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All Blacks

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Jarrad HoeataCardiff BluesCardiff Blues revealed a major coup in the signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata, from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.

Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori and All Blacks Sevens teams.

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New ZealandCory JaneIsrael DaggNew Zealand rugby chiefs on Thursday admitted two prominent All Blacks abused prescription sleeping pills during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but denied the practice was commonplace among professional players.

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said Cory Jane and Israel Dagg “let themselves down” when they took pills on a night out in Auckland just before the All Blacks’ quarter-final against Argentina.

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Rugby World Cup 2015South AfricaSouth African rugby fans need not worry about securing match tickets for Springbok matches at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England following the establishment of SA Rugby Travel, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new company – a joint venture between the South African Rugby Union and Tourvest Destination Management – has secured thousands of tickets for likely Springbok matches and tailored packages to suit a wide range of fans’ pockets and experience choices.

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Frank OliverFormer All Blacks captain Frank Oliver has died at the age of 65, his old provincial club Manawatu said on Tuesday, describing him as “a truly great rugby man”.

Oliver played for the All Blacks 43 times from 1976-81, including 17 Tests, captaining the New Zealanders to a series win over Australia in 1978. His son Anton Oliver was also an All Blacks captain.

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Benji MarshallHe may have a long way to go, but former Rugby League star Benji Marshall has set his sights on eventually playing for the All Blacks.

The talented new Blues recruit is set to take his first steps on that journey when the Auckland franchise face the Hurricanes in a pre-season friendly this weekend, but he has made it clear that the ultimate goal is to play Test rugby for New Zealand.

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New ZealandSouth AfricaThe 1994 Springbok team is regarded as the worst Springbok side visiting New Zealand. They were unable to win a single test –losing the first two and drawing the 3rd test- and losing one provincial match out of 11 against Otago (12-19).

In total they lost 3 matches and drew one out of 14 matches. Compared to the 1965 Springboks probably a better overall result; excluding the fact that they couldn’t win a test match. It was nonetheless a disappointing result considering the fact that this team also completed tours -with the same coach, Ian McIntosh- through Australia and Argentina in 1993. They won one test in Australia and both test matches in Argentina with reasonable good margins. In addition they played two test matches against England at the start of the 1994 season losing the first one 15-32 at Loftus Versfeld and winning the second one 27-9 at Newlands in Cape Town. From that backdrop there was understandingly an expectation that SA rugby and particular the Springboks will shed the impact of the isolation years and begin to adjust to the requirements of the international rugby if not win test matches.

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New ZealandSouth AfricaAll Blacks 11 / 5 Springboks (Eden Park, Auckland 1 September 1956)


Ron Hemi:
“The fourth test was the hardest game I ever played in, and this was at a time when I considered myself to be at peak physical fitness. South Africa made a big mistake in the selection of their first five-eighth and fullback. Bill Clark and Ross Brown were able to box in Howe and kill play close in, preventing the South African outside backs from operating. And a more determined fullback than Viviers would have prevented Jones’s try. The New Zealand tactics of bursting around the rucks, the ball being kept at close range in front of the forwards, was the winning formula.”

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2013The year was full of spectacular moments and performances as well as disappointing lows and infamous incidents; we name and shame the best and worst in our 2013 Awards.

New Zealand and Wales ruled their respective hemispheres for the second successive year, the All Blacks enjoying a flawless 2013 campaign.

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New ZealandChiefsSonny Bill WilliamsThe New Zealand Rugby Union have confirmed that cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams has signed with the Chiefs for 2015.

Williams, who will continue in rugby league with the Sydney Roosters in 2014, has signed a two-year deal, meaning he could appear for the All Blacks at the 2015 World Cup.

He will return to the Chiefs, for whom he played in 2012, in the Super Rugby competition.

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WalesAustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaWales will have an opportunity to break their SANZAR bogey when they face the world’s top three sides in next year’s November internationals.

The International Rugby Board’s (IRB) top three ranked sides, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia will visit the Millennium Stadium along with Pacific Island nation Fiji.

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New ZealandKieran ReadSteve HansenAll Blacks and Crusaders vice captain Kieran Read has been named the International Rugby Board’s Player of the Year for 2013.

New Zealand rugby claimed a triple scoop on the awards as the All Blacks were also named team of the year while coach of the year went to Steve Hansen.

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The Rugby ChampionshipSANZAR have announced the draw for the 2014 Rugby Championship which will start on the 16th of August when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney.

The 2014 Super Rugby season ends on August the 2nd and then the Southern Hemisphere’s best players will get the weekend of August the 9th off and then the Rugby Championship starts a week later on the 16th.

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