New Zealand Rugby
Japan has beaten out Singapore as the preferred host for the 18th team in the expanded Super Rugby competition, governing body Sanzar said on Friday.
The southern hemisphere provincial competition will increase from 15 to 18 teams in 2016, with one team from South Africa and another from Argentina already awarded places.
Japan and Singapore were vying against each other for the last available spot with Japan getting the vote after a meeting of the South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby (Sanzar) executive board.
“Compelling proposals were put forth by Japan and Singapore in what was a very competitive tender process and we thank both parties for their passion in sharing our vision to expand the competition to new fans, territories and commercial markets,” Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters said in a statement.
Singapore has effectively conceded it has lost out to Japan to become the 18th Super Rugby side.
Although the South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby (Sanzar) has not officially announced which Asian country would host the new team in an expanded competition, it has already been widely reported that Japan has won the bid ahead of Singapore.
Singapore’s bidders released a statement on Thursday, seemingly acknowledging that Japan had been selected as the winner.
“Clearly Japan is a mature, established rugby market, while Singapore is new to the global rugby scene,” said Eric Series, the financial backer of the proposed Singapore bid.
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The maligned pitch at Singapore’s expensive new National Stadium has forced the cancellation of next month’s Maori All Blacks clash with the invitational Asia-Pacific Barbarians, which could have ramifications for the team’s Super Rugby bid.
The Maori All Blacks were scheduled to play the Tana Umaga-coached side at the stadium, the centrepiece of a $1 billion Sports Hub, on November 15 after two matches in Japan.
The New Zealand Rugby Union, however, said on Tuesday the match had been cancelled due to the poor quality of the pitch that has drawn numerous complaints from sporting teams.
New Zealand welcomed back superstars Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams for next month’s Northern Hemisphere tour, but dropped pivot Colin Slade, despite his heroics against Australia at the weekend.
Flyhalf Carter, the world’s most prolific international points scorer, has not played since breaking his leg in the Super Rugby Final in August, while Williams returns to the All Blacks after two seasons playing Rugby League in Australia.
There is also a return for Aaron Cruden, who has finally been forgiven for his late-night indiscretion in the latter stages of the Rugby Championship.
Coach Steve Hansen also recalled flank Victor Vito at the expense of Steven Luatua, and included promising scrumhalf Augustine Pulu as the only uncapped player in the squad for the four-Test tour.
The United States has reached an agreement that will allow it to include leading players based in Britain, France and Japan in its team to play New Zealand in a rugby Test in Chicago on 1 November.
Under the agreement, US players in the English Premiership, second-tier IPA Championships, France’s Top 14, Japan’s Top League and Scotland’s Guinness PRO12 will be released for the match at Soldier Field.
The US Eagles’ Test against New Zealand falls outside the International Rugby Board’s window for international matches and clubs are not obliged to release players.
Wallabies (15) 28 / 29 (12) All Blacks (Final Score)
The Australian Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in a Bledisloe Cup match at
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane at 11:00 SA Time (19:00 AEST, 22:00 NZ Time, 09:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
The All Blacks were given a big scare ahead of their Test against the Wallabies on Saturday.
First-choice flyhalf Beauden Barrett is under a slight injury cloud, following a training ground mishap.
The No 10 limped out of training with his left thigh iced and Colin Slade running the final few minutes of the session.
There is no indication when a call will be made on Barritt’s fitness.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has admitted that they are wary of a backlash from the troubled Wallabies who have lost their last two matches.
The Wallabies situation has been compounded by an off-field scandal involving star backliner Kurtley Beale and a text message scandal that saw a Wallaby back room staffer resign.
There has also been speculation in the media that Australian coach Ewen McKenzie could be replaced if the Wallabies suffer a thumping at the hands of the All Blacks.
The All Blacks want to get back on track after they lost their first Test in 23 matches when they were edged by South Africa’s Springboks two weeks ago.
Hansen’s All Blacks have now lost just two matches since their won the Rugby World Cup in 2011 so the pressure on Australia to win is much greater than the New Zealanders.
“When a team is under siege as they are at the moment then one of two things can happen,” Hansen said.
Wales coach Warren Gatland fired an early shot at the All Blacks’ World Cup defence, suggesting the New Zealanders may be hampered by their weak pool.
New Zealand and Wales face vastly different challenges to make the World Cup playoffs. The All Blacks head Pool C that includes the improving Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia.
In contrast, Wales find themselves in the “pool of death” with hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.
Aaron Cruden continues to be frozen out of the All Blacks.
Steve Hansen, who recently kicked the playmaker off the tour of Argentina and South Africa because he missed a pre-departure meeting, hasn’t even bothered naming him in the reserves for the test against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday night.
Instead Beauden Barrett will again start at first five-eighth, while Colin Slade, who can play first-five, wing and fullback, has been listed in the substitutes.
Auckland-born Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna is set to end his bid to play for the All Blacks after he was selected to represent Tonga, New Zealand media reported on Wednesday.
The 140-kg tighthead, who is of Tongan heritage, had been on the fringes of All Blacks selection for some time and even earned a call up to New Zealand’s training squad last year.
Hamilton based Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs have strengthened their squad for the 2015 season with the signings of two new forwards.
Prop Siate Tokolahi from Canterbury has signed with the Chiefs for the next two seasons and Hawke’s Bay lock Michael Allardice has signed for the 2015 season.
Tongan born, 22-year-old Tokolahi is an immensely strong player and can play both sides of the scrum.
Having just read an article which elicited quite a strangely strong emotional shout out loud response from myself I thought it would be worth sharing it here to bring it to the attention of anyone else who may not have heard about what I feel to be a very crude deal that has been made.
As it is so hot of the press (for me) I am not sure whether this horse trading breaks any specific laws as laid out by the International Rugby Board but I feel it certainly goes against the Spirit of our great game.
The detail of the deal between USA Rugby and Premiership Rugby Ltd (PRL) needs to be viewed in the context of the recent past regarding PRL’s stance on players playing for their country outside of the International Window. In particular, I am referring to the instance where they reportedly fined Northampton Saints (one of the clubs playing and contributing to the success of their very own league) £60 000 for allowing George North to play for Wales in a match that fell outside of the International Window.
Mercurial flyhalf Quade Cooper was among the reserves named on Tuesday for the embattled Wallabies with Adam Ashley-Cooper chosen for his 100th Test against the All Blacks in this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup clash.
Under-fire coach Ewen McKenzie made two changes to his starting line-up with Christian Leali’ifano at inside centre and Rob Simmons returning at lock for a team that lost 21-17 to Argentina on 3 October.
Leali’ifano replaces the injured Matt Toomua while Simmons displaces James Horwill from the beaten side in Mendoza.
Cooper has not played for Australia this year after suffering a shoulder injury in May, when he lost his place to Bernard Foley.
The Western Province Rugby Union wants to persuade the South African Rugby Union to hand Newlands the Springboks / All Blacks Rugby Championship Test next year.
This comes after SANZAR on Monday issued a release revealing that the Springboks will tackle the All Blacks at a South African venue to be decided on Saturday, 25 July.
It will be part of a curtailed, single-round Rugby Championship for the first time since its inception in 2012, a situation brought about by the priority given to next year’s World Cup in England and Wales from September.
The Boks play both the defending champion All Blacks and Argentina (Saturday, 8 August) at home, with their only overseas obligation being against Australia in Brisbane (Saturday, 18 July).
WP president Thelo Wakefield said that they will send a letter to SARU president Oregan Hoskins to consider handing the All Blacks Test to Newlands.
Before we start treating an All Blacks victory in Brisbane as a fait accompli its worth considering a few things.
It is true that the Wallabies are in a state of disarray, and must be vulnerable.
Their legacy of player power has come back to bite them, and it is extraordinary that their captain should be publically defending a repeat offending player ahead of the team unit, and by extension the coach.
Ewen McKenzie has tried to take a firm line in the past, but despite his strong actions on the end of year tour last year has been unable to instil a sense of no nonsense in the team.
Australia will play New Zealand twice in a week as part of their preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The draw for the condensed 2015 Rugby Championship sees champions New Zealand host Argentina in Christchurch but travelling to South Africa and Australia.
Southland came ever so close to snatching the Ranfurly Shield off Hawke’s Bay in the final challenge of 2014, however the Stags had to settle for a 20-all draw at McLean Park.
Southland fans would have been disconsolate, after Lima Sopoaga, who had another superior outing at flyhalf, kicked a long range penalty with roughly five minutes left to play.
However, any potential celebrations for the tourists were quickly muted, although they did have cause for joy at the end of the match.
The two competition points ensure that the Stags have qualified for the NPC Championship semifinals.
Quade Cooper is set to make his return to Test rugby after being named in the Wallabies’ 32-man squad for next week’s third Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium.
Cooper suffered a serious shoulder injury back in May but has shown good form in the NRC tournament for Brisbane City.
The talented five-eighth is likely to come off the bench with Bernard Foley to start, however Cooper’s return for the clash at Suncorp Stadium on October 18 is timely given the suspension of Kurtley Beale and injuries to several other inside backs.
The All Blacks second defeat in 44 Test matches was met with mixed reaction throughout the rugby world, not enough to prevent New Zealand from claiming The Rugby Championship, but it did stop a tournament whitewash for the third straight season.
Generally Kiwis did not panic, the consistency of Steve Hansen’s results deservedly have built up some emotional credit.
Some quarters of the media almost ridiculously hailed it as the beginning of the end for the World Champions, most were restrained wary to feed the wounded beast.
The All Blacks finished first overall, winning their 13th title since 1996, winning four Tests, drawing one and losing their final match – which was their first tournament defeat in 18 fixtures.
The International Rugby Board has announced the match official appointments for upcoming November internationals.
Appointments were made by the IRB Match Official Selection Committee at its recent meeting in Dublin and follow a detailed review of recent performances during the June international window, The Rugby Championship and other matches.
South Africa’s Craig Joubert will kick off a busy month of Tests as teams and officials begin the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2015, when he takes charge of the New Zealand v USA fixture at Soldier Field in Chicago on November 1.
Steve Walsh will be the man in the middle for England’s match with the Springboks and Nigel Owens will officiate at Stade de France when Les Bleus take on Australia, as well as refereeing New Zealand’s visit to Twickenham. Wayne Barnes has been appointed to Wales v New Zealand in Cardiff, while Ireland v Australia in Dublin will be refereed by Glen Jackson. Jérôme Garces will be in charge when the Wallabies take on England and will be in Padova on November 22 to referee Italy v South Africa.
The race to become the 18th Super Rugby franchise in 2016 took an intriguing twist on Wednesday.
According to media reports Japan and Singapore, the contestants in the two-horse race, are going to put their names in the same hat and share the games.
If the reports, quoting various sources, are to be believed, Japan have stolen the march on rival Singapore – but only because they offered to host matches in Singapore.
This, they believe, will negate concerns from South Africa about additional travel times.
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that Tawera Kerr-Barlow faces a six to nine month recovery period.
Kerr-Barlow suffered a nasty injury in the second half after coming against the Springboks at Ellis Park.
The Chiefs scrum-half may possibly need two surgeries to correct the injuries to his leg.
“He’s done his ACL,” Hansen said.
Former All Black David Hill will join the coaching team at the Blues for the forthcoming Super Rugby season.
Hill will take up the role as backs skills coach for the Blues, to complete their coaching group for the 2015 season under head coach Sir John Kirwan and assistant coaches Grant Doorey and Glenn Moore.
He has enjoyed a long career including representation for the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, Junior All Blacks, more than 50 games for the Chiefs and the 2010 Super Rugby season for the Force.
While the Springboks must be commended for ending their Rugby Championship campaign with consecutive home victories, it’s important to remain performance rather than results-driven.
I believe it’s fair to say that most of us view rugby games through a retrospective scope, which effectively means that the final result fundamentally informs our thought patterns and opinions.
Although the Springboks whipped the All Blacks in the first half, the reality is that had referee Wayne Barnes not gone upstairs to the TMO, having being probed by the matchday producer, captain Jean de Villiers and the partisan home crowd, the Springboks could easily have lost the Ellis Park test.
This weekend saw the finale of The Rugby Championship and we saw two very contrasting games. The All Blacks won the trophy… again. Deservedly.
The Pumas won their first ever fixture in this tournament, a historical moment and one they will never forget… I certainly won’t, but the highlight had to be the bromance in the coaches box after the game where their Latin exuberance, warmth and hot blooded nature got the better of some of them… Put it this way, there was lots of lovin!!
During the wee hours of Sunday morning SA Time the 2014 edition of The Rugby Championship came to and end with a dramatic first victory for Argentina over Australia.
Those who stayed up for the match might have been a tad disappointed with the fare dished up, unless they were into one penalty after the other type rugby.
What an absolute shambles. A rudderless and distracted Wallabies outfit got what they deserved by suffering the embarrassment of being Argentina’s first victim in The Rugby Championship.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie’s position is now under serious question after the team suffered one of its most inexplicable losses of recent times at the end of a road tour from hell that publicly exposed the division within the Australian team camp.
Full marks to Argentina for taking advantage of a sidetracked opposition, who made it so much easier for them by being ill-disciplined, disorganised, dispirited and clearly lacking on-field leaders.
In the end, the most entertaining moment of the Australian performance was singer Marcelo Zelada’s mangled version of Advance Australia Fair before kickoff, which included snatches of English, Spanish, gibberish and even a bit of humming.
Liam Napier explains the mystery of why South African rugby bosses are keeping the All Blacks away from the nation’s second-biggest city.
It’s one of the world’s most popular destinations. In 2008, 25,000 readers of South Africa’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph readers voted it the world’s best city.
But while the All Blacks travel to South Africa at least once every year, 2008 was the last time Cape Town hosted the All Blacks.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer described the 27-25 win over New Zealand in the final match of the Springboks Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign as one of the best matches in which he had been involved.
The support of the sell-out Ellis Park crowd also lifted the team’s effort, he said.
“I have been involved in rugby for almost 30 years and this support was unbelievable. We saw the crowd support on the way into the stadium and the national anthem was awesome. It was an unbelievable Test match,” Meyer said.
What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springbok victory over the All Blacks at Ellis Park.
On what the win means moving forward
“What a Test match. It can’t get better than that, can it? South Africa played some of the best rugby I’ve seen them play in that first half, but the All Blacks showed their championship quality the way they came back at them in the second half.
Springboks (21) 27 / 25 (13) All Blacks (Final Score)
The South African Springboks and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in The Rugby Championship at
Ellis Park, Johannesburg at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT, 04:00 Sunday NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.
In most cases, comparing a young player with a legend of the game is to burden him with unfair expectation.
To say Julian Savea is the new Jonah Lomu is definitely unfair. Unfair because it is selling Savea short. The 24-year-old wing may already have surpassed Lomu, according to All Black coach Steve Hansen.