World Rugby

NZR reveal All Blacks plans for 2021

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic meant the national men's side played just six matches this year.

But they were set to play more than double that next year, after NZR chief executive Mark Robinson provided an update on Thursday after the organisation's final board meeting of the year.

The proposed scheduled included an opener against Fiji and two matches against Italy in New Zealand in July, a return to a full rugby Championship and an end of year tour to Europe for games against Italy, Ireland, and France.

Fiji sevens relishing local competition while World Series remains up in air

The Fijians finished third on last season's global circuit, which was cut short because of the global pandemic, while the first four tournaments of the 2021 season have already been cancelled.

Fiji's 23-man training squad goes back into camp on Wednesday and coach Gareth Baber said the players were handling a difficult situation as best they could.

Fiji's Jerry Tuwai named men's world rugby sevens player of the decade

The 2019 world player of the year beat out nine other finalists for the illustrious honour, including former Fiji teammate Samisoni Viriviri, Fiji-born New Zealand international Tomasi Cama and Samoan sevens icon Mikaele Pesamino.

The diminutive playmaker made his debut for Fiji at the 2014 Gold Coast Sevens and has gone on to win three World Series titles, an Olympic gold medal in 2016, and is a three-time world sevens player of the year nominee.

Big win for women's rugby with World Cup to be expanded in 2025

The landmark decision, taken by the Rugby World Cup board earlier this year, reflects the growing popularity of the women’s game globally through World Rugby’s transformational women’s strategic plan.

With interest and participation in the women's game continuing to climb, World Rugby has recognised that the increasing competitiveness in women’s international rugby.

This, in turn, has led to the World Cup being expanded, providing the opportunity for more teams to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

Johnny Sexton leading double World Cup winning NZ duo to be named player of the decade

World Rugby is running a fan vote to decide the player of the decade, with the nominees, made up of all the players who won the Player of the Year award from 2011 to 2020.

World Rugby updated the results on Twitter saying Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton currently leads voting ahead of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

Sexton, who won the Player of the Year award in 2018, has 22 percent of the votes.

Disappointment in Pacific regarding Super Rugby snub

New Zealand Rugby have confirmed the 2021 competition will run with just the same five New Zealand teams as this year, with the addition of a one-off final.

The NZR chair, Brent Impey, said none of the Pacific team bids were both competitive on the field and financially sustainable off the field.

"We are not in a position financially - we're running multi-million dollar losses - to subsidise anything, " he said.

"If we've got money it needs to go into our community, it needs to go into our provinces, so I'm sorry we do not have the money to compromise."

Sara Cox made Premiership history this week that has been much praised

Having also been the first woman to take charge of a Premiership Cup game in 2018, Cox was an assistant referee in Bath’s contest with Wasps at The Rec. 

The appointment was very well received by rugby fans – and there has been a hugely positive reaction on social media regharding these strides towards greater inclusivity in the sport. 

While some have questioned why it has taken this long for this to happen, especially as Joy Neville has been refereeing in the Guinness PRO14 for quite some time, the next step is to see a female refereeing a Premiership match. 

World Rugby unveils £1.86million Tokyo Olympics lifeline for 7s as more tournaments cancelled

The Welsh Rugby Union scrapped its team in a radical move that mirrored the decision taken a few weeks earlier by the RFU with its England 7s teams. 

With fears growing over the preparations of teams for the showpiece 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the game’s global governing body have unveiled an investment strategy fund valued at $2.5million US (£1.86m) that can be accessed by teams to cover the cost of trainm  ing camps, competition support, technical and sports science and medical programmes.

Outrage in Fiji as rapist trains with rugby club while serving sentence

Amenoni Nasilasila was sentenced to eight years in September for the 2018 rape of a young woman.

Last week, the 26-year-old Olympic gold medallist was reportedly seen training with the Namosi rugby teams in Suva.

But women's rights groups say the preferential treatment of high-profile prisoners has to stop.

Shamima Ali, of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, said the fact that Nasilasila's non-parole period was six years also highlighted the complete disregard by the department to allow him to participate in training with the Prisons and Namosi rugby teams.

World Rugby considers transgender ban

It would be the first international sports federation to prohibit transgender women from competing.

World Rugby said it had undertaken a review of its "rugby-specific transgender guidelines" in light of the "latest peer reviewed research".

It said it was committed to "ensuring a safe and inclusive playing environment at all levels of the game".