All Blacks

Son drives Asafo Aumua to be a better All Black

The 23-year-old hooker has been recalled to the All Blacks in coach Ian Foster's first squad.

Aumua made two appearances for New Zealand off the bench in 2017, before he had played Super Rugby, but then the speedster who made an impact at the World Under 20 Championship that year couldn't push on with the national side.

The Wellingtonian, who has signed with the Hurricanes until the end of 2023, said he worked hard on and off the field in recent years with the aim of establishing himself as an All Black.

All Black midfielder out for nine months

Scans have confirmed that Ennor ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the North v South match in Wellington at the weekend.

Ennor, 23, who was named in the All Blacks squad on Sunday, will now see a specialist over the next few days, is expected to undergo surgery and be out of rugby for up to nine months.

All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: "It's hugely disappointing for Braydon, but he is a strong young man and we'll be supporting him as he goes through his surgery and rehab over the next few months."

Ian Foster reveals All Blacks plans while fixtures remain uncertain

Through the near-constant postponements and schedule alternations Foster has been forced to patiently wait, and then wait some more, but Sunday marked the official start of his All Blacks tenure, with the naming of a 35-man squad at New Zealand Rugby headquarters that included seven new caps and an abundance of attacking flair.

The Herald understands a Sanzaar meeting on Thursday will finally set in place the test schedule for the remainder of the year, with an official announcement due on Friday.

The All Blacks stars that are still without Super Rugby contracts for next season

From a financial point of view, New Zealand Rugby, the five Super Rugby franchises, the 23 provinces and clubs across the country have been hit hard by the global coronavirus pandemic – and that’s naturally had a flow-on effect on contract negotiations.

Still, the NZR’s managed to lock in a number of players on new contracts that will see many of the nation’s best and brightest stay in the country for the foreseeable future.

All Blacks coach gives the thumbs up to Aussie competition

New Zealand and Australia have held their own editions of Super Rugby this year after the already troubled five-nation version was halted by Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Negotiations over a joint competition for 2021 have stalled over New Zealand's reluctance to involve all five Australian teams because of a perceived lack of player depth across the Tasman Sea.

Foster, however, said he had seen encouraging improvement over the course of Super Rugby AU.

Wallabies faced with possibility of four-match Bledisloe Cup series to be held in New Zealand

He has, however, conceded there is a chance the Wallabies may have to try and snatch the coveted silverware off the All Blacks for the first time since 2003 while playing solely in New Zealand.

A four-match series is expected to be played between the two sides between October and November, with both nations pencilled in to host two matches apiece.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the first of the two clashes to be held in Australia would take place on October 10 in either Sydney or Perth, while the second would be held on October 17 in Brisbane.

Four Bledisloe Cup matches for All Blacks v Wallabies in NZ a possibility

Interim RA boss Rob Clarke sounded optimistic on Monday that two Bledisloe Cup fixtures, pencilled in for October 10 and October 17 in Australia, could go ahead with some crowds. He also said talks with New Zealand remained positive about the Wallabies going into a hub across the ditch for a Rugby Championship, including South Africa and Argentina, beginning on November 7.

The October 10 test is set to take place in either Sydney or Perth, while the following weekend’s game would be held in Brisbane.

Aaron Cruden says sayonara to NZ rugby

The 31-year-old first-five is heading to Japan to join the Kobe club.

He returned to the Hamilton-based side this season after a couple of years in France, and while he's loved being back, the Chiefs are winless in Super Rugby Aotearoa and have just one match left to send Cruden off on the right note.

Aaron Cruden of Ngāti Tūwharetoa played his 100th game for the Chiefs last weekend in Hamilton and his teammates marked the milestone with an emotional haka.

But the former All Black and New Zealand Māori rep never thought he would make it this far.

All Black jersey awaits Hoskins Sotutu

The 21-year-old No 8 has been a standout performer in Super Rugby this year, his rapid rise thrusting him into conversations

concerning the selection of the next New Zealand squad.

Sotutu is not only eligible for the All Blacks but also Fiji through his dad, former Blues and Auckland utility Waisake, and England through his mother.

All Blacks end of year tour appears doomed

The All Blacks are scheduled to play England in London on November 7, Wales in Cardiff the following weekend and then Scotland in Edinburgh.

But the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the tours in doubt and the Six Nations unions are now looking at a safer alternative.

The Telegraph reported that Japan and Fiji were expected to be confirmed as the two guest nations to join the Six Nations sides in an inaugural eight-team tournament in November and December.