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miaowang123 Mar 19
With just Englands match against Australia to come, we give our take on the true order of world rugby, ranking the Rugby Championship and Six Nations sides as 2016s rugby calendar nears its end. Jim Miller Jersey .1. New ZealandThe worlds best side are still setting the benchmark as they finished the year with 12 wins from 13. Beauden Barrett, crowned World Rugby Player of the Year, is playing rugby on another level and they are the team to beat in 2017.2. EnglandThey have won every match this year and are hot on the All Blacks heels but will have to wait until 2018 before they have a crack at Steve Hansens side.3. IrelandIreland became the first side since England in 2003 to beat New Zealand, South Africa and Australia in a calendar year. They are showing marked improvement under Joe Schmidt with a new generation coming through.4. AustraliaThey started the year with a dismal series against England but have re-found their form. Eddie Jones believes they are the most improved side in world rugby and will be looking to knock over England on Saturday.5. ScotlandScotland are perhaps a little under the radar but are playing some wonderful rugby. Stuart Hogg is playing out of his skin and they will be confident of making some noise in the Six Nations.6. WalesWales finished with three wins from four in November and played well against South Africa. But they are a little off their best and have room to grow into ahead of the 2017 championship.?7. FranceFrance are a confusing bunch. They should have beaten the All Blacks on Saturday but lacked the nous to close the match out and the ruthlessness to turn territory into points but have the ability to beat the worlds best.8. ArgentinaLike Les Bleus, it is hard to gauge exactly where the Pumas are. On one hand they are devastating with ball in hand but still have defensive frailties.9. ItalyItaly finished their November programme with one win from three -- including a defeat to Tonga -- but will take heart from their win over the Boks as they take a step forward under Conor OShea.10. South AfricaThe Springboks endured a miserable 2016 after falling to eight defeats and finished the year with a draw and three losses in their end-of-year programme. SARU has launched a review and changes may follow. Devin Hester Jersey . Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. Javon Wims Jersey . PAUL, Minn. http:///...sey-large-1456t.html . -- Five former Kansas City Chiefs players who were on the team between 1987 and 1993 filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming the team hid and even lied about the risks of head injuries during that time period when there was no collective bargaining agreement in place in the NFL. IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa senior wide receiver Matt VandeBerg might have stumbled upon the best possible way to settle ones nerves before proposing marriage.Play, star in and win a game at home over your hated rivals.Wait five minutes -- and then pop the question.VandeBergs strategy worked like to perfection in the aftermath of last weekends 42-3 win over Iowa State.VandeBerg had arguably the best game of his life, catching seven passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. But all that was quickly forgotten once his girlfriend of just over a year, former Iowa student Laura Bulanda, accepted his proposal from the stands.Ive known shes the one for a while. Its just a matter of making sure she knows, VandeBerg said.In a way, it is ironic that VandeBergs iconic moment had very little to do with football.Like many of Iowas best players, past and present, VandeBerg had to put in years of work when few were looking just for a shot at real playing time.VandeBerg was lightly-recruited out of Brandon Valley High in South Dakota, largely because his frame was so light to begin with. Intrigued by the programs reputation for turning unheralded prospects into All-Big Ten type players, VandeBerg signed with the Hawkeyes as almost a footnote back in the winter of 2013.But VandeBerg, now 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, showed enough potential to play sparingly as a freshman and sophomore, catching 22 passes.If the coaches are willing to bring me here and put their trust in me, I need to put trust in myself that I can play at this level, VandeBerg said.With defenses keyed on Tevaun Smith and his relationship with new starting quarterback C.J. Beathard growing with every practice, VandeBerg emerged in 2015 as one of the unlikeliest standouts on perhaps the nations most surprisingly successful team.VandeBerg overcame his lack of size with an uncanny ability to get open, consistently finding the soft spot in the defense as a slot receiver. Johnny Knox Jersey. .He finished with 65 receptions, the second-most ever by an Iowa player, and earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors.Hes one of the hardest workers on the team. He does it day in, day out, Beathard said. Everyone on the team has a ton of respect for him. Hes just a smart player. We know hes going to be where he needs to be at the right time. And hes a guy that, if he makes a mistake, nobody has to say anything to him because hes going to beat himself up over that more than anybody else will.With Smith now in the NFL, VandeBerg has taken over as Iowas No. 1 receiver.Through two games, hes on pace for one of the great seasons in school history. VandeBerg is averaging over 20 yards a catch in 2016, including a nifty 12-yard TD reception against the Cyclones.The guy is a ball of energy, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.That VandeBerg was able to have the best performance as a Hawkeyes ahead the most important moment of his life is perhaps his biggest accomplishment yet.VandeBerg tried not to tell anyone what he had planned for Saturday, likely because such a moment wouldve been overshadowed had the Hawkeyes lost.But VandeBerg couldnt help himself, telling Beathard and a few others of his plan.Beathard, in turn, joked to VandeBerg that the only reasons he threw so many passes to him against Iowa State was to make sure Laura said yes.With news like that, youve got to tell some of your buddies, VandeBerg said.---Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP--Online: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '
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