NZ Rugby

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.

Steve Hansen says New Zealand Rugby owes Australia nothing as Super Rugby debate heats up

In an interview with Stuff, Hansen said New Zealand owed Australia nothing in a week where tensions have escalated between the two nations following the revelations of findings from the Aratipu review into the future of Super Rugby.

The review has been undertaken to find ways to improve and re-shape the competition in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with one suggestion being an increase in Kiwi teams and a reduction of Australian sides in a trans-Tasman tournament.

Former AB looks to connect Pasifika communities with NZ Rugby

The Apia-born Clarke, who played 22 games in the black jersey, including 10 tests, has begun work as NZR's first Pasifika Engagement Manager and wants to break down barriers between the national body and New Zealand's Pasifika community.

Success from a higher level would like when the world and the globe wanted to see how do we connect better with Pacific communities through rugby New Zealand Rugby would certainly be the guiding light, given that we have biggest Pacific population in New Zealand.

Sevens players may play in provincial competitions

The last World Sevens Series tournament for the men was in March, while the women last played in February.

There have been reports that the series could return in December.

Black Ferns Sevens star Ruby Tui says while the Farah Palmer Cup is yet to be confirmed, playing in it may be an option.

"We've still got conversations to have around that, the coaches have said we have to do what we need to do to achieve our goals so that will completely come down to personal goals and that will be talked about next week when we all meet up."

Rise in number of people checking in on their mental health

The Headfirst website allows people to take self-tests for anxiety or depression.

The website has been around since 2017 and in its first year had almost 14,000 visit.... that number has grown steadily since.

It uses players like Keven Mealamu, Ruby Tui, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Du'Plessis Kirifi as ambassadors to help get the message across, but it's not just for rugby players and supporters.

Dr Nathan Price has been with New Zealand Rugby for six years and is their education and Wellbeing Manager and leads the Headfirst programme.

Wales still preparing to tour New Zealand

The Welsh, who still have to complete their Six Nations campaign, are scheduled to play Japan on June 27 and then two tests against the All Blacks on July 4 and 11.

"It does seem unlikely and, as each day and each week goes by, that seems more and more the case," Pivac said.

"But until it is called off, or postponed, we have to prepare as if it's going ahead and that's certainly what we are doing."

Worst-case best plan for player pay cuts

But coming in at a combined $25 million, or 50 per cent of their remaining payments for this year, this blow stung in an entirely different way.

After several weeks of negotiations, details were confirmed concerning pay cuts for the country's leading players as New Zealand Rugby braced for a signifcant financial hit as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The figures, though, would only come to fruition if a resumption of matches in 2020 simply wasn't possible.

New Zealand Government makes $7.3 million payout to rugby nationwide

According to a report from Stuff, the country’s governing body, New Zealand Rugby, has attained about half of that payment – totalling in $3,687,444 – after filing applications due to hardship cause by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report states that NZR claimed for 531 staff, receiving $6933 per staff member.

The payout comes after the organisation slashed 20 percent of its staff’s pay at the beginning of the month, which, at the time, NZR said it was able to do with the assistance of the government’s subsidy.

Ardie Savea named rugby player of the year

Savea was awarded the supreme award the Kelvin Tremain trophy at an awards dinner at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland on Thursday evening.

He also picked up the All Blacks player of the year award and also Super Rugby player of the year.

Savea was not at the awards, however, having undergone knee surgery on Wednesday.

Black Ferns Sevens co-coaches Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney were named New Zealand Coaches of the Year, and the Black Ferns Sevens were crowned New Zealand Team of the Year for a second consecutive year.

Emma Jensen makes Baabaas history

Former Black Fern Jensen will join players from seven countries under the banner of the famous English club.

The women's team will play a Munster outfit at Thomond Park in Limmerick, Ireland on November 10.

Their game will be a curtainraiser to the Barbarians men's match against Tonga.

The 39-year-old Jensen was part of the New Zealand squad that won the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. The halfback was also involved in the 2014 World Cup. She celebrated her 100th game for Auckland this season.