All Blacks

Man admits supplying drugs to Kiwi NRL players

A Canberra man has pleaded guilty to selling drugs to the former Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich and his New Zealand teammate, Kevin Proctor.The ABC reports Adrian Mark Crowther was caught by Police after CCTV footage captured him preparing a white powder on his phone before handing it to the two league players.

The pair then consumed the substance through rolled up bank notes, just hours after they represented New Zealand in the annual ANZAC league Test against Australia.

Today Crowther plead guilty to supplying the drugs.

All Blacks' Japan test confirmed

NZR chief executive Steve Tew and Prime Minister Bill English confirmed the fixture in Tokyo.

RNZ reports the All Blacks will play the Brave Blossoms in November 2018 ahead of their annual end of year European Tour.

Tew said the test met several objectives.

"Interest in rugby in Japan is on a high and will only build as we get closer to Rugby World Cup 2019. The test will not only provide a great opportunity to prepare for the 2018 end of year tour, it also gives the team first-hand experience of playing in Japan less than a year out from the tournament.

Dagg's Crusaders return on hold

Dagg travelled with the team to Suva but will only take part in promotional activities.

The 28-year-old outside back had a knee operation in mid-March but played 40 minutes of club rugby last weekend and declared himself ready to resume playing for the Crusaders.

Coach Scott Robertson disagreed and left him out of the match in Suva, where the Crusaders will be looking to retain their perfect record this season with a 12th consecutive win.

All Blacks set to announce Japan test

A major announcement is expected from The New Zealand and Japanese Rugby Unions.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew is currently in Japan as part of a trade delegation headed by the Prime Minister Bill English, who says he's keen to get the world champion All Blacks to play in Japan before the 2019 World Cup.

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said at last week's World Cup draw that a match against Japan "wouldn't be a bad idea".

RNZI reports the All Blacks could play Japan in the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019.

All Blacks to play South Africa in RWC pool

South Africa's slump to seventh in the world means the 1995 and 2007 champions will face the All Blacks in the pool stage for the first time in a blockbuster clash.

The All Blacks will have to beat the Springboks to top their pool, as they bid for a hat-trick of titles.

The All Blacks and England, currently the top two teams in the world, would meet in a tantalising semi-final if they both win their pools and got through their quarter-finals.

New Zealand will likely play Scotland, Ireland or Japan in the quarter-finals.

Samoa to use 'Pasifika Challenge' as qualifying prep

The teams will clash as part of a Pacific rugby double header, called the 'Pasifika Challenge', at Eden Park with Tonga playing Wales in the curtain raiser.

Alama Ieremia said the Auckland test was a welcome addition to their calendar.

"It's great that we've got a chance to play the All Blacks again and this is great for our build-up as well, going into the June-July internationals, which are very important World Cup qualification games for Manu Samoa," he said.

Read and Kaino could play first Lions test without game time

Read has had surgery on a broken thumb and is expected to be out for six weeks which could have him back in time for the Lions match against the Crusaders on June 10th, two weeks before the first test in Auckland.

Kaino is due back a week later.

The squad for the first test against the British and Irish Lions will be named on Thursday, June 8th.

It's highly unlikely Read or Kaino will have been back on the field by that stage but they'll no doubt be named in the squad subject to fitness.

James Broadhurst retiring due to concussion issues

Broadhurst has not played since suffering dual head knocks during a Mitre 10 Cup match while playing for Taranaki against Wellington in August 2015.

The 29-year-old said he had been advised by medical experts to walk away from the game he loved.

"I've been away from the game for a little over 18 months and still experience symptoms which affect my daily life.

"Some extensive efforts have gone into getting me back to sport by medical professionals in and out of rugby. Even though it hasn't resulted in the outcome I had hoped for."

Jerome Kaino facing surgery to put his All Blacks place in doubt

The Blues confirmed the injury as they named their team to play the Brumbies on Sunday in Canberra.

The injury will put Kaino in doubt for the Blues game against the touring British and Irish Lions on June 7 which is the second game of their tour.

It will make him borderline for the test series with the opening international on June 24.

The Blues have been cleared to play their All Blacks against the Lions.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is scheduled to name his test squad the day after the Blues play the Lions.

Ma'a Nonu and Dan Carter deadly as race to French playoffs heats up

Ma'a Nonu was at his vintage best as he helped Toulon to a thrilling and important win in the French Top 14.

The former All Blacks midfielder scored the last of Toulon's three tries with a brilliant solo 30m effort in their 33-23 win on Monday (NZ time).

Tries haven't been easy to come by for Nonu since he moved to France following the 2015 World Cup triumph.

But he showed his mix of power and pace with this effort, side-stepping against the run of play and slicing through the Toulouse defenders to make his way to the line.