All Blacks

Springboks unchanged for All Blacks

Coach Rassie Erasmus will stick with the same XV and eight replacements that saw off hosts Japan 41-7 in a warm-up game two weeks ago.

It represents the first time the Springboks have stuck with the same side since the 2015 World Cup semi-final, which New Zealand edged 20-18 at Twickenham, while number eight Duane Vermeulen will win his 50th Test cap.

The only alteration from the team that played out a 16-16 Rugby Championship draw against the All Blacks in Wellington in July is fit-again captain Siya Kolisi starting at openside flanker in place of Kwagga Smith.

All Blacks shut down Sonny Bill Williams rumours

On Sunday, midfielder Williams was rumoured to be heading home from Japan with a calf injury, but those rumours were quickly shut down by the All Blacks. 

Former rugby reporter Hamish McKay told Radio Sport Williams would be replaced by Manawatu Turbos midfielder Ngani Laumape. 

But sources told Newshub that Laumape had not received a call from All Blacks management to join the squad.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said Williams was carrying an injury, but the team was doing a good job managing it. 

"Is he going home?" said Foster. "No.

Too early for Squire

Squire's Tasman teammate, Shannon Frizell has headed for Japan after young flanker Luke Jacobson was ruled out of the tournament with delayed concussion symptoms.

Squire earlier cited mental health for his unavailability for the initial World Cup squad but said he would be available if someone got injured.

He is playing well provincially.

With Jacobson forced to withdraw, the 23-test loose forward would have appeared the obvious replacement.

Hansen, though, said nothing had changed since the World Cup squad announcement in relation to Squire.

All Blacks have time to adapt to heat and humidity, says professor

Images of the All Blacks visibly struggling in the heat and humidity in Japan have filtered back to New Zealand but Jim Cotter, a professor at the school of Physical Education at the University of Otago, reassured New Zealanders that they had given themselves enough time to adapt before their Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa on September 21.

"That's plenty of time," Professor Cotter told Stuff. "They'll have full adaption of what they need by then.

"You don't want it too much more, that's too much time away. That's the time you need.

Former All Black takes charge of New Zealand Rugby

NZR board chair Brent Impey announced Robinson's appointment following an intense recruitment process over the past two months.

Robinson, 45, officially takes up his new role in early January 2020, taking over from outgoing CEO Steve Tew, who announced in June, that he was standing down.

"We are delighted that Mark has put his hand up for this role. He has been an incredibly insightful director on the board, and at the international rugby table, he has been a sound and respected voice," Impey said.


All Blacks lose top ranking ahead of World Cup

Ireland will head to the world cup in Japan as the world's top ranked side after a 19-10 win over Wales.

The elevation was irrelevant however, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said.

"I didn't realise that we were until I did an interview after the game, that's how far away from our thoughts it has been. It's a label, it's a nice label to get but that label is not going to be relevant for anyone," he said.

"We all know who the favourites are for the rugby World Cup and it's not us."

Ngani Laumape breaks silence after missing out on All Blacks Rugby World Cup selection

Laumape failed to make the four-man midfield chosen by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen last month, which includes two-time World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Despite 108-cap veteran Owen Franks also missing out on the squad, the reaction to Laumape’s omission caused arguably the biggest stir on social media.

The Hurricanes centre hasn’t spoken to media since the squad announcement but has since posted to his Instagram.

All Blacks shift Beauden Barrett to No 10 for test against Tonga

Richie Mo'unga, who retired with a sore shoulder in the second half of the All Blacks' 36-0 win over the Wallabies on August 17, has not been asked to play against the physical Tongans so close to the World Cup in Japan.

The absence of Mo'unga, who started the previous three tests at first-five, has resulted in the experienced Barrett shifting back to No 10 - where he has spent much of his test career - from fullback.

ABs prop ready for potential ticket rush to Tonga Test

With just two Test caps off the bench to his name, the Chiefs prop was one of the big winners when the New Zealand squad was named last week for the looming World Cup.

Moli made his All Blacks debut in their Rugby Championship opener in Argentina in July but after being left out for the decisive win in the Bledisloe Cup decider, looked far from a dead-cert to go to Japan.

But the selectors showed their faith in the 24-year-old loosehead, stamping his ticket to the tournament and also setting him up for what could be a special first Test on New Zealand soil.

Josh Ioane called in to All Blacks for Tonga Test to cover injured Richie Mo'unga

Ioane missed out on selection for the Rugby World Cup with coach Steve Hansen opting for just two first-fives in his squad of 31, but Mo'unga's shoulder injury sustained in the All Blacks' Bledisloe win at Eden Park last month will keep him on the sideline this weekend.

The injury has seen the All Blacks call in Ioane who was named in the wider squad earlier this year.