Month: January 2007

ERC chairman sees way to avoid French boycott

There is still some hope for next year’s Heineken Cup with ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux talking about how a French boycott might be avoided:

We cannot begin domestic competition until after the World Cup but it is possible to find a solution

Maybe we play through the Six Nations and when France tour Australia they omit players still in the competition

This is a potential goer because Lux isn’t only the European Rugby Cup chairman – he’s also the representative of Ligue Nationale de Rugby , the French clubs’ representative group, on ERC.

Here’s to hoping!

Allez les bleus – French teams quit Heineken Cup

In a move sure to shock European rugby , the French “Top 14” clubs are boycotting next year’s Heineken Cup competition. This is a disaster for European’s most popular club competition.As reported here, the French have domestic problems. League Nationale de Rugby president Serge Blanco stated:

We are convinced that if we did not do this our domestic championship will be dead in 2009.

It’s unfortunate that their only solution is to throw their toys out of the pram.

Ireland’s 35-strong Six Nations squad announced

Ireland have announced a 35 man squad for rugby ‘s 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship which begins for Ireland with an away trip to Wales in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on February 4th.

  • Munster flanker Alan Quinlan is very unfortunate to miss out due to a controversial suspension
  • Fellow Munster-man Jerry Flannery returns after injury
  • Ulster ‘s Tommy Bowe returns after missing out due to a hamstring injury
  • Leinster ‘s danger man D’arcy returns after missing the autumn internationals
  • In form uncapped Munster centre Barry Murphy and…
  • uncapped Leinster full-back Robert Kearney have both joined the squad.

This is almost a full-strength squad and with Munster and Leinster going strong in the Heineken Cup , and Ulster leading the Magners League , Ireland will enter the competition as deserved favourites. Up first is a testing away trip to one of the Ireland’s strongest Six Nations opponents at Cardiff.

Coach Eddie O’Sullivan elaborates on his decisions:

The championship is a long and hard tournament that will always test your resources, so I felt we needed to increase our squad to 35 to give us some extra cover.

We have a good injury profile at the moment and with the return of players from injury, such as Tommy Bowe and Jerry Flannery as well as the other additions to the squad, it will push up the competition levels.

An away trip to play Wales is one of the toughest openings you could get at this moment. We are focusing on is trying to get the right performance.

More from BBC Sport.

Ireland squad

Forwards: Neil Best, Rory Best, Simon Best, Simon Easterby, Jerry Flannery, Keith Gleeson, John Hayes, Jamie Heaslip, Trevor Hogan, Marcus Horan, Denis Leamy, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Mick O’Driscoll, Malcolm O’Kelly, Frankie Sheahan, David Wallace, Bryan Young.

Backs: Isaac Boss, Tommy Bowe, Girvan Dempsey, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan, Denis Hickie, Robert Kearney, John Kelly, Barry Murphy, Geordan Murphy, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan, Peter Stringer, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace.

Sports + Geek = Results Microformat?

Blondie had an idea about posting rugby results that got me thinking about applying Microformats to sports results . She was talking about posting the results in a format like this:

  • Home Team (score)
  • Visiting Team (score)
  • Date
  • Location
  • Was this a league match or special event/tournament
  • If so, what league/territory/division
  • Notables
  • If there are photos, what’s the website
  • Other information

This kind of thing looks ideal for Microformats if you don’t want to go down the database route. I jumped on the Microformats IRC channel to find out if such a beast already exists, here’s what the guys had to say.

[23:02] * Now talking in #microformats
<sportcrazy> hi y’all
<sportcrazy> I am looking for a MF for describing sports results
<sportcrazy> do you have such a thing?
<bewest> like a news update?
<bewest> or is that like an event?
<sportcrazy> it’s an event I guess
<bewest> that’s kind of like the results of an event
<sportcrazy> an event result
<kingryan> box scores?
<sportcrazy> e.g. sport=rugby homeTeam=x awayTeam=Y homeScore=45 awayScore=22 etc
<kingryan> well, you could start by making them hCalendar events
<bewest> yeah, but that’s only the last bit of it, right?
<ntoll> hmmm…. what about ordered results (e.g. sprinting)? Use event mf within a result mf?
<bewest> the most important thing is where and when it took place, correct?
<sportcrazy> I was thinking about that
<sportcrazy> and diving etc
<bewest> that part is easy
<bewest> ordered list
<sportcrazy> the most important thing… that’s debatable
<ntoll> sportcrazy, the important thing is to re-use what is already there and only extend when needed after looking at how other ppl have marked this sort of thing up
<bewest> I suggest you start experimenting with the who what when where of a sporting event
<sportcrazy> sure
<bewest> and then try adding on top of that with scores and stuff
<bewest> perhaps with XOXO
<bewest> with some small pieces to describe the game, resulting scores and other information
<sportcrazy> XOXO?
<ntoll> so so… my first thought was to use hCalander for when, hCard for where
<ntoll> sportcrazy, marking up lists
<sportcrazy> k, thanks for your help guys, I’ll go explore what’s available
<tantek> hCard is good for marking up hCalendar locations: link

Sounds interesting – I’m going sign up to their mailing list and have a look into creating a suitable Microformat, I think it’s needed at this point. It’d have to be fairly flexible to support the many various results types. Anyone else out there working on similar ideas?

Tour de France 2007 route and Happy MLK day America

France and America in same headline shocker!

Happy Martin Luther King (Jnr) Day to any Americans reading this! I’m disappointed to see that the Big G didn’t change their logo

Tour de France 2007 route mapOn to cycling – exciting news – the route of this year’s TDF has been released! “Running from Saturday July 7th to Sunday July 29th 2007, the 94th Tour de France will be made up of a prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,550 kilometres.”
We already knew that this year’s Tour is starting in dear old Blighty and now we have the details. The 8km prologue (a short time trial) will be around the streets of London starting in Whitehall. It will pass pass the Houses of Parliament en route to finishing on The Mall. The next stage also starts in London with a 200km trip to Canterbury.

On to France , the Tour will have a series of long flat stages before it enters the Alps and the major test starts. The riders will have a brief respite along the southern coastline before hitting the Pyrenees. Read more on the official TDF website.