See Broadway’s Jersey Boys Suit Up for Their Final Curtain Call

first_img View Comments Big girls don’t cry, but it was tough not to get teary at the August Wilson Theatre on January 15. The Tony-winning jukebox musical Jersey Boys shuttered on Sunday after playing 4,642 performances on the Great White Way. The tuner began performances on October 4, 2005 and officially opened on November 6. Nicolas Dromard, Mark Ballas, Drew Seeley and Matt Bogart took their last bow as the four headliners in the beloved show. Frankie Valli himself was also in on the action and took the stage to say a few words (see below). Take a look at Broadway.com’s hot shots from the end of an era, but don’t fret—fans can still catch Jersey Boys on tour and across the pond. Nicolas Dromard, Mark Ballas, Drew Seeley & Matt Bogart(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)center_img Also be sure to check out Jujamcyn Theaters President Jordan Roth’s video of Jersey Boys’ final moment on stage.last_img read more

A Walk in Nature with Victor Wooten

first_imgSpending the afternoon with Victor Wooten was a wonderful way to kick off Telluride Jazz Fest. Telluride is a picturesque mountain town. Listening to the jazz all weekend with the beautiful mountain background emphasized all the points Wooten made throughout our time together. If you haven’t heard some of Wooten’s musical genius, take a few moments today to listen to a master enjoy his craft. Just as Telluride Jazz Fest was kicking off, Victor Wooten, the legendary bass guitarist, and five-time Grammy winner, met with thirty music enthusiast for a walk in the woods. He started out the stroll with an easy conversation: “Share with me a word that describes mother nature.” A resounding ‘yes’ trickled throughout the crowd. Music and nature are intrinsically connected. As we strolled through the woods, ending up at a swooshing waterfall, Wooten revealed small tidbits he had gathered throughout his musical education and career. How music and nature had become so intertwined in his life, there was no separating the two. He had never met one ‘nature’ person that didn’t also play music. Though, he mused, many musicians don’t take the time to go out in nature. The best musicians knew how to take the information nature is giving us and incorporate it into their composition. “Now share the same word, except describing music. Does it still fit?” One of the conversations I loved the most was about how when you hear a musician, you don’t hear their instrument, you hear them. Every artist has their own unique sound that shines through the instrument, be it a 100 dollar guitar, or 100,000 dollar guitar. As a pianist myself, that point resonated with me. I was classically trained and directed to play exactly how the music was written. The point that you could still hear me through all that training makes playing more joyful. center_img Peace, Nurturing, Harmony, Vibration, Mystical, Beauty. Once we arrived at the waterfall we talked about the structures around it. Wooten emphasized that there is no need to name something in order to enjoy it. In both music and nature, you can enjoy a mountain without knowing the name, and enjoy a song, without knowing it’s key or structure. Once you let go of a name, you can let go of comparing to others. “That waterfall isn’t comparing itself to Niagra falls.” It’s flowing without judgment. This comparison fluidly linked to all aspects of musicianship. When all the connections started melding, the group moved to the Sheridan Opera House to enjoy some of Wooten’s music up close and personally. It was here that I got to experience the magic of Wooten’s playing. Watching him play is like watching a professional athlete. So at ease, sure of his movements, and not concerned if his music sounds great to the audience, or just him. You could see he found great joy in sharing his music, and that transferred to the audience who was listening with smiling faces. Wooten shared a lot of knowledge from the stage. There was conversation about learning music like you would learn to speak as a baby, without judgment and room to make mistakes. You never scold a baby for trying to speak or using the wrong word. You applaud them for trying. There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For more info on our sponsors, check out the post, “Live Outside and Play is Back!”last_img read more

Jan. 23: NCUA’s Fazio talks RBC in free NAFCU webcast

first_imgNAFCU on Friday will host a free webcast for members and nonmembers with NCUA’s Larry Fazio on the new risk-based capital proposal.Fazio, NCUA’s director of examination and insurance, is the chief architect of the new proposal, which is out for a 90-day comment period. He will be joined in Friday’s webcast by NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Director of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long and Director of Regulatory Affairs Alicia Nealon.Scheduled from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern, the Jan. 23 webcast give attendees a multi-faceted look at the proposed rule’s impact on credit unions; attendees will be able to ask questions of Fazio and the NAFCU representatives. Members and nonmembers may attend; registration for the free webcast is open now.Hunt said members should keep an eye out for additional materials this week that will help them analyze and respond to NCUA’s new proposed rule. “We will provide you the tools you need to determine the proposal’s full impact on your credit union and to communicate your concerns to NCUA,” she said. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Ian Foster says All Blacks fell for Wallabies’ niggle in Tri-Nations defeat | Rugby Union News

first_imgThe red cards that hit both teams for head-high tackles drew heated debate, with former All Blacks great John Kirwan saying the whole red card system should be scrapped because it punishes teams too severely and can end up killing off a contest.“I get that argument to one extent,” said Foster. “But the flipside of it is it’s a very physical game, and if we don’t have clear boundaries, it becomes really hard for everyone to play the skilful game they need to.”The All Blacks have notched two wins, a loss and a draw against the Wallabies in Foster’s first four matches in charge, and wrapped up the four-Test Bledisloe Cup with a match to spare after humiliating Australia 43-5 in Sydney a week ago.They continue their bid for the Tri-Nations silverware against Argentina in Sydney on Saturday, live on Sky Sports. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – “In the second half we weren’t as disciplined as we needed to be,” said Foster. “We were being pushed in the areas and provoked in the areas, and again that’s a tactic that teams use against us, and good on them.“We’ve got to be better than that and smarter than that.” Watch highlights from Brisbane as Australia edged past New Zealand Live Tri-Nations Rugby November 14, 2020, 6:00amLive on Watch highlights from Brisbane as Australia edged past New Zealand Ian Foster has urged New Zealand to be smarter after claiming they were “provoked” into losing their discipline by Australia in Brisbane.Foster tasted a bitter first defeat as head coach of the All Blacks after his reshuffled side were beaten 24-22 in Saturday’s fiery cliffhanger, which featured two red cards and two yellows.New Zealand were punished severely for indiscipline in the second half, with Wallabies fly-half Reece Hodge slotting three penalties and prop Taniela Tupou scoring the decisive try while Scott Barrett was sin-binned for drawing yellow in the 68th minute. New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown argues with Reece Hodge (10) New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown argues with Reece Hodge (10)

Danish pension funds hit by lowest return for five years

first_imgPension funds in Denmark in 2013 suffered their poorest investment returns in the last five years, according to data from the financial regulator Finanstilsynet, with an overall loss on bonds dragging on performance.The average investment return of lateral pension funds and life insurance companies was 1.9% or DKK75bn (€10bn) in 2013 – down 61.2% from DKK194bn the year before, the regulator said, based on an analysis of annual reports.The institutions made a net profit of DKK4.3bn in 2013, compared with DKK12.6bn in 2012, with the decline attributable to the drop in investment returns, according to the data.Finanstilsynet said: “Compared with the last five years, the return in 2013 was at its lowest.” Bonds in particular were to blame for the low return, it said, with this asset class ending the year with an overall loss in 2013 of 0.17%, compared with a return of 7.7% achieved in 2012.Contributions, on the other hand, rose in 2013 by 1.8% to DKK126bn, according to the data.Total pensions assets climbed to DKK2.9trn by the end of December, meaning the lateral pension funds (industry-wide occupational schemes) and life insurance companies together managed 63% of all Danish pensions assets.The remainder is divided between ATP, LD, banks and corporate pension funds.The capital buffers of all pension providers included in the analysis have risen, the regulator said, with the excess coverage percentage rising to 12.1% at the end of last year from 10.9% the year before.Customers’ capital buffers, in the form of the bonus rate, rose to 6.6% in 2013 from 5.5%, according to the analysis.Average investment returns were higher for non-commercial pension providers last year than they were for the commercial firms, the data showed. While non-commercial providers ended 2013 with an average return of 4.5%, compared with 11.6% the previous year, commercial providers reported an average return of 0.4%, down from 8%.These return figures excluded unit-link results, it said.Data in the report also revealed the extent to which Danish pension providers have managed in the last few years to shift their assets under management away from pensions with a high level of guaranteed yield to with-profits pensions with no guarantee, or pure unit-link products.The high reserve requirements carried by the guaranteed products have become increasingly burdensome for the pension providers.Last year, provisions for contracts with high guarantees – of more than 4% – fell to 17% of total provisions, down from around 22% in 2012 and about 37% in 2009.On the other hand, provisions for contracts with a zero-yield guarantee continued to rise to 38% in 2013 from 11% at the end of 2009.There was a notable difference between non-commercial and commercial providers in this, however, with non-commercial pension funds having increased provisions for zero-guarantee products to 46% from 15%, and commercial firms lifting them to 30% from 8%.Market concentration figures showed PFA Pension had increased its lead over other pension providers in Denmark over the course of last year.It saw pension contributions rise to DKK24.8bn in 2013 from DKK21.5bn, while Danica Pension – second in the ranking – saw contributions only slightly higher at DKK16.8bn from DKK16.6bn.last_img read more

UK institutional investors increase inflation hedging by 16%

first_imgThe latter included some pension schemes buying conventional or index-linked UK government bonds after selling the related swaps given bigger yield spreads between bonds and swaps.Rosa Fenwick, LDI portfolio manager at BMO GAM, said: “Some pension funds and insurance companies took advantage of the higher yields available in bonds by switching out of the related swaps and locking in the gains.“This was a driver of bonds becoming more expensive over the quarter.” She added that “this move was intensified” after the late June UK vote to leave the European Union.According to the survey, there was also “considerable appetite to de-risk in outright terms” in Q2, particularly in bonds with longer maturities.The Bank of England is meeting tomorrow, 4 August, and is widely expected to lower interest rates, with some anticipation of further quantitative easing, too.Adrian Hull, senior fixed income product specialist at Kames Capital, said the short end of the Gilt market had fully priced in a rate cut to 0.25% but that “there are a myriad of other possible policy outcomes”.“Quantitative easing is back on the agenda, but, unlike the last round of QE in 2012, there is less clarity on what to expect from the bank,” he said.“The market has priced in expectations of a further £50bn in QE, but either £100bn or zero is equally as likely.”According to BMO’s Fenwick, from an LDI perspective, the “general message” is that interest rates and inflation were now “even lower for even longer”.“Appetite for LDI hedging,” she added, “is expected to continue, as corporate sponsors and trustees alike continue to take unrewarded risk off the table.”The survey is based on pools of derivatives trading desks of investment banks on volumes of UK/sterling hedging transactions.The banks’ data is aggregated, but pension schemes are expected to represent the large majority of institutional investors behind the data. Interest-rate hedging by institutional investors fell in the second quarter this year while inflation hedging grew by 16%, according to the latest quarterly liability-driven investment (LDI) survey by BMO Global Asset Management.Inflation hedging grew from £20.1bn (€23.8bn) to £23.2bn, becoming the second most active quarter in the six-year history of the survey.The most active quarter was the second quarter of 2015.The asset manager said activity in the second quarter of this year was split equally between new hedging activity and switching between assets.last_img read more

People moves: Lommen exits SSGA, Craston joins Railpen board

first_imgDSM, RPMI Railpen, Af2i, PBU, Almenni, Birta, Eurosif, PLSA, Brunel PP, PGIM Fixed Income, AMPDSM – Jacqueline Lommen has joined the board of the pension fund of DSM, a Dutch specialty chemicals and nutrition company. From 2017 until May this year, she had worked for State Street Global Advisors as a pensions strategist for Northern Europe.During her 30-year career in the pensions industry, she also worked for Aegon Asset Management, Aon Hewitt and Robeco, where she was senior vice-president for European pensions. Between 2005 and 2008, she worked as a pensions regulator for DNB and EIOPA. RPMI Railpen – Mike Craston has been appointed non-executive chair of the Railpen Investments Board, replacing Paul Trickett, who chaired the board for six years since independent non-executive directors joined in 2014.Craston is currently chair and non-executive director of Aviva Investors, whose global executive committee he joined in 2016 with responsibility for leading on global business development. Before joining Aviva he was CEO for Legal & General Investment Management in America and Asia, preceded by senior positions at LGIM in the UK and at Aegon Asset Management.The Railpen Investments Board has the full delegated authority of the trustee board to oversee Railpen’s role as the investment manager for the UK’s £30bn (€32.6bn) railways pension schemes. It comprises three non-executive director investment professionals, two members from the trustee board, and RPMI CEO John Chilman.Chris Hannon, chair of the trustee board, said: “Mike brings a wealth of experience to the Railpen Investments Board. His expertise and insights will ensure the railways pension schemes continue to benefit from the highest standards of governance and scrutiny.”Af2i – Hubert Rodarie was voted in as the French institutional investor association’s new president this week, succeeding Jean-François Boulier.Rodarie was most recently deputy managing director at insurance group SMABTP, with responsibility for finance and the personal insurance business. He began his career as an engineer at the French atomic energy commission and Electricité de France.Before joining the SMABTP group in 2001 he had worked for 10 years as managing director of asset management firm BTP Investissements. Rodarie is responsible for having set up AFIMAT, an association of bond market professionals.Rodarie said: “Af2i experienced a real boom under the presidency of Jean-François Boulier, notably in the areas of training and research, international relations, data, and association life.”I am very honored to have been elected President of Af2i for a three-year term. I would like to continue to anchor the association, as a major player serving French institutional investors.”Boulier has been appointed honorary president of Af2i. He told IPE he could have sought to stay on for another three-year term but that he preferred to find a successor to be able to enjoy more time for family, friends and other personal interests. He has agreed to support Af2i in matters of international activities and academic research. Under Boulier’s tenure, Af2i co-developed a pan-European research initiative to allow institutional asset owners to share intelligence about asset allocation activity and their future investment intentions.PBU – Pernille Riis, chair of the the North Zealand branch of Denmark’s trade union for education workers other than teachers, the BUPL, is joining the supervisory board of the labour market sector’s pension fund, Pædagogernes Pension (PBU). Riis was voted in at the DKK79bn (€10.6bn) fund’s annual general meeting on Monday.Almenni –Oddur Ingimarsson has been elected as the new deputy chair of the board of directors of Icelandic pension fund Almenni. The ISK281bn (€1.8bn) pension fund said he had replaced former deputy chair Hulda Rós Rúriksdóttir, who stepped down from the role. Almenni, an open pension fund providing industry-wide schemes for a number of sectors, also said the chair of its board of directors Ólafur Jónsson had been re-elected at its annual general meeting.Birta – Icelandic pension fund Birta announced the election of Hrönn Jónsdóttir as the new chair of its board of directors at its annual general meeting. The fund, the fourth largest in the country, said Jónsdóttir currently works for Icelandic food processing firm Marel as a multimedia designer and printmaker.Birta also announced Pálmar Óli Magnússon, CEO of Icelandic services company Dagar, had been elected as the board’s new deputy chair. Jónsdóttir is filling the shoes of previous chair Ingibjörg Ólafsdóttir, while Magnússon replaces previous deputy chair Jakob Tryggvason.Both these previous incumbents were first elected in 2012 to the board of the pension fund Stafir, so had reached the end of their maximum terms of eight years. Birta was formed from the merger between Stafir and the pension fund Sameinaði back in 2016.Eurosif – Victor van Hoorn has been named the organisation’s new executive director. He will start his appointment with Eurosif in Brussels on 28 August, joining from Hume Brophy in Brussels where he is currently head of financial services.He joins following a strategic review carried out by Eurosif in 2019 and is due to lead the implementation of its recommendations and strengthen the links between Eurosif’s members across Europe and the EU’s institutions to support the successful implementation of the EU sustainable finance action plan, the EU Green Deal and the “renewed” sustainable finance strategy that will be unveiled by the European Commission towards the end of the year.Van Hoorn said: “ I am delighted to be joining Eurosif at a critical juncture for the European sustainable finance agenda where Eurosif has a unique role to play in promoting SRI/ESG investments across Europe, by being a bridge between European policymakers and the financial services industry. I look forward to working with the member SIFs and expanding the member firms’ membership of Eurosif.”Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile – Gian Franco Giannini Guazzugli, of the national financial consultants association (ANASF), has been elected the new president of Italy’s Forum for Sustainable Finance. He succeeds Pietro Negri. In addition, the forum’s governing council has been expanded from nine to 12 members to ensure a better representation of the membership base.PLSA – The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association is recruiting a new policy lead for investment and stewardship to replace Caroline Escott, who is leaving the industry body. She joined the PLSA in 2017, having previosuly worked at the Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF).Brunel Pension Partnership – The local authority pension pool has published an advertisement for the position of chief investment officer, which is being vacated by Mark Mansley. Stated responsibilities include being “ an active influencer in the asset management industry, building productive commercial relationships, while challenging managers to improve their responsible investment credentials”.Remuneration is stated as to be negotiated.PGIM Fixed Income – Jacques-Etienne Doerr has been hired to fill the newly created role of head of institutional sales for Switzerland, based in Zurich and effective immediately.According to PGIM Fixed Income, Doerr has over 27 years’ experience working in the asset management industry, with the majority of that time spent in Switzerland. For the past 12 years, Doerr was with Vanguard Investments Switzerland, most recently as the managing officer and head of business development. He has also worked for Lehman Brothers International (Europe) and GMO Switzerland.AMP Limited – Boe Pahari has been named CEO of AMP Capital, effective 1 July 2020. He will succeed Adam Tindall, who will retire from AMP after almost five years leading AMP Capital.Pahari is currently AMP Capital’s global head of infrastructure equity and director for the north-west Region (UK, Europe and the Americas).He joined AMP Capital in 2010 and has led the development and global expansion of the Infrastructure Equity business, which at the end of 2019 had A$23bn (€13.8bn) in assets under management.last_img read more

Ivy Tech Spring Semester starts in March

first_imgBatesville, In. — Ivy Tech Community College’s Lawrenceburg Campus is offering courses for the spring semester starting March 18. These courses are designed to fit a prospective student’s busy schedule while earning a full semester’s course load of general education credits in an 8-week timeframe without waiting for traditional semester start dates.Courses include general studies, business, health sciences, criminal justice, and more. A full list of course offerings can be found at: www.ivytech.edu/classes. Financial aid options are available based on student qualifications and there is still time for new students to enroll.For more information contact the Lawrenceburg Express Enrollment Center at (812) 537-4010 ext. 5305. Ivy Tech staff are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to discuss admissions, financial aid, and the enrollment process.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img April 25, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-DRAFTFinal chance for Hurricanes and Cornhuskers hopefulsUNDATED (AP) — Two programs that dominated college football from the 1980s through the early 2000s are still waiting to see one of their players taken in the NFL draft. No Miami or Nebraska players were selected in the first three rounds. Miami is hoping to extend a streak of having at least one player drafted that started in 1976. Nebraska will try to avoid a second straight season of no drafted players after having its 56-year streak snapped last year. This is their last chance — the draft wraps up Saturday.Players from the SEC were the most sought after in the early rounds. A record 15 of the 32 players in the first round of the draft came from the SEC, another 10 came off the board in Round 2.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSBritish government in talks with sports bodiesUNDATED (AP) — The British government is increasing planning with sports bodies about the resumption of events once the coronavirus national lockdown is eased. Update on the latest sports Associated Press Government medical officials are involved in the talks about the logistics and health procedures required to allow sports competitions to restart.The Premier League last played a game on March 9 and has plans to try to restart from June 8 once pandemic social distancing regulations are relaxed to allow training to resume for teams and there are sufficient COVID-19 tests available.The national lockdown is currently in place until May 7. Cricket authorities have already said their sport won’t resume until July, but horse racing is currently only suspended until June.British Horseracing Authority chair Annamarie Phelps tweeted Saturday about “very welcome support for the resumption of live sport incl horseracing” from Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, linking to a front page report from The Sun newspaper about plans for events to be staged again.In other developments related to the pandemic: — Dutch top-flight club FC Utrecht is preparing for legal action to fight the Royal Netherlands Football Association decision to cancel the remainder of the league season and allocate places in next season’s European competitions based on the standings when play was halted by the coronavirus crisis. Utrecht likely will not be alone in challenging the decision that also said there would be no relegation and promotion between the country’s two top leagues. The Netherlands was the first top-tier European league to cancel the remainder of the season. Neighboring Belgium could also end its season at a meeting Monday.— English Premier League team Chelsea says it will not impose a pay cut on its first-team squad and instead will ask players to continue their support for charities during the coronavirus pandemic. Chelsea also said it will not be furloughing any full-time staff, and casual workers and match day employees are being compensated by the club through to June 30. The Blues have been in negotiations with their players about a salary reduction, reportedly around 10%, in an effort to save money during the current crisis. That is lower than the Premier League’s suggestion of 30% for all clubs but Chelsea has now decided to take a different approach.— The South Pacific island of Vanuatu (vah-noo-AH’-too) was likely the only venue in the world hosting a competitive sports final Saturday, and it was streamed live. Officials set up four cameras and commentary for the online stream on the Vanuatu Cricket Association’s Facebook site. More than 3,000 viewers tuned in at various times during a men’s 10-over exhibition match and the women’s Twenty20 final won by the Mele Bulls.— The Cape Cod League executive committee has announced the cancellation of the 2020 season, saying the unanimous vote was based on the health concerns and safety needs of all involved. The 10-team league is the top summer competition for college baseball players and was scheduled to run from mid-June until August. The league was founded in 1885 and had not missed a season since 1945, the last year of World War II.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

England need to hit the heights again to overcome Springboks

first_imgBy Nick MulvenneyTOKYO (Reuters) – England will rightly be favourites to win Saturday’s World Cup final after dethroning the All Blacks last weekend but they are likely to have to pull another big performance out of the bag to prevent South Africa from securing a third crown.The intensity of England’s performance in the 19-7 victory over double defending champions New Zealand last Saturday will be mighty tough to replicate in any case, but if any team could resist the onslaught, it is probably the doughty Springboks.The hope of the thousands of England fans pouring into the Tokyo area for the match, though, is that Australian supercoach Eddie Jones might have a few more tricks up his sleeve for the return to Yokohama International Stadium on Saturday.South Africa, by contrast, are unlikely to stray very far from the tried and tested pressure game that allowed them to bludgeon their way past Wales under a bombardment of high balls in the second semi-final last weekend.Rassie Erasmus does have plenty of star quality in his backline – not least in the dancing feet of winger Cheslin Kolbe who returns after injury in the only change to the side that beat the Welsh – but pragmatism is very much the watchword.The biggest pack in the tournament will look to constrain, harass, harry and wear down the English before another six leviathan forwards – the ‘bomb squad’ – come off the bench to try and finish the job.Halfbacks Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard will try to slow the pace of the game as they did against the effervescent Japan in the quarter-finals, with the latter ready punish any English ill-discipline from the kicking tee.No team has ever won the World Cup after losing a pool match, as the Springboks did in their tournament opener against the All Blacks, but South Africa have also never lost a final, including the 2007 title-decider against England.Having beaten Australia in the quarter-finals, England will need to complete an unprecedented sweep of victories over the three southern hemisphere superpowers in successive weeks to get their hands on the Webb Ellis Cup for a second time.HUMILIATION That would be a considerable achievement in itself but Jones, who was able to name the same starting line-up as that which won the semi-final, has raised expectations so high that it would no longer be considered a surprise.Jones says he has been preparing for Saturday’s match since he took over as coach four years ago in the wake of England’s humiliating pool-stage exit from their own World Cup and the work is evident in his team.The pack, featuring standout lock Maro Itoje, the bulldozing Vunipola brothers and “Kamikaze Kid” flankers Sam Underhill and Tom Curry, believe themselves the equal of any eight and there is plenty of quality among the “finishers” on the bench too.In George Ford and Owen Farrell, England have two top quality place-kickers and world class playmakers, while wingers Anthony Watson and Jonny May have proved themselves to be the match for any outside backs at the tournament.South Africa might have finished third at the World Cup in England four years ago but they too have endured humiliation over the last few seasons, not least when they lost eight of 12 tests in 2016.Erasmus has managed to turn things around in remarkable fashion since he took over two years ago and his multi-racial, multi-lingual side have looked supremely confident and eminently comfortable in themselves and their game at this World Cup.Jones has twice before masterminded stunning upsets at the World Cup – Australia beating the All Blacks in the 2003 semi-finals and Japan downing the Springboks in 2015 – only for his team to lose their next match.His Wallabies came pretty close to backing up 16 years ago, however, with Clive Woodward’s England needing extra time and a last-minute Jonny Wilkinson drop goal to secure their maiden title at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.World Cup finals are rarely expansive affairs and it would be no great surprise if it took something similarly dramatic to decide the champions of the ninth edition of rugby’s showpiece tournament.last_img read more