Wasps the team to beat at the new-look Singha Premiership 7s

first_imgFlying Falcon: Adam Radwan gives Ospreys the slip during last year’s tournament in Coventry (Getty)“The major change will be the overnight recovery to play again the next day, rather than recovering to train. Our lads aren’t used to that, but people like Cameron have been really useful because his England 7s experience has helped to educate a lot of the lads about what is required.”Saracens, too, are brimming with optimism. They’re led by Tom Whiteley, a nominee for last season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Breakthrough Player of the Year and about to play in his fifth Premiership 7s.“I’m confident for sure. This is the most confident I’ve been so we will see,” said the 22-year-old. “I just want to see the lads go out there and enjoy it, there’s no pressure on our shoulders.”The Sarries squad includes two players, Jermaine Olason and Josh Christie, from the Seventy7s side that won last year’s 24/Sevens competition – evidence that there are many different pathways available towards the top of the game.Sale’s standout name is arguably Paolo Odogwu, who last year broke the record for most tries in a round (eight), while London Irish are led by teenage scrum-half Rory Brand, one of four ex-Wellington College pupils in their line-up.Try merchant: Paolo Odogwu with a Player Of The Round award. Now the regional events have goneJake Polledri, son of Bristol legend Peter, makes his Gloucester bow having signed from Hartpury, while Worcester include senior players Matt Cox, Ben Howard and Huw Taylor in a squad that is captained by England 7s international Max Stelling.Last but not least, hosts Northampton welcome Tom Stephenson back after he broke his leg in a pre-season friendly against Rotherham nearly a year ago.He and Tom Collins have been playing for Randwick in NSW this summer and will be joined by Ollie Sleightholme, son of ex-England wing Jon.Past winners2010 Saracens 17-5 Newcastle at Bath2011 Newcastle 31-21 Saracens at Quins2012 London Irish 31-28 Gloucester at Bath2013 Gloucester 24-17 Leicester at Bath2014 Gloucester 12-5 Dragons at Quins2015 Dragons 17-14 Wasps at Quins2016 Wasps 31-28 Exeter at WaspsSaints haven’t won the Premiership 7s since the series’ inception in 2010 and will be desperate to set a positive marker for the club after a disappointing 2016-17 campaign.The gates open at 4pm on Friday to allow plenty of time for bag searches and there will be a Meet the Saints signing session at 4.30pm. Wasps v Newcastle kicks off the rugby at 6pm and the action will last until about 10.20pm.On Saturday, the gates open at noon with the rugby stretching from 3pm to about 7.30pm.That day will see filming for the new Channel 5 Premiership highlights show, with Mark Durden-Smith and David Flatman in attendance. In addition to live coverage by BT Sport, highlights of the sevens will be shown on Channel 5 at 11.35pm on Sunday. Home rule: Wasps won the 2016 trophy at Ricoh Arena and are favourites again this year (Getty Images) TAGS: HighlightWasps LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Tickets options include a £50 family ticket for the whole two days – click here for the price ranges and to purchase.Remember this? Jonathan Joseph helped London Irish win the 2012 title – now the Exiles are back Five weeks ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season, the first trophy is up for grabs in the remodelled Premiership 7s. There’s lots of talent on show at Franklin’s Gardens Schools have only just broken up for the summer and it’s more than three weeks until the start of the England-West Indies cricket series – but Premiership rugby is back.The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s takes place this weekend with a new Olympic-style, trimmed-down format now devoid of the four Welsh regions. The 12 Premiership clubs will compete in round-robin pools on Friday evening before splitting into Cup, Plate and Bowl competitions on Saturday afternoon.And there’s no doubting who carries the favourites’ tag at the new venue of Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens. Holders Wasps have selected ten members of their senior squad, including debutant Marcus Watson – a GB silver medallist from Rio – Christian Wade and skipper Dan Robson.More than half of the 12-man squad were involved in last year’s thrilling final win against Exeter at Ricoh Arena, Tom Cruse’s try settling a match in which the lead changed hands six times.Danger man: Christian Wade takes on Exeter’s Pete Laverick during last year’s thrilling final (Getty)Coach Lee Blackett said: “With the limited availability of some of our academy players due to international commitments, we felt this was a good opportunity to use the tournament as preparation for some of our senior squad players for the coming season.“It’s a good opportunity for our players to play in such a fast-paced, high-intensity format of the game which is always electrifying to watch.”Wasps are alone in heavy loading with well-known faces. Generally, clubs are relying on their academies, sometimes with guest players thrown in. Some of this weekend’s cast-list played at the U20 World Cup or the recent Commonwealth Youth Games and for many it will be their first hit-out as a professional player.Harlequins have Dino Lamb and Gabriel Ibitoye from England’s U20 set-up, Ibitoye having achieved YouTube fame for his amazing finish against Australia.Quins Academy coach Jim Evans said: “The players’ learning curve will go up massively in a short period of time – being exposed to this kind of environment will be outstanding for those guys.“Some of the boys that have played in the Premiership and the Singha 7s over the years – the likes of James Chisholm, Joe Marchant, Jack Clifford – have all accelerated into the first-team squad.”Lethal finisher: Quins wing Gabriel Ibitoye stretches Cardiff Blues in last year’s Plate final (Getty)Bath, Exeter and Leicester all have a chunky representation of local university students in their ranks, with the Tigers using the tournament to launch a partnership with Loughborough.Jeff Williams, ex-England 7s, is coach of a Bath team captained by Will Homer. “The thing for me is players expressing themselves and having fun because that’s what rugby’s about,” Williams said.Max Bodilly, a hat-trick scorer in last year’s final, is part of an Exeter squad looking to go one step further.“We’ve talked this week about keeping things simple, working hard for one another and just getting the basics of our game right,” said Chiefs coach Ricky Pellow. “If we can do that, then you stand every chance of winning.”This year’s poolsPool A: Wasps, Newcastle LeicesterPool B: London Irish, Gloucester, HarlequinsPool C: Bath, Sale, WorcesterPool D: Exeter, Northampton, SaracensNewcastle are captained by England 7s player Cameron Cowell and include flyer Adam Radwan, who scored a sensational solo try from more than 100 metres with his first touch in last year’s tournament. The Falcons are happy to talk up their chances.“We have some pace, some playmakers and some guys who just graft, so we’re shaping up pretty well,” said coach Mark Laycock, who’s being assisted by Michael Young. “We’ve had a couple of sessions to get ourselves ready and we feel like we’re in a good place.last_img read more

PAC criticises NAMA’s handling of in Project Eagle

first_imgFine Gael select Byrne and O’Donnell for Limerick City Print Previous articleUL claim O’Connor Cup crownNext articleAll Ireland glory for Limerick at Awards ceremony Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Limerick proposal to allow NAMA deliver affordable housing Advertisement Victims of Loughill crash named WhatsApp Media in the dock as €26 million courts complex opens for business Emotional farewell to crash victims NewsPAC criticises NAMA’s handling of in Project EagleBy Staff Reporter – March 14, 2017 1020 center_img Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Facebook Email TAGSCerberusFrank CushnahanMichael NoonanNAMAProject Eagle THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said found that “it was not procedurally appropriate” for Michael Noonan to meet with senior representatives from New York based private investment firm Cerberus the day before NAMA’s Project Eagle bid closing date.In a report issued this Tuesday, the PAC has criticised a number of aspects of the handling of the project sale calling it “seriously deficient”.In June 2014, NAMA sold its Northern Ireland remaining portfolio of loans in a single lot to Cerberus for a price of STG £1.137 billion. The sale of the portfolio was code named Project Eagle.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up NAMA recorded a loss of STG £162m in its accounts on the sale of Project Eagle and a total loss of €800m during the period of 2010 to 2014.In total, the State lost €3.55 billion over the Nothern Ireland based NAMA loans as it only managed to recover 36 per cent of their original par value.Cerberus, the private investment firm based in New York, was the successful bidder for Project Eagle and up to December 22, 2016 it had purchased stock to €14.4 billion or 20 per cent of NAMA’s assets.Senior figures including Minister Noonan, the NAMA chairman and CEO meeting with Cerberus the day before the bid closing date could have given the perception that Cerberus was benefiting from preferential treatment.The PAC also found that the continued involvement of Frank Cushnahan as a Member of the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee was a failure of corporate governance by NAMA.Furthermore, the Committee state in their report that “is firmly of the view that the sale of Project Eagle was not a well designed sales process” and the destruction of contemporaneous Nama Board notes “has undermined NAMA’s ability to explain and account satisfactorily to the Public Accounts Committee in relation to its decision making processes.”The full report can be viewed here. There’s still a lot happening for Michael Noonanlast_img read more

CDC: New test speeds detection of bird flu in humans

first_imgFeb 3, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A new test developed by federal experts offers preliminary detection of H5 avian influenza in human patients in about 4 hours, compared with 2 to 3 days for other methods, government officials announced today.”This laboratory test is a major step forward in our ability to more quickly detect cases of H5 avian influenza and provides additional safeguards to protect public health,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a news release.The test is to be used on respiratory samples from patients suspected of having avian flu on the basis of severe illness and possible exposure to sick birds, Dr. Steve Gutman of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Devices and Radiological Health said at a news teleconference this afternoon.The FDA announced its approval of the test, following an unusually quick 2-week review. The test, called the Influenza A/H5 (Asian Lineage) Virus Real-time RT-PCR Primer and Probe Set, was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Because of the concern that H5N1 avian flu may lead to a human flu pandemic, “FDA acted quickly to evaluate and expedite CDC’s request for approval of this test,” Acting FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach stated in the news release. He said the rapid review did not compromise the quality of the review process.Gutman said the test yields “a presumptive not a definitive positive.” The test determines only the hemagglutinin (H) type of the virus; further testing is needed to confirm the result and identify the neuraminidase (N) type, officials said.”The test provides preliminary results on suspected H5 influenza samples within four hours once a sample arrives at the lab and testing begins,” the news release states. “Previous testing technology would require at least two to three days to render results.”The CDC will distribute the test to its Laboratory Response Network (LRN), consisting of about 140 labs throughout the country, many of them public health labs, officials said.When LRN labs using the test get positive or equivocal results, they will send the sample to the CDC for confirmatory testing, which will take about 2 to 4 hours once the sample arrives, said Stephan Monroe, acting director of the CDC’s Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Division.Gutman said a negative result from the test does not conclusively rule out the possibility of avian flu. “It’s not intended for general screening of people in the general population; it’s for people with severe respiratory illness who might’ve been exposed to sick birds,” he added.The CDC is sharing the test with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its collaborating labs, which so far have included labs in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia, officials said.Concerning use of the test by other labs outside the United States, Monroe said the CDC would distribute the technology only to labs that the CDC judges to have the technical capacity and biosafety measures to use the test properly.The CDC is not charging other labs for the test and is not making money on it, Monroe said. So far the test has been strictly a government-funded project, he said.CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding commented in the news release, “The use of this test by laboratories that are part of the LRN, in conjunction with other laboratory testing and clinical observations, may enable earlier detection of influenza cases caused by this specific virus and allow public health agencies to investigate sources of infection and more quickly respond with control and prevention activities.”See also:Feb 3 FDA news releasehttp://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20060203.htmlFeb 3 early release MMWR articlehttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm55e203a1.htm?s_cid=mm55e203a1_elast_img read more

Medco gets green light for $80m Paus Biru gas project, reports Q1 loss

first_img“We have negotiated with the potential gas buyer, and we expect first gas in 2023,” said Medco chief operating officer Ronald Gunawan at a press conference on Tuesday.Read also: Medco drills new gas well offshore in South Natuna SeaSKK Migas noted in a statement that Medco’s contract for the block would expire in 2027. The publicly-listed company took over the block from Ophir Energy after acquiring the latter in 2019.The operation of Paus Biru – meaning “blue whale” in Indonesian – will raise Indonesia’s gas output, which stood at 6,830 mmscfd in June, as the country aims to become a major gas producer in the Asia Pacific region by 2030. On Thursday, the publicly listed company reported that it had booked $20 million in losses in the first quarter, a reversal from $28.05 million of net profit recorded in the same period last year. The loss occurred as profits from the oil and gas and power segments were offset by losses at mining firm PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara (AMNT) as development on phase 7 progresses, the company wrote in a statement.Its capital expenditure (capex) stood at $67 million in this year’s first three months, down from $130 million spent in the last quarter of 2019 following the early completion of the development phase 4B of Bualuang in Thailand in December and deferrals and reductions in the 2020 capital program. Of the first quarter’s capex, $51 million was for the oil and gas segment, while $16 million was for the power segment.”While commodity prices and capital markets have begun to recover, Medco has responded quickly with protocols to ensure the well-being of our staff and over $200 million of expenditure deferrals and reductions to preserve cash and support our balance sheet,” Medco CEO Robert Lorato said in the statement. “Despite reducing our capital program, I am pleased to see successful exploration discoveries in both Natuna and Ijen.”Medco reported a successful exploration drilling program in South Natuna Sea Block B PSC following commercial discoveries in both the Bronang-2 and Kaci-2 wells. The wells tested with high-quality dry gas and have opened up a new play with several future opportunities, it said, while two further exploration wells will be drilled in Block B this year.The recent geothermal exploration in Blawan Ijen, East Java, also led to the discovery of a steam reservoir at the Ijen 6-1 well.Read also: Indonesia aims to double gas production by 2030 with major projects in pipelineMedco reported oil and gas production of 101 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboepd) in the first quarter, up 10 percent from the corresponding period last year, but down 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019 due to the extended shutdown at Block A Aceh in the first three months of 2020.It expects to produce 100-105 mboepd oil and gas throughout this year and book power sales of 2,600 GWh with total capex of $240 million.”The world and our industry continue to adapt to these extraordinarily challenging times caused by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil price environment,” said president director Hilmi Panigoro. “Medco will continue to focus on safeguarding the well-being of our people and minimizing the impact on our business as we continue to deliver on our commitment to stakeholders.”Stocks of Medco, traded at Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the code MEDC, rose 1.79 percent on Thursday morning trading as the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), slipped 0.1 percent.Topics : Oil and gas producer PT Medco Energi Internasional has secured government approval for the development of the gassy Paus Biru Field in the Madura Strait off the coast of East Java as it reports a loss in the first quarter.Medco’s $80 million development plan for the field, located within the Sampang Block, was approved by the Upstream Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas) on July 30.The plan includes drilling a new gas well, erecting a new drilling rig and installing underwater pipes to channel 31 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas, which is slated for the Grati gas-fired power plant (PLTGU) of state-owned company PT Indonesia Power.last_img read more