How will the French fare in the Heineken Cup?

first_imgAhead of this weekend’s Heineken Cup quarter-finals, Rugby World runs the rule over the French contenders… Ready Freddie? Michalak has been making headlines recently with his performances at ten for Toulon LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Bright spark: Clermont’s Napolioni Nalaga will be looking to make breaks like this against LeicesterClermontLeicester head to Clermont on Saturday with the statistics stacked against them. Not only do the Heineken Cup record books show that in 68 quarter-final encounters 51 have been won by the home side, but the Tigers travel to the toughest venue in Europe. The last time Clermont lost at the Stade Marcel-Michelin was in November 2009 (to Biarritz in the Top 14), and since then the men in yellow and blue have compiled a 74-match winning streak.Admittedly Clermont suffered a surprise 26-24 defeat away at Brive last week, but they were without Julien Bonnaire, Alexandre Lapandry, Julien Bardy, Jamie Cudmore, Vincent Debaty and Sitiveni Sivivatu. All are available for selection on Saturday, and all are likely to help Clermont make it 75 games on the bounce at the Michelin.On the move: will Toulouse be able to hit the ground running at Thomond Park against Munster?ToulouseOf the three French teams left in the tournament, Toulouse face the toughest task in travelling to Munster. Lying sixth in the Top 14 with only 11 victories from 23 matches, the four-times champions will be firm underdogs ahead of Saturday’s clash at Thomond Park. “It’s a major challenge,” admitted Toulouse coach Guy Noves this week. “We know it’s going to be hard to get back up (from the defeat to Toulon) but we’re going to try to do it.”center_img No one club has dominated the Top 14 this season, with the three French teams in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals all showing themselves fallible. Then again, they’ve also played some superb rugby at times and their opponents on Saturday will have to be at their best if they’re to progress to the semi-finals…ToulonThe reigning champions welcome Leinster to the Stade Mayol on Sunday, a week after their dramatic 32-28 victory over Toulouse in Marseille. Star of that show was Frederic Michalak, the veteran fly-half scoring 27 points including the second of Toulon’s two tries.The previous week Michalak – for whom the word ‘mercurial’ could have been invented – looked lively against Clermont and he has no doubt why he’s hit form at this late stage of the season. “I’m in good shape. I no longer have any niggles,” he says. “That’s allowed me to be at 100% and to play without apprehension.”The fact he’s been given a run in the No 10 shirt – a position in which, he says, he “feels at ease” – is no coincidence after 18 months playing for Toulon mostly at scrum-half. Nonetheless, it’s expected that Jonny Wilkinson, absent from the Toulouse game with a thigh strain, will return to the starting XV for the visit of Leinster.Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal is rare among his peers in French rugby in attaching as much importance to the Heineken Cup as to the Top 14, and though he would love to do the double this season, he sees this quarter-final as an opportunity to make a statement.“We want to confirm that we’re not European champions by chance,” Boudjellal told a local paper this week. “That we’re capable of dominating European rugby. I’m not saying we’re there but we want to show that Toulon have the dimensions to become a European giant.” Hardly a full-throated battle cry from the veteran coach, who perhaps has prioritised the Top 14 over the Heineken Cup in the final weeks of the season. Toulouse are by no means certain to qualify as one of the purported seven French teams for Europe’s showpiece competition next season. Their total of 58 points is only three more than ninth-placed Brive and with only two wins in their last seven league matches Noves knows that the remaining three Top 14 encounters are all must-win games.As for the Munster match, Noves admits that “to win over there would be a huge, huge achievement…(and) if we lose in putting in a good performance it will allow us to say that the European Cup was not our priority.”last_img read more

Call centres fail to pick up on training issue

first_imgCall centres fail to pick up on training issueOn 20 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Research revealed exclusively to Personnel Today shows call centre managers think that a substantial amount of introductory training is being provided for team supervisors. But when staff were quizzed, they said they had received no training. The research found a similar picture relating to on-going management training.Vicki Belt of the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies said, “Ninety-two per cent of respondents claimed to provide on-going training in some form to team leaders and supervisors.“Once again, the survey findings on training for supervisors were not supported by our case study interviews. The majority of supervisors interviewed told us they had received very little if any on-going management training.”The findings are based on questions to 100 call centre managers in a postal survey and in-depth interviews.The study, Work Opportunities for Women in the Information Society: Call Centre Teleworking, commissioned by the European Commission, found that 70 per cent of all call centre staff are women.Belt added, “It appears the intention to provide training is there but in reality it is not happening because there is not time to do it. Supervisors are just expected to get on with it.”Belt will present the findings to a conference on call centres to be held in London on 4 July. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Trail Mix: Marcus King Shares Carolina Confessions

first_imgTwo years ago Marcus King emerged as a fresh-faced bluesy jammer with serious guitar chops and a soulful voice that sounded well beyond his years. The 2016-released eponymous debut album by his six-piece band was produced by Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes and featured King trading fierce licks with Derek Trucks. In the time since, King has been tearing up the festival circuit, sharing stage time with members of the Allman Brothers Band and touring with Chris Robinson in a project that revived the songs of the Black Crowes.This month King is expanding his musical reach even further with the release of his second album, Carolina Confessions. The new set (out October 5) was produced by Nashville go-to Dave Cobb and recorded at the city’s legendary RCA Studio A. Standout track “Welcome ‘Round Here” features swampy psychedelic riffs and funky horn vamps, while “Homesick” is an earnest retro R&B confessional. While King writes most of his own tunes, “How Long” features an assist from the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Nashville veteran Pat McLaughlin.The new record will be celebrated with a two-day festival, the Marcus King Band Family Reunion, at Pisgah Brewery in Black Mountain, N.C., on October 5-6. Additional acts on the bill include the Revivalists, Billy Strings, Nikki Lane, and Carl Broemel. King will also play additional dates in the South later in the fall.Gillian Welch to Receive Literary HonorsGillian Welch is well known for her ability to craft vivid snapshots of bygone eras through original songwriting. It’s not surprising, then, that academics in the field of literature would take notice of her lyrics that often tell engaging tales through an authentic old-time lens. This month the Nashville-based singer-songwriter will be awarded the Thomas Wolfe Prize by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of English & Comparative Literature. Wolfe, the influential late author who died at just 37 in 1938, graduated from UNC in 1920.Established in 1999, the Wolfe Prize honors writers with distinguished bodies of work, and past winners include Jill McCorkle, Larry Blount, Jr., and Tom Wolfe (no relation). Welch, the first musician to receive the award, has released five albums since 1996, including the Americana landmarks, Revival, Time (The Revelator), and Soul Journey. On October 2, Welch will accept the award at a special event called “The Story in Song: Conversation and Music with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings,” alongside her steadfast musical partner at the university’s Moeser Auditorium in Hill Hall. Welch will also headline one night of the Festy Experience at Infinity Downs in Arrington, Va., on October 6.You’re probably too old to trick or treat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a costume and catch one of these regional shows on October 31. Bob Dylan: Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, Tenn.The folk legend turned gritty song-and-dance man will play his first U.S. dates of the year this fall, and a big chunk of his upcoming run visits the South, including a Halloween gig in Knoxville. Dylan is 77, so stop complaining that he can’t sing “Blowin’ in the Wind” like he used to, and catch him while you can.George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic: Howard Theatre, Washington, D.C.Another musician who’s 77 years old—George Clinton—has put a timetable on touring. Dr. Funkenstein will retire from the road next spring, so if you want to get down to “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker),” plus cuts from Medicaid Dog Fraud, Parliament’s first new album in 38 years, get to D.C. on Halloween.Rubblebucket: Terminal West, Atlanta, Ga. This Brooklyn indie-pop crew always delivers a dance party, full of horn-fueled funky fun. This fall the band will be sharing tunes from new release Sun Machine and leading a triple bill that includes Diet Cig and Star Rover.Dweezil Zappa: Diana Wortham Theater, Asheville, N.C.With his public family feuding seemingly in the rearview, Dweezil Zappa is back to focusing on what he does best, exploring his prolific father Frank’s extensive catalog of zany, heady rock-fusion compositions, always including familiar favorites and deep cuts.Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett: Miller Theater, Augusta, Ga.These two iconic Texas troubadours have become frequent tour mates. Expect both to look back on the best of their respective discographies during an acoustic evening of swapping stories and songs.The Oh Hellos: Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, Va.Led by the brother-and-sister duo of Tyler and Maggie Heath, this eight-piece indie folk ensemble makes joyful noise with swells of strings, sweet harmonies, and sing-along choruses ready to turn your Halloween into a cathartic jamboree.Lettuce and Turkuaz: Salvage Station, Asheville, N.C.Jambands are known for delivering the goods on Halloween, particularly when it comes to fun covers. Expect the unexpected from these two adventurous funk-driven outfits.Front Country: Capital Ale House, Richmond, Va. Front Country is a string band with a fresh take on the genre, blending skilled fret work with pop songcraft, propelled by the soaring vocals of front woman Melody Walker. In a short time the group’s sound has earned honors at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and a growing legion of fans across the country.last_img read more

Mandate roundup: VER, Pantheon, Danske Capital, William Blair

first_imgThe pension fund was pleased with Pantheon because of its “investment expertise and reach, long-standing presence in Asia and the emerging markets, and its dedication to responsible investment”, she said.In other news, Danske Capital has picked Chicago-based investment bank and asset manager William Blair to manage an emerging market equities mandate.William Blair said it would manage the mandate under its emerging leaders growth strategy, which uses a fundamental, bottom-up approach.The strategy invests in equities from high-quality large and medium-sized capitalised emerging market companies with above-average growth potential and profitability, it said.It is managed by Todd McClone and Jeff Urbina.Neither party would disclose the size of the mandate.Tom Ross, head of European distribution at the Chicago-based company, said the win reflected the “significant interest” William Blair had received from European institutional investors because of its long record on managing unconstrained equities strategies. Finnish State Pension Fund VER (Valtion Eläkerahasto) has awarded a €100m mandate to private equity firm Pantheon.The mandate is a customised private equity mandate, covering emerging markets, and is VER’s first emerging market private equity investment mandate. The strategy will be managed by Pantheon, with commitments being made over the next 3-4 years to a diversified portfolio of primary private equity buyout and growth funds across Asia and the emerging markets.Maarit Säynevirta, responsible for alternative investments at VER, said: “We launched a broad global public tender for this mandate in 2013, and this is the first time we elected to choose a manager for a separate account.”last_img read more