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 Rugby Union News 
Tuesday, November 30 2021
World Rugby makes sweeping changes to community game

World Rugby has signed off sweeping change in the form of 10 optional law variations to the community game with the hope of improving safety and participation challenges.

Posted by: AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 30 2021
All Black Ardie Savea recommits to New Zealand Rugby and the Hurricanes

All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea has signed a four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) which will keep him in Aotearoa through to the end of the 2025 season.

Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 29 2021
Stephen Jones says time is running out for Ian Foster as All Blacks coach

British rugby critic Stephen Jones is predicting a swift end to Ian Foster's tenure as All Blacks coach if the side's losing streak extends any further.

Posted by: AT 09:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 29 2021
How Beauden Barrett inspired England success for Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones says his time coaching Beauden Barrett in Japan was one of the most inspiring and rewarding moments in his career.

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 27 2021
Barbarians match called off 90 minutes before kick-off due to Covid cases

This morning's (NZT) match between the Barbarians men's team and Samoa at Twickenham was cancelled just 90 minutes before kickoff due to coronavirus cases among the invititational side.

Posted by: AT 09:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 26 2021
Top athletes scramble to leave Africa as new Covid-19 variant spreads

British and Irish golfers and rugby teams were scrambling to return home on Saturday after the UK government announced it was banning flights from South Africa to counter the spread of a new Covid-19 variant.

Posted by: AT 10:33 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 26 2021
Sonny Bill Williams on ambition, education, faith and finding himself

Former All Black and rugby league star Sonny Bill Williams said his drive to provide for his family as a young man was "almost psychotic", but led to his enormously successful career.

Posted by: AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 25 2021
Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby perform u-turn over World Rugby sanctions

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa's director of rugby, and SA Rugby have withdrawn their appeals over sanctions handed down by World Rugby last week, and apologised to referee Nic Berry and the match officials who took charge of the first Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions this summer.

Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 25 2021
Australia gets the nod for 2027 Rugby World Cup

Australia has been given 'preferred candidate status' to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup, World Rugby have announced overnight while the USA is set to hold the event for the first time.

Posted by: AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2021
Good and bad news for New Zealand sport after Government's MIQ announcement; Super Rugby Pacific in doubt

New Zealand's transtasman sporting competitions have been thrown into major doubt following the Government's border announcements for next year.

Posted by: AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2021
All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock, coach and trainer raising money for cancer in MIQ bike challenge

All Black captain Sam Whitelock, head trainer Nic Gill and assistant coach Brad Mooar are set to ride bikes for 24 hours to raise money for Bowel Cancer Prevention.

Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2021
England coach Eddie Jones reveals his strange tactic ahead of Rugby World Cup win over All Blacks

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has revealed he used a samurai sword and kiwifruit to inspire his side ahead of their 2019 Rugby World Cup semifinal win over the All Blacks.

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 24 2021
World Rugby approves game changing eligibility rule

In a move that will be seen as a huge success for Pacific Nations, the World Rugby Council has approved an amendment to its international eligibility rules.

Posted by: AT 09:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 23 2021
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster responds to critics and reflects on difficult end to 2021 season

Ian Foster has taken criticism on the chin following the All Blacks' back-to-back losses to Ireland and France, but believes there are many positives for his side to take into next year.

Posted by: AT 10:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 22 2021
New Zealand Rugby backs Ian Foster as review of All Blacks season looms

New Zealand Rugby are backing the All Blacks coach Ian Foster, despite the team falling to consecutive defeats to end their season.

Posted by: AT 11:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 22 2021
Sack Ian Foster? Fans react to All Blacks coaching job in poll

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has opted to keep his view on the All Blacks private, but the vast majority of fans believe he should take over from under-fire All Blacks coach Ian Foster, according to a poll.

Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 22 2021
Super Rugby Pacific squads revealed

All 12 competing squads for the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season have been confirmed today including Australia's five teams and new entrants Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua.

Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 20 2021
Wales v Australia

Prop Tomas Francis and wing Josh Adams have passed fitness tests to play for Wales against Australia on Saturday in Principality Stadium.

Posted by: AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 20 2021
All Blacks v France at Stade de France in Paris - teams

France must withstand the fury of a wounded New Zealand when they meet in their last rugby test of the year on Sunday, two years before facing off at the same venue in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup.

Posted by: AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 20 2021
England get World Cup revenge with win over South Africa

Marcus Smith kicked a penalty with 20 seconds remaining to give England a 27-26 win over world champion South Africa in a Twickenham classic on Sunday that followed a very different script to their last meeting in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

Posted by: AT 01:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 19 2021
Former All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris announces retirement

Former All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris has announced his retirement from rugby, following the continued discomfort from an ankle injury.

Posted by: AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 19 2021
Jordie Barrett on 2021 emergence and demands of lengthy All Blacks tour

Jordie Barrett has emerged from the pack.

Over the last few years, the 24-year-old has been something of a Swiss Army Knife in the All Blacks' drawer. Making his debut at the top level of the game in 2017, Barrett has since started on both wings, at first five-eighth and fullback, while has also been used as a versatile option off the bench, able to cover any position from 10 to 15.

Posted by: AT 10:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 19 2021

Loose forward Kendra Reynolds has shed tears of joy at the prospect of becoming the 233rd Black Fern after being named on the bench as part of an experienced team to face France this weekend.

Posted by: AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2021

Aaron Smith has been thrust into the starting side for his first test in three months as the All Blacks inject seven changes for their final match of the year in Paris.

Posted by: AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2021
Whangārei to host a Super Rugby Pacific match next season

Northland will host a Super Rugby match after a 10-year hiatus, and organisers are promising a family-friendly day with a mid-afternoon kickoff.

Posted by: AT 11:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2021
Baby son of Springboks great Jannie du Plessis dies in tragic drowning

The 10-month son of South African rugby star Jannie du Plessis has died in an accidental drowning at the family home near Johannesburg.

Posted by: AT 11:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 16 2021
How All Blacks plan to bounce back after Ireland review

Sam Cane says the squad has emerged from a confronting review of the side's loss to Ireland in high spirits and ready to bounce back against France this weekend.

Posted by: AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 15 2021
Ian Foster, Will Jordan, sevens stars nominated for World Rugby Awards

For the first time since 2004, an All Blacks player is missing from the nominations for World Rugby's Player of the Year award.

Posted by: AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 15 2021
New look competition to kickoff at Mt Smart Stadium as full draw is announced

Super Rugby Pacific will kick off at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland where competition new-comers Moana Pasifika will host the inaugural match of a new era, against the Brumbies, on Friday February 18, 2022.

Posted by: AT 10:31 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 15 2021
United States President Joe Biden celebrates Ireland's win over the All Blacks

Is Joe Biden the source of the proverbial 'luck of the Irish'? It's a question both Irish and New Zealand rugby fans will be asking after the United States President played a hand - for the second time - in an Ireland team's defeat of the All Blacks.

Posted by: AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 15 2021

Anton Lienert-Brown has been ruled out of the All Blacks final test of the year against France in Paris this weekend. The Chiefs midfielder started at second five-eighth in the 29-20 defeat to Ireland, leaving the field just before half time after suffering a partial dislocated shoulder injury.

Posted by: AT 10:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 13 2021
Black Ferns fall to France for third straight defeat

The Black Ferns have given yet another reminder how far behind the pace they are from the top teams in world rugby. After back-to-back heavy defeats against England over the past fortnight, this time it was France who dominated New Zealand winning the opening test 38-13 in Pau for their biggest ever win over the Black Ferns.

Posted by: AT 12:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 13 2021
Tasman stun Hawke's Bay, Waikato topple Canterbury and Taranaki ease past Southland in Bunnings NPC

Tasman have earned the right to defend their NPC premiership title, and they will again have to travel north to do so. After winning away against Auckland to lift the silverware in 2020, the Mako will take on Waikato this year to lock the trophy away once more.

Posted by: AT 12:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 12 2021
Otago romp past Manawatu to book final spot in Bunnings NPC

Otago have cruised into the NPC Championship final with a comprehensive 44-16 victory over Manawatu in Palmerston North tonight. The southern side had far too much quality for the Turbos in attack and, after taking 38 minutes to find the line, ran in four second-half tries to book their spot in the decider.

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 12 2021

The Northern Hemisphere brand of rugby sits well with Dalton Papalii. A player who prides himself on his physicality, the All Blacks loose forward has found plenty of enjoyment in being exposed to the physical, forward-drive style of play in the north - despite walking away from tests a little worse for wear.

Posted by: AT 09:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 12 2021
Black Ferns make three changes to counter 'flamboyant' France

The Black Ferns have made three changes to its starting XV for Sunday morning's test against France. After two record defeats to England over the past two weekends, the side will be looking to bounce back against an unpredictable France team ranked fourth in the world.

Posted by: AT 09:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2021
All Blacks name strong team for Ireland clash

Ian Foster has reinstated his first-choice side, featuring a new-look midfield, as the All Blacks prepare to encounter another mighty challenge in Dublin.

Posted by: AT 01:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 11 2021
Aaron Smith's recall is an All Black mistake says Justin Marshall

All Black great Justin Marshall has blasted Aaron Smith's test recall saying a vital chance to freshen the star halfback up has been lost.

Posted by: AT 01:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2021
Ireland's Johnny Sexton says Ian Foster's All Blacks are a new beast to tackle

Ian Foster's All Blacks have emerged from the Steve Hansen shadow, with a new style of their own. That's the suggestion from veteran Irish star Johnny Sexton in the lead-up to Sunday morning's test in Dublin.

Posted by: AT 11:47 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2021
Aaron Smith called into All Blacks squad as injury cover for rest of Northern Tour

Aaron Smith will join the All Blacks for the last two games of their Northern Tour after welcoming his second child into the world last week.

Posted by: AT 08:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2021
Ireland's Kiwi wing James Lowe on facing 'best friends' in the All Blacks

James Lowe says he will face some of his "closest friends" if he makes the Irish side to play the All Blacks on Sunday morning. Ireland's coach Andy Farrell praised the improvements in Lowe's game following his recall against Japan.

Posted by: AT 08:42 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 09 2021
Honey Hireme-Smiler calls for urgent investment in Black Ferns ahead of World Cup defence

Former Black Ferns star Honey Hireme-Smiler believes the side's current European tour is exposing the team's bleak chances of retaining the women's Rugby World Cup title on home soil next year.

Posted by: AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, November 07 2021
Scotland continue impressive winning streak over Australia

Scotland defied the odds to upend Australia 15-13 in their rugby test at Murrayfield on Monday. The Scots brought back their Six Nations side after the 60-point romp over Tonga last weekend

Posted by: AT 01:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, November 07 2021
Black Ferns suffer yet another record defeat to England

The Black Ferns have suffered yet another record defeat at the hands of England, this time going down 56-15 to the world number one side in Northampton. It was an absolutely dominant performance from England against the world champion New Zealanders, just a year out from the World Cup

Posted by: AT 01:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, November 07 2021
Taranaki send semifinal warning to Southland in Bunnings NPC

Taranaki will go into the NPC playoffs unbeaten, claiming a 24-10 win over Southland in Inglewood on Sunday afternoon. Despite missing several key players including captain Teihorangi Walden, the Bulls overcame a dreary start and an early 10-point deficit to take the win

Posted by: AT 01:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 06 2021
Infamous pitch invader strikes for second week in a row

The prankster who invaded the pitch to line up with the All Blacks for the national anthem in Wales last weekend has struck again. Brit Daniel "Jarvo" Jarvis appeared alongside the Japanese side during their national anthem ahead of today's test against Ireland in Dublin before being taken from the field.

Posted by: AT 12:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 06 2021
All Blacks pile it on late in scrappy win over Italy

Clunky, disjointed, scrappy. The All Blacks saved their worst performance of the season for Rome. Ian Foster made wholesale changes to hand many fringe prospects the chance to impress against Italy. Those hoping to further their cases instead conspired to serve up an error strewn match which will leave Foster much more certain about reinstating many of his starting preferences next week.

Posted by: AT 12:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 06 2021
All Blacks v Italy - teams, kick-off time, live streaming and how to watch

Sam Cane returns as captain and rookie lock Josh Lord is thrust into his starting debut as the All Blacks adopt sweeping changes for Italy in Rome. Cane has played 30 minutes off the bench for the All Blacks, in the 104-14 mauling of the USA, and a hit out for King Country since returning from a six-month absence following shoulder and chest surgeries.

Posted by: AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 05 2021
Waikato earn vital victory over Otago to seal home semifinal in Bunnings NPC

Waikato have clinched a home semifinal in the NPC Premiership after a dramatic win over Otago in Rotorua tonight. James Tucker's try 10 minutes from time ended a second half that produced four lead changes and a level of quality that belied the dreadful conditions.

Posted by: AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 05 2021
North Harbour to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory

North Harbour Rugby have announced that they will implement a mandatory vaccination policy from next year. The union's board passed in principle a resolution to support the policy at an October meeting, meaning all clubs and schools in the union will need to meet the vaccination requirement.

Posted by: AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, November 05 2021
Waikato FPC coach James Semple named assistant coach for Blues Women

Waikato Farah Palmer Cup winning coach James Semple has been named as assistant coach for the nib Blues in the 2022 Super Rugby Aupiki competition.

Posted by: AT 10:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2021
Sam Cane returns as captain with sweeping changes made for Italy test

Sam Cane returns as captain and rookie lock Josh Lord is thrust into his starting debut as the All Blacks adopt sweeping changes for Italy in Rome.

Posted by: AT 11:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 04 2021
Former All Black Malakai Fekitoa throws support behind proposed law change to allow players to represent a second nation

Former All Black Malakai Fekitoa has thrown his support behind potential law changes that would allow players to represent more than one country in their careers without having to jump through hoops.

Posted by: AT 11:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2021
Former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew on link between concussion and dementia in wake of Carl Hayman diagnosis

Former All Blacks doctor John Mayhew says more studies need to be done to determine a direct link between concussions and the risk of dementia, but it's a potential problem rugby bodies must be aware of.

Posted by: AT 12:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2021
Former Warriors centre Solomone Kata joins Moana Pasifika for 2022 season

Solomone Kata is set to return to the familiar turf of Mt Smart Stadium, signing on to play for Moana Pasifika in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Posted by: AT 12:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2021
All Blacks express sadness at Carl Hayman's early-onset dementia diagnosis

The All Blacks have expressed their sadness in the wake of Carl Hayman's early-onset dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) diagnosis at the age of 41.

Posted by: AT 12:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 03 2021
Inaugural squads announced

The inaugural season of Super Rugby Aupiki reaches another milestone today with the announcement of player signings across the four teams. 105 players have signed contracts for 2022 and the first season of Super Rugby Aupiki, with only a handful of positions left across the country.

Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2021
England players to earn 70,000 for autumn clean sweep - but Tonga squad paid just 500 per game

England's players stand to make around £70,000 (NZ$133,000) if they complete an autumn clean sweep under a revised pay deal with the Rugby Football Union. Meanwhile, Saturday's opponents, Tonga, will receive just £500 (NZ$950) for playing at Twickenham this week.

Posted by: AT 01:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 02 2021
Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt to join Blues

The Blues have pulled off a major coaching coup by recruiting Joe Schmidt to the franchise from next year.Schmidt previously held an assistant coaching role with the Blues from 2005-07 before heading north where he helped Clermont Auvergne claim their first French Top 14 crown

Posted by: AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 01 2021
Black Ferns captain Sarah Hirini signs with Hurricanes

Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini has signed with the Hurricanes Women's squad for the upcoming 2022 Super Rugby Aupiki competition. One of the leading Sevens players in the world, Hirini has an impressive list of accolades to her name including captaining the Black Ferns Sevens team to a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Posted by: AT 01:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 01 2021
Pitch invader 'Jarvo' opens up on All Blacks stunt and plan to join haka

The prankster who invaded the pitch to line up with the All Blacks for the national anthem in Wales says he was originally planning to join the haka - but spotted the perfect moment to move earlier.

Brit Daniel "Jarvo" Jarvis is today back in London, reflecting on his latest sporting prank which saw him join the New Zealand line-up, donned in full All Black gear - and an arm bandage to add authenticity as a fully professional rugby player.

Posted by: AT 12:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email