All Blacks

Chiefs confirm departure of All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie

  McKenzie, whose contract with New Zealand Rugby is due to finish at the end of the year, played 95 times for the Chiefs and is reportedly set for a lucrative move to Japan.

"All I know is Damian is not going to be with us, at the moment that's all I can sort of comment on," the Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins told Stuff.

"I think Damian McKenzie's probably irreplaceable. He's one of the Chiefs' favourite sons, done a great job for us over many years."

The Chiefs on Tuesday welcomed the arrival of Māori All Blacks first-five Josh Ioane from the Highlanders.

The 'very different' leadership style that Savea will bring All Blacks

Savea, who is set to make his 53rd appearance for New Zealand, will take on the role after stand-in skipper Sam Whitelock and first-choice halves Richie Mo’unga and Aaron Smith were left out of the squad with the players expecting babies.

Regular captain Sam Cane is currently sidelined due to injury while Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett have been named vice-captains.

“Ardie has been a key part of our leadership group and I love that he has a very different style of leadership,” All Blacks head coach Ian Foster told Newstalk ZB.

All Blacks reveal their new leaders

Sam Whitelock, who led the side in the first two Bledisloe Cup tests, didn't travel to Perth on Thursday, as he's remaining in New Zealand for the birth of the newest addition to his family.

Veteran halfback Aaron Smith, who captained the All Blacks in the first test against Fiji last month, also didn't make the trip.

Savea led the Hurricanes in Super Rugby this year in the absence of TJ Perenara.

He has played 52 tests since making his debut in 2016 and came off the bench in the All Blacks' first Rugby Championship test at Eden Park earlier this month.

Aaron Smith and Dan Carter named greatest All Blacks No 9 and 10

As part of Sky Sport’s quest to find New Zealand’s Greatest XV, a panel of leading journalists and broadcasters – Grant Nisbett, Ken Laban, Rikki Swannell and Phil Gifford – were last week asked by The Breakdown who they thought were the country’s best-ever halfback and first-five.

The panel were unanimous in their verdict that Smith, the current All Blacks No 9, and Carter, the two-time World Cup-winning No 10, were New Zealand’s greatest halves pairing.

Scott Robertson made to wait after Ian Foster has contract extended

While NZ Rugby was explaining its decision to extend All Blacks coach Ian Foster’s contract through to the 2023 World Cup in France, Robertson’s supporters had to, again, take a deep breath and accept defeat.

Robertson missed out to Foster when the pair interviewed for the top job in late 2019, following Sir Steve Hansen’s departure after the World Cup in Japan.

Foster was offered a two-year contract. Robertson returned to the Crusaders, and this year re-signed a fresh deal that runs through to 2024 with the option of a release a year earlier.

Foster reappointed as All Blacks coach

Foster took over from Steve Hansen after the 2019 World Cup.

In this time in charge the All Blacks have won the Bledisloe Cup twice, as well as last year's Rugby Tri-Nations.

He has also welcomed 13 new All Blacks into the fold.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said Foster could now plan for next year and beyond with certainty.

All Blacks to play Bledisloe in Perth, Queensland to host Rugby Championship

It's understood an announcement will be made today after the Queensland government gave approval for the state to host the tournament and put South Africa and Argentina in quarantine facilities where they can continue training.

The All Blacks will fly out for Perth this week and will play the Wallabies in the final Bledisloe Cup test on September 4 before both teams move to Queensland for their Rugby Championship games against the Springboks and Pumas.

'Inevitable' - All Whites considering name change to avoid offence

The sport’s governing body has confirmed it was reviewing the name, setting the scene for arguments between old school traditionalists and those who value inclusivity.

The All Whites nickname dates back 40 years to its qualification run to the 1982 World Cup, when New Zealand donned an all-white kit for the first time against Taiwan.

The fan-given nickname stuck, the moniker sitting as an irreverent contrast to the senior men’s rugby side, the All Blacks.

Australians confident Perth will host rescheduled All Blacks clash

The third meeting of the series between the teams - which also doubles up as the countries' second clash in this year's Rugby Championship - was scheduled to be played in West Australia on August 28.

But after a decision on Friday by New Zealand Rugby to pull out of the game sparked a war of words between the nations' rugby officials, Marinos is confident the match can still happen on a later date.

"We're working hard now with the West Australian government and the stadium to see if we can't move that to September 4," Marinos told Channel Nine on Sunday.

All Blacks abandon Bledisloe Cup trip to Australia

With the country amid a COVID-19 lockdown and Australia having restrictions around New Zealanders travelling there, the NZR has decided not to send the team which was due to leave for Perth on Sunday and play the Wallabies there on Saturday week.

NZR has also announced the All Blacks' two home rugby championship against South Africa and the Black Ferns two O'Reilly Cup Tests against the Wallaroos will not be played in New Zealand.

The match in Dunedin would have been the 100th test between the All Blacks and the Springboks.