Rugby

It’s a Pasifika July, with All Blacks to meet Fiji and Tonga, NZ Maori to face Samoa

New Zealand Rugby have confirmed a Pasifika-themed July international schedule, with the All Blacks, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand Māori gathering for a busy month of matches in Aotearoa. In the end the compromise,...

Chiefs re-sign front rowers Samisoni Taukei’aho and Aidan Ross

Front rowers Samisoni Taukei’aho and Aidan Ross have inked new deals with the Chiefs. Hooker Taukei’aho has recommitted to the Hamilton-based franchise through 2024, while loosehead prop Ross has signed through 2023. Taukei’aho has developed into a powerful rake with a devastating running game since joining the Chiefs as an injury replacement in 2017. The...

Missed conversion costs Brumbies

Noah Lolesio missed the chance to earn the Brumbies a draw with the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday when he dragged his late conversion attempt wide, handing the New Zealanders a 31-29 trans-Tasman Super Rugby win. Tries from Tom Banks and Rob Valetini hauled the Brumbies back into the game after the Crusaders, winners of...

16th May

All Blacks great Kieran Read retires after Japan semifinal loss to Robbie Deans’ side

World Rugby and the All Blacks have saluted Kieran Read who has ended his career after a semifinal defeat in Japan’s Top League. Read, 35, confirmed before leading Steve Hansen’s Toyota Verblitz out against Deans’ Panasonic Wild Knights on Saturday that he would be ending his career at the conclusion of the Japanese season. The...

Andrew Mehrtens backing Australia for 2027 Rugby World Cup

Former All Blacks star Andrew Mehrtens says Australia should host the 2027 Rugby World Cup but New Zealand involvement is not a foregone conclusion. Mehrtens says that having New Zealand stage All Black pool games – which could be the expectation of many Kiwi fans – could cost the Australian organisers “millions’’. Mehrtens wrote in...

Super Rugby: Chiefs clinch heart-stopping win over Force to ensure Kiwi clean sweep

A 14-man Chiefs side have clung on for a heart-stopping 20-19 win over the Force in Perth to ensure a Kiwi clean sweep over the Aussies on the opening weekend of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman. But there was all of a few inches in it, after replacement first-five Domingo Miotti slid his after-the-siren conversion attempt just...

Super Rugby: Blues breeze past Melbourne Rebels as Kiwi teams go 4-0 over Aussies

New Zealand 4, Australia 0. The bristling Blues clearly used their week off wisely to brew together the intensity, game-plan and execution required to get their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign off to a rollicking start. Leon MacDonald’s men flexed their muscles and thundered to an emphatic opening 50-3 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne on...

Super Rugby: Scratchy Crusaders edge Brumbies in Christchurch thriller

The Crusaders have survived an almighty scare to make it three from three for Kiwi teams over their Aussie counterparts to start the trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition. Their tense 31-29 win against the Brumbies in Christchurch on Saturday night was far from pretty, and required a missed conversion after the hooter from pivot Noah Lolesio,...

15th May

NZR accuses Players Association of sabotaging Silver Lake deal

New Zealand Rugby has reacted angrily to a players association proposal for a public share float which the association believes is better than the Silver Lake deal. The Rugby Players Association and investment company Forsyth Barr has put together a proposal that would see NZR sell a 5% stake in of its commercial right via...

Super Rugby: Where feast of tries between Hurricanes and Waratahs ranks in the record books

Friday night’s extraordinary feast of tries between the Hurricanes and the Waratahs in Sydney was still 25 points short of breaking the record for most points scored in a Super Rugby match. That 137-point milestone, set in 2010 when the Chiefs edged the Lions 72-65 in a staggering contest in Johannesburg, looks insurmountable. Nevertheless, the...

All Blacks legend Richie McCaw ‘scared’ by NZ Rugby’s Silver Lake deal

Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has questioned New Zealand Rugby’s approach to their planned private equity deal with US investment giant Silver Lake. McCaw said NZR’s ‘take it or leave it’ approach over the controversial deal left him wondering, while he’s received feedback on private equity which “scares me”. Talking to NZME, the two-time...

Forsyth Barr reckons Kiwis would jump at the chance to buy rugby shares

Investment company Forsyth Barr has suggested New Zealand Rugby could sell 5 per cent of its commercial operations on the NZX in an initial public offering (IPO). Here’s why and how it might work. NZ Rugby has proposed selling 12.5 per cent of its revenue stream to American private equity firm Silver Lake to bring...

Fijiana 15s coach still looking for players

The door to the Fijiana XVs remains open with head coach Senirusi Seruvakula on the lookout to select the best available players who will make history when they participate in the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 for the first time. World Rugby has released the dates for the rescheduled event which will be held in...

Club rugby not just about the players’ wants

Our stroppy black cat would turn up her nose when fed anything but the cheapest jellimeat. So there was no need to change her cuisine. Then why did the Manawatū rugby union change 135 years of habit by giving senior teams an unprecedented Saturday off last weekend? It led to widespread displeasure among club rugby...

Super Rugby: Former Chief Richard Kahui has a lot of ‘what ifs’ in resurrected career

There are so many ‘what ifs’ in the rugby career of Richard Kahui, but definitely no regrets. And now, beyond the former All Blacks World Cup winner’s wildest dreams, here he is in his twilight years, with a body that is now not constantly failing him, back in Super Rugby. More unimaginable for the Tokoroa...

Silver Lake: Stoush between NZ Rugby and Players’ Association gains heat

How has it come to this? Tensions between two of New Zealand rugby’s most powerful organisations have finally surged into the red zone. It’s starting to get untidy. Perched in one corner is NZ Rugby. Glaring back at it is the NZ Rugby Players’ Association. We all knew there had been simmering tension, but the...

Super Rugby: Highlanders thump Reds in reality check for Australian rugby

The Highlanders have reminded Australian rugby that Super Rugby Trans-Tasman will be a different and potentially much more painful ball game with a six-try, 40-19 win against the Reds in Dunedin. In the Highlanders’ first game with Clarke Dermody in charge and head coach Tony Brown in Japan, the Highlanders’ forward pack stepped up against...

Super Rugby: Teams rack up a cricket score as Hurricanes win 17-try thriller against Waratahs

Befitting one of world cricket’s most famous venues, the Hurricanes and Waratahs racked up a century on Friday night. In a helter-skelter, mind-boggling Super Rugby Trans-Tasman opener on Australian soil, the Hurricanes powered away for a 64-48 victory with the oval ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground as defence was sometimes optional for both sides....

Super Rugby: Clayton McMillan hoping for happy homecoming in ‘battle of scrappers’ in Perth

Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan is hoping his side’s long trek to Perth can make for a happy homecoming in what he terms will be a ‘battle of the scrappers’ against the Western Force on Saturday night. With a hideous schedule, compounded by making the final of Super Rugby Aotearoa, which will see the Chiefs play...

All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Kieran Read in hunt for Japan Top League rugby title

All Blacks greats Beauden Barrett and Kieran Read remain in the hunt for a Japan Top League title while coaches Steve Hansen and Robbie Deans will clash in the semifinals. Deans’ Panasonic Wild Knights will meet Toyota Verblitz – where Hansen is director of rugby – in one playoff on Saturday, while Barrett’s unbeaten Suntory...

14th May

Reds, Blues and the cultural spectrum in between

 Now the Super Rugby Aotearoa final has been won, almost inevitably, by the Canterbury​ Crusaders, New Zealand can sit back and reflect on a unique season of pandemic-affected … just kidding. The Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition – a planned but somewhat rushed sequel – kicks off on Friday​ night with the Otago​ Highlanders playing the Queensland Reds​ in Dunedin, and...

Changes to help Fijiana

Fijiana XV coach Senirusi Seruvakula has welcomed World Rugby’s decision to increase the tournament window for the women’s Rugby World Cup from 35 to 43 days. The RWC 2021 was initially scheduled to be played in Auckland and Whangarei, New Zealand from September 18 to October 16 however it has now been rescheduled to be...

Welfare, the priority for Flying Fijians

The Fiji Rugby Union is excited about the Flying Fijians facing the New Zealand All Blacks twice this July but the parent body’s main focus right now is on complying with the government restrictions and supporting the policies in place for the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the virus under control. World Rugby has released the...

Rugby loses a great player

Fiji has lost another rugby great who has left behind memories and teachings for his family, peers, community and the church to carry on through these hard times. Josaia Taqirinavatu (Taqiri), 71, died in the early hours of Tuesday. The Nabukelevu-i-ra, Kadavu, native was part of the Fiji Rugby Union touring team to Australia in...

Super Rugby: New Zealand teams could give Aussies taste of bad medicine

Here’s hoping this competition isn’t a dud. The pressure is on the Aussie teams to perform in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, because nothing makes New Zealand fans pinch their noses and run for the door faster than the prospect of another lop-sided result. Watching Super Rugby Aotearoa each weekend was like being served up crayfish, salmon and...

NZ Rugby alleges players association attempting to destroy $387.5m Silver Lake deal

New Zealand’s rugby players have ramped up their campaign backing an alternative to the $387.5 million offer from American equity giants Silver Lake to buy a 12.5 per cent stake in the Kiwi game, leading the NZR to lash back alleging a breach of trust. A memo from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association has...

Changing face of NZ poses big challenges for the future of rugby

The state of our national game, and what is best for its future, has generated a lot of recent debate. But there are some contributing factors that might not have had the attention they deserve. The demography of New Zealand is changing, with major implications for rugby, especially for player participation. The impacts of immigration and...

Who will dominate Super Rugby trans-Tasman?

That was the big question surrounding Super Rugby trans-Tasman ahead of this weekend’s opening round. Following the completion of domestic competitions in both countries, the combined version kicked off amid much interest in how the teams from across the ditch will fare against their All Black-laden counterparts in Aotearoa. Prior to leaving to rejoin the...

Black Ferns star Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate’s mother’s ‘death stares’ helped inspire fearsome haka

As a young girl, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate became far more fearful of her mother’s “death stares” if she didn’t get up and lead a Waiata or Pōwhiri than performing the rituals in front of crowds. So when she was asked to lead the Black Ferns haka for the first time in 2014 – the same...

Highlanders drop All Black amid assault investigation

All Blacks loose forward Shannon Frizell has been omitted from the Highlanders’ Super Rugby Trans-Tasman opener against Australian champions Queensland on Friday amid a police investigation into an alleged assault at a Dunedin nightspot. Highlanders Chief Executive Roger Clark said the investigation involving Frizell was a “distraction” for the team but his omission was not...

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