Category: New Zealand Rugby

New Zealand Rugby News

Oct 11

All Blacks’ dominance threatens the health of international Test rugby | Bret Harris

Never in the history of sport has there been such a dominant team – and that could have serious ramifications for the gameNever in the history of sport has there been an international team as dominant as the All Blacks. The New Zealanders have lost onl…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/12/all-blacks-dominance-threatens-the-health-of-international-test-rugby

Sep 25

Charles Piutau: ‘I felt invincible as an All Black … but it’s such a short career’

He missed out on winning a World Cup to sign for Ulster but the New Zealander has no regrets and will become the world’s highest-paid player when he joins Bristol in 2018

“I really had to see the bigger picture,” Charles Piutau says as he considers the wrench of abandoning his Test career with the All Blacks to play for Ulster and, from next season, Bristol. Piutau, a dynamic full-back who can also play on the wing, will become the world’s most highly-paid rugby player when he joins Bristol. Yet his motives are more than mercenary and reflect his arduous childhood as well as the growing problems for Test rugby.

“When I was in New Zealand it felt like the All Blacks were everything. It felt like you were going to play forever. You felt invincible. But, taking a step back, you realise it’s such a short career. For me, what really hit home was remembering everything my parents had done for me and my siblings. They left Tonga for New Zealand to give us better opportunities. And for me, coming here, I had the same chance to do something similar for my family.”

Related: British & Irish Lions to reduce fixtures for 2021 South Africa tour

Related: Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership weekend

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/25/charles-piutau-all-blacks-ulster-bristol-rugby-union-interview

Sep 20

Warren Gatland to blame for Lions not beating the All Blacks, claims O’Brien

• Ireland flanker says squad was ‘over-trained’ before Tests
• ‘I think we should have won the tour – probably comfortably’

Seán O’Brien has blamed Warren Gatland and his coaching staff for the British & Irish Lions’ failure to win their series in New Zealand over the summer, claiming they should have comfortably done so.

Related: Warren Gatland sees Lions’ draw against All Blacks as next best thing to success | Andy Bull

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/20/lions-all-blacks-2017-tour-warren-gatland-sean-obrien-should-have-won

Sep 16

All Blacks irresistible in remarkable 57-0 drubbing of South Africa

• Rugby Championship clash ends in eight-try whitewash
• Springboks suffer the heaviest defeat in their history

Winger Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two of the All Blacks’ eight tries as they destroyed South Africa 57-0 at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday to post a record points margin against the Springboks.

The All Blacks were ruthless in their execution of their opportunities to post 50 points for the second successive Test against their traditional foes, with their 57-15 win last year in Durban the previous largest margin.

Related: Wallabies v Argentina: Rugby Championship – live!

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/16/new-zealand-south-africa-rugby-championship-all-blacks-irresistible-record-defeat-report

Sep 10

New Zealand rugby must change attitudes towards women, review finds

Report reveals 36 incidents investigated in the last four years, including violence, sexual comments, homophobia, and drug and alcohol breaches

New Zealand rugby must change its outdated attitudes towards women and sexual orientation, and get over its culture of entitlement, an independent review into the culture of the country’s beloved national sport has found.

The Respect and Responsibility Review was commissioned by New Zealand Rugby after a string of serious incidents last year, where players from the Chiefs rugby team were accused of groping, licking and throwing gravel at an erotic dancer they had hired for their end-of-season party, as well as making homophobic comments to a gay couple.

Related: ‘Unacceptable’: New Zealand’s Labour leader asked about baby plans seven hours into job

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/11/new-zealand-rugby-must-change-attitudes-towards-women-review-finds

Sep 01

Ben Franks glad he stuck with London Irish through the bad times

Former All Blacks prop has no regrets about staying with rejuvenated Exiles as he prepares for Saturday’s opener against Harlequins at Twickenham

Ben Franks made his first London Irish start at Twickenham in 2015, less than a month after claiming a second World Cup winners’ medal at the same ground. And if it comes as a surprise that he is still with the Exiles as they prepare to return to HQ on Saturday you would not be alone.

Related: Rob Baxter challenges Exeter to play like Premiership champions | Robert Kitson

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/01/rugby-union-premiership-london-irish-harlequins-ben-franks

Aug 27

England outgunned by New Zealand in Women’s Rugby World Cup final – video highlights

England fought valiantly against New Zealand in the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup but were ultimately unable to prevent the Black Ferns from winning a sixth title. The two sides exchanged the lead during the first half but England could not respond to New Zealand’s pressure in the second period

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2017/aug/27/england-new-zealand-womens-rugby-world-cup-final-video-highlights

Aug 26

Beauden Barrett seals last-gasp win for New Zealand over Australia in thriller

  • New Zealand 35-29 Australia
  • Barrett try in final minutes denies Wallabies

They told them they were dreaming. The New Zealand press screamed it in bold type during the week, what four million Kiwis thought of the Wallabies’ chances of causing an upset in the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin tonight.

Well, the Wallabies dared to dream. After their record 54-34 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney last Saturday night, they produced a stunning form reversal and were just minutes away from a breathtaking upset victory.

Related: All Blacks snatch Bledisloe win from Wallabies in dying moments – as it happened

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/26/beauden-barrett-seals-last-gasp-win-for-new-zealand-over-australia-in-thriller

Aug 25

Emily Scarratt switch can get England on front foot, says Simon Middleton

• Danielle Waterman absence means full-back change against New Zealand
• Sarah Hunter: there’s a feeling we’ve still got our best game to come

The England head coach, Simon Middleton, has insisted he had no qualms over shifting Emily Scarratt to full-back for Saturday’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand after Danielle Waterman’s absence again called into question the quickfire nature of this tournament.

Waterman was withdrawn during the first half of Tuesday’s semi-final victory over France for a head injury assessment (HIA) and failed to return. With the final coming only four days later, Waterman was unable to complete the return to play protocols and was immediately ruled out.

Related: Cohesion is key for England as giants of game do battle in Women’s Rugby World Cup final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/25/emily-scarratt-switch-england-simon-middleton-new-zealand-women-s-rugby-world-cup-final

Aug 25

Cohesion is key for England as giants of game do battle in Women’s Rugby World Cup final

New Zealand have a standout player in Portia Woodman but Simon Middleton’s side are a well-oiled machine as they target back-to-back triumphs

Dominating the Belfast skyline, it is impossible to miss two enormous yellow shipbuilding cranes, situated in the Titanic quarter and looming large over the city. They are known locally as Samson and Goliath, and considering England versus New Zealand is the final the Women’s World Cup has been craving, pitting by a distance the two giants of the game against each other, it is an apt backdrop for Saturday night’s showdown.

It is also a match-up that has a familiar ring to it – while the men’s game must make do with verbal sparring from Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen until next autumn, the Red Roses and the Black Ferns are no strangers to each other. England won in Rotorua in June, New Zealand at The Stoop in November and they have contested three previous World Cup finals. New Zealand have won all three but the most recent came in 2010 and because the standard of women’s rugby has improved immeasurably since then, only so much can be read into that.

Related: England women bank on a little bit extra for World Cup final with New Zealand | Gerard Meagher

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/aug/25/cohesion-key-england-giants-battle-women-s-rugby-world-cup-final

Aug 25

Wallabies’ more ‘violent’ approach to Bledisloe Cup hit by Adam Coleman injury

  • Australian lock ruled out of second Test with shoulder injury
  • Coach Michael Cheika has called for tougher tackling from his side

The Wallabies have been dealt a major blow on the eve of the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin, losing chief aggressor Adam Coleman to injury a day after coach Michael Cheika had called for a more “violent” approach from his side.

Related: Wallabies’ new defensive strategy will mean nothing if their players don’t tackle | Bret Harris

Related: David Squires on … the Wallabies’ chances against the All Blacks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/25/wallabies-more-violent-approach-to-bledisloe-cup-hit-by-adam-coleman-injury

Aug 21

Sir Colin Meads obituary

All Blacks captain with a reputation as one of the hardest, most uncompromising players in rugby union

Few sportsmen or sportswomen have so defined their country as did Colin Meads, the former New Zealand rugby captain, who has died at the age of 81. A man uncomfortable with fame, he early in his career described himself as a “country hick in the big time” and saw himself as a father first, a farmer second and an All Black incidentally.

Meads’ international career spanned 14 years and covered three decades, from his debut against Australia in 1957 to his final appearance against the 1971 Lions when he was 35. He broke his back later that year in a car crash and his body was encased in plaster, but typical of a man who had played on against Eastern Transvaal in 1970 after suffering a broken arm, and who had returned to the field against France in 1967 after being viciously kicked in the head as he lay on the ground, he was back on the field within five months. He was expected to tour the British Isles in the autumn of 1972, only to make himself unavailable because of differences with the New Zealand coach Bob Duff.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/21/sir-colin-meads-obituary

Aug 20

All Blacks rugby union legend Colin Meads dies aged 81

Meads, who has died of pancreatic cancer, played 133 games for the All Blacks, including 55 tests, from 1957 to 1971.

Colin Meads, the famously tough All Blacks captain hailed as New Zealand’s greatest rugby player of the 20th century, has died after suffering from cancer. He was 81.

Meads played 55 tests among 133 games for New Zealand between 1957 and 1971 – a prodigious number in an era in which the All Blacks seldom played more than four tests a year.

Related: Remembering the Lions tour of 1971: the great awakening of British rugby | Paul Rees

A sad day for NZ rugby and for NZ. Sir Colin was not only a great All Black but also a genuinely good Kiwi bloke. He will be missed.

RIP Sir Colin Meads. #legend

Related: Ruthless All Blacks teach Wallabies lesson in Bledisloe Cup opener

saddened to hear that one of the great men in rugby has passed away . rest well Colin Meads

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/20/all-blacks-rugby-union-legend-colin-meads-dies-aged-81

Aug 18

All Blacks security guard not guilty of making up bugging device claims

Magistrate says not enough evidence to convict Adrian Gard of making a false representation resulting in a police investigation

Adrian Gard, the security consultant at the centre of the All Blacks bugging case, had his public mischief charge dismissed by a Sydney court on Friday.

Gard was accused of making a false statement to police about a listening device found in the All Blacks’ hotel meeting room before the August 2016 match against Australia in Sydney.

Related: Tackle, tackle and then tackle again – how the Wallabies can upset the All Blacks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/18/all-blacks-security-guard-not-guilty-of-making-up-bugging-device-claims

Aug 17

All Blacks spring selection surprise for Bledisloe opener against Wallabies

  • Damian McKenzie named at fullback by coach Steve Hansen
  • Loose forward Liam Squire also included, at expense of Jerome Kaino

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has opted for young gun Damian McKenzie at fullback for the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Sydney.

The 22-year-old livewire, who enjoyed a stellar Super Rugby campaign with the Chiefs, is the main beneficiary of a backline reshuffle. He will play in the black No15 jumper for just the second time, while incumbent fullback Ben Smith moves onto the right edge.

Related: Tackle, tackle and then tackle again – how the Wallabies can upset the All Blacks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/17/bledisloe-cup-opener-teams

Aug 04

Eddie Jones: Manu Tuilagi is only England player able to demolish All Blacks

• Tuilagi has played only 20 minutes of Test rugby for Jones because of injuries
• ‘He’s worth time, he’s worth effort and worth a lot of care,’ says head coach

Eddie Jones has labelled Manu Tuilagi as the only player at his disposal able to “demolish the All Blacks” after seizing the opportunity to call the fit-again centre back into the England frame.

Tuilagi has not played since January following a knee injury – the latest in a long line of fitness problems – but was among the 37-man squad called into this weekend’s camp. The 26-year-old has made one appearance under Jones – off the bench against Wales during the 2016 Six Nations – but the head coach has not forgotten Tuilagi’s bulldozing performance in England’s victory over New Zealand in 2012. Tuilagi scored one try and set up two inside eight minutes as Stuart Lancaster’s England romped to a 38-21 win at Twickenham.

Related: Eddie Jones hands Manu Tuilagi chance to resume England career

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/04/eddie-jones-manu-tuilagi-demolish-all-blacks-england-rugby-union