The USA 7s will keep coming back to Vegas. So said USA 7s Executive VP Dan Lyle in the latest edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Writing in the business section of the newspaper, reporter Laura Carroll spoke with Lyle about the economic impact of the USA 7s tournament. Lyle said he wanted to increase attendance (paid attendance was just under 50,000, with tital attendance around 52,000) by 25%.
Lyle added that 75 percent of those attending the tournament come from outside the Las Vegas market.
"That's great for Las Vegas," Lyle said.
The economic impact is huge, estimated at $20 million, with 18,000 hotel rooms booked for the weekend.
This information is useful not only for USA 7s, but for rugby in general. If one tournament can have that kind of impact, other tournaments can have positive economic impact, too.
Air New Zealand has revealed the world’s largest commercially operated aircraft to be painted completely black.
World Champion All Blacks rugby players Kieran Read and Andy Ellis ceremonially led the one-of-a-kind Boeing 777-300ER aircraft out of Boeing’s paint hangar facility in Seattle on Friday night 16th December (US West Coast Time), highlighting Air New Zealand’s long-time sponsorship of the recently crowned World Champion All Blacks rugby team.
“It’s a sensational looking aircraft and will really turn heads at airports around the world,” said New Zealand No. 8 Kieran Read. “I reckon they should paint all their planes like this!”
All Blacks halfback Andy Ellis felt similarly saying “I always feel a huge amount of pride when I pull on the All Blacks jersey with the silver fern to represent my country on the rugby field and to see that replicated similarly on something this big is just awesome.”
According to Boeing, painting the aircraft took just over a week, two days longer than it normally takes to paint a 777 aircraft. 185 gallons (700 litres) of chrome-free primer and paint was used and involved a total of 14 painters working in shifts 24 hours a day.
Prepping and painting the aircraft entirely black took one and a half days, followed by a further five days for the intricate detail of the silver fern overlaid on it and the Koru symbol. Remaining time was spent on the finishing touches.
“It was, without a doubt, one of the most challenging paint jobs we’ve ever done, but the paint team was up for the challenge and the results are absolutely outstanding. I am very proud of what the paint team has achieved,” said Jeff Klemann, Boeing Vice President Everett Delivery Center.
Contrary to popular belief, the black paint won’t cause the aircraft to heat up a great deal. In fact, the more than 330 individual TV screens inside the aircraft create more additional heat than the all black paint job.
“The all black colour scheme and silver fern are a key part of both New Zealand’s and the All Blacks’ identity, so we’re excited to be able to take that iconic imagery to the world on a flying billboard that’s more than 242 feet (73.9 metres) long,” says Air New Zealand Group General Manager International Airline Christopher Luxon.
“It will certainly get people’s attention when they see it at Auckland, Los Angeles, London Heathrow and Melbourne airports over the coming year.”
The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Air New Zealand in late January following the completion of its interior fit out.
By mid next year Air New Zealand will have six aircraft featuring the all black livery including two Airbus A320s and three Beech 1900D turbo-props.
Jonny Wilkinson, England's cover-boy flyhalf and all-time-leading scorer, the many who won a World Cup Final with a wrong-foot drop goal, will play for England no more.
Wilkinson, who is 32, logged 91 caps, starting from a low, England's disastrous Southern Hemisphere tour of 1998, to the high of winning the 2003 World Cup. He scored 1,179 points for England, and 1,246 test points, including the British & Irish Lions. He played in four World Cups, and kicked 36 drops goals in test matches, a record. (His points total was a record until Dan Carter passed it.)
And just about every goalkicker in England now emulates his distinctive kicking preparation because they think it will make them lilke Jonny.
"The time has come ... for me to realize that I have gone as far as I can go with this England team and that the time is right for others to enjoy the same honor and pride that I have felt over the past 15 seasons and beyond,'' Wilkinson said in a statement on his personal website.
He will continue playing club rugby with French team Toulon.
"Playing the game, representing the team, giving my all and never letting go has meant everything to me,'' he said. "I do, have done and always will believe that I am very capable of performing and thriving at any level of the sport.''
British & Irish Lions Manager Andy Irvine announced Monday, November 28 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff the 10-match tour schedule for the highly anticipated tour to Australia in 2013.
The British & Irish Lions and the Australian Rugby Union have agreed a programme of nine matches for the Tour in Australia, including three Test matches. The Lions will also play a first-time match in Hong Kong against the famous Barbarians Club on their way to Australia.
Commenting on the Lions 2013 schedule, Tour Manager Andy Irvine said, “The Lions receive numerous requests to play matches around the world outside of the traditional tour destinations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. For 2013 we had the perfect opportunity to play a match in the developing rugby region of Asia, while at the same time break the long journey from Europe to Australia. As has become customary we also wanted 10 matches to maximize the essential pre-Test series build up.”
The last tour by the Lions to Australia was in 2001, when the Lions played 10 matches including three Tests. They won seven matches, including the First Test against the Wallabies, and lost three. These defeats were against Australia A and the Wallabies in the Second and Third Tests. The vital Third Test was won by the Wallabies 16–13 at Stadium Australia, Sydney, in front of a crowd of 84,188 to clinch the series.
Fans can now guarantee their place on the Lions Tour with Lions Rugby Travel, the official travel company of the British & Irish Lions (http://www.lionstour.com). The official Lions travel company will offer fans an unprecedented range of official ticket inclusive packages from fully escorted tours through to return international flights and match ticket options.
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