Rugby news 2021: Israel Folau, Catalans Dragons contract, Super League, Toulon, Bayonne


Controversial cross-code superstar Israel Folau has reportedly been linked to a return to rugby union.

The three-time John Eales medallist was embroiled in an ugly split from Rugby Australia in 2019 after posting what was perceived as homophobic content on his Instagram account.

Folau then took his craft to the Super League, signing for the Catalans Dragons and flourishing during his maiden season in the 13-a-side tournament.

He needed just six minutes to snare his first try for the club, but the competition was understandably disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Israel’s Elbit Systems’ UK Subsidiary Awarded a $166 Million Royal Navy Contract – Jewish Business News


Israel’s Elbit Systems’ UK Subsidiary Awarded a $166 Million Royal Navy Contract

Its for for Royal Navy Future Naval Training Program

HMS Ambush returning to HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Credit: Royal Navy

Israeli defense company Elbit Systems’ UK Subsidiary has gotten the contract to provide the Royal Navy Future Naval Training Program. The contract is for $166 million. The contract will be performed over a 12-year period.

More than 70 years after Israel won its independence from British rule and an often strained relationship between the two nations Israel is actually now providing training and technology for one of the world’s premiere navies.

The program calls for the transformation and modernization of the shore-based training of the Royal Navy including the establishment of the Future Submarine School. As the provider and integrator of training solutions for the Consortium, Elbit Systems UK will develop and deliver a new Combat Systems Operator Trainer in the Future Submarine School and modernize and manage legacy synthetic training systems across the Royal Navy.

Elbit Systems UK will also provide new training technologies that will improve Defense Operational Training Capability while facilitating availability and efficiency of legacy capabilities.

Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK, said: “The Program will be a pathfinder for the Royal Navy’s transformation agenda, with the introduction of enhanced training capabilities at the forefront of personnel achieving their potential and arriving at the front line quicker. We are proud to be a part of the team to deliver next-generation training capabilities to the Royal Navy, following on the success of the Company’s provision of advanced training capabilities to the British Army and the Royal Air Force.”


Read more about: Elbit systems, Royal Navy




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Key Crow signs three-year contract extension


Adelaide defender Brodie Smith has signed a three-year contract extension with the Crows.

The 28-year-old is now tied to the club until the end of 2024.

The ever-reliable Smith has only missed one game in the last two seasons playing across half back and pushing into the midfield.

“I absolutely love this footy club and I’m so happy to be signing on for another three years,” Smith said in a club press release.

“We’re building a really strong culture here and it’s exciting to see how quickly our younger guys are developing and driving the standards, pushing all of us to get better every single day.

“I can’t wait to see their continued growth this year and play my part in helping them to improve wherever I can.”

Smith has played 183 career games for the Crows.







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Enbridge contract plan blasted by oil producers as attempt to fend off competition from new pipelines


Article content continued

Enbridge is expected to respond to Priddle and other opponents of its plan, and counter their evidence, in CER filings due Feb. 1.

The CER is expected to make a decision on whether the pipeline giant is allowed to move to a contracted system in the first half of this year, which will bring to a close the lengthy fight.

In response to questions on whether the contracting process was an attempt to fend off competitive threats from Keystone XL and Trans Mountain, Enbridge spokesperson Jesse Semko said in a statement the company is looking to increase pipeline capacity out of Western Canada.

“We have several investments we can make to optimize our Mainline system and improve transportation (egress) out of Western Canada by 200,000 barrels per day,” Semko said in an emailed statement, adding, “We can’t make these financial commitments without Mainline contracting.”

We can’t make these financial commitments without Mainline contracting

Enbridge

Semko said the company has responded to more than 3,000 questions from shippers participating in the CER regulatory hearings since the process began in December 2019.

In the application to the CER, Enbridge said it “faces competition from existing and potential future pipelines exiting the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin” including Keystone XL and TMX.

“The board has approved the construction of competitive pipelines on the basis that enhanced pipeline competition and increased customer choice serve the public interest,” the company notes in its application, which also says the CER should ensure a “level playing field” between Enbridge, whose Mainline operates as the spot market, and the competitors, whose pipelines operate on long-term contracts.

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Luxury hotel quarantine contract for Australian Open cancelled after resident concerns


Plans to quarantine international tennis players and support staff in a luxury hotel in Melbourne during the Australian Open have been abandoned after residents threatened legal action against the Government.

The Westin Melbourne, located in the city’s CBD, was one of several hotels Tennis Australia and the Victorian Government had secured to house players and their entourages for 14 days of quarantine, prior to the grand slam starting on February 8.

But owners of the penthouse apartments inside the Westin said they were not consulted about the plan and some elderly residents were worried about health risks.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the Government has found another hotel.

“We became aware on Sunday that there were some concerns that had been expressed by the residents in the apartments,” Ms Neville said.

“We were also concerned this may delay the standing up of the Australian Open so we’ve gone through a process of securing a new site.”

Older residents at the Westin Melbourne said they were concerned for their health.(ABC News: Dylan Anderson)

One of the owners, businessman Tony Schiavello, said they had never been consulted about the arrangements.

Players would be driven to a separate facility to practice for up to five hours each day during the mandatory quarantine period, under strict bubble arrangements revealed by Tennis Australia last month.

Ms Neville said the cancellation of the contract with the Westin had been “mutually agreed” and that no compensation was being sought from residents.

Despite the decision, she said the Government was absolutely confident in the infection prevention and control system that had been put in place.

“The residents are completely separate,” she said.

Resident David Marriner said the change of plan was a relief.

“The concerns were that we would’ve found it difficult to get separation, but in saying that, we weren’t provided the information that perhaps would’ve satisfied us in that request,” Mr Marriner said.

The Government will publicly announce a full list of the contracted hotels to be used by players for quarantine next week.

Tennis Australia said it is working closely with Quarantine Victoria on suitable hotel options.

“Several hotels in Melbourne have already been secured, including a replacement for the Westin, to safely accommodate the international playing group and their team members as well as allow for them to properly prepare for the first Grand Slam of the year,” a statement from Tennis Australia read.

“The health and safety of everyone is our top priority.”

Australian Grand Prix facing delay

Meanwhile, the state government is still negotiating with organisers of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix amid speculation it will be delayed due to ongoing travel restrictions.

The season-opening race is scheduled to be held in Melbourne on March 21 but the F1 season could instead open a week later at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

People queuing up for entry into the early sessions of the Melbourne F1 grand prix.
Fans were left stranded outside the park when the 2020 Grand Prix was cancelled.(ABC News: Patrick Rocca)

“The Australian Grand Prix Corporation continues to work closely with the Victorian Government and Formula 1 on conditions and arrangements relating to the staging of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in 2021,” the corporation said in a statement.

“Further detail will be provided upon finalisation of arrangements with all parties in the coming weeks.”

Ms Neville said no decision has been made to cancel or delay the event.

“Those conversations are live and active, absolutely about the Grand Prix in 2021,” she said.

“Obviously, public health will be a key factor and how you quarantine, all of those issues.”

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MACA wins $74m roads contract



MACA has secured a $74.2 million state government contract for highway and road maintenance services in the Kimberley.

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Athletic Madrid: Diego Costa agrees to end contract early


Costa has scored two goals this season

Spain striker Diego Costa has agreed an early end to his Atletico Madrid contract, paving the way for a possible Premier League return.

The 32-year-old, whose deal was due to expire next summer, fell out of favour at the Spanish club.

He has made only three appearances, all as a substitute, since mid-October.

“The striker asked to leave the club for personal reasons a few days ago and on Tuesday signed the termination of his contract,” said Atletico.

“The club thanks Diego Costa for his dedication during these years and wishes him well in the next stage of his professional career.”

Luis Suarez and Joao Felix have been preferred to Costa up front this season.

Arsenalexternal-link and Wolvesexternal-link have been linked with moves for Costa, who won two Premier League titles during his three-season stint with Chelsea.

Costa scored 59 goals in 120 games for Chelsea, but his spell ended in acrimony after then manager Antonio Conte told him via text message that he was not part of his plans for the following season.

Costa refused to return to Chelsea from his home in Brazil after being told to train with the reserves.

In September 2017 he was sold to Atletico, the club where he made his name as La Liga’s top scorer in their 2013-14 title win.

Atletico are top of La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference with two games in hand.



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NT Government signs tourism marketing contract in Europe despite coronavirus travel ban


The NT Opposition has questioned the debt-laden Gunner Government’s decision to sign a new tourism marketing contract in Europe worth almost $400,000 at a time when most international tourists are barred from visiting Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The contract for tourism marketing representation services in the United Kingdom and Germany was awarded to UK-based company Emotive Travel Marketing earlier this month.

The company has been tasked with maintaining engagement with industry stakeholders in key European tourism markets to promote the NT as a desired destination, once travel restrictions ease.

The two-year contract has a minimum cost of $187,000 per year for scaled-down representation during the pandemic.

If and when leisure travel resumes between the regions, the contract allows for servicing levels to ramp up and expand to other European countries, including France and Italy, at a total cost of just over $600,000 per year.

Deputy Opposition Leader Gerard Maley questioned the timing of the contract, and whether it was an appropriate use of money for the NT Government, which is expected to record a $8.4 billion debt by the end of the financial year.

NT Deputy Opposition Leader Gerard Maley said the NT Government was spending money it did not have.(ABC News: Chelsea Heaney)

“Now the Gunner Labor Government’s plan is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars we don’t have, marketing international travel to people who can’t come,” Mr Maley said.

Contract designed to ‘kick-start’ post-pandemic tourism

The NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade said the UK and Germany were among the top five markets for visitation to the NT.

“It’s important to give the Northern Territory a presence across our main source markets in Europe where the in-market team will be focussed on awareness activities, trade training and engagement,” the department said in a statement.

“[The contract ensures] we have plans in place to kick-start a quick recovery strategy with our key partners across aviation, trade, media and consumer direct channels when the time is right and it is safe for people to once again travel.”

In a statement, NT Tourism Minister Natasha Fyles echoed the department.

“When the market does rebound the NT will be ready to welcome back this significant customer base,” she said.

Prior to the pandemic, more than 250,000 international tourists holidayed in the Territory each year.

An average of 32,000 travellers came from the UK and another 26,000 from Germany, many of whom stayed for more than a week and spent in excess of $1,200 each, according to NT Tourism data.

View of Twin Falls at Kakadu National Park.
Some of the attractions in the NT include the majestic Kakadu National Park.(AAP: Tara Ravens)

Marketing scheme supported by key tourism group

Tourism Central Australia CEO Danial Rochford said he could understand why some concerns were being raised about the international marketing contract but he viewed it as a vital investment for the industry in the long term.

“On face value, I could understand why those questions are being asked, but the reality is the European market is our number one source market for international visitation,” Mr Rochford said.

“And it’s absolutely critical we have a continual marketing presence, even while the borders are shut.”

Mr Rochford said rival tourism destinations were doing the same thing and the Territory could not afford to be left behind.



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NRL news 2020: David Fifita arrested, trespassing, Clear Island Waters, Gold Coast Titans contract


Titans recruit David Fifita was arrested then released without charge after an alleged trespassing incident at a private home.

As first reported by 9 News Sydney on Sunday night, Fifita had arrived at a Clear Island Waters property that, he believed, he’d been invited to by a woman. However those inside the abode then reportedly called police.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported Fifita was invited to the home but went into the wrong room.

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Round 1

In a statement, Queensland Police confirmed it’d called to a Clear Island Waters residence at around 8am on Sunday morning. A 20-year-old man was arrested nearby and transported to Broadbeach station for questioning before he was released from custody without charge.



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Penrith Panthers, Zane Tetevano, contract, Leeds Super League


The Penrith Panthers have released forward Zane Tetevano from the final year of his contract to join the Super League.

Tetevano is expected to take up a three-year deal with Leeds Rhinos in the English competition in the coming days.

“Zane had an extraordinary impact on our young squad following his arrival at the club last season,” Panthers general manager Matt Cameron said.

“He consistently elevated our training sessions with his professionalism and played an important role in the team’s success in 2020.

“We’ve granted Zane’s request for a release out of respect to him and his family, in consideration of the valuable opportunity they’ve been presented by Leeds Rhinos.

“We wish to thank Leeds Rhinos and Zane’s manager Wayde Rushton for their co-operation through this process.

“We also extend our thanks to Zane for his service to Panthers and wish him the best of luck in the Super League.”

Tetevano played 19 NRL matches for Penrith this year, averaging over 100 running metres per game.

Having previously represented the Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights, the 30-year-old also played three Test matches for New Zealand in 2019.

“While it’s difficult to leave Panthers, I’m extremely grateful to the club for allowing my family and I to take up this opportunity,” Tetevano said.

“My time at Penrith was one of the most enjoyable years of my career.

“I want to thank everyone involved with the club for their support and wish them all the best for the future.”



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