I despair that as a sport we keep tinkering when what’s needed is a package of interrelated changes which reinforce each other eg.a closed Prem & Div 1,max squad size in Prem, abolition of Prem Cup & Shield & A League, fewer games,lower salary cap, subsidised Div 1, feeder teams.— Mark Evans (@evans_marke) February 12, 2020Yes, clubs aren’t sustainable at present – but then the vast majority of Premiership clubs don’t turn a profit. I’d scrap the Premiership Cup and/or A league, and put the money into the Championship for developing players.Of course, those competitions aren’t directly funded by the RFU but by Premiership Rugby – and therein lies the biggest problem in English rugby. The RFU doesn’t actually control all of English rugby. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The governing body has been heavily criticised for its decision to slash funding to the second tier Scrum time: Jersey Reds pack down against Newcastle Falcons (Getty Images)Jersey Reds player Charlie Beckett wrote in his Talking Rugby Union column: “A number of Championship clubs will now be forced to go to a semi-pro and part-time basis and this, I feel, is incredibly detrimental for all rugby in England.“Without this funding I don’t see how the Championship remains a professional league and this obviously minimises the opportunities for people working in professional rugby in England. Without a competitive second tier of professional rugby for young players to play in and learn their trade, where is the next generation of England players going to come from?“On the financial side, I struggle to understand how the RFU can justify these drastic cuts to the Championship budget while paying their international players north of £20,000 a game for playing for England. I completely appreciate the work the players put in and the sacrifices they make and I absolutely believe they should be paid, and paid well for this.“However, when the match fees of one England squad, on one match day, costs the RFU more money than supporting an entire Championship club for an entire year, it seems something is wrong.”Cornish Pirates, Coventry and Ealing Trailfinders had already been working on a blueprint to make the league more viable. They’ve said they’ll now look at alternative sources of funding to make the competition a success, raising the possibility of forming a breakaway league.League of their own? The crowd watch Cornish Pirates v Yorkshire Carnegie at Mennaye Field (Getty)Many have suggested this reduction in funding is the first step towards ring-fencing the Gallagher Premiership. Saracens will play in the Championship next season but are widely expected to be promoted back to the top flight in 2021-22, with the possibility of a closed 13-team league heavily mooted.Rugby World Comment: Editor Sarah MockfordRW writer Alan Pearey summed up this news succinctly when saying this was “another boot in the groin for Championship clubs”.I think it’s fair to say the league isn’t working as it is – small crowds, few sponsors, clubs losing money and so on – but it has still been a proving ground for many players now starring both in the Premiership and for England.Surely the RFU should be looking at ways to improve the league, to make it attractive to broadcasters and sponsors, rather than appearing to wash their hands of it. RFU Cuts Championship FundingThe RFU’s decision to cut funding to the Greene King IPA Championship has been heavily criticised.The press release from English rugby’s governing body stated that “the RFU will continue to provide financial support” to the Championship next season, but that central funding will be reduced from £480,000 to £288,000 for 2020-21.RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said the reason for the 40% cut was the failure of the clubs to meet specific targets set in 2015. The Times reported the five areas as:Make steps towards becoming a financially viable league, given the average annual club loss is £260,000.Develop a league where more clubs have an ambition of winning promotion.Increase the number of English-qualified players.Develop future England coaches and referees.Develop a community programme to grow the game in the club’s region.Championship clubs have criticised the RFU’s decision, as have players and coaches. Can’t see how cutting the funding for @Champrugby is going to help anyone. Terrible decision that will have even worse consequences. So many @premrugby players have come through the Championship!— Guy Thompson (@GuyThompson87) February 12, 2020 Very misleading headline! Gutted for @Champrugby ,provides so much opportunity for players and coaches. 50% cuts almost certainly means the beginning of the end, more players and coaches to slip through the net. Very strange and poor decision. https://t.co/6brsPtmCc6— Tom Cruse (@cruse_dog2) February 12, 2020A joint statement by Cornish Pirates and Coventry read: “Collectively we’re very disappointed with many aspects of the RFU’s decision to drastically cut the funding of the Championship clubs, which could very well have a devastating impact on some of our fellow clubs, putting livelihoods and careers at risk, and which could also put some clubs out of business.“The Championship is an RFU tournament, meaning that the clubs do not control the league’s sponsorship rights; these are held by Twickenham. But over the last few years we have received no Championship-specific sponsorship funding, no Championship-specific TV broadcast deal, or any promotion by Twickenham of the community work which is being done by our clubs, such as wheelchair rugby, suicide prevention, and helping older people with dementia, and could also suffer as a result of these cuts.“For the RFU to then use their own failure to deliver on these as a justification for unilaterally decimating the Championship is nothing short of outrageous.”Line of duty: Jay Tyack scores a try for Cornish Pirates (Getty Images)The timing of the announcement has also proved problematic, with clubs already recruiting for the next campaign and no news on the funding situation beyond 2021. Jersey Reds chairman Mark Morgan said: “Championship clubs have been trying for months to get clarity around funding. To be presented with this fait accompli when teams are already hiring for next season is immoral and irresponsible.“There has been zero consultation, engagement, nor explanation before the announcement and no vision for the future of the Championship was provided. With Bill Sweeney’s heralded business background, this is astonishingly poor execution.“The position the RFU has taken is disrespectful to the great work being done by Championship clubs and the army of volunteers that are involved at all levels who work to deliver a quality product and developmental opportunities for players and coaches alike.“The lack of any indication about funding beyond the end of the 2020-21 season is a glaring omission and can only be aimed at creating further uncertainty.” Budget cut: The RFU is reducing funding for the Championship next season (Getty Images) The March issue of Rugby World magazine – a Six Nations special – is on sale now.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
July 8, 2019 /Sports News – National Coco Gauff, 15-year-old tennis phenom who beat Venus Williams, is out at Wimbledon Beau Lund Coco is terrific! https://t.co/13vsVKdjFP— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 5, 2019“She’s one of my role models,” Gauff said of Obama’s tweet about her, according to People. “So it was just cool to see that she knows I exist.”But above all, it’s Gauff’s athletic performance on those famed grass courts that has garnered attention for the young phenom.After beating Williams, she beat Magdaléna Rybáriková to reach the third round, where she faced Polona Hercog of Slovenia.That match on Friday cemented her place in history, as she fought back from two match points, including a second set tiebreak, to come out on top. In doing so, Gauff became the youngest player to make it to the second week of Wimbledon since 1991.Gauff also caused some conversation with her entrance in the mixed doubles Wimbledon tournament, when Brit Jay Clarke left original partner Harriet Dart to instead play with Gauff at the last minute. They did, however, lose in the opening round.“If somebody told me this maybe three weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t believe it,” Gauff said after her loss on Monday. “But I think just putting in the work definitely raised my confidence because I knew how hard I worked and I knew what shots I could make and what was possible.”“I’m only 15,” she continued. “Like, I’ve not nearly gotten or developed my game. I started tennis at six. I’m so excited to see, if I continue to work hard, what other success I can do in the future.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailShi Tang/Getty Images(LONDON) — Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old tennis player who burst onto the professional scene with a stunning victory over Venus Williams last week, is leaving Wimbledon with a loss in straight sets — and a host of new fans ready to motivate her for the next tournament.“Your journey is far from over, @CocoGauff,” tennis legend Billie Jean King tweeted. “Looking forward to watching your future successes on the court and off. #BigFan”Gauff’s eye-catching debut at Wimbledon came to an end Monday in the fourth round with a loss to Romanian star Simona Halep, 27, who was seeded No. 7, 6-3, 6-3. Written by The No.1 Court crowd rises to acknowledge all the excitement @CocoGauff has given us And remember – this is just the beginning… #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/UBiOYSxPeU— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2019“I hope they learned about me that I’m a fighter,” Gauff said in a post-match press conference after her loss about her new fans. “I’ll never give up. I hope they learned from me that, I mean, anything is possible if you work hard, just continue to dream big.”It’s likely Gauff’s Wimbledon success, which made her an overnight sensation, will outlive her loss. In the first round of ladies’ singles, Gauff beat her icon, Williams, 39, 6-4, 6-4. To get there in the first place, Gauff became the youngest player to ever qualify for Wimbledon.She and her parents became visibly emotional after that match, and they quickly won over tennis fans everywhere. In an interview with GMA, Gauff’s parents credited Venus and her sister Serena Williams for paving the way.“We hadn’t seen many African-American women in the sport, so when they started winning and having success and trailblazing, some of the challenges that they went through made it a lot easier to get into the sport and it allowed us to be a lot more confident about choosing [tennis],” Gauff’s father, Corey, said.Gauff, who has been competing while taking school tests, has been humbled and excited by the attention she’s getting — including from Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles, Jaden Smith and Michelle Obama.