Category: New Zealand Rugby

New Zealand Rugby News

Nov 03

New Zealand in contingency mode as Steve Hansen wrestles with problems

All Blacks arrive at Twickenham to face the Barbarians with their World Cup buildup having been severely disrupted – a situation that is forcing their unflappable coach to blood untested playersTurns out we had it wrong all along. It’s not the cockroac…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/03/steve-hansen-new-zealand-contingency-barbarians

Nov 02

Steve Hansen sings Eddie Jones’s praises while reworking All Black machine

The New Zealand and England head coaches are killing each other with kindness as they plan for a likely semi-final showdown at the 2019 World CupWhen Steve Hansen lauds the detective work of Eddie Jones it can be considered high praise indeed, bearing …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/02/steve-hansen-eddie-jones-praise-all-blacks-england

Nov 01

Warren Gatland: ‘It felt like I was being drained of blood, drop by drop. I was hating the tour’

Taking the Lions to his homeland should have been his proudest moment but now back with Wales the coach believes the welfare of rugby’s elite players is a more pressing concern“I’ve been on the sidelines of some big games and even I’m scared watching t…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/01/warren-gatland-blood-lions-tour-new-zealand-rugby-union-interview

Oct 31

Barbarians’ Deans defiant after criticism over no home nations players in squad

• Coach does not feel lack of northern hemisphere Baa-Baas devalues fixture• New Zealand’s Ian Foster: it would have been nice to face more UK playersThe Barbarians coach, Robbie Deans, has brushed off suggestions that an absence of players from the no…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/31/barbarians-robbie-deans-defiant-despite-all-blacks-local-derby-feeling

Oct 31

New Zealand’s Jerome Kaino ready to return after ‘a lot of lessons’

• Flanker back in All Blacks fold after losing place following extramarital affair• Kaino keen to face Barbarians, his first opponents for New Zealand in 2004The All Blacks’ first match after a defeat is a sufficiently rare event to raise expectations …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/31/new-zealand-jerome-kaino-barbarians

Oct 31

Forget clown noses, rugby fans in Europe should embrace All Blacks | Robert Kitson

The All Blacks’ tour, starting against the Barbarians, is a cue to put aside the Lions’ off-field treatment and revive rugby’s concept of mutual respectRight on cue at Halloween season a bunch of big men dressed all in black have materialised in London…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/oct/31/forget-clown-noses-rugby-fans-in-europe-should-embrace-new-zealand-all-blacks-barbarians

Oct 22

Wallabies no longer just believe they can beat the All Blacks – they know it | Bret Harris

Australia’s first win against their trans-Tasman rivals in two years was an indicator of how far they have come in just a few monthsIt was perhaps appropriate the Wallabies upset the All Blacks at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the very arena where Austra…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/23/wallabies-no-longer-just-believe-they-can-beat-the-all-blacks-they-know-it

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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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