New Zealand Rugby
Veteran midfielder Ma’a Nonu will play his 100th Test match for the New Zealand All Blacks, when they face Tonga in a Rugby World Cup Pool C match on Friday.
Nonu, who made his All Blacks Test debut in 2003, has had 83 Test starts in his stellar career, scored 29 tries and is the most capped All Blacks inside centre.
He will become the All Blacks 6th Test centurion on Friday and will line up alongside 3 of those centurions – hooker Keven Mealamu, prop Tony Woodcock and flyhalf Dan Carter.
“On behalf of the All Blacks, we would like to congratulate Ma’a on this special milestone,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.
“He has been an incredibly valued member of our group for a very long time.
“He has been fully committed to enhancing the All Blacks jersey and the values that go with it.
Fiji (26) 47 / 15 (10) Uruguay (Final Score)
Fiji and Uruguay did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, England at 21:00 SA Time (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT, 16:00 Uruguay Time, Wednesday 07:00 Fiji Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
New Zealand All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo, on the comeback trail from a broken leg, is again under an injury cloud and in doubt for their final Pool C match against Tonga on Friday.
The try-scoring specialist is in need of game time after being sidelined for 3 months and the All Blacks will wait until the last minute before naming their team on Wednesday to decide if he will be fit enough to play.
Naholo missed the All Blacks 1st 2 games as he completed his recovery from a leg fracture.
He then exploded onto the Rugby World Cup stage with a sensational try, with his 1st touch of the ball in the 3rd game against Georgia which the All Blacks won 43 / 10 to confirm their quarterfinal berth.
Japan’s Super Rugby side for the 2016 tournament will be known as the Sunwolves!
- Japan’s new Super Rugby team formally revealed as the Sunwolves;
- Designed to represent bravery, strength and an ethos of teamwork;
- The Sunwolves to play historic 1st game against the Emirates Lions on Saturday afternoon 27 February in Tokyo;
- Singapore National Stadium to host matches between the Sunwolves and the Toyota Cheetahs (Round 3), Vodacom Bulls (Round 5) and DHL Stormers (Round 12);
- the Sunwolves Will feature in a conference alongside the Vodacom Bulls, Toyota Cheetahs and DHL Stormers
A new era of rugby has risen in Japan with confirmation that its new Super Rugby team will be known as the Sunwolves.
Today’s announcement by Yoshitaka Tashiro, Representative Director of the Japan Super Rugby Association (JRSA), is the product of an initiative that saw the JRSA engage fans from all over the world to help devise an identity for its new team.
The name is a hybrid comprising the blazing icon of the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ and a wolf which represents a pack hunting mentality and a dedicated team ethos of protecting one another.
The striking logo depicts the breaking of a new dawn for Japanese rugby and a fearsome representation of the team’s desired playing style as they seek to utilise speed, unity and a fearless spirit to face their challenges.
England have dropped 2 places to 8th in the World Rugby rankings after their World Cup defeat to Australia at Twickenham.
Only once before, in 2009, have England been as low as 8 on the list. There were times in 2003 and 2004 when they were the No 1 team in the world.
If Scotland were to register 2 more victories at the Rugby World Cup, they could move up and push England even lower. Never, since the rankings began in 2003, have England been outside the top 8. Only 4 other teams – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and France – have maintained a top-8 place since the rankings began.
8 Teams have moved up 1 place in the rankings, which are based on results and the level of opposition.
Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result – whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of this event.
4 Nations have dropped down: Wales by 1 place from 2 to 3, Ireland by 1 from 4 to 5, England by 2 from 6 to 8, and Samoa by 4 from 11 to 15.
The 8 risers, all by 1 place, are Australia to 2nd, South Africa to 4th, France to 6th, Argentina to 7th, Japan to 11th, Tonga to 12th, Italy to 13th and Georgia to 14th.
Georgia (10) 10 / 43 (22) All Blacks (Final Score)
Georgia and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff at 21:00 SA Time (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT, 23:00 Gerorgia Time, Saturday 08:00 NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo will make his eagerly-awaited World Cup debut against Georgia in Cardiff on Friday.
Naholo, who made his 1st Test appearance for the All Blacks against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in July, cracked his fibula in that match and team bosses feared he would have to miss the World Cup.
However, thanks to a traditional herbal remedy, the 24-year-old Fiji-born flyer has made a recovery that has astounded the specialists.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Waisake back on the track, he’s been jumping out of his skin at training and I’m sure he can’t wait for game day,” Hanson said.
Hansen has made 10 changes to the starting line-up that defeated Namibia on 24 September with Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino and Julian Savea making a 3rd start.
4 Players were not considered for selection due to injury – Ma’a Nonu (shoulder), Colin Slade (hamstring), Liam Messam (calf) and Beauden Barrett (whiplash).
The draw for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament, which will be an enlarged 18-team format, as well as the new trophy which goes with the format, has been released!
Here are some facts about it:
- Super Rugby to kick off on Friday 26 February with 3 of last season’s 4 semi-finalists meeting in an opening night extravaganza;
- The new Japanese team will play its historic 1st game against the Emirates Lions on Saturday afternoon 27 February in Tokyo;
- Fans won’t have to wait long for a re-match of last year’s epic Super Rugby Final with the Highlanders to host the Hurricanes in Round 2;
- Singapore National Stadium to host matches between the Japanese-based team and the Toyota Cheetahs (Round 3), Bulls (Round 5) and Stormers (Round 12);
- The South African Conference structure formally confirmed;
- Newly-designed chrome and gold plated Super Rugby trophy that captures the prestige, grandeur and resilience of 1 of the world’s toughest sporting titles and;
- Identity of the Argentinean and Japanese-based sides will be formally unveiled in the coming months.
Super Rugby is set for its most significant evolution yet with 4 new conferences, 3 new teams, 2 new countries and 1 new trophy.
A week can be a long time, especially at Rugby World Cup 2015 with the matches flowing thick and fast and players from various teams have suffered tournament ending injuries which has meant call ups for players initially not considered good enough to go to the Rugby World Cup. However, we still thought it would be interesting to share an article that was written a week ago which looks at 10 players who were possibly unlucky to miss out on being selected to represent their countries at this year’s Rugby World Cup.
1 Of the players who is discussed, James Hook, has since been called up as replacement following knee and shoulder injuries to Scot Williams and Hallam Amos which they picked up against England. But the point still stands that he was not initially considered quite good enough by the Wales coaching staff and still not even after injuries to Leigh Halfpenny and Eli Walker.
Do you agree on the players discussed and do you have any players of your own that you think were unlucky to have missed out on selection? One of course also needs to consider that the Rugby World Cup squads can only contain 31 players so someone already in the squad would need to make way for whoever is considered unlucky not to be there.
Namibia (6) 14 / 58 (34) All Blacks (Final Score)
Namibia and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Olympic Park, London, England at 21:00 SA Time (21:00 NAM Time, 20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT, Friday 06:00 NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw pleaded guilty to a “dumb” moment which saw him sin-binned as his side struggled to beat Argentina in their Rugby World Cup opener.
McCaw, the most capped player in Test rugby, got a Yellow Card for tripping Argentina’s Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe half an hour into the game.
The Pumas took advantage of his 10 minutes of exile and later of the Yellow Card of Conrad Smith to stamp their authority on the Pool C game.
“It was dumb,” McCaw said of the incident.
“It was a reflex thing. It wasn’t the right thing to do and we suffered because of it and put the team under pressure, which you can’t afford to do,” the much respected captain said after.
The sentiment was shared by New Zealand coach Steve Hansen who said: “The 2 Yellow Cards today were pretty dumb.
All Blacks (12) 26 / 16 (13) Los Pumas (Final Score)
The New Zealand All Blacks and Argentinian Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Wembley Stadium, London, England at 17:45 SA Time (16:45 BST, 15:45 GMT, 12:45 ARG Time, Monday 01:45 NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
A popular topic of debate heading into the Rugby World Cup is that of eligibility, particularly that resulting from the residency method. We take a look at the foreign-born players in each squad, where they were born and how they are eligible.
An interesting fact – only Argentina can claim that all 31 players in their squad are native to their country. The other 19 teams all have players born abroad, including significant numbers in some of rugby’s most powerful nations.
All told, Rugby World Cup 2015 will have a grand total of 33 countries involved in the tournament. Players born in various African countries – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe join the participating Namibia and South Africa. Zimbabwe has players representing 4 countries, more than any other non-competitor.
Spain is another country not present at the Rugby World Cup who have players representing multiple countries while other countries include Belgium, Israel, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands are also all represented.
Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa lead the way in terms of players representing others at the Rugby World Cup.
Japan’s hopes of playing in the 2016 Super Rugby tournament still appear to be doomed but their exit could also force the Southern Kings out of the expanded tournament.
The Japanese Rugby Union formed the Japan Super Rugby Association (JSRA) to run the new Super Rugby team but the JSRA has struggled to sign players for the new team.
Their expectation was that the Japanese Top League teams would release players to the Super Rugby team but they don’t want to do that and instead they want the Top League to be considered at a higher level than Super Rugby.
SANZAR are believed to be so concerned about the situation in Japan that they have started discussing alternate tournament models for the 2016 season and possibly beyond.
Tournament organizers SANZAR gave Japan a deadline on 31 August last month to show a list of 20 contracted players but reports suggest that the standard of players is not at a level that will make the new Asian team competitive.
Reports in Australia say that SANZAR are now considering taking the Super Rugby licence away from Japan indefinitely.
The writing appeared to be on the wall early last month when Japan coach Eddie Jones announced that he would not be re-signing with the national side and he would not be available as the new Japanese team’s Director of Rugby.
While the Japan team’s inclusion seems unlikely it is understood that the 6th South African side, the Southern Kings are also struggling to sign a full squad and in recent months there have been financial problems and player strikes due to wages not being paid.
All Blacks international Charles Piutau signed a 1-season contract with English Premiership club Wasps on Thursday after the being left out of his country’s squad for the Rugby World Cup.
Piutau will join Celtic League side Ulster next July, but they aren’t able to include him in their squad for this current campaign as their foreign allocation is full.
And when the 23-year-old missed out on a place in the All-Blacks’ final 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup, which gets underway next week, Piutau opted to play for Wasps in 2015 – 2016.
South Africa moved up to 3rd place in the World Rankings without even kicking a ball.
It means the Springboks have climbed 2 places in the World Rankings since their last match – a win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, last month.
Their rise, despite the team’s inactivity, is the result of Ireland’s dramatic slump – the men from the Emerald Isle having lost to Wales (10 / 16) and England (13 / 21) in the past fortnight.
As a result, Rugby Championship heavyweights New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will go into the Rugby World Cup as the Top 3 nations in the rankings.
Ireland’s rating fell by 0.79 points and resulted in a 3-place drop to 6 for the Six Nations Champions, placing them below the Springboks.
England gained the same amount of points to leapfrog their Pool A opponents Wales into 4th.
Long-time leaders New Zealand remain untouchable – for a fortnight at least – on 92.89 points, with Australia 6.22 points behind in 2nd and South Africa a further 1.52 points back in 3rd.
Australia were unable to make up any ground on their arch rivals, despite being the only one of the 3 in action over the weekend.
Their 47 / 10 win over the USA Eagles in Chicago did not come with any ratings points, given the double-figure difference in rankings positions and rating points between the nations.
Serious injuries to star fullback Leigh Halfpenny and scrumhalf Rhys Webb, made it a day to forget for Wales, who scraped home 23 / 19 against Italy at the Millennium Stadium.
The 79-year-old All Black great who was missing in London has been found and taken to hospital.
Terry Lineen, who was a midfield back in the 1950s, went missing at Heathrow Airport shortly after arriving from Auckland, missing his connection to Edinburgh.
He had been missing since 13:00 BST on Thursday (00:00 Friday NZ Time).
However, on Friday evening (NZ Time) his daughter-in-law Lynne said Lineen had been found by police in Twickenham and was in an ambulance on his way to hospital.
Her post on Facebook said Lineen was found at 07:00 BST (18:00 NZ Time) after a member of the public reported seeing a distressed man with a bleeding arm, who they thought had been hurt in a hit and run accident.
Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok squad will have the 2nd-most Test caps at this year’s Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.
According to the NZ Herald website, analysis of all 20 of the Rugby World Cup squads has revealed that defending champions and the world’s No 1 side, the All Blacks, have by far the most experience, with the squad combining for 1 484 Test caps – 187 more than the next best side – South Africa.
Led by Richie McCaw (142 caps), Keven Mealamu (126), Tony Woodcock (115) and Dan Carter (106), the defending champions have an added 345 Test caps from their triumph in 2011, where they came into the tournament with the 2nd most caps behind the Springboks.
Victor Matfield (123), Bryan Habana (110) and Jean de Villiers (107) are the 3 Springbok centurions, with Ruan Pienaar next best on 84.
Controvertial New Zealand and anti-South African journalist, Chris Rattue, spilled his guts about removal of the Springbok name.
Here’s a muppit who knows sweet blue buggerall about South Africa, using the last of very few brain cells to write tripe of the highest order!
It is not his 1st ever controvertial gig either, the same twerp called the Welsh “Village Idiots” in August 2011, sparking fierce debate about it.
Simple message to this “Village Idiot” – Go concern yourself with yourself, fool!
Here’s what he had to write in the New Zealand Herald:
As the Rugby World Cup looms, the Springboks this week remain 4th on World Rugby’s official rankings.
Heyneke Meyer’s charges currently boast 85.15 ratings points, trailing Ireland Australia and New Zealand.
Ireland’s 16 / 10 home loss to Wales at the weekend saw them slip to 3rd, with Australia moving into 2nd spot.
Ireland’s defeat cost them 1.7 ratings points, leaving them on 85.19 points, 1.48 adrift of the Wallabies.
The All Blacks (92.89) remain comfortably atop the rankings – a position they have occupied since November 2009.
The All Blacks played down injury concerns over Colin Slade on Tuesday after the flyhalf went down with a knee problem at training.
Slade received medical attention after slipping over in Wellington, an incident which revived memories of New Zealand’s injury woes at the last tournament in 2011.
“He slipped over during training and landed awkwardly on his knee and gave it a bit of a tweak,” assistant coach Ian Foster said.
“He was walking around the shed afterwards. He’s fine.”
Slade was 1 of 3 flyhalves sidelined with injury during the 2011 World Cup, almost derailing New Zealand’s bid to win the tournament on home soil.
Auckland ITM Cup head coach Paul Feeney has been named an assistant for the Blues, commencing at the end of this year’s provincial championship.
Feeney completes the new coaching group for the Blues under head coach Tana Umaga, taking specific responsibility for the backs attack and skills. He joins new defence coach Alastair Rogers and current forwards coach Glenn Moore.
Feeney, a former North Harbour representative, has been a professional coach for 14 seasons including 2 as assistant coach for Fiji and including winning the Rugby World Cup Sevens title and also coached for 2 years in Japan.
He has been involved in the ITM Cup with North Harbour, Bay of Plenty and Auckland, taking over as head coach last year.
Feeney won 3 Heartland Championship titles in succession with East Coast from 2006 – 2008, and was assistant coach with the Blues Development side for the last 3 years.
Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo were rewarded for their fine form after they were included in New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup squad.
The inclusion of the 2 pacemean means that there is no place for veterans Israel Dagg and Cory Jane in the squad. Charles Piutau, who has featured regularly for the All Blacks in the last 2 seasons, also misses out on selection.
The squad, captained by Richie McCaw, features 17 forwards and 14 backs. It will be a particularly exciting time for 17 of the All Blacks squad, who will be going to their 1st Rugby World Cup tournament.
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said said the squad was a reflection of the depth the country has at the moment.
New Zealand Rugby, the Highlanders and Manawatu Rugby have announced that Aaron Smith has re-committed through until at least the end of the 2019 season.
26-Year-old Smith, who has played 41 Tests for the All Blacks, 78 games (including 60 consecutive matches) for the Highlanders and more than 40 matches for the Manawatu Turbos, has become an integral part of the All Blacks and Highlanders success over the last few years. He was a standout player for the Highlanders this season, helping the team to their inaugural Super Rugby title and carried his form into the All Blacks season.
The Test scrumhalf said, “I’m really excited and thankful for the commitment shown from New Zealand Rugby, including the Highlanders and Manawatu Turbos.
New Zealand Under 20 Junior World Cup winning captain, Atunaisa Moli, has signed with the Chiefs for the next 2 years.
The versatile Waikato prop who can play both sides of the scrum has impressed head coach Dave Rennie since being a part of the Chiefs’ development program in 2014.
Moli toured Hong Kong with the side earlier this season in addition to spending time training with the Chiefs’ core Super Rugby squad.
Former All Blacks star Mils Muliaina has appeared in a Welsh court to face accusations of sexually assaulting a woman.
Muliaina has been charged with 1 count of sexual assault, which the prosecution claims occurred in central Cardiff on 7 March.
Muliaina did not enter a plea at the court in Cardiff on Friday. The case will resume at Cardiff Crown Court on 7 September.
A team of 28, captained by flanker Roddy Grant, has been announced for Edinburgh Rugby’s opening pre-season friendly against Romania at the Greenyards tonight (Friday 21 August, kick-off 18:30 UK Time, 19:30 SA Time).
Bolstering the backs for this season, Edinburgh Rugby announce the signing of winger Otulea Katoa on a 1-year deal.
The Tongan international, who arrived in the capital earlier this week with his wife and 1-year-old son Eli, will bulk up the backs with a number of players involved with Scotland throughout the year.
The 24-year-old, who has been capped 7 times by Tonga, most recently represented his country in July’s Pacific Nations Cup and has been signed from New Zealand provincial side, Southland.
The International Rugby Players Association announced the appointments of Jonathan Sexton and Richie McCaw their Presidents.
Sexton and McCaw are the inaugural Presidents for the North and South respectively.
As 2 of the most recognised and respected players from around the world, both are seen as ideally placed to oversee and represent the collective voice of their fellow players from around the globe.
Both players are passionate about making a difference on issues of international importance to the players and the game.
Sexton and McCaw will take an active part on various IRPA Player Advisory Groups and will use their expert opinion and stature to build on the collaborative relationship with World Rugby, the international Governing Body.
3 Rugby players, including former All Blacks wing Zac Guildford, showed their prowess off the field when they chased and apprehended an alleged shoplifter.
Guildford and Hawke’s Bay team-mates Ryan Tongia and Chris Eaton were at a restaurant in Napier when they saw a man run out of a nearby clothing store.
Guildford said that former NRL player Tongia chased the alleged thief 3 blocks down the road.
Rugby World Cup winning All Black flyhalf Stephen Donald is returning to New Zealand having signed a contract with Waikato for the NPC season.
Donald had been linked with a move to Toulon in France but is expected to be available for Waikato when they take on Bay of Plenty on 30 August in Tauranga.
It will be the 31-year-old’s 1st outing in New Zealand since he came off the bench to kick what turned out to be winning penalty in the All Blacks’ 8 / 7 win over France at the 2011 Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park.
Donald was famously called into the squad while fishing, after the All Blacks were hit by an injury crisis at flyhalf during the tournament.
Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam are the only 2 All Blacks regulars named in New Zealand’s initial rugby sevens squad on Wednesday to begin preparations for next year’s Rio Olympics.
Williams had been widely expected to make himself available for the sevens team for Rio after his switch back from rugby league late last year.
Messam, a former sevens player before he made the All Blacks, had also said he was keen on trying to win Olympic gold in Rio with Gordon Tietjens’ sevens side.
“We know what Liam can do and he will certainly give us some new options up front,” Tietjens said in a statement.
“He’s a hugely experienced sevens player having won 2 Commonwealth Games gold medals and been part of sevens World Series winning New Zealand teams.
“Sonny Bill Williams is a great athlete and has shown he can adapt very easily to the demands of rugby.
“I see him adjusting very well to the fast pace of sevens. He’ll be a great attacking weapon with his speed, strength and uncanny ability to offload.”
SANZAR has issued All Blacks’ team management with a breach notice following an incident that occurred during the Test between the All Blacks and the Wallabies played at Eden Park on Saturday 15 August 2015.
Under tournament rules, water carriers are not permitted within the playing enclosure while the match is in progress. Liam Messam, who was acting as a water carrier for the All Blacks, entered the field of play during the 29th minute which constituted a breach of technical zone protocol.
All Blacks’ team management accepted responsibility for this breach and has been issued a fine of A$ 2 000.00.
All Black prop Charlie Faumuina’s Rugby World Cup hopes suffered another setback after he was knocked out cold in training on Tuesday.
Faumuina was released to play for his NPC side Auckland after he was given the all clear to resume training returning from neck surgery.
Faumuina damaged his neck in the later stages of the Super Rugby series and had surgery in June in a late bid to be fit for the Rugby World Cup.
There were several options – 1 which gave him a shot at the World Cup or another which would take him out of rugby for 6 months and park his tournament ambitions alongside the injured Aaron Cruden and Patrick Tuipulotu.
All Blacks Performance Analyst Alistair Rogers will become the new assistant coach for the Blues.
Rogers, who has been with the All Blacks for the last 7 years, was named to join new head coach Tana Umaga for the next 2 years at the Blues.
He has had a special focus on opposition analysis and defence with the All Blacks and will take the responsibility for defence at the Blues, joining incumbent forwards coach Glenn Moore.
The former professional player is keen to return to a full-time coaching role, after guiding the Ballina Rugby Club in Ireland for 12 months, a stint as defence coach at Honda in Japan and a spell as Hurricanes assistant defence coach last year.
Glen Fisiiahi is set to make a return to rugby and will be joining the Chiefs for the next 2 years, from Rugby League team, the Warriors.
The 24 year-old former Wesley College Sports Dux and Counties Manukau Under 18 rugby player, who had offers to stay in rugby league said, “I wanted a change and to switch back to union with the Chiefs.”
“I have really enjoyed the league environment but I have rekindled my interest in rugby and want to try a different environment. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my sporting career and a fresh challenge.