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Packed agenda for new French rugby president Bernard Laporte

first_img Finally, a 2016 election that the pollsters got right! Bernard Laporte’s victory in Saturday’s FFR election wasn’t a surprise, although his 53% share of the vote did startle many within France, who expected the incumbent, Pierre Camou, to run the former Toulon closer. But Camou trailed a distant second with 35%, while the outsider, Alain Doucet, polled a respectable 12%. Now Laporte is the most powerful man in French rugby but as he finds his feet at FFR HQ what is top of his in-tray?National stadiumOne of Laporte’s key campaigning issues was a promise to scrap the new national stadium proposed by Pierre Camou. Scheduled to open in 2021 in Essonne, south of Paris, the stadium will cost around €600m, money that Laporte believes would be far better invested in strengthening the grass roots. As for where France would play their Tests, Laporte plans to meet the owners of the Stade de France to discuss a better rate for the hire of the venue (the FFR currently pays approximately €700,000 for each international) but he’s said he would like to see more Internationals played outside the capital.Ground rent: France have to pay to hire the Stade de France for matches. Photo: Getty ImagesOn Saturday afternoon, not long after Laporte’s victory, his campaign manager Serge Simon promised to “instigate very quickly the terms that should lead to the halt” of the new stadium’s construction. But it might not be as straightforward as Laporte envisages. The project was launched in 2010 by Camou and Serge Blanco, and contracts have been signed with the architects and construction company. “There are factors which one cannot simply erase with the stroke of a pen,” warned Francis Chouat, the local mayor, adding that “it was far too early to talk of a definite end to the project”.It could be that Laporte, with his pledge to decentralise the FFR, will put the new national stadium to the vote and let the clubs of France decide.Guy NovesAccording to Monday’s Midi Olympique, Laporte and France coach Guy Noves could meet this week to discuss their differences. There’s little love lost between the pair – dating back more than a decade when Laporte coached the national team and Noves was in charge at Toulouse – and Noves’s public declaration of loyalty for Camou on Friday was perhaps a little imprudent. Then again, it may have been a deliberate provocation on Noves’s part, a challenge to Laporte to put up or shut up.Fly Guy: Will Guy Noves keep his job under Bernard Laporte? Photo: Getty ImagesThough Laporte backed Noves to continue as coach last week, rumours continue to appear in the French press that Laporte is biding his time, with both Le Figaro and Le Parisien newspapers stating on Monday that Fabien Galthié is in line for the top job. Top man: Bernard Laporte looks surprised after winning the FFR election. Photo: Getty Images First act: The opening ceremony of the 2007 World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesLaporte wants to finish what Camou started by bringing the World Cup back to France in 2023, 16 years after it last staged the tournament. He’s already assembled a team specifically to work on the French bid and, according to Midi Olympique, Laporte intends to meet Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, and Brett Gosper, the CEO, in the near future to discuss France’s candidacy.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Laporte has already stated what he wants to see more of from Les Bleus, saying: “France must win but also communicate more. To create a dream, to make the kids want to play rugby, one needs a media presence.” This isn’t Noves’s way – and Le Figaro alleges it is causing tension with certain commercial partners – and the two seem on a collision course. Bearing in mind that Noves turned his back on the France national team as a player, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he jumps before he is pushed.Top 14 clubs“This convention, it’s not me who signed it. So we should discuss it, but in the interest of all.” So said Bernard Laporte recently, referencing the convention signed by the FFR and the LNR at the start of July. Laporte was critical of the agreement from the start, accusing Camou and Paul Goze, president of the LNR, of “electoral manoeuvring” in an attempt to create an alliance that would lead to his defeat in the election. Now that he’s president, Laporte is threatening to make several changes to the existing arrangement that will also affect the broadcasting deal in place between the LNR and Canal Plus.Sunday rest: Bernard Laporte wants to stop televised Sunday games in the Top 14. Photo: Getty ImagesNotably he wants to scrap the televised matches on a Sunday afternoon, as they clash with the kick-off times in the amateur game. Additionally he wants to reduce the number of foreigners in the Top 14 and ProD2, and finally Laporte wants to put the France internationals on central contracts for six months of the year. Judging by the comments of Clermont president Eric de Cromières on Monday, Laporte has a fight on his hands. Reminding Laporte that the convention runs until 2020, de Cromières said an attempt to abrogate it could end up in the courts.2023 World Cup bid He’s won the French rugby presidential election, so what’s next for Bernard Laporte?last_img read more

Annacotty garden voted prettiest in Ireland

first_imgLinkedin Previous articleWounded lions limping to New ZealandNext article#WATCH: Conor Murray’s Dad surprises him for Maximuscle Challenge Editor Advertisement TAGSBord Bia BloomDes Kingston Facebook Email Twitter NewsEnvironmentAnnacotty garden voted prettiest in IrelandBy Editor – June 2, 2017 1872 WhatsApp Print The award winning gardenThe award winning gardenAn Annacotty garden has been voted the best in Ireland at the Bord Bia Bloom Show Awards.Designed by Des Kingston, the garden, entitled ‘Rustica Hibernia’, belongs to the Fitzpatrick family in Annacotty, County Limerick.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up ‘Rustica Hibernia’, or Rural Ireland, delicately blends industrial, agricultural and local historic influences in a contemporary urban setting. The grass slope is transformed into a three tier paved and gravel area with formal planting starkly contrasting the repurposed woodwork. A family photo of the Fitzpatrick family’s ancestors forms a personalised backdrop to the garden, while a rotating vegetable wheel completes the old world industrial feel.Des dedicated the garden to his late father Jack who also had a passion for re-purposing things and taught Des to never throw anything out. He said, “The garden sits right in my soul, right with me. It’s exactly the way I wanted it to be – it’s as true to the plan I came up with as it could have been. To have been given a silver medal for my first garden at Bloom has done wonders for my self esteem and I am immensely proud of myself, my family and friends. I love my garden so much I have decided to recreate it in my own garden in Ballyneety, Co. Limerick which I am planning to open up to tours soon.”Des created the garden for homeowners Rachel Mescall, Pat Fitzpatrick and their two sons Nathan (8) and Mason (6) in their new dream home in Annacotty, Limerick. It was a long and emotional journey but the goal to have a beautiful garden for their growing boys to play in kept their dream alive. Rachel loved gardening as a child and as a nutritional advisor, loves that their Super Garden has space to grow vegetables.Rachel said, “Having had a few weeks growth and plenty of sunshine our garden now looks fuller and greener. The boys love being out there playing games, building Lego and helping me collect the lettuce, kale and cabbage from the veggie wheel. It’s like having an extra room to the house and is lovely to spend time in with family and friends.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Community Hospital Wins Nationwide Competition for Award-Winning Dementia-Friendly Show Gardenlast_img read more

Taoiseach confirms commitment to A5

first_img Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th By News Highland – October 2, 2019 Google+ Pinterest Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic AudioHomepage BannerNews Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme DL Debate – 24/05/21 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Taoiseach confirms commitment to A5 Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Facebook Twitter Google+ The Taoiseach has confirmed his commitment to the A5.Earlier this year, €27 million in funding from the Irish Government earmarked for the project was pulled with Leo Varadkar blaming the political impasse in the North for his decision.The project is jointly-funded by the British and Irish Governments and work is expected to begin before the end of this year.This week in the Dail, the Taoiseach said the project is ‘stuck’ and once progress is made, funding will be made available:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/leoa5.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Previous articleLUH third most overcrowded hospital in Ireland todayNext article160 wheelie bins of untreated sewage discharged into Rutland Sound per day News Highland last_img read more