All Blacks

Pay cuts 'inevitable' for New Zealand's top All Blacks

With the coronavirus alert level ramping up from level two to three on Monday and moving to level four from midnight Wednesday, the already tenuous Super Rugby replacement competition has been put on indefinite hold, putting further economic pressure on NZ Rugby.

The confirmation today from finance minister Grant Robertson that the Covid-19 financial relief package would be extended to incorporated societies means NZ Rugby will be eligible for a payout but Robinson said tonight what that looked like remained to be seen.

Former All Black Byron Kelleher learns fate following arrest in Auckland

The 57-cap halfback, who played his last test for New Zealand in 2007 and retired from all rugby in 2012, had his case called this morning in the Auckland District Court.

He was named yesterday after name suppression lapsed and faced charges of assault and wilful damage allegedly involving his fiancee’s ex-partner.

Today, he was granted diversion and his charges were dismissed.

Kelleher, 43, was not required to appear in court for a hearing.

All Blacks coaches still planning for July Test series

The All Blacks are scheduled to welcome Wales and Scotland later this year for games in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin before turning their attention to the Rugby Championship in August.

However, the threat of the coronavirus has sent sport into a worldwide suspension with the vast majority of the world’s top sporting leagues on hiatus to avoid the spread of the virus.

Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast, All Blacks coach Ian Foster said while Super Rugby had been suspended due to the virus, he was planning for a future where his side’s scheduled tests would go ahead.

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Kalyn Ponga breaks silence on rugby union transfer reports

Speculation was rife a fortnight ago with reports surfacing the club had tabled a rich contract extension to the 21-year-old which included a get-out clause to defect to rugby union ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

Already contracted to the Knights until the end of 2021, clubs are free to approach the Queensland star in November and Newcastle have confirmed they want him locked in long term.

However, on Monday, Ponga rejected the reports and said he was focused on round one, not what he might be doing in four years.

Highlanders' All Blacks return home as team prepares to bounce back against Jaguares

Their one win from five matches played doesn’t quite compare to the eight losses they started the 2013 year with but it also doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.

Yes, once the Highlanders get their match against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires out of the way this weekend they will play all but one of their remaining fixtures in New Zealand, but that also means they have a slew of derbies still to play – which are arguably the toughest matches in the competition.

Memories of Ma'a Nonu inspire Reds rookie Hunter Paisami as he gets set to tackle Crusaders

Paisami, 21,was born in Samoa but grew up in Auckland before moving to Melbourne with his family as a 17-year-old.

"My favourite player was Ma'a Nonu because he could do everything ... ball-carry, pass, kick, he was unreal," he told Brisbane's Courier Mail this week ahead of Friday night's game against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Courier Mail claimed Paisami - 1.80m and 92kg and devoid of dreadlocks - is no "mini-Ma'a" yet, but the tyro midfielder's first memory of rugby was watching Nonu at the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

All Blacks' Ardie Savea sets sights on representing Samoa

A day after revealing he harbours a dream of competing in the NRL for a powerhouse club such as Melbourne or the Sydney Roosters, Savea says his heart is also set on donning a Toa Samoa jersey.

His comments to a podcast host earlier on Tuesday reaffirmed his desire to play the 13-man code from as early as next year, when his NZ Rugby contract expires.

"A big part of why I wanted to go to league was because I could play for Samoa, because of the rules," he told Trackside radio. "So that's been a thing that's pondered my mind. 

NRL star Kalyn Ponga reportedly offered chance to play for All Blacks at 2023 World Cup

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting the 21-year-old will sign a four-year deal with the Newcastle Knights, worth a staggering $4.5m.

However according to the report, the fullback’s new contract will include an option that would allow him to try his hand at rugby and attempt to crack the All Blacks’ side for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Born in Western Australia, Ponga spent five years in New Zealand from the age of eight years old until 13 and has Maori heritage through his Kiwi parents.

All Blacks to play third 2020 Test against Wales with November fixture confirmed

The Welsh Rugby Union announced their traditional November fixtures this morning with the All Blacks and world champion South Africans two of the four opponents named.

The other two sides are Fiji and Argentina.

After facing Fiji  on November 7 Wales will take on the All Blacks on November 14 in Cardiff at 5:30pm local time.

It will be the third time Wales faces the All Blacks this year with Pivac and his men touring New Zealand in July for a two-Test series.

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Sevu Reece commits to New Zealand Rugby and Crusaders

The news comes on the back of the 22-year-old's breakout season last year.  Reece was called into the Crusaders as a replacement before joining the squad fulltime. His blistering pace and sharp finishing saw him top the try-scoring chart for the Super Rugby season with 15 tries.

His year got better when he was picked for the All Blacks for the Rugby Championship, and then the Rugby World Cup squad.  He played seven tests in total in 2019, including four matches at RWC2019, and scored four tries.