All Blacks

All Blacks lose another star to injury ahead of July test series against Tonga and Fiji

According to a report from the New Zealand Herald, the All Blacks will be without their most experienced midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown after he underwent minor elbow surgery on Friday.

The Herald reports the 26-year-old’s elbow has been locking up in recent weeks, with scans revealing bone fragment concerns that required minor keyhole surgery.

The successful surgery is expected to leave Lienert-Brown sidelined for New Zealand’s July 3 test against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland and the July 10 test against Fiji at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

Hoskins Sotutu returns as one of three All Blacks tweaks to Blues forward pack

There are just three changes to the starting lineup, all in the forward pack.

Hoskins Sotutu, who debuted in the All Blacks last season, has been elevated back into the starting team at number 8 in place of fellow NZ representative Akira Ioane who drops to the bench.

Sotutu has missed just one game for the Blues this year and was also benched for last weekend’s clash with the Reds. Ioane, meanwhile, has featured in every single game for the Auckland franchise in 2021, either in the starting lineup or from the reserves.

Former All Black captain Buck Shelford knighted

From today, the former All Black captain known as Buck, upgrades to Sir Wayne "Buck" Shelford.

And this time it is official.

Shelford's knighthood for services to rugby and the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours was not a surprise to his wife, Jo, who had played a part in helping those people in Māoridom who had nominated him.

"I put this letter [from Government House] in front of her and she just looked at me and laughed," Shelford said of his own discovery that he was among the four New Zealanders to be knighted today.

Crusaders rest key All Blacks for Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash against Western Force

Mo’unga is one of four players who started in last week’s 54-28 thumping of the Waratahs in Wollongong who have been benched or rested for this Friday’s match at Orangetheory Stadium.

In his place has come 21-year-old first-five Fergus Burke, who will start in his first-ever game for the Crusaders.

Mo’unga, who has been the subject of plenty of attention in recent weeks due to his sterling performances in Super Rugby this season, will be joined on the sidelines by two other All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Sevu Reece, who both started off the bench last week.

Why the All Blacks might not name many debutants to play Tonga and Fiji

The first All Blacks squad of the year is expected to be named over the coming weeks, with the first test of the year scheduled against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on July 3.

Two tests against Fiji in Dunedin and Hamilton will follow in consecutive weeks, and speculation among fans and pundits about who could make the squad for the upcoming test series has been ongoing since the beginning of the Super Rugby season.

All Blacks get five home Rugby Championship tests

 

The Rugby Championship will include all four nations - New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and South Africa with the bulk of the matches played in Australia and New Zealand.

The world champion Springboks missed the competition last year, withdrawing from the tournament due to Covid-19.

The All Blacks have July tests against Tonga and Fiji before the opening Bledisloe Cup against the Wallabies at Eden Park on 7 August.

All Black Shannon Frizell returns to Highlanders side to face Force

Frizell was omitted from the side that beat the Reds in Dunedin last Friday due to an assault allegation. However, the 27-year-old has not been charged following the incident at a popular Dunedin restaurant/bar and coach Clarke Dermody said he was ready to return to work.

“Last week he wasn’t in the right head space to play for us,” Dermody said. “We decided to leave him out and it was the right decision.

“He seems energised now and ready to go again. He's an experienced tourist as well, which is great for our younger guys.

Ex-All Black Casey Laulala to coach at Christ's College after leaving Paris cafe culture

Recently returned from Europe, where he has lived for the past decade, Laulala has been appointed development coach for the school. His role will be to hone junior players’ skills and their approach to rugby.

Laulala, 39, won three caps for the All Blacks between 2004 and 2007, and played on three Crusaders Super Rugby title winning teams.

He is famous for scoring the match-winning try in the ‘Foggy Final’ against the Hurricanes in 2006.

Ex-All Blacks captain retires from rugby

The 35-year-old broke the news he would retire at the end of the season before Toyota Verblitz's semi-final against Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan's Top League on Saturday.

But Verblitz lost 48-21, ending their campaign and Read's career.

"I'm looking forward to returning to New Zealand and spending time with my family," said Read, the third most-capped player in All Blacks history.

The number eight made 127 Test appearances for the All Blacks and was named captain in 2016 following Richie McCaw's retirement.

NZ Rugby alleges players association attempting to destroy $387.5m Silver Lake deal

A memo from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association has gone out on Friday to directors of NZ Rugby and provincial union chairs detailing advice they had commissioned from Forsyth Barr around an alternative capital raising option.

David Kirk, the association president, is chairman of Forsyth Barr.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson swiftly attacked the memo as having leaked confidential information without permission, a breach of trust, and a bid to destroy the Silver Lake proposal.