“RWCL will not be making any further comment on this matter.”ends The RFU have acted to ban two of their coaches, David Alred and Paul Stridgeon, from Saturday’s match against Scotland after an investigation into alleged misconduct for a breach of the Laws of the Game by the England team in relation to the change in the match ball used following a number of conversion kicks in the first half of the match against Romania.The RFU said: “Following the England v Romania RWC 2011 match in Dunedin on September 24, Rugby World Cup Limited initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct for a breach of the Laws of the Game by the England team in relation to the change in the match ball used following a number of conversion kicks in the first half of the match. The RFU responded positively and expeditiously to the RWCL enquiries.Having conducted a thorough internal review of the matter the RFU has determined the following:1. Two members of the RFU RWC 2011 team management, David Alred and Paul Stridgeon, mistakenly thought that there was an issue with some of the match balls used in the England v Romania RWC 2011 match.2. Those team management members took it upon themselves to substitute balls during the match in contravention of both the Laws of the Game and the Spirit of the Game.3. The RFU fully accepts that the action of those team management members was incorrect and detrimental to the image of the tournament, the Game and to English Rugby. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS 4. The RFU has therefore decided to reprimand those team management members, to warn them as to their future conduct and to suspend them from participation in England’s next game, the match between England and Scotland. This suspension means that they will not be able to be in the stadium for that match in any capacity.5. The RFU would like to assure RWCL and the IRB of its continued wholehearted support for the tournament and its rules and that the RFU and its team management and members will abide by both the Laws and the Spirit of the Game. The RFU hopes that RWCL is of the view that the RFU has taken appropriate action in this matter and that no further sanctions or actions are required.Rugby World Cup Limited said: “We are appreciative of the decisive and timely action of the RFU in response to the RWCL investigation into alleged misconduct for a breach of the Laws of the Game regarding the change of balls used for placekicks by the England team during the first half of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool B match against Romania in Dunedin on September 24.“RWCL recognises that the RFU has investigated this matter fully and taken appropriate action and therefore no further action is required by RWCL. RWCL accepts the RFU’s assurances that it will abide by both the Laws and the Spirit of the Game going forward, however it must be pointed out that any similar breaches in future will be dealt with severely. QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND – SEPTEMBER 06: IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 Rugby Balls are seen during an Ireland IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 training session at Queenstown Events Centre on September 6, 2011 in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images)
NOT FOR FEATURED Man of the Match Tom Wood: “It’s absolutely brilliant. This is a day that will live long in the memory. We poured our hearts and souls into that after a frustrating couple of weeks; it was a brilliant effort from the guys.”In quotes – losersNew Zealand captain Richie McCaw: “We prepared for a big battle with 15 blokes coming out to play. Just after half-time we got the momentum back but we coughed it straight back and they’re a good team who took their chances.”Top statsEngland’s 17-point margin of victory is their biggest ever against New Zealand – their previous best a 13-0 win in 1936 – and the second heaviest defeat the All Blacks have suffered. It is England’s 350th Test win.Match highlightsENGLAND: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi (Jonathan Joseph 67), Brad Barritt, Mike Brown; Owen Farrell (Freddie Burns 65), Ben Youngs (Danny Care 69); Alex Corbisiero (Mako Vunipola 67), Tom Youngs (David Paice 73), Dan Cole (David Wilson 73), Joe Launchbury (Courtney Lawes 67), Geoff Parling, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw (captain), Ben Morgan (James Haskell 58).Tries: Barritt, Ashton, Tuilagi. Con: Farrell. Pens: Farrell 4, Burns 2. DG: Farrell.Sin-bin: Vunipola (74min).NEW ZEALAND: Israel Dagg (Ben Smith 71); Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea; Dan Carter (Aaron Cruden 63), Aaron Smith (Piri Weepu 63); Tony Woodcock (Wyatt Crockett 67), Keven Mealamu (Dane Coles 63), Owen Franks (Charlie Faumuina 53), Brodie Retallick (Luke Romano 50), Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam (Victor Vito 63), Richie McCaw (captain), Kieran Read. Flying solo: Chris Ashton scores England’s second try in a famous victory over New Zealand at TwickenhamBy Sarah Mockford, Rugby World Features EditorIn a nutshellEngland stunned the world champions with the type of complete, dominant performance they have been striving for all autumn. It was one of those matches when everything clicked for Stuart Lancaster’s side and they made a mockery of pre-match predictions to secure a memorable – and comfortable – win over New Zealand. Owen Farrell was the key man in the first half, building a lead with his boot while Dan Carter was uncharacteristically off-target, and after New Zealand hit back with two quick tries early in the second half Manu Tuilagi came to the fore as England crossed three times themselves.Key momentThe Ash Splash is back! Chris Ashton may have coughed a couple of balls into touch when England were putting pressure on the All Blacks, but when Manu Tuilagi made a sweet break in the opposition 22 in the 58th minute it was the Saracens wing on his shoulder. And he completed the score with a swallow dive, much to the crowd’s delight, as England extended their lead to a more comfortable 25-14.Spoils of victory: Manu TuilagiStar manManu Tuilagi was involved in all three England tries, adding a real spark to the hosts’ attacking game and causing New Zealand problems. He linked sweetly with Brad Barritt down the left wing for the first England try, broke clean through to set Chris Ashton up for the second and then intercepted a Kieran Read pass to sprint clear for the third.Room for improvementEngland appeared to learn all the lessons from the previous defeats to Australia and South Africa, so the challenge now is maintaining that in the Six Nations. Their powerful defence closed the All Blacks attacking game down and denied them the quick ball to which they are so accustomed while their set-piece also remained solid.Their attacking game also appeared to click, with support runners available as players made breaks when for much of the autumn they have been noticeably absent.While England’s purpose and intent meant All Blacks couldn’t get a foothold in terms of territory and points, the world champions must learn to play when things aren’t going their way and they can’t get such quick ball. Maybe they need to grind it through the forwards occasionally rather than always look to go wide.Try machine: All Black wing Julian Savea has scored 12 tries in his nine Tests in 2012In quotes – winners LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Tries: Savea 2, Read. Cons: Carter 2, Cruden.Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Key man: Conor Murray was integral to Ireland’s win with his accurate box kicking (Pic Inpho) Coach Joe Schmidt pulled out the aces once again in Dublin to send hopes of only a third Irish Grand Slam soaring. It wasn’t pretty but it was stunningly effective… LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It was another in what is becoming a long line of Joe Schmidt-inspired deconstructions; Ireland neutralised England’s strengths and put on the squeeze until the chariot derailed. If bike racing is described as ‘chess on wheels’, Joe Schmidt-coached teams play a brand of ‘chess on grass’. Every game he varies his tactics and provides a vital wrinkle that proves decisive. And so it proved, again in this Six Nations.Ireland stopped England at sourceAll week the talk was of the English firepower and how Ireland might struggle to live with it. Ireland turned it into a weakness by pulverising England at the breakdown, and forced England into a litany of errors. It was a counter-rucking performance similar to that which caused New Zealand huge problems in that game.Choke hold: Ireland stopped England possession at source (Pic Inpho)The assault on every ruck was led magnificently by Rory Best, and where he went his back-row tyros followed. Ireland won penalties, but even when they didn’t come up with the ball, they managed to slow England’s ball to a crawl at almost every ruck. As a result, England simply couldn’t get their game-breaking midfield runners into the game and their biggest threat was nullified.Discipline proved vitalIreland were frustrated with their penalty count against France, but the lessons from that game were absorbed. Ireland were aggressive, but controlled, while England gave away a number of penalties that bordered on the foolhardy: Billy Vunipola ploughing into a ruck from the side, James Haskell allowing himself to be coaxed into drifting offside by Conor Murray delaying his pick-up from the ruck, Anthony Watson playing the ball in front of a knock-on. On the one occasion England had Ireland on the rack, they gave away a cheap turnover, with Billy Twelvetrees providing an accidental offside.Discipline: Ireland won their fair share of penalties against England (Pic Inpho)44 kicks in one game is a lot Ireland kick the ball a lot. An awful lot in fact. 44 kicks in a single game seems excessive, and boring, and once again we’ve yet to see much in the way of running rugby from the team. But it’s hard to argue with its effectiveness, primarily because Sexton and Murray are so accurate with the boot. Time after time Ireland gained territorial advantage with their kicking game, and it frequently resulted in penalties. And, of course, it can’t have been much of a surprise when the vital try was secured through a chase of a brilliant kick by Conor Murray.Youth was to the foreRobbie Henshaw was superb again, scoring a beautifully-taken try, running hard and few can match his ferocity in defence. Back in November, he appeared less than a certainty to start, as it was expected he and Jared Payne were in competition to be selected. Now, five Tests later, he’s one of the undroppables. It’s a meteoric rise for the Connacht man.Youthful ambition: Robbie Henshaw was full of enterprise (Pic Inpho)Huge credit must also go to the two rookies in the back row. Few would have expected a back row of Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and Jordi Murphy to have enough bang-wallop to trouble the huge England unit which had performed so well in the first two rounds, but the trio were workhorses and secured the upper hand.Sexton is vital Not so much a learning perhaps, more a reaffirmation. A nervy fortnight ensues, until we can be certain Johnny Sexton’s hamstring is sufficiently healed to allow him to take the field in Cardiff. Ian Madigan has plenty of strengths, but none of them are really in keeping with Ireland’s current mode of play.The master: Johnny Sexton repeatedly tested the English defence with high balls (Pic Inpho)In fact, tactical kicking from hand is by far the weakest of Madigan’s suits, and the pressure applied to England was vastly diminished after he replaced Sexton. Ireland could probably beat Scotland with Ian Humphreys at fly-half, but Wales will be a different story, and possibly the toughest game of the championship; Ireland will need Sexton back to win.
The winner of the repechage tournament will go into a group alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the winner of the Africa Gold Cup.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter. Success: The French team secured victory against England in the U20 Final (Getty Images)France was chosen to host the event after the immense success of the World Rugby U20 Championships that was held recently.World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The repechage tournament is going to be a very hotly contested event with the ultimate prize of a place at the Rugby World Cup at stake. Marseille can look forward to three matchdays of thrilling rugby between nations from four different continents.“Following the outstanding success of the recent World Rugby U20 Championship in southern France, we are delighted to partner with the French Rugby Federation again to deliver this important tournament as France continues to advance its preparations for hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023.”French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte said: “I am delighted that France will be hosting the repechage tournament for the Rugby World Cup 2019. It’s a very important event as four teams will compete in Marseille to get the last seat for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. By hosting this tournament, FFR reinforces its commitment to help develop rugby worldwide. It’s also a pretty glimpse to the Rugby World Cup #France2023. I wish to thank the SMUC Rugby which partners with FFR to ensure the success of such an event.” Rugby World Cup Repechage Tournament To Be Held In FranceThe 20th and final qualifier spot at the 2019 World Cup will be decided in a Repechage tournament that will be held in State Delort in Marseille, it has been announced.Four teams will feature in a round-robin event that will be played over three match days on Sunday 11 November, Saturday 17 November and finally the 23rd of November on a Friday.Right now there are two sides currently guaranteed a spot in the round robin event. Firstly, Hong Kong smashed the Cook Islands 77-3 to secure their place to go along with Canada, who lost to Uruguay in a two-match play-off.The third place will go to either Germany or Samoa after their match this Saturday with the winner automatically qualifying for the 2019 World Cup and the loser going into the repechage event. (Samoa are in the driving seat after a 66-15 victory in the first leg).And finally the fourth place will be decided when the Rugby Africa Gold Cup finishes. The winner will qualify automatically and the runners-up enter the repechage. Qualifiers: The repechage event will decide the final qualifier for the 2019 World Cup (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The final Repechage event to qualify for the 2019 World Cup will be held at State Delort in Marseille.
England centre red-carded for shoulder charge on George North “I found it bizzare,” said Jones when talking about the red card decision. “I usually don’t comment but I don’t see how you can tackle the guy. What a load of rubbish. Manu is trying to kill the tackle. It’s absolute rubbish. I’ve broken my rule.“There is no common sense applied in that situation. The guy is falling after the chop tackle, Manu is coming over the top to to kill the tackle. He’s doing everything he’s supposed to be doing and he’s red-carded.”Tuilagi is the first England player to be sent off in Five/Six Nations match and the first player from any country to score a try and be red-carded in the same championship game. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Manu Tuilagi sent off at TwickenhamEngland centre Manu Tuilagi was sent off in England’s 33-30 Six Nations win over Wales at Twickenham.England conceded two tries following Tuilagi’s dismissal but held on to record the victory and seal the Triple Crown.Related: Wales score a stunner to bring Twickenham clash to lifeTuilagi was red-carded in the 75th minute for a dangerous tackle on Wales wing George North.The incident happened as Wales were attacking in England’s 22 and as the ball was spread wide to North, the wing was tackled low by Henry Slade near the touchline. Then Tuilagi came across and made a dangerous tackle. Five other players have been sent off playing in a Test match for England. The most recent was Elliot Daly in 2016, who was red-carded for tackling an Argentina player in the air.In 2005 Lewis Moody was red-carded against Samoa for punching Alesana Tuilagi – Manu’s brother – and a year previous Simon Shaw was given his marching orders for a knee in a ruck against New Zealand.In 1998, it was Danny Grewcock who was sent off. He was red-carded for kicking All Blacks hooker Anton Oliver.The first England player sent off in a Test match was Mike Burton in 1975 against Australia in the ‘Battle of Brisbane’. His dismissal was for a late tackle. A red card shown to Manu Tuilagi for a shoulder charge on George North#ITVRugby pic.twitter.com/NXkmVmqfQg— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) March 7, 2020A TMO referral showed there was no attempt to wrap the arms and his shoulder made contact with North’s head.Referee Ben O’Keeffe said: “It was a clear shoulder charge and there was clear contact with the head.”Eddie Jones was not happy with the red card decision. He had a clear dig at O’Keeffe when saying it was “13 versus 16” and talking of Wales having a “three-man advantage” at the end.Ellis Genge had been sin-binned following repeated infringements in the 22 and Manu’s red card reduced England to 13 men, and Jones clearly felt the referee was ruling in Wales’ favour. Marching orders: Manu Tuilagi walks off after being shown a red card (Getty Images) The April issue of Rugby World magazine – focusing on a new generation of Six Nations stars – is out now.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In addition to the practical efforts on the ground, Lebanon Rugby launched a Disaster Fund and appealed to the wider rugby community to donate. Mokdad describes it as “pretty overwhelming” that nearly £15,000 has been raised, to be split equally between the Lebanese Red Cross and Beit El Baraka, a local charity.The governing body, which is planning to apply for full membership of World Rugby next year, had already been helping to provide food for poor families before the explosion and wants to continue with such social initiatives through the Friends of Lebanon Rugby.“The idea is to give 50% raised to the Red Cross and Beit El Baraka, and the other to the Lebanon Rugby Social Impact Fund to finance initiatives for players to do things and develop Lebanon Rugby, to spread the values of rugby to impoverished communities.”Concussion campaignThis month marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Ben Robinson, the 14-year-old player from Northern Ireland who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a game and later died in hospital.Most rugby fans will know Ben’s story and the critical, life-saving lesson at its heart: If in doubt, sit them out.Ben’s dad, Peter, has campaigned for safety on the rugby field since that horrible day. Through his work in highlighting the importance of education around the area of brain injury, Peter Robinson may have helped stop another kid and another family from suffering the way his boy and his people have done. He’s a former rugby player, a rugby fan and a rugby protector.Sign of the times: Important messaging around head injuries is visible at BT Murrayfield (Getty Images)“I know the benefits of rugby and the comradeship you get from it, and to rule that out would be wrong because of what happened to Ben,” he says.“Ben’s death was preventable. Rugby wanted to educate him about nutrition and strength and conditioning but nobody ever spoke about concussion. All it would have taken that day was for people to spot the signs and know what to do. Nobody did. The game was stopped four times for Ben.”Compared to 2011, rugby is far more aware of the dangers of brain injury – and that’s what it is. “It’s a brain injury. The word ‘concussion’ rolls off the tongue but when we brought Ben into hospital they called it a traumatic brain injury, not a concussion. It’s not a Head Injury Assessment (HIA), it’s a Brain Injury Assessment.“The terminology is important. We’re making progress. Now you have players retiring and talking about their own experiences, and it helps educate people. We’ll keep going, trying to highlight the message. Sometimes I tell coaches if you think it’s a hard decision to take a kid off a pitch with a suspected brain injury, it’s not. Switching off a life support machine, that’s a hard decision.” Celebrating rugby’s real heroesTalk of rugby’s values can be trite, descriptions of acts on a rugby field as heroic or brave can be overused, yet the stories covered below highlight how special this sporting community is. Here we highlight lesser-known stories of those members of the rugby family who have gone above and beyond. Not all heroes wear capes…Relief effortOn Tuesday 4 August 2020, a huge explosion of ammonium nitrate in the Port of Beirut killed more than 200 people, injured a further 6,500 and destroyed swathes of buildings. The disaster only added to Lebanon’s problems, with the Covid-19 pandemic and economic collapse already putting the country in crisis.“Lebanon has gone through hell the past year,” says Lebanon Rugby CEO Sol Mokdad, who was sitting on his seventh-floor balcony just a few kilometres from the port when the explosion happened.“The ground started shaking, then there was a loud sonic boom, the doors came off their frames and glass shattered. Looking down on the street no one knew what was going on.”The aftermath: Damage caused by the explosion in Beirut (Getty Images)As news of the explosion filtered through, WhatsApp groups flooded with messages checking on everyone’s wellbeing. Fortunately no one involved in the country’s rugby community was seriously injured and they were determined to help, with many heading straight to the danger zone.“Players went down of their own choice, people ran towards the explosion instead of away from it,” says Mokdad. “Our medical manager (Wadih Nassif) is heavily involved with the Lebanese Red Cross, so he was helping with immediate relief. Around 50-60 players – kids, women, men – turned up to help with clearing up, made sandwiches to help feed people… It was pretty organic how players went and volunteered.”Mokdad pays tribute to the work of Manuel Stanislas, who is in charge of junior rugby in Lebanon, for “instilling the values of rugby and the culture” in the country’s youth players, many of whom were among those to volunteer. “Being involved in sport helps. It’s a way of helping other people and processing what happened to me. I’m lucky to have found myself in a role where I can make a difference again. Rugby has helped me to find confidence within myself again.” The awful sadness is that it took Ben’s death for the game to start waking up. Rugby owes Peter Robinson all its gratitude, support and respect for everything that he’s doing in Ben’s name.Girl powerIn just five years, David McGuigan has grown the girls’ section at Old Reigatian RFC from nothing to nearly 100 players. And the club’s female arm already have silverware in their trophy cabinet as the U13s won the Surrey Waterfall Cup in April 2019.Yet McGuigan isn’t solely focused on the girls’ set-up, he will throw himself into all club activities. “He’s one of those guys that every rugby club has, who’ll do anything for anyone and is the first to put his name down to help,” says Matt Garbett, one of the girls’ coaches. “He’ll send us coaches emails at 1am – I don’t know when he sleeps! He’s an inspiration to us all and a true rugby man.”McGuigan was coaching boys at the club when he decided to launch a girls’ section because there was nowhere for his daughter, Caitlin, to play. He started off with only five players and there are now 94 from U11s to U18s, with the club’s recruitment impressive.Winning feeling: Old Reigatian celebrate their 2019 cup success (Jo Garbett)The club are fortunate to have three schools in the area – Reigate, St Bede’s and Reigate Grammar – and players often bring a few friends along. They also set up a stall at Parkruns and other local events to try to attract new players.Garbett, who switched from coaching his son in the boys’ section to the girls after his daughter, Lily, started playing, says: “David had a vision to grow the girls’ section and it has taken off. David is the driving force.”Even Covid hasn’t dampened spirits. As soon as they got the green light to return to training in groups of six, players were back doing skills work. The girls have embraced Ready 4 Rugby, the RFU’s new non-contact game, and even during the recent lockdown McGuigan put in place ways to keep them engaged.Another goal is to launch a women’s team in the next three years. Given their success at age-grade level, it wouldn’t be a surprise if that was achieved sooner rather than later.All inclusive“My life changed forever while on patrol in Afghanistan.” Darren Carew was left with serious physical and mental injuries when the vehicle he was in was blown apart by an IED (improvised explosive device) 12 years ago, but now he is focused on getting more people involved in sport as the WRU’s disability rugby coordinator.Carew opted to have his left leg amputated below the knee four years after the incident due to the chronic pain, while he lives with a brain injury that can affect his speech and memory. It’s the mental toll that he has found toughest, though, and that is where his day job helps.“Coping mentally with the consequences of your injuries and the long-term effects of the hidden injuries are almost a bigger trauma than the physical injuries,” he says. The aim of the WRU Disability Rugby Strategy is to make the oval-ball game more inclusive, so everyone in Wales can get involved. ‘Jersey for All’ is the motto and, as well as delivering sessions himself, Carew has put together a programme that means more opportunities are available in wheelchair rugby, mixed ability rugby, deaf and visually impaired rugby. He’s even been to Kitakyushu in Japan to run sessions as part of the WRU’s engagement work pre-RWC 2019.“You do something at home and are proud but to take it to a different country and see it work… We weren’t sure how the children would respond and it was an emotional experience but in a good way,” says Carew.Closer to home, Carew is pleased to see such a diverse mix of people now getting involved in rugby. “We have kids as young as six and adults 60-plus, with a massive range of disabilities. It’s all about seeing the impact. And smiles on faces.”Referee stalwartWhen a series of concussions brought his playing days to a premature end at just 21, Kārlis Sarkans knew he wanted to stay involved in the game and decided to take up refereeing. Within a year he was refereeing in the Latvia Championship and now, a decade and a half later, he is the country’s top official.We often talk about the importance of referees, how matches cannot happen without them, and that is underlined in developing nations, where numbers are limited.As Raimonds Rudzats, chairman of the Sigulda club, puts it: “It’s almost impossible to have any fixture or tournament without Kārlis because we are short of referees and we don’t have any other at his level. That means most of his leisure time for the past 15 years has been dedicated to Latvian rugby. He is the unsung hero of Latvian rugby.”Latvia’s 15-a-side men’s league has six teams while in sevens there are two divisions. Throw in women’s and youth matches, cross-border tournaments with Lithuania and Rugby Europe Tests, and that’s a lot of rugby that needs officiating.Taking charge: Kārlis Sarkans on refereeing duty (Zigismunds Zalmanis/Latvian Rugby Federation)“When the season is going, I’d say I usually have two events per week,” says Sarkans, who works as a systems analyst for TietoEVRY. “I have three children – the oldest is eight and the youngest three and a half – so it is difficult trying to get a balance, but somehow my wife allows me to have the time to referee and prepare for refereeing.”Sarkans points to Alain Rolland and Nigel Owens as officials he has looked up to – he has even incorporated the Welshman’s game management and communication style into his own game. An exchange scheme in 2006-07 also gave him the chance to referee in England, which proved a valuable learning experience early on.Yet refereeing isn’t always rosy – abuse from the sidelines is a regular occurrence while political infighting is also casting shadows over the sport in Latvia. For now, though, 36-year-old Sarkans will continue to devote a huge amount of his time to rugby and the impact of that should not be underestimated.“I’ll try to do it as long as I can,” says Sarkans. “Even if I stop the top games because of negativity, I will referee kids’ or women’s matches to stay in the game. At the moment I’m still enjoying it. If I stop, I’ll have to find another way to get positive emotions. I don’t want to leave the game as it’s in my heart.”Show of resilienceLuke Igolen-Robinson was lining up the ball-carrier, ready to make the tackle, but rather than make contact with the opponent’s hip with his shoulder he did it with his head. Dad Carl, one of the coaches, was watching from the sidelines. He’d seen Luke get hurt before but the more time ticked on with him still on the ground, the more his eyes drifted from play to his prone son. When he saw the doctor put his hands around Luke’s head to stabilise his neck, Carl knew it was serious.Luke had broken his neck, aged 15, while playing for his school, Haileybury. To complicate matters, they were in Argentina, the injury sustained in a game against Los Tordos RC in Mendoza, and neither father nor son spoke Spanish.“It was really tough,” recalls Luke now, a little over two years later. “My arm was agony because of nerve damage but I couldn’t tell anyone that. The nurses were trying to do tests and I couldn’t tell them not to move my right arm.”It soon became clear, however, that they would not be left in this situation alone. Players and parents and coaches from Los Tordos started arriving at the hospital and offering support, one of their number crucial in communicating with the insurance company’s Buenos Aires office to ensure the required surgery could go ahead. There was also a visit from an Argentina federation medic as well as a surprise appearance from a trio of Pumas internationals.Surprise visitors: Pumas players drop in on Luke Igolen-Robinson in hospital (Carl Igolen-Robinson)“I’d asked the medic if Luke wanted to play again could he,” says Carl, “and he said that if the surgery was successful, then there would be no greater risk than anyone else taking the field. It was an important moment as we didn’t know if he’d play again until then.”While the Igolen-Robinsons were back home a couple of weeks after the injury had occurred, the road to recovery was long and at times rocky. Carl contacted Juan Figallo, one of those Pumas who visited in Mendoza, to ask him to mentor Luke through his rehab, which was led by Jonathan George, Jamie’s brother who is a physio at Saracens.“It was tough getting all the rehab done but I knew I had to do it to play again and I was determined to do that,” says Luke, now 18. “Once I got told I could still play that’s all I had eyes on.”Luke made his return in the school second team a little over a year after breaking his neck and was playing in the first XV just a few weeks later. Carl has chronicled the whole journey in a new book, A Break in Mendoza, that is raising money for the RFU Injured Players Foundation.“There are two themes to the book,” says Carl. “One is Luke’s resilience, courage and determination. The other is the support of the rugby family, its ethos and values.”Food for thoughtRugby clubs have all been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic but community spirit remains, with Richmond FC a prime example. As soon as rugby had to shut down in March, the club turned their attention to helping the most vulnerable in the area with food bank collections and providing second-hand laptops to families struggling with homeschooling.During the summer, Richmond used their allocation from the London Community Response Fund to provide local schoolchildren with a cooked meal each day, as well as a cold packed lunch with help from the local college and Carluccio’s restaurant. It meant finding out who needed help through the club’s partner schools, bringing back two catering staff from furlough to cook the meals and recruiting volunteers to deliver them.Then in October, after the Government denied Marcus Rashford’s petition to extend free school meals into half-term, the club whizzed into action again. This time there was no external funding to cover the costs involved but the club were able to raise the necessary money.Bagged up: Volunteers from Richmond deliver meals to local schoolchildren (Getty Images)“We couldn’t not do something so it was how we could get it off the ground,” explains Dom Palacio, Richmond’s head of community rugby. “Ultimately we’re losing money hand over fist at the moment because there is no play, so the first question was how would the club pay for it.“We had a small amount, a few hundred pounds, left from the summer budget, so we went with that and then put a call out to help us with donations via JustGiving. The community support was huge, with almost £4,500 raised in a week.”The club also reached out to more schools to identify children in need and what started as 44 meals on the Monday had grown to 98 by the end of the week. “People have been so grateful for the help – it’s been a really humbling experience,” says Palacio.“The easy thing for people to do is sit on the sofa as there’s not much rugby going on, but this has been a positive way to give back to society.” This article originally appeared in the January 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We shine a spotlight on the incredible work being done around the world with seven inspiring stories LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
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. 6. He married his childhood sweetheart Laura Priestley in 2013 and the couple have three children together – Luca, Amy and Sophie.When was Johnny Sexton World Player of the Year?7. In 2018, he was named World Rugby’s Player of the Year, which made him only the second Irishman to receive the honour. Hooker Keith Wood won the accolade back in 2001.8. Sexton kicked a late drop-goal against France in Paris in the first round of the 2018 Six Nations to secure an 15-13 victory and put Ireland on their way to a Grand Slam. He also won won Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015.9. His favourite TV show is the Netflix hit Narcos and his favourite film is Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 release Inglourious Basterds.10. He made his 100th Test appearance against Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup in 2020. Facts and figures about the Leinster and Lions No 10 Who is Johnny Sexton: Ten things you should know about the Ireland fly-halfIreland captain Johnny Sexton is a rugby icon who made his international debut in 2009 against Fiji.The majority of Sexton’s professional career has been spent at Leinster, where he won the European Cup in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2018, while he also had a two-year stint in Paris with Racing 92 between 2013 and 2015.Related: Johnny Sexton’s Life in PicturesTen things you should know about Johnny Sexton1. Sexton was part of the first Ireland men’s team to beat New Zealand in a Test match, kicking ten points in their 40-29 victory in Chicago in 2016. He was also at fly-half when they beat the All Blacks for a second time, in Dublin in 2018, and provided 11 points from his boot in the 16-9 triumph.2. He has a younger brother, Jerry Sexton, who plays for the Doncaster Knights in the English Championship and has been capped by Ireland U20. Their uncle, Willie Sexton, also won three caps for Ireland.3. Sexton played in all six Tests on the 2013 and 2017 British & Irish Lions tours, which resulted in a 2-1 series win in Australia and a drawn series in New Zealand.How old is Johnny Sexton?4. He was born on 11 July 1985 in Dublin and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin.5. Sexton is an ambassador for Make-A-Wish Ireland alongside Ireland team-mates Andrew Conway and Keith Earls. Johnny Sexton lines up a kick at goal in the Six Nations (Getty Images)
Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Rector Hopkinsville, KY Director of Music Morristown, NJ Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS President of the House of Deputies Comments (3) Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Press Release Service Featured Jobs & Calls The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Fran Toy says: Jerry Thompson says: Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Pittsburgh, PA Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Tampa, FL Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs General Convention, AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Sharon T. Bowen says: Youth Minister Lorton, VA June 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm I couldn’t agree more with the above comments. Gay would be excellent! This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Curate Diocese of Nebraska Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Gay Jennings announces candidacy for House of Deputies president Submit a Job Listing Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm I absolutely agree with Sharon Bowen! TEC is blessed to have someone with Gay’s MANY God-given gifts willing to serve in this office. Were I at General Convention in July, I would do everything possible to urge support for Gay as President of the House of Deputies.I also take this opportunity to THANK Bonnie Anderson for her service to TEC. Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Washington, DC Rector Collierville, TN Rector Bath, NC Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Martinsville, VA An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Albany, NY Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Submit an Event Listing By Mary Frances SchjonbergPosted Jun 5, 2012 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Tags Submit a Press Release Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Rector Shreveport, LA Featured Events [Episcopal News Service] The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, who just completed a six-year term on the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, announced June 5 that she will stand for election as president of the House of Deputies.Jennings said in a posting on Facebook that she came to her decision “after much prayer and many conversations with Episcopalians around the church.”“I ask for your support, ideas, participation and prayers,” she said, asking people to join her on the page “so we can exchange ideas and questions about the work God is calling us to do.”Jennings also announced her intentions via a letter to members of the House of Bishops and Deputies e-mail listserv.“I’d like to work with you and other leaders to change the way we do business in the next triennium,” she said in the letter. “For the Episcopal Church to matter in the 21st century, we have to find ways to move forward together. I believe that God is calling us to embrace a future with no more false choices between mission and governance. No more false wars between individuals or groups. No more jockeying for turf or control.”Jennings said that, beyond asking for the support of deputies, she “hope[d] that all of you will invest and participate in building collaborative and networked partnerships for the work that God has called us to do at this General Convention and in the next triennium.”If elected, Jennings would serve from the adjournment of the July 5-12 meeting of General Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., until the adjournment of the next convention meeting in July 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She would succeed Bonnie Anderson, who has served two three-year terms as House of Deputies president.Anderson announced May 23 that she would not ask convention to elect her to a third and final term as president.The House of Deputies will accept nominations for the presidency during the upcoming meeting of convention on July 8 and the election for the 32nd president of the house will be held the next day.On July 10, the house will receive nominations for vice president, according to information here. That office has been vacant since Feb. 15, 2010, when Diocese of Minnesota Bishop Brian Prior, who had been vice president, was ordained bishop.The vice president of the House of Deputies must be a different order than the president.The House of Deputies includes up to eight voting members from each of the church’s 109 dioceses, one area mission and one convocation. The General Convention is one of the largest legislative bodies in the world.The President of the House of Deputies serves as vice president of the Executive Council and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the Episcopal Church’s corporate entity). The president presides over the House of Deputies at General Convention, appoints clergy and lay members of all the standing commissions and convention legislative committees, and performs many functions of liaison, development, and opportunity between conventions.The position is unpaid, but in the 2010-2012 triennium General Convention provided (line 140-145 here) a budget of nearly $589,000 to cover Anderson’s expenses, to compensate staff to assist her and to cover the costs of maintaining an advisory council which the president appoints.Since Anderson announced her decision to retire some observers have commented on how the demands of the job could financially impact potential candidates.Jennings, 61, lives in Sagamore Hills, Ohio, and has been the associate director of CREDO Institute Inc. for the past nine years. CREDO provides an array of conferences and post-conference resources that help eligible Church Pension Fund participants examine, evaluate, and re-energize their health and wellness.“I am working to ensure that I will have all of the time necessary to devote to the position of president of the House of Deputies,” Jennings told Episcopal News Service shortly after she announced her intention to stand for election.Prior to joining CREDO, Jennings served as canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Ohio for 17 years. She was ordained deacon in 1978 and priest in 1979, and served parishes in Virginia and Ohio early in her ministry. Jennings stood for election as bishop of the Diocese of Virginia in early 2007 when current Bishop Shannon Johnston was chosen.She is married to the Rev. Albert Jennings, rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Macedonia, Ohio, and dean of the diocese’s Summit Mission Area.Jennings chaired Executive Council’s Governance and Administration for Mission committee during the final three years of her term on council. As part of its work, the committee took the lead in revising the council’s bylaws and the personnel policy handbook for employees of the DFMS.She is also the clergy member of the Episcopal Church’s delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council, which next meets this fall in Auckland, New Zealand.– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.In Spanish: http://bit.ly/MheZ1N Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Comments are closed. Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 June 6, 2012 at 8:58 am I can’t imagine a better candidate. I have known Gay for many years – she is the best ! Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC General Convention 2012, Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Belleville, IL An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Smithfield, NC
Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Belleville, IL Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Washington, DC Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Se consideran candidatos para el grupo especial de trabajo sobre la reforma estructural de la iglesia Autorizado por la Resolución C095 de la Convención General TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Submit an Event Listing Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ [Oficial de Asuntos Públicos] Los episcopales que deseen ser considerados para formar parte de un grupo de trabajo demandado por la Convención General que se centra en la restructuración de la iglesia pueden localizar en línea a un formulario de inscripción en https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Nominaciones_GT_EstructuraLas personas pueden nominarse a sí mismas o a otros.Las nominaciones se aceptarán hasta el jueves, 23 de agosto.Aprobada en la recientemente concluida Convención General de 2012, la Resolución C095 pide la formación de un grupo de trabajo de 24 miembros encargado de presentar un plan en la próxima Convención General de 2015 “para la reforma de las estructuras de la Iglesia, gobierno y administración”.Los integrantes del grupo serán designados el 30 de septiembre por la Obispa Presidente Katharine Jefferts Schori y el presidente de la Cámara de los Diputados, la reverenda Gay Clark Jennings.De acuerdo a la resolución, “Los miembros del grupo de trabajo deberán reflejar la diversidad de la Iglesia, e incluirán a algunas personas con distancia crítica del liderazgo institucional de la Iglesia”.Además, el grupo de trabajo llevará a cabo una reunión especial con representación de todas las diócesis en preparación de su informe final, se espera que esté listo para noviembre de 2014. La fecha y el lugar de la reunión especial se determinarán más adelante.Resolución C095 en su totalidad está aquí:http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=number&id=c095 Rector Knoxville, TN In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Submit a Press Release Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Submit a Job Listing Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Albany, NY Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Rector Tampa, FL Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Featured Events Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Collierville, TN Youth Minister Lorton, VA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Bath, NC An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Press Release Service Featured Jobs & Calls Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Pittsburgh, PA Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Posted Aug 1, 2012 Rector Shreveport, LA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA
Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Rector Belleville, IL Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Submit an Event Listing Anglican Communion, Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Press Release Service Director of Music Morristown, NJ Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Events Rector Shreveport, LA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Washington, DC Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Pittsburgh, PA Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Submit a Press Release Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Collierville, TN Course Director Jerusalem, Israel TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Submit a Job Listing Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Smithfield, NC Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Featured Jobs & Calls This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Tags Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Bath, NC Rector Tampa, FL Latin America, Rector Martinsville, VA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group [Episcopal News Service – San Salvador, El Salvador] For missionaries Tom and Dianne Wilson the most challenging part of service in El Salvador thus far has been learning Spanish.The couple, from Rutland, Massachusetts, and members of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden, in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, arrived on March 4 and have spent the first six weeks of missionary service in the Anglican/Episcopal Church of El Salvador, studying Spanish at the Center for Exchange and Solidarity and living with a host family, completing the Spanish-language immersion experience.“Language is the biggest challenge,” followed by the heat and the mosquitoes, said Dianne Wilson, 65, a retired municipal government tax assessor.Before they arrived, Tom Wilson, 50, said “they had a million concerns” related to being “foreigners in a foreign land,” but that the church has done a great job of welcoming them and helping them to acclimate.The Wilsons first involvement with Episcopal Church missionaries came when they were members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and part of a support team for a friend who was serving in Kenya. When they moved to St. Francis in 2007, the church had just recently established a relationship with Foundation Cristosal, said Dianne Wilson.St. Francis had committed to tithing 10 percent to the human rights-based community development organization with roots in the Anglican and Episcopal churches operating in El Salvador, but Cristosal didn’t want the money unless church members planned to visit, she said.“When we got there, they were just planning their second trip to El Salvador and I wanted to see the other side of it [missionary service on the ground],” said Dianne Wilson.Tom Wilson, a former finance director for a nonprofit organization, however, wasn’t immediately sold, he said, because the trip didn’t include building anything. Rather than construct “projects” Cristosal works to empower the poor to act for justice and development as equal citizens in a democratic society, and Tom said he didn’t care to have a “kumbaya” moment, but in the end he decided he couldn’t let his wife go to Central America alone.“Human rights-based development is a hard concept, until you see it,” said Tom Wilson, who later became the chair of St. Francis’ mission committee.It was the passion, however, of Cristosal’s executive director, Noah Bullock, that set the Wilsons on the path to missionary service, they said.That was the first of the Wilsons three visits to Cristosal and El Salvador. Their fourth visit came in August 2012, when they spent two weeks living in El Maizal, a small community two-and-a half hours drive from San Salvador and 20 miles from the Guatemala border where the church has a guest house and a farm. The Wilsons will serve out the missionary commitment in El Maizal, and will move there in the coming days.The Wilsons’ main priority, they said, is to teach English as a second language to the community’s children and interested adults, and to manage the guesthouse which, when up and running, can host 12 people.There are about 30 cinderblock homes in the area, and also an Episcopal school. It’s an area that was destroyed by earthquakes in 2001 and rebuilt with the help of Episcopal Relief & Development.In the 1980s El Salvador suffered a brutal civil war, fought mainly over inequality. And in the years following the 1992 United Nations-brokered Peace Accords, the smallest, most densely populated country in Central America has experienced a number of devastating natural disasters. It has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Inequality continues to persist, with some 50 percent of adult population unemployed and 47 percent of people living in extreme poverty.The couple has committed to three years of service, and they understand that the journey will not be easy.“This is a hard life, not to mention what you are going to witness – people live in abject poverty,” said Dianne Wilson. “It’s an incredibly hard life: We are visiting it, they are living it.”The Wilsons are blogging about their experiences here. — Lynette Wilson is and editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service. She is currently based in San Salvador, El Salvador. El Salvador: Missionaries head into the field, face challenges Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Albany, NY Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Missionaries Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA By Lynette WilsonPosted Apr 17, 2013 New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Curate Diocese of Nebraska Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK