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NZ Rugby World First XV

NZ Rugby World First XV

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Every year NZ Rugby World celebrates the best there is of First XV Rugby

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New Zealand
Langhills Publishing Ltd

in this issue

4 min.
editor’s letter

NOT EVERYONE is going to agree with our assessment of Sonny Bill Williams as the greatest cross code athlete of all time. For a start, too many people simply don’t like Williams and allow their ill-feeling for him as a person to affect their judgement of him as a player. They can’t or won’t see what he’s achieved in four codes – yes four, because let’s be honest, Sevens is so different from rugby it can’t really be considered the same game. There’s a hidden truth that to admire and respect an athlete, you have to like them. And when it comes down to it, plenty of people still don’t like Williams and probably never will. His crime was to walk out on the Bulldogs all those years ago and despite the fact hundreds,…

4 min.
why reado was the only choice

ALL BLACK COACH Steve Hansen didn’t bother to create any tension or mystery about his plans for the captaincy. Instead, he opted to tell the world before Super Rugby kicked off that KIERAN READ will be the All Blacks captain in 2016. Hansen could have waited. He could have put a bit of doubt in Read’s head and made him prove his worth in the early rounds of Super Rugby. But why bother? Read had every box ticked and was the only choice. And what were the boxes? 1: HAS TO BE WORLD CLASS PLAYER AND RECOGNISED GLOBALLY AS SUCH Well there is no doubt Read is that. He was IRB World Player of the Year in 2013 and has been the best No 8 in world rugby ever since ✓ 2: HAS TO BE…

2 min.
what went on in victor’s head?

LA ROCHELLE PROS Three-year contract Life-changing money Ambitious Club New lifestyle and chance to embrace a diff erent culture Like...seriously... quite a lot of money. CONS Might have to eat frog’s legs Exposed again to former teammate Jason Eaton’s dubious personal hygiene La Rochelle might not actually be any good. CONCLUSION Reasons to leave outweigh reasons to stay as externalised by Vito when he said: “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for me in the All Blacks being in and out of the side for the past six seasons and if I’m honest I probably wasn’t mentally ready until 2014. It’s never easy to fi ght the ego and say no to the chance to represent your country but my young family trumps my ego any day, especially where there is a chance to provide them with a better future.” PROS Chance to become…

2 min.
should he stay or should he go..?

HAVING SHOCKED EVERYONE the day after the World Cup by saying he wasn’t too keen on staying beyond 2017, All Black coach STEVE HANSEN is now warming up to the idea of hanging round until 2019. Hansen, having had the summer to think about his future, said: “I was 70-30 after the World Cup but I’m probably 50-50 now. We’ll wait and see. I wouldn’t get too carried away with it [speculation]. It’s going to depend on family and how things are.” It’s a bit crazy that when Hansen was first appointed after the 2011 World Cup, there was considerable doubt nationwide about his ability. The commonly held view was that he wasn’t up to it - a good assistant but out of his depth as a head coach. Now, he’s recognised…

4 min.
in a rich man’s world

IN THE MUCH COVETED fi ght to become the richest rugby player in the world, the lead has changed several times in the last 12 months. Daniel Carter jumped to top place in December 2014 when he signed his deal with Racing Metro which is reportedly worth $3 million a season. That’s more than Toulon were paying Jonny Wilkinson before he retired and more than they are paying Mat Giteau. According to French newspapers, Giteau has to struggle by on just 65,000 Euros a month or $1.4m a season. But Carter was knocked off top spot in February when it was revealed that 29-year-old Japanese fullback Ayumu Goromaru is taking home a staggering 200,000 Euros a month. Goromaru will play for the Reds before joining Toulon and it’s believed that much of…

1 min.
hottest combinations

The Crusaders frontrow were in supreme form in the early rounds of Super Rugby and looked to be, by some distance, the best set piece pack in the competition. Their scrummaging in particularly was deadly. The Chiefs didn’t cope with it in the fi rst round and then the Blues were destroyed by it. It was some of the best scrummaging we have seen in years and their lineout wasn’t far behind either. Loosehead prop JOE MOODY has been a revelation. Since he surprised everyone with his huge performances as a late World Cup replacement, he’s gone from strength to strength. He looks fi tter and stronger than he ever has and he’s getting the rewards for that. CODIE TAYLOR has come on in giant leaps since he too cracked the All Blacks…