NZ Rugby

Hypothetical teams show how Fiji, Tonga and Samoa could be world class

Many of the Pacific Islands‘ brightest stars have been hoovered up by the likes of Australia and New Zealand for many years, while even the northern hemisphere nations have done the same in recent years.

Independent not-for-profit players association Pacific Rugby Welfare posted hypothetical teams for the three Pacific Island nations, which are made up of players who could have represented Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Travel bubble benefits Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

Planning for the mooted six-week competition had continued between New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and Sanzaar with hopes that a trans-Tasman travel bubble would open in time.

"Today's news gives us even greater confidence to push forward with our plans and provides certainty to our teams, fans and stakeholders," New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman would follow on from the conclusion of the Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU competitions.

Highlanders declare Josh Ioane available for selection again

Josh Ioane, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Sio Tomkinson, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Sione Misiloi and Daniel Lienert-Brown have all been declared available for selection after being stood down by coach Tony Brown last week for disciplinary reasons.

Lienert-Brown is still recovering from a broken arm, but the availability of regular starters Ioane, Mikaele-Tu’u and Tomkinson will increase Brown's options for Saturday's crucial game.

Rebels open to hubs for trans-Tasman rugby

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce at 4pm on Tuesday a potential date for the opening of a travel bubble with Australia.

Currently, there is only quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia and not the other way round.

The five-week Super Rugby trans-Tasman competition is scheduled to kick off on May 14 in Dunedin when the Highlanders host Queensland, with the five teams from each country squaring off each week.

All Blacks star Caleb Clarke could be off-limits for Blues as Olympics beckon

Tony Philp, New Zealand Rugby’s high performance sevens manager, is hoping May is the return date for New Zealand’s men’s and women’s sevens teams’ comeback to the international game.

Neither team have played in an international tournament since the Covid-19 pandemic halted their respective World Series last March.

Clarke is among a small pool of Super Rugby players eyeing an Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games in July, but their commitment to Super Rugby Aotearoa means they’re not training under coach Clark Laidlaw with the men’s sevens team for the meantime.

Fully contracted Black Ferns fifteens players on the cards

World Rugby is investing 12.4 million dollars in a three-tier tournament from 2023 which will help improve depth ahead of the expanded 16-team World Cup in 2025.

New Zealand would take part in a cross-regional tournament featuring Oceania and North American teams in June with the top three then joining the top three Eurpoean teams in a global event in September-October.

Cate Sexton, New Zealand Rugby's head of women's rugby development, says that sort of commitment would warrant contracting players.

New Zealand Rugby to launch new Super Rugby under 20s tournament

The tournament will be held in Taupō in April and effectively double as a trial for New Zealand under-20 selection.

Although the World Rugby Under 20 Championship that was due to be held in Italy in June and July has been cancelled, it is still hoped that an Oceania tournament will happen this year.

Ozich's involvement with the Highlanders follows an outstanding campaign with the Magpies in 2020, when he bolstered his reputation as a coach on the rise.

SBW hangs up boots and laces up gloves

The 35 Williams has told Nine News in Sydney that he now wants to focus on becoming a world champion boxer.

Williams finishes his NRL career having played 123 first grade games between the Bulldogs and Roosters, with premiership wins at both clubs in 2004 and 2013.

He will however continue to be involved with the Roosters in a mentoring role.

Williams played 58 times for the All Blacks.

Dan Carter confirms retirement from rugby

The 38-year-old, with 112 test caps to his name, played his last test in 2015 when he produced a man-of-the-match display to help the All Blacks to victory over Australia in the World Cup final.

The Canterbury first-five was also part of the New Zealand team that won the 2011 edition of the tournament, though he missed the final after tearing his groin tendon.

He leaves the game as the highest point scorer in test rugby with 1598, more than 350 points clear of England's Jonny Wilkinson.

"I officially retire from professional rugby today," Carter wrote on Twitter.

Ardie Savea knew it was time to step up

"Alfie (Hurricanes coach Jason Holland) approached me and Colesy (Dane Coles) talked to me and at first I was like, 'Oh nah', you know, playing it down. But, I knew deep down in my heart that this season, at this time of my career, I think it's time for me to step up and step out of my comfort zone and try something that I'm not used to. I usually just go out there and play, but it's time to lead."

The loose forward succeeds All Blacks teammates Dane Coles and TJ Perenara, who shared the leadership duties in 2020.

Savea said he's been inspired by the hooker and halfback.