All Blacks

Kerr-Barlow latest All Black off to France

The 26-year-old has played 25 Tests for the All Blacks.

"I'm excited to announce that the next chapter of my rugby career will be with La Rochelle in France," he said.

"It was an extremely hard decision to make, but I feel it is the right one for my family and myself. I've always wanted to play rugby in New Zealand and to represent teams like Waikato and the Chiefs which is where my family comes from. It was a childhood dream of mine to become an All Black and it has been a privilege to represent my country."

Blues call up their ABs

Having used a talent-stacked bench without fruition against the Chiefs last week after being reduced to 14 men for more than half the game, Coach Tana Umaga has given his stars a chance from the opening whistle in this key Kiwi derby.

Co-captains James Parsons and Jerome Kaino are named in the pack that also sees prop Charlie Faumuina and lock Patrick Tuipulotu in the starting eight.

There's a further change in the forwards with North Harbour newcomer Murphy Taramai to make his first Super Rugby start at No 8, meaning Akira Ioane drops to the bench.

Nehe Milner-Skudder back as All Blacks boost Hurricanes

Fresh off their 83-17 demolition of the Sunwolves in Tokyo, the Hurricanes host the Rebels in Wellington on Saturday.
 
The star trio are among four changes to the starting XV. The other sees Reed Prinsep come in at No 8 to for the injured Blade Thomson.
 
Hurricanes hooker and captain Coles and first-five Barrett swap places with Ricky Riccitelli and Otere Black respectively after coming off the bench in Tokyo.

NZ Rugby labels Carter and Williams incidents disappointing

Williams, who plays for Paris club Racing 92, was charged by police for allegedly buying cocaine last week and has been suspended by the club.

Read, who played with Williams in the national side, says it's a wake call to all past and present players of the standards expected of them.

"It's a reminder if you've been an All Black there's a brand or standard that needs to be kept," Read said.

"The All Blacks always want to keep standards high, it's important that you respect that.

"But if you make a mistake it's out there. It's disappointing."

All Blacks Patrick Tuipulotu and Jerome Kaino bolster Blues bench for clash with Chiefs

Blues coach Tana Umaga named an unchanged starting XV after their impressive opening round demolition of the Melbourne Rebels last Thursday.

But he's been quick to add some star power to his impact options for the juicy second round clash with the Chiefs.

Umaga has six All Blacks, a Maori All Black and a New Zealand under-20s player on his bench.

This derby is usually a high-octane affair that often goes right down to the wire. Substitutions are sure to be hugely influential.

All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock chased by wealthy French club Toulon

Whitelock, who is off contract with NZ Rugby after the All Blacks' series against the British and Irish Lions this winter, would be a prized signing for Toulon who are on the hunt for a world-class second rower to embed in their pack.

If Boudjellal managed to snare the signature of the 28-year-old Whitelock, who has played 84 tests since 2010, it would be considered a blow for NZ Rugby who have recently re-signed valued employees Ben Smith and Israel Dagg.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has already signalled he is keen to re-sign through to the 2019 World Cup.

England one win away from equally ABs record

England remain on course for back-to-back Six Nations grand slams but celebrations will be muted after they produced their worst performance under Eddie Jones.

RNZ reports it is a 17th game unbeaten for England who can draw level with the All Blacks record of 18 when they take on Scotland in their next Six Nations game.

Hundreds farewell All Black Sione Lauaki

The 35-year-old died last Sunday from kidney problems, but he didn't want to be remembered for his health problems, his eldest sister Paenga Kovi Lauaki said.

"It's definitely been a difficult time. For the family it has been a shock [but] we're dealing with it. My brother was always the one who never wanted us to worry. I know he's probably saying 'everybody just relax, it's all going to be okay'.

"He was always so special to us," Ms Lauaki said.

Scandal over pre-match information leak at Steven Luatua's new club

One of the side's players, Luke Arscott, had tactical information about the Sale Sharks' defence revealed to him by his brother Tom, a winger for the Sharks, the night before the two teams faced each other in January. Sale lost 24-23.

Tom Arscott's contract was terminated on January 20 after disciplinary action and Sale triggered an investigation by the Rugby Football Union.

Luatua's move to Bristol in the British summer for next season was announced on Tuesday.

Former All Black Jono Gibbes to coach Ulster

Gibbes, the former Waikato loose forward-lock who played eight tests for New Zealand in 2004 and 2005, has been forwards coach at French giants Clermont.

Gibbes, 40, is no stranger to the wider Irish scene, being forwards coach at Leinster for six years, helping them to three Heineken Cup titles and working alongside fellow Kiwi and current Ireland coach Joe Schmidt as well as Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

He moved to France in 2014 but now returns for the prime role in Belfast.