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Steve Hansen & Richie McCaw with the coveted Webb Ellis Cup

Steve Hansen & Richie McCaw with the coveted Webb Ellis Cup

Fans will be able to welcome back the All Blacks at homecoming celebrations in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington this week.

The All Blacks will travel home with the help of sponsor Air New Zealand which has sent an all black Boeing 777-300 to London to pick up the Rugby World Champions.

The team touches down on Wednesday morning at 07:00 NZ Time, arriving at Auckland International Airport before departing for an overnight stay in the city.

Aucklanders will then get a chance to celebrate their Rugby World Cup triumph at a very special event featuring the team at Victoria Park in central Auckland at midday.

The next day Christchurch will welcome the All Blacks with a street parade and official reception at Hagley Park. On Friday, Wellington will celebrate the All Blacks success with details and timing to be confirmed.

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AustraliaThe Wallabies are brimming with confidence and have challenged the All Blacks to bring their A game to tomorrow night’s test at Eden Park in Auckland.

The Australian side arrived in Auckland yesterday and have their captain’s run this afternoon.

They come to Auckland having not won at Eden Park since 1986 but captain Michael Hooper said at a press conference it was not something that bothered his side.

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World Club 7'sJoaquin Paz sparked a second-half comeback as unbeaten Buenos Aires clinched the World Club 7’s title at Twickenham over Auckland, who lost out at the final hurdle for the second year running.

Auckland were in the ascendancy after Mitch Karpik’s double but the Argentinians’ resolve throughout the weekend was also present in the final, with the deadly Paz crossing twice to secure a 26-22 victory.

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ITM CupCanterbury will be looking to seal a magnificent seven straight ITM Cup titles when New Zealand’s provincial competition kicks-off this Thursday.

For the third time, the red and blacks defeated Wellington for the 2013 silverware at the final hurdle as they ran out 29-13 at Westpac Stadium.

But will they triumph in 2014? Here we look at the runners and riders this season, with Auckland and Wellington set to be their challengers.

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Wayne PivacAuckland coach Wayne Pivac has become the latest in a growing number of New Zealamd mentors who are heading to Europe.

The Scarlets announced that Pivac will join them as an assistant coach at Parc y Scarlets next season, to further strengthen the set-up in West Wales.

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Super RugbySamoaFijiTongaNew Zealand’s Super Rugby coaches are pushing for a team of Pacific island players to be included in the Southern Hemisphere competition when it expands in 2016.

The team, based in Auckland, would be part of an 18-team competition under a proposal from the head coaches of New Zealand’s five existing Super Rugby teams, the New Zealand Herald reported.

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worldclub7sDHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls are scheduled to face each other today at Twickenham on day two of the World Club 7s tournament.  Both teams will be looking forward to improve on what was a disappointing first day for them at the inaugural tournament.  Western Province lost all three of their games while the Blue Bulls lost two and drew one game.

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Declan Kidney has picked three uncapped players for the 1st Test with New Zealand in Auckland, with Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick both starting and Ronan Loughrey on the bench. Keith Earls faces the unenviable task of stopping Sonny Bill Williams at inside centre, with Dan Tuohy and Donnacha Ryan forming a new look second row partnership. Brian O’Driscoll captains the side.

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