All Blacks

Dagg's rugby year appears over

The 29-year-old injured his knee for the Crusaders in early March and required an operation, only returning to the field in late May.

He went on to play all three British and Irish Lions Tests, as well as a protagonist's role in the Crusaders' Super Rugby triumph, but was rested from the All Blacks' two Bledisloe Cup Tests against Australia.

Characterising his knee niggle as a case of "old man syndrome" last week, Dagg went on to play just fewer than 50 minutes in Saturday's 39-22 win over Argentina.

But the issue appears more serious than Dagg intimated.

All Blacks face Springbok litmus test

At the start of the international season Springbok rugby was at an all-time low.

2016 was the worst season in South Africa's history. They won just four of their twelve games, were humbled by their heaviest defeat to New Zealand in 95 years, and didn't win a single test away from home.

They fell to their first ever home defeat to Ireland and their first ever loss to Argentina in South America.

England confirm game with All Blacks

Eddie Jones's England will host four test matches at Twickenham, kicking off their campaign against South Africa on Nov. 3 next year.

Seven days later, England face the All Blacks for the first time since losing four matches in 2014. England's last victory over them came in 2012.

Following the clash against the All Blacks, the side will host Japan, who will play only their second test against England.

The only previous meeting between the two sides was at the inaugural World Cup in 1987 when England claimed a 60-7 win over the Brave Blossoms in Sydney.

Fifita misses out as ABs named

Vaea Fifita will sit out the All Blacks' next match despite a breakout performance in their last test.

On Thursday morning the All Blacks named their team to face the Springboks on Auckland's North Shore this weekend with Liam Squire named at blindside flanker in the place of Fifita who started in the No 6 jersey against the Pumas in New Plymouth. 

Hames gets first start for All Blacks

Hames comes in for the injured Joe Moody.... it will be his third Test.

It's an inexperienced propping duo starting with Nepo Laulala having played just six Tests.

In other changes, lock Sam Whitelock, loosies Liam Squire and Sam Cane, halfback Aaron Smith, wing Rieko Ioane and centre Ryan Crotty return to the starting lineup.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: "Our big focus this week has been about continual improvement, growing ourselves as a team, growing our game and how we want to play it, and how we want to play against different opposition.

Charles Piutau explains why he picked Bristol Rugby over the All Blacks

Piutau, 25, will swap Ulster for Bristol next summer after signing a two-year deal which is expected to make him one of the best paid players in the world. A title he already holds, earning a reported £500,000 a season in Ulster.

In an interview with the Press Association, Piutau explained why he opted for Bristol and a big payday rather than adding to his 17 New Zealand caps. A decision which did not come lightly.

Kaino not back in black yet

Kaino's managed return for the All Blacks, following his heavily publicised personal issues that saw him return home early ahead of the Belisloe opener, remains on track to have the veteran loose forward back in full mode for the away Rugby Championship visits to Argentina and South Africa.

She's going to be a physical one.

All Blacks flanker Sam Cane was straight to the point, admitting South Africa would push his side to the limit in next weekend's Albany Test.

Having endured the year from hell last year, the Springboks have picked up a head of steam in 2017 and are yet to lose a Test.

A 3-0 series whitewash over France in June has made way for an encouraging Rugby Championship start, twice beating Argentina and drawing with Australia.

All Blacks survive Argentina scare to make it three from three

The All Blacks had to come from 17-0 down to beat Australia in their last match and they were given another scare by the winless Pumas, who held a 22-15 second-half advantage.

Nehe Milner-Skudder and Anton Lienert-Brown scored early tries for New Zealand but six points from the boot of Nicolas Sanchez and a huge penalty from Emiliano Boffelli kept the visitors in touch.

Israel Dagg went over out wide just before the break to extend the home side’s lead only for Sanchez to touch down on the last play of the half.

Jerome Kaino to return to rugby

The All Blacks have advised that Kaino will assemble with the Auckland team ahead of their Mitre 10 Cup match against Taranaki on Saturday night.

Kaino was not included in the match day squad for the All Blacks for their Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Sydney on August 19 and returned home to deal with a personal matter following the publication of a story in the Australian media on the morning of the match. 

The Daily Telegraph in Sydney alleged he had had an affair with a model named Tara Pokarier.