NZ Rugby

Sir Bryan Williams urges NZ Rugby to rethink snub of Pasifika team for 2021 Super Rugby

NZR chair Brent Impey this week confirmed the 2021 competition will be like the five-team Super Rugby Aotearoa format and not feature interested parties which bid to be included along with the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes.

One of those was Moana Pasifika, an Auckland-based bid supported by prominent Pasifika leaders and rugby figures including Williams, who believes it’s a wonderful opportunity to enhance Pasifika rugby after being “left out in the cold” by NZR when the game turned professional in 1995.

Super Rugby Aotearoa back for 2021

New Zealand set up Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020 for its five professional franchises after the broader Super Rugby championship was abandoned due to Covid-19.

New Zealand Rugby had hoped to include a team from the Pacific islands for next year's tournament and invited expressions of interest from Australia.

However, its chairman Brett Impey said the pandemic had shelved those plans and "forced" the organisation to think domestically again next year.

"The last thing we want is for any team to come in and get smashed," Impey said.

Two weeks to sort Rugby Championship saga

Chairman Brent Impey said all options remain on the table regarding the tournament, to be held in Australia from November 7 to December 12, including the All Blacks boycotting their final game.

RNZ understands New Zealand Rugby are pushing hard to move the final game forward to Wednesday December 9, but that would rob the competition of it's final weekend double header and likely affect the potential revenue made from the match.

That could mean NZR may be asked by Rugby Australia to soak up some of that financial loss if RA were to agree to shift the date of the game.

No test matches on the cards for Black Ferns in 2020 despite World Cup coming to NZ next year

The world champions were scheduled to play eight tests – including seven at home – ahead of next year’s World Cup in New Zealand, but Covid-19 has forced those matches to be cancelled.

Among the games announced in March this year were tests against the USA in Dunedin and two O’Reilly Cup clashes against the Wallaroos, with more test announcements promised before the pandemic forced the worldwide suspension of rugby.

Half a dozen bids vying to be first Pacific Island Super Rugby team

New Zealand Rugby wants to add a Pasifika team to the competition from 2021 and is currently considering expressions of interest from a range of bids.

Kanaloa Hawaii and the Asia Pacific Dragons previously voiced their desire to join the Super Rugby competition, while Moana Pasifika is the latest group to go public.

Pacific Rugby Players CEO Aayden Clarke said they have consulted with half a dozen prospective groups.

"From our perspective we just want a quality organisation to grab this opportunity," he said.

World Rugby unveils £1.86million Tokyo Olympics lifeline for 7s as more tournaments cancelled

The Welsh Rugby Union scrapped its team in a radical move that mirrored the decision taken a few weeks earlier by the RFU with its England 7s teams. 

With fears growing over the preparations of teams for the showpiece 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the game’s global governing body have unveiled an investment strategy fund valued at $2.5million US (£1.86m) that can be accessed by teams to cover the cost of trainm  ing camps, competition support, technical and sports science and medical programmes.

North v South inter-island rugby match gets green light

The match was initially scheduled for this Saturday at Eden Park but NZR pushed the date back by a week due to Auckland being at alert level 3.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has now confirmed it will be played at Wellington's Sky Stadium on Saturday week but there will be no spectators as Wellington will still be at alert level two.

NZR's Chris Lendrum said while its disappointing there will be no crowd they were determined the match would go ahead.

"We were always committed to doing this any way we could," Lendrum said.

Further delay on future of North v South rugby match

The match was initially scheduled for this Saturday at Eden Park but New Zealand Rugby (NZR)pushed the date back by a week to 5 September due to Auckland being at Alert Level 3.

NZR initially said it would make a decision about the game on Monday but then delayed that until Tuesday.

It's now saying it will be another 24 hours before a decision is announced.

The government announced on Monday that Auckland would remain at Alert Level 3 until 11.59pm Sunday 30 August, before moving to Level 2 for at least a week.

Inter-island rugby match postponed

The match was originally due to be played at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday week but when Auckland went into level three lockdown New Zealand rugby made contingency plans for Wellington.

NZR exemptions from the Ministry of Health for 14 players and five support staff but these have been denied.

Mitre 10 Cup sides line up for Julian Savea as he makes New Zealand rugby return at No. 12

Savea completed a busy 80 minutes at second five-eighth for his childhood club Oriental-Rongotai as they went down 20-15 to Poneke at Kilbirnie Park in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.

The hitout was Savea’s first in New Zealand since leaving for France in 2018. Since then he returned home in May and signed a short-term replacement contract with the Hurricanes for the remainder of Super Rugby Aotearoa which finishes next week.

The 30-year-old carried strongly and looked fit and trim in his return to action.