23 Jun
2021

Five things we learnt about rugby – December

first_img Cold Bath: Leroy Houston feels the pain of a fifth league defeat this season (Pic: Action Images) Bright skies for Eddie Jones and Welsh fans, dark clouds for Bath, Toulouse and Ireland’s provincial heavyweights – there’s a lot to discuss… Welsh rugby is in a very different place this year than it was last. And whilst the maintenance of the Christmas crowds through the rest of the Pro12 campaign remains unrealistic this year, over the next five years it may not.Toulouse disappoint everyone in EuropeToulouse have five points in their Champions Cup group, just five, compared to the 19 of pool leaders Saracens. This may not seem out of place given the military efficiency of Saracens this season, but Toulouse’s performances in Europe last month fell inexcusably short of their performances in the Top 14, where they lead the way with Racing 92 and Clermont Auvergne.Focusing on their domestic league is one thing but Toulouse have a greater responsibility, in the Champions Cup, than just to themselves.Gripping stuff: Ulster tackle Alexis Palisson in their win at Toulouse (Pic: Inpho/Presseye)When you enter arguably the toughest club tournament in the game you aren’t playing to merely please your club’s stakeholders, you’re also beholden to TV audiences and sponsors. Toulouse’s performance at Ulster was shameful; they didn’t make a single line break, which, combined with the subsequent home loss in the return fixture, has seriously distorted the group.Toulouse have a fine history in Europe, having won the top competition four times, and whilst they may no longer have the most powerful pack, nor most skilful back-line, 100% commitment is the minimum requirement from well-paid professional rugby players.Irish provinces recedingThis will be incredibly well received over the Irish Sea… I can already hear the knives being sharpened on the Blarney Stone. But as was evident in December, the Irish provinces are no longer in the same buying space as the Aviva and Top 14 teams.Whilst all four provinces occupy a position in the top six of the Pro12, the true measure for Europe’s elite club is the Champions Cup. Although Ulster have been highly competitive in Pool One, the performances of Munster and in particular Leinster have fallen way short of the glory years – and the simple reason is money.Fading force? Munster and Leinster are both struggling in the Champions Cup (Pic: Inpho)For Leinster and Munster to be out of contention in Europe, in December, is unusual, but the situation has been building for two seasons. We don’t even need an in-depth conversation about relative incomes, private finance and TV deals – we simply need to look at the squads. Neither have the buying power to retain, nor replace, the quality of player that they could during the mid to late Noughties where both were able to dominate the European competition. Tepid BathBath lie eighth in the Aviva Premiership with a squad that could and should be league contenders. This is a club that splashes the cash like Michael Jackson did in the 1980s but they’ve made some weird purchases – they have more No 8s than some teams have props.Bath currently have the feel of a management simulation game on a PC, where the buying of players and administration issues take precedence, whilst the on-field stuff is presumed to be an automatic function. But rugby doesn’t work like that, and it certainly isn’t working like that at Bath.They have a points difference of just plus six, which reeks when you consider that they have backs such as George Ford, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Nikola Matawalu and Semesa Rokoduguni. Even with a struggling forward platform, you would expect a back-line of that quality to be finishing a high percentage of turnover ball – which they aren’t.Last weekend’s defeat by Newcastle Falcons, if not being the final nail in the coffin, certainly means that the nails and wood have been ordered from Travis Perkins. The situation needs sorting sharpish, as owner Bruce Craig probably didn’t envisage Bath playing in next year’s Challenge Cup.A Happy New Year for Eddie JonesWhilst the rest of us are wringing our internal organs dry and squeezing our squidgy limbs into gym clothes like a Georgian sausage machine, Eddie Jones has the new year and the world at his feet.With his clean slate now chalked up with the names of his desired coaching staff, Jones has the chance to drastically change the blueprint of English rugby by selecting some of the most exciting talent in Europe – English talent which ripped its way through European competition in December.Super Maro: Saracens’ Maro Itoje, here taking on Oyonnax, is pressing his England case (Pic: AFP/Getty)It’s an opportunity that international coaches dream of and one that no other home nations coach has. There are no relationships with players, no favourites and no certainties. Those players who once confidently sang on the back seats of the England bus may now be sitting in silence on their sofa come the Six Nations – allowing the likes of Elliot Daly, Henry Slade, Matt Kvesic and the remarkable Mario Itoje to move English Test rugby forward. Good luck, Mr Jones.Feel-good factor returns to WalesWelsh rugby in December wasn’t about player statistics, team selections or politics. It was about supporters. The Christmas and New Year derbies saw sell-outs at the regional grounds, which is a fantastic achievement for all of the commercial teams involved.Many will argue that festive sell-outs have always been thus, and that is true. But this season’s fixtures felt different; they were also bolstered by scores of positive news and signings from around the regions.Put it here: Ospreys duo James King and Tom Habberfield thank fans in France (Pic: Huw Evans Agency)The region’s grounds, and surrounding pubs, weren’t full of negative chat regarding marquee Welsh signings moving to England and France, it was largely about players coming home. The usual bar-room din had turned into a buzz, and pertained to Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Scott Williams remaining in Wales.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The demise of Irish cash, particularly the loss of the hugely talented Ian Madigan to Bordeaux-Begles, is a real worry for Irish rugby and the Pro12 as a whole.For the latest subscription offers to Rugby World, click here.last_img read more

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31 May
2021

Latest Real Wage Growth Could Spell Good News for Housing

first_img Latest Real Wage Growth Could Spell Good News for Housing Share Save The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Home / Daily Dose / Latest Real Wage Growth Could Spell Good News for Housing Many economists and analysts have said that strong wage growth is needed in order for facilitate a full recovery for the housing industry. The latest data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that real wages are on the rise, increasing by 22 cents year-over-year.In the real earnings report for February 2015 released Tuesday, the BLS reported that real average hourly earnings – hourly earnings adjusted for inflation – increased year-over-year from $10.32 to $10.54 year-over-year, an increase of 2.1 percent, despite a drop by one cent from January’s average of $10.55.Real average weekly earnings increased year-over-year in February by more than nine dollars, from $355.17 up to $364.56, while declining by 35 cents from January to February. The BLS cited the month-over-month decrease in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek as the reasons for the slight month-over-month drop in real weekly earnings. The average work week remained unchanged at 34.6 hours from January to February while increasing by 0.6 percent year-over-year, from 34.4 hours reported in February 2014.The average hourly earnings increased by just three cents month-over-month in February from $24.75 to $24.78, while increasing by 48 cents year-0ver-year. Average weekly earnings ticked up by just $1.04 in February from $856.35 up to $857.39 while increasing by more than $21.00 year-over-year, from $835.92 reported last February. At the time the BLS February employment summary was released in early March, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan stated that the slow wage gains were holding back the housing industry, but that he said he believed the strong hiring numbers (an average of 266,000 jobs added per month in the last 12 months).”We maintain our belief that once upbeat hiring translates into stronger income growth, which we believe it likely will, a stronger housing recovery will follow,” Duncan said.While Fannie Mae reported a slow start to the year economy-wise in its March 2015 Housing and Economic Outlook released earlier this week, recent improvements in the labor market suggest that the GSE’s prediction that the economy will rebound and “drag housing upward” in 2015 may still yet come true. The latest year-over-year increase in real earnings suggest that the wage growth analysts are hoping for to lift the housing market may be coming.”The economy is getting a boost from the strong employment numbers we’ve seen last year and at the start of 2015,” Duncan said in the report. “When this employment growth partners with income growth and consumers experience a rise in their personal household income, we should see a similar boost in the housing sector. Overall, we expect an improving 2015 with continued economic growth bringing housing above 2014 levels.” Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Housing Market Real Wage Earnings U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Cold Winter, Soft Economic Growth Cause Housing Market to Stumble Next: Fabrizio & Brook Announces New Hire; Managing Shareholder Appointed as Case Evaluatorcenter_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago March 25, 2015 1,200 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Housing Market Real Wage Earnings U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015-03-25 Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles  Print This Post Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

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