” says De Villiers, who captained the Boks between 2012 and 2015 and amassed 109 Test caps. “So after the 2007 World Cup, most of us made the decision to stay in South Africa with a view to qualifying for that series against the Lions. Winning that series was our next big goal, and we started to prepare for the challenge in the 2008 season.”Big win: Bryan Habana leads South Africa’s celebrations at Twickenham in 2008 (Getty Images)Of the 42-6 win over England in the preceding year, De Villiers says: “I have a lot of good memories of that win at Twickenham. Everything just seemed to click. It was massively encouraging to know that we could go north and beat one of the top sides by such a convincing margin.“Coming home with three wins gave us an edge ahead of the subsequent Lions series. We knew that a lot of those players from Wales, Scotland and England would be part of the squad travelling to South Africa in 2009.”Six months later, De Villiers and his team-mates were surprised by the reception they received ahead of the first Test at Kings Park. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.last_img read more

Water charge boycott is winning says Prendiville

first_imgNewsWater charge boycott is winning says PrendivilleBy John Keogh – July 2, 2015 761 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement Linkedin Facebook  CITY North councillor Cian Prendiville urged those attending the We Won’t Pay campaign’s Water Bill Bonfire on Saturday to hold off on paying their water bills as the water charges boycott is “winning”.Speaking at the event, which saw about 200 members of the public burn their Irish Water bills at City Hall, the Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor advised anyone considering paying the charge to “hold off, as any money handed over before the general election could be money down the drain if we succeed in getting these charges abolished”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Despite all the Government’s threats and legislation, it is still the case that there are no penalties, late payment fees or interest before the general election. If the boycott that has been established holds firm, it will force the abolition of these charges in that election, just like happened in Limerick in the 1991 local elections, and nationally in the run up to the 1997 general election.“For those considering paying they should remember that on both those occasions, when the charges were abolished then, no refunds were issued. The money paid was lost – money down the drain. I’d advise everyone therefore to hold firm, and don’t give Irish Water any money. Even those who paid the first bill shouldn’t send good money after bad – they should join the boycott now as the second bills go out,” continued Cllr Prendiville.Cllr Prendiville assured that “everyone can safely boycott at least until the general election, piling the pressure on all the parties and independents in that election”.He concluded: “There will be non-payment candidates standing across the country in those elections too, and I’d encourage non-payers to only support those parties that support non-payment.” WhatsApp Print Email Limerick customers to benefit from extension of Irish Water’s First Fix free scheme to tackle leaks center_img TAGS’We Won’t Pay’Anti Austerity Alliancecity hallCllr Cian PrendivilleIrish WaterlimerickWater Charges Update: Works underway to resolve discolouration of water in Raheen area Abbeyfeale water supply gets the all clear Twitter Previous articleSuspect further detained as 80 gardai investigate shootingNext articleCamogie – Limerick face Wexford in game three of Championship John Keogh Irish Water to replace old water mains on St Nessan’s Road Pictures reveal damage caused by wipes being flushed down Limerick’s loos Irish Water defers introduction of new business charges during the Covid 19 emergency last_img read more

Starbucks Introduces New Summer-Inspired Menu

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image via Starbucks.WEST ELLICOTT – As Starbucks locations continue to reopen, and the season changes from spring to summer, the coffee giant is out with new summer-inspired menu items.New items include the Iced Guava Passion-Fruit drink, the Unicorn Cake Pop, and the grilled chicken and hummus protein box.Returning to the menu, the S’mores Frappuccino Blended Beverage.Starbucks is also promoting its cold brew concentrate and bottled Frappuccino chilled coffee drink, available at various retail locations. Additionally, the company says the Starbucks delivery service is now available in 48 states where both Starbucks and Uber Eats operate.Starbucks says it aims to exceed CDC standards for public health and safety.last_img read more

Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical Begins Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Related Shows Mighty Real uses Sylvester’s music to celebrate the life of the “Queen of Disco.” Through his trials and tribulations and his glitzy, glamorous lifestyle, he was a symbol for fabulousness and a pioneer in the LGBTQ community. His many disco classics include “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” “Dance (Disco Heat),” “Do Ya Wanna Funk” and “Can’t Stop Dancing.” Who’s ready to funk?! Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical begins off-Broadway performances on September 5. The tuner features music by the legendary performer and a book by Anthony Wayne, who takes on the titular role. Wayne also co-directs alongside Kendrell Bowman. Opening night is set for September 14 at Theatre at St. Clement’s, where it will run through October 5. Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 5, 2014 In addition to Wayne, the cast of Mighty Real features Anastacia McCleskey and Jacqueline B. Arnold as Izora and Martha—better known as the Weather Girls, as well as DeAnne Stewart and Jack Fuller.last_img read more

Our time to shine: Redefining consumers’ perceptions of credit unions

first_img 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jackson Bolstad Details Like me, you’ve probably been hearing the same phrase over and over again these last few weeks – “nothing is going to be the same following COVID”. For many credit union leaders, the notion has likely caused a few grey hairs, or at the very least a stress line or two, especially considering all the work your team has put into marketing initiatives and brand development over the years.While it’s difficult to anticipate what the exact outcomes of this crisis will be, the shift we’ve seen in consumer sentiment toward corporate social responsibility will likely prove to be an important and defining moment for credit unions and the movement as a whole. In particular, the actions your team takes to reposition your credit union and brand in your market following COVID-19, have the potential to redefine people’s perceptions of credit unions forever.Stake a claim to our authentic differenceA key to building long-term success following COVID-19 will be in your credit union’s ability to build relevancy, trust, and brand loyalty among your members and community. This is especially true as consumers are increasingly taking note of and responding positively to brands who have taken an active role in supporting their employees, customers, and communities during this time of need, according to a new study by Twitter.This gravitation toward generosity and purpose-driven business practices isn’t likely to end following COVID-19. Businesses and financial institutions will likely be expected to provide more of the same, or else risk alienating their customers/members.As your leadership team thinks about the long-term strategy of your credit union and how you might pivot your strategic plans to best serve your members, I would encourage you not to lose sight of the unique values and business practices that make credit unions different – our cooperative principles. Now more than ever, it’s time to prove that credit unions are the genuine, authentic advocates we’ve always claimed to be when it comes to consumers’ financial health and wellness.As Mary Beth Spuck mentioned in episode #75 of The CUInsight Experience podcast, credit unions missed their chance to market their unique differences and expand their market share following the last recession. This time around, credit unions would be wise to market and communicate the hell out of those differences.Set the gold standard for good businessWhile staking a claim to our differences is a key priority when it comes to brand strategy and membership development, credit unions as a whole must also remain diligent and steadfast in putting their members’ needs above their balance sheet. This crisis, as well as the recent protests, will likely only exacerbate the demand for public accountability and transparency in business operations and diversity, equity, and inclusivity in employment, and credit unions will need to respond accordingly.As businesses, especially financial institutions, given the recent Wells Fargo scandals, are increasingly being held to a higher standard of conduct, credit unions may find it worthwhile to take a few notes from the purpose-driven playbook of Certified B Corp. An increasingly popular distinction in the businesses world, these for-profit organizations, which include the likes of Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Danone, and New Belgium Brewing, have been able to elevate their brand status and popularity to near fanatic levels simply by taking actionable steps to create, implement, and share a better, more ethical business model with the world.With more than 200 factors taken into consideration to become a Certified B Corp, where do you think credit unions would rank? While credit unions most certainly won’t satisfy all of the factors (no business currently on the list does), the designation provides an admirable business objective and mode of operation that credit unions as a whole should strive toward. In doing so, credit unions will likely see an increase in long-term brand recognition, trust, and loyalty, just like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and so many more.I encourage you to learn more about the value Certified B Corps are adding to the global business economy in this great article from Harvard Business Review.Aligning your impact goals with your financial goals Creating momentum for your brand in this new, post-COVID age isn’t going to be easy. While your team’s focus right now is likely on shoring up perceived technological, lending, or service gaps, it’s important to remember that those objectives should fit within the context of your members, mission, and long-term strategy.Instead of obsessing over short-term product and service offerings or returning loan volumes to pre-COVID levels, credit unions would be smart to first reevaluate where they fit within this evolved marketplace. Specifically, who they are, how they operate, and where they can and should grow in this new business landscape.Credit unions should make sure they’re meeting their members’ and communities’ basic financial needs, before spending a ton of their members’ money implementing unnecessary new services and promoting expensive loan products.With nearly 9 out of 10 Americans saying this crisis has caused stress on their personal finances, according to a new study by the National Endowment for Financial Education, credit unions would be wise to implement strategic plans, services, and branding/marketing initiatives that can help their members start living healthier financial lives. This will likely require credit union leaders and boards to think strategically about the demographics of their field of membership, the day-to-day financial struggles of consumers in their service area, and the social and cultural needs of their community.Among the many things COVID-19 has taught us, we’ve learned that clear goals and focused efforts can lead to amazing results. Credit unions now have an opportunity to apply those lessons learned to redefine consumers’ perceptions and start building positive, well-intentioned relationships in their communities.last_img read more