All Blacks

Samoa's PM confirms talks with NZRU

"The Samoa Rugby Union has made a proposal that they are now negotiating with the All Blacks whether it is possible to have another game with the All Blacks," he told media last week.

"This is during the time of the Independence Celebration in Samoa. So it's is something we all should look forward to."

Tuilaepa, who is also the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, indicated that it could be hosted in Samoa.

But the Samoa Observer said reports emerged over the weekend that Manu Samoa was likely to feature in a Pacific Island rugby double header in New Zealand.

All Blacks eye Samoa in Lions warm-up

A deal hasn't yet been agreed but the Weekend Herald understands there is growing confidence among all parties that on Friday, June 16, the All Blacks will play Samoa in Auckland - with Tonga versus Wales as the curtain raiser.

The All Blacks are keen to play a meaningful contest before the first test against the Lions on June 24. They are conscious the Lions will have had six tough tour games before that first test, while the All Blacks will have had two weeks of training, but no opportunity to play.

Smith admits he should have taken time off after toilet tryst

Smith will this week celebrate playing his 100th Super Rugby game for the Highlanders when they take on the Melbourne Rebels in Dunedin.

He received a formal warning and stood down from an All Blacks test in October after he was seen entering a toilet cubical with a woman at Christchurch Airport.

He later said he made a huge mistake and apologised to his partner, both his and her families, his teammates and New Zealand fans.

Smith struggled on the All Blacks end of year tour.

NZ Rugby welcomes new international window

World Rugby has promised more tests between top and second-tier nations and announced changes to the timing of international windows in a new global calendar to run from 2020 to 2032.

The current June international window will move to the first three weeks of July to allow the Southern Hemisphere club championship, Super Rugby, to be completed prior to the matches.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said the 2020-2032 international schedule secured a long-coveted July window.

Carter: Bring on England game

"I'd love to see it happen," Carter told Sportsmail. "Any rugby fan would love to see it. Both nations have achieved so much since they last played in 2014.

"It's been so long, so there would be even more hype than usual. It would be up there with the classics."

The Rugby Football Union in Britain is trying to arrange a match at Twickenham on November 4, but obstacles stand in the way.
England's rugby clubs could be a major hurdle for the proposed showdown at Twickenham in November.

Dagg to have knee operation

An MRI scan has revealed what the Crusaders feared after watching the in-form Dagg hobble off Suncorp Stadium during their dramatic 22-20 win over the Reds in Brisbane last weekend.

Dagg, it has been confirmed, will be unavailable for approximately six weeks. He has what is known in medical circles as a PCL and lateral meniscal injury, and a specialist says a small operation is required.

That means the All Blacks fullback/wing is unlikely to be sighted until around the round 10 Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on April 30.

Kerr-Barlow latest All Black off to France

The 26-year-old has played 25 Tests for the All Blacks.

"I'm excited to announce that the next chapter of my rugby career will be with La Rochelle in France," he said.

"It was an extremely hard decision to make, but I feel it is the right one for my family and myself. I've always wanted to play rugby in New Zealand and to represent teams like Waikato and the Chiefs which is where my family comes from. It was a childhood dream of mine to become an All Black and it has been a privilege to represent my country."

Patrick Tuipulotu contemplates emotional return to Eden Park with the Blues

Turbulent doesn't do Tuipulotu's start to this season justice. The All Blacks lock has been put through the ringer; sent home from the All Blacks end of year tour following a positive doping test, only to be cleared two months later by his B sample.

Somewhere along the line a mistake appears to have been made, though no-one yet has accepted responsibility.

During his provisional suspension he was forced to train by himself, largely on the outer of the team, and made to wait from November 12 to March 3 for his on-field return to the Blues.

Blues call up their ABs

Having used a talent-stacked bench without fruition against the Chiefs last week after being reduced to 14 men for more than half the game, Coach Tana Umaga has given his stars a chance from the opening whistle in this key Kiwi derby.

Co-captains James Parsons and Jerome Kaino are named in the pack that also sees prop Charlie Faumuina and lock Patrick Tuipulotu in the starting eight.

There's a further change in the forwards with North Harbour newcomer Murphy Taramai to make his first Super Rugby start at No 8, meaning Akira Ioane drops to the bench.

Nehe Milner-Skudder back as All Blacks boost Hurricanes

Fresh off their 83-17 demolition of the Sunwolves in Tokyo, the Hurricanes host the Rebels in Wellington on Saturday.
 
The star trio are among four changes to the starting XV. The other sees Reed Prinsep come in at No 8 to for the injured Blade Thomson.
 
Hurricanes hooker and captain Coles and first-five Barrett swap places with Ricky Riccitelli and Otere Black respectively after coming off the bench in Tokyo.