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Professional rugby reaches Hawaii

first_img“I want to do something that’s never been done before,” Kilgour tells Rugby World of the ambitious plans. “The MLR is not a retirement home, it’s not for the old guys who are asking for $300,000, it’s for the young guys who deserve a shot.“We’ve just seen in the Last Dance (documentary series), the NBA wasn’t big until Michael Jordan showed up, So why not in rugby? Hawaii is full of Michael Jordans – the Pacific is full of Michael Jordans or Jonah Lomus, so why don’t we find that Michael Jordan and be the Chicago Bulls of rugby in the States and just take it to the next level?“There’s most definitely untapped potential in Hawaii. If you get the right people on board. You need to have Mick Byrne, the best skills coach in the world. You have to have Tamati Ellison, one of the up-and-coming backs coaches in New Zealand. You have to have that calibre and knowledge to be able to upskill and tap that talent.“It’s not just a matter of making a team and saying it’s going to happen, you’ve got to put in the resources and the effort. And that’s why some American teams have struggled. They think, ‘There’s a lot of Islanders in Utah, we’re going to carve up.’“You’ve got to have the right people who are going to create culture, going to create the skill level. And that’s another thing for the Islands too.“You’ve got to have the right environments and you’ve got to have the right coaching staff. It’s something that’s missing.”Involved: Former all Black tighthead John Afoa, now with Bristol (Getty Images)The talent drain from the Pacific and the region’s Test teams struggling to secure access to their athletes who play on the other side of the world are two major talking points.According to Kilgour, this group want their players to represent the Island nations, adding: “If they want to play for Tonga, Samoa and Fiji we are going to support them. A lot of European teams make it difficult for an Islander to play for their nation. We are willing to pay them for their time away. We are willing to pay them during a tour of the UK or pay them while there’s a three-Test series in New Zealand for Fiji. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS At the heart of all of this, they say, is representing Hawaii. And the group will need to be canny about finding the right price point for tickets and merchandise. Securing favourable television rights, drawing investors, it’s not easy. Kilgour sees the recent success of the Tongan rugby league side as a positive signifier, adding that one of the best things about this region is that “Pacific Islanders support Pacific Islanders”.The group will start slow and small. They will begin in a 10,000-seater stadium for a few years before planning to go into the University of Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium, home to the renowned Rainbow Warriors college football team and with a capacity of 50,000. And the promotion of Hawaiian players will be a touchstone.Related: The opportunities and the obstacles for Pacific Islands rugbySo what of the next big steps, then? Kilgour, a Kiwi who has also worked with the Cook Islands national set-up, explains: “We’ve got the right people and the right knowledge. And we’ve reached out to a lot of Hawaiians – that was the first thing we did, to ensure we get the community on board, get interest from the players.“We want Hawaiians to play for us. We want the current, contracted MLR Hawaiians to be playing for us. We want them to come home. There’s about seven or eight, but whether or not we get them is another thing – there’s all sorts of rules and regulations about who you can approach and talk to. But if MLR really want the game to grow, they will let the Hawaiians come back and play for Hawaii.Eventual home: The Aloha Stadium (Getty Images)“But Hawaii has a very good club system. And their high school rugby is very successful. The playing numbers are good and there is a long history of playing rugby in Hawaii.“We’re not competing against American Football. Rugby is a lot safer and there are a lot more opportunities for women in rugby. So we aren’t competing against anybody else. Our ticket prices are going to be cheap, affordable, because the team is for the people, it’s for the community.Related: Is this the most beautiful rugby ground in the world?“We want our home games sold out and we want all our home games in Hawaii. We want to make sure that our public get to see our players playing at home. And that’s why it’s important we get so many of those Hawaiian players playing for us. It just makes sense.“One of the key players we’re looking at is Hawaiian. He would be a marquee player. He’s more important to us than a Dan Carter or a Jonny Wilkinson. Because those two aren’t going to sell out stadiums, they aren’t going to sell us memberships. This one Hawaiian player is going to do that. It’s important we get Hawaiians back playing in Hawaii.”The side will have similar kit colourings as the famous Raiders in the NFL and plan to do their own pre-game challenge, like a haka or Sipi Tau. They want to be an intimidating team to play. But before all of that, they want to represent their region and its people. Professional rugby reaches HawaiiRugby has now got a new destination in the Pacific. Kanaloa Hawaii Rugby have been awarded a licence to complete in the USA’s Major League Rugby from February 2021.While the MLR continues to expand – and there are strong rumours that a team in Florida is in the offing too – this move is seen by the leadership at Kanaloa Hawaii as one that can also offer greater opportunities for Pasifika and Maori talent.Known as the Mercury Group, the club’s ownership includes former All Blacks Anthony Tuitavake, Ben Atiga, Jerome Kaino, Joe Rokocoko and John Afoa. Tracy Atiga is the group’s CEO (and the MLR’s first female CEO) and Cam Kilgour is the rugby manager.The team have also brought in Mick Byrne to be head coach. The Australian, who was skills coach as the All Blacks won two Rugby World Cups, will be assisted by former centre Tamati Ellison. The ex-Hurricanes, Highlanders and Rebels man has four All Blacks caps to his name.Related: Why there needs to be a Pacific Islands Super Rugby teamAnd as well as achieving an MLR license, the new franchise are also interested in exploring options to be a neutral base for any Pacific Island side in the mooted trans-Tasman club competition. However, according to Kilgour, who also helped set up the LA Giltinis – the new franchise in Los Angeles, reaching MLR was the first goal, with growing Pacific and Hawaiian rugby the bigger picture. A group of familiar faces from New Zelaand rugby are at the vanguard of MLR’s next big expansion, with Kanaloa Hawaii Rugbycenter_img “That’s the difference. We’re going to be the first-ever professional Pacific Island rugby team. We’re going to get behind our Pacific Island players and support them.” Team branding (Kanaloa Hawaii Rugby) Can’t get to the shops? 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Culturalist Challenge! Which Role Should Lady Gaga Play on Broadway?

first_imgBroadway.com is crazy about Culturalist, the fun site that lets you choose and rank your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank—we’ll announce the most popular choices on the new episode of The Broadway.com Show every Wednesday. View Comments Last week, we asked you to rank your favorite gender-bending Broadway roles of all time. It was a close one, but Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch came out on top (sorry Yitzhak). This week, after getting wowed by Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music on the Academy Awards, we’ve dreamed up a list of roles we’d love to see her play on Broadway. We’re challenging you to rank your top 10 favorites! Broadway.com Site Producer Joanne Villani posted her list of top 10 picks here! STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and click the “continue” button. STEP 3—PREVIEW: You will now see your complete top 10 list. If you like it, click the “publish” button. (If you don’t have a Culturalist account yet, you will be asked to create one at this point.)center_img Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list. STEP 2—RANK: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on your list. Click the “continue” button. Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results on the next episode of The Broadway.com Show!last_img read more

Clippers 2017-18 roster breakdown

first_imgAnother part of the package of players the Clippers received from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Paul, and another reason to believe this is a deeper and more versatile team.Jawun Evans (R), G, 6-0, 190, Oklahoma State, 21Acquired for cash considerations from the Philadelphia 76ers, who selected him in the second round in June (39th overall), a young player who took giant strides during training camp.Danilo Gallinari, F, 6-10, 225, Italy, 29The Clippers lacked perimeter shooters from the wings, so they acquired Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets in order to help fill that void and create more scoring depth. Name, position, height, weight, school/country, agePatrick Beverley, G, 6-1, 185, Arkansas, 29The well-traveled point guard (Greece, Russia, Houston) was the key piece in the Chris Paul trade, a veteran who plays with a grittiness the Clippers believe they lacked in the past.Sam Dekker, F, 6-9, 230, Wisconsin, 23 Blake Griffin, F, 6-10, 251, Oklahoma, 28Griffin missed most of the summer after undergoing toe surgery and he returned to the team rested and ready to go, and continuing to work on the 3-point shot he started blending in last season.Montrezl Harrell, F, 6-8, 240, Louisville, 23Harrell came to the Clippers from the Rockets in the Paul deal over the summer, another big body who gives the roster a new look and a good deal more depth in the frontcourt.Brice Johnson, F, 6-10, 230, North Carolina, 23Played just three games last season for the Clippers, spending most of it in the developmental league after suffering an acute herniated disk in his back during an exhibition game.Wesley Johnson, F, 6-7, 215, Syracuse, 30Spent the summer working on his confidence and he returned to the team looking like a different player, averaging 10.6 points on 64.5 percent shooting (20 for 31) in five exhibitionsDeAndre Jordan, C, 6-11, 265, Texas A&M, 29Lob City ran through him and Griffin with Paul running the show for six seasons, but there’s no reason to believe it’s dead now that Paul is a Rocket. It’s just been revamped with new faces making the passes.Willie Reed, F/C, 6-11, 245, St. Louis, 27Signed as a free agent to give the Clippers depth beyond Griffin and Jordan, something the team lacked in the past but appears to have in abundance after an extremely busy offseason.Austin Rivers, G, 6-4, 200, Duke, 25Mononucleosis and a strained glute muscle conspired to sideline Rivers for most of training of the preseason, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be sound sooner rather than later.Milos Teodosic, G, 6-5, 196, Serbia, 30Teodosic was once known as the best player not playing in the NBA, but he finally left Europe and the Clippers nabbed him this summer with an assist from former teammate Beverley.Sindarius Thornwell (R), G, 6-5, 215, South Carolina, 22The Clippers traded for the versatile guard after the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him in the second round (48th overall), and he made the most of his NBA training camp debut.C.J. Williams, F, 6-5, 230, North Carolina State, 27Williams had his contract converted to a two-way deal, so it’s expected that he will play some with the Clippers but probably more with their new G-League team in Ontario.Lou Williams, G, 6-1, 175, South Gwinnett (Ga.) High School, 30Williams is one more part of the Paul trade, a veteran who is expected to play the role of sixth man formally occupied by the ageless Jamal Crawford, who is now working his magic with Minnesota.Jamil Wilson, F, 6-7, 229, Marquette, 26Signed a two-way contract during the offseason and is expected to play with the Clippers’ G-League team in Ontario, and if needed he’s only a short drive away (traffic permitting).(R) – rookiecenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more