New Zealand Rugby

Beauden Barrett to Japan, but will still play for All Blacks

Britain's Daily Mail is reporting that Barrett will move to Japan in December after signing a two-season, $3 million contract with the Suntory club.

The report says the 29-year-old will not be available for the All Blacks in 2021 and 2022, with New Zealand Rugby agreeing to the deal to help it overcome the economic hit from Covid-19.

However RNZ understands Barrett will only miss next year's Super Rugby season, and not any international rugby.

It is understood any deal that has been reached has been negotiated between the Blues and Suntory, not New Zealand Rugby.

Groundbreaking deal: All Blacks for sale - if you have $300m

As part of the Business of Rugby series, the Herald can today reveal that NZR is trying to sell its entire portfolio of jersey sponsorship rights — the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Sevens, M?ori and under-20 team — to a single investor, possibly a major US or Japanese advertising agency.

The agency would then on-sell the rights to specific companies that want to put their name on the team’s jerseys.

Scrums won't be banned in NZ

World Rugby is considering the moves to reduce the transmission risk of Covid-19 but will ultimately leave any final decision up to national bodies.

All Blacks and Chiefs halfback Brad Weber has labelled the proposal ridiculous but New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson says players here won't have to play under those rules.

Robinson says the proposal is designed to get the game "safely back on the field in difficult circumstances in the Northern Hemisphere".

High price puts kibosh on Tasman signing ex-All Black Liam Squire

Although contracted to Japanese club NTT Docomo Hurricanes for two seasons, Squire has returned to New Zealand due to the Top League competition being cancelled because of Covid-19.

Recruiting the 23-test loose forward, who has played 47 games for Tasman, would undoubtedly be welcomed by rugby followers at the top of the South Island but Tasman CEO Tony Lewis said he won’t take the field for the Mako because of financial reasons.

Highlanders confirm Nehe Milner-Skudder signing, All Blacks Sevens star to also join squad

A 1 News report on Tuesday stated that the electric 13-test wing would link up with the 2015 Super Rugby champions for the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign, and the Dunedin franchise solidified the news on Wednesday evening.

“I’ve heard some unreal things about the club and the culture at the Highlanders,” Milner-Skudder said in a statement.

“I’m really  looking forward to the move to Dunedin and embracing everything it has to offer. I’m excited for this new opportunity and can’t wait to get into some mahi with the boys and lace up the boots for the Highlanders.”

New Zealand Rugby reveal the massive financial hit due to coronavirus

While the $7.4m loss represents a 37 per cent improvement on budget, NZR financial officer Nicki Nicol warned of the significant impacts Covid-19 will bring.

“At New Zealand Rugby we are forecasting up to a 70 per cent decline in revenue and we’ve had to quickly adjust our cost base accordingly,” Nicol said at Thursday’s annual general meeting.

“We know this has had an impact across all areas of our game; our players, teams, competitions, programmes and partnerships with provincial unions, Super clubs and others across the industry.

New Zealand Rugby to review Super Rugby

In a statement New Zealand Rugby says the review is to ensure the future success for the clubs and competition on and off the field.

It says the review, called Aratipu - is about growing, regeneration and invigoration.

Blues Chair and Barrister, Don Mackinnon will Chair Aratipu and will be joined by Chiefs Chair, Tonia Cawood, Hurricanes Chair, Iain Potter, Crusaders Chair, Grant Jarrold, Highlanders Chair, Doug Harvie, Private Investor Representative, Liz Dawson, NZR Chair Brent Impey and NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson.

Former All Black Eroni Clarke appointed to NZR Pasifika role

The role is the first of its kind for the governing body and partly came out of the Respect and Responsibility Review in 2017, which highlighted issues around player welfare and participation numbers in the game.

New Zealand Rugby said they were looking for someone who had a deep understanding and commitment to rugby and the ability to engage with the Pasifika community, and ensure their views were heard at the top table.

NZ Rugby gives grant to Super Rugby clubs

The intercontinental Super Rugby competition was shut down after round seven when the New Zealand government enforced two weeks of self-isolation for anyone entering the country.

Hopes of putting on a domestic competition foundered when government measures to counter the virus were further tightened, leaving the teams with players to pay but no revenue streams.

New Zealand Rugby unveil second-tier All Blacks XV team to tour Northern Hemisphere

The team, named the All Blacks XV, will play three matches in the last weekend of October and first two weekends of November.

NZR chief rugby officer Nigel Cass said the team will provide a new national team aspiration for current professional players, and a career step towards the All Blacks for many.

It follows in the footsteps of similar teams which have assembled throughout New Zealand recent rugby’s history, including the Junior All Blacks, New Zealand A and Emerging Players.