All Blacks

Ardie Savea named World Rugby player of the year

Savea got the top award at the World Rugby awards, a day after the All Blacks one point World Cup final loss to South Africa.

He headed off Ireland centre Bundee Aki, France captain Antoine Dupont, and South Africa's Eben Etzebeth for the award.

Four All Blacks made World Rugby's Dream Team of the Year - lock Scott Barrett, Savea, first five Richie Mo'unga, and wing Will Jordan.

All Black wing Mark Tele'a picked up the Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

Polarising All Blacks boss Foster on verge of World Cup triumph

Whether the All Blacks win or lose against South Africa in Saturday's final, Foster will be out the door to make way for Scott Robertson, the succession foisted upon him more than five months before the tournament kicked off.

Foster can expect tributes and thanks from New Zealand Rugby (NZR) bosses when making his exit, some 12 years after joining the All Blacks setup as an assistant to Graham Henry.

Most will ring hollow.

Forwards coach Ryan hailed by All Blacks pack

They'll face their biggest challenge yet in this weekend's World Cup final against South Africa in France where they'll not only face the Springboks starting XV but also their "bomb squad" of reserve players that will come off the bench.

South Africa's forwards put the All Blacks to the sword at Twickenham two months ago, dominating almost every facet as they claimed a record breaking win.

However, the current All Blacks pack is playing far better rugby and forwards coach Jason Ryan is proud of how far they've come.

All Blacks encouraged not to get too excited about reaching World Cup final

New Zealand romped past Argentina 44-6 on Friday to win the first of the two semi-finals this weekend and now wait to find out whether they will meet either England or South Africa to decide who goes home with the trophy on Oct. 28.

But the All Blacks must not get ahead of themselves, said their former international McLeod, whose work on the Kiwi defence at the tournament has earned praise.

“Probably not playing the game too soon is the biggest challenge,” he told a press conference on Saturday of the Kiwi plans for their last week in France.

Smith vows to do better for All Blacks in semi-final

Smith, one of the game's all-time greats and a World Cup winner eight years ago, said he made a slow start at the Stade de France then let his team mates down by earning 10 minutes in the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on just before halftime.

The All Blacks still managed to come out on top 28-24 against the Irish to earn a place in the last four.

"Going into this game, I really want to start better," Smith said of Friday's semi-final against Argentina at the same venue."

All Blacks name team for semi final

Sam Whitelock replaces Brodie Retallick at lock and Mark Tele'a is back on the left wing.

Tele'a was stood down for the quarter-final after breaking team protocols. He replaces Leicester Fainga'anuku who played against Ireland.

In the reserves Samisoni Taukei'aho replaces Dane Coles.

"Rugby World Cup playoffs are a series of finals," said head coach Ian Foster. "We know that the intensity only increases as you progress through the knockout stages and we are preparing accordingly.

Mark Telea not named for All Blacks quarter-final for disciplinary reasons

Leicester Fainga'anuku has been named on the left wing.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Telea was omitted due to breaking team protocol. Foster said it was not a major breach and they still "love him".

Ethan de Groot is back from suspension and starts in the front row along with Tyrel Lomax, who has recovered from a knee injury.

Brodie Retallick and Scott Barrett are in the second row, while halfback Finlay Christie is on the bench ahead of Cam Roigard.

All Blacks respect Ireland but don't fear them

The All Blacks are also adamant they're a much better team now than the one that lost to hosts France in their opening game of the World Cup, as they prepare to try and stop the Irish from reaching the final four of the tournament for the first time.

Ireland have won four of their last six games against the All Blacks, including their two most recent clashes.

If the All Blacks were to be beaten in Sunday morning's quarter-final in Paris, they would suffer the ignominy of heading home as statistically the worst ever All Blacks team at a World Cup.

All Blacks ease into World Cup quarter finals with big win over Uruguay

After losing their tournament opener to France, New Zealand ran in 11 tries against Namibia, 14 against Italy and added another 11 against Los Teros at OL Stadium.

Damian McKenzie scored two tries and made a couple more in an outstanding display, while winger Will Jordan grabbed his 26th and 27th five-pointers in only his 28th test with a performance just as good.

The other New Zealand outside back, Leicester Fainga'anuku, joined the party late with a second-half hat-trick as the Uruguayans wilted under huge pressure.

Cane returns as captain, NZ keep big guns for Uruguay clash

Coach Ian Foster made nine changes to the starting side that thrashed Italy 96-17 at the same venue last weekend, resting regular starters such as Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith and Rieko Ioane ahead of the quarter-finals.

"It is a short turnaround from our last game against Italy but being able to play in Lyon for back-to-back games has helped with our preparation," Foster said.

"We are confident in the direction we are heading so it's now about putting out another solid performance and growing our game."