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NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World August - September 2017

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New Zealand Rugby World is the premier authority on our national game; with sharp analysis and irreverent humour the two key components. In both style and content the writing is award winning and provides an unparalleled depth of insight into the people who play the game and the issues that matter to the fans. The cast of contributors is world class as is the photography and lay-out. Pick this magazine up and you won't want to put it down - rugby has never been so much fun.

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New Zealand
Dark Horse Collective Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
editor’s letter

YOU WOULD HAVE TO THINK that Richie McCaw would be a hard act to follow. He was about Mr Perfect and for a long, long time. He was the man who could do no wrong and the man a nation came to implicitly trust as All Blacks captain. It was hard for many supporters to let go when he retired. Many believed that the All Blacks would never be the same and that without McCaw, they would be missing something they wouldn’t be able to quite replace. Good luck Kieran Read coming in as captain after that. Could he really be given a fair crack at the job, following in the footsteps of someone who enjoyed a 90 per cent win ratio and captained the All Blacks in more than 100 tests? Well, it…

13 min.
the breakdown

McLEOD BECOMES DEFENDER OF THE FAITH ‘HE IS FOLLOWING SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE A MAGNIFICENT JOB BUT ALREADY HE [HAS MADE IT CLEAR] HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE SMIT HY, HE WANTS TO BE SCOTT McLEOD AND THAT IS MASSIVELY IMPORTANT.’ Steve Hansen SCOTT MCLEOD HAS BEEN REWARDED FOR CREATING THE BEST DEFENSIVE SIDE IN SUPER RUGBY WITH PROMOTION TO THE ALL BLACKS. McLeod, having played for the national team in the late 1990s, will take over from Wayne Smith as the All Blacks’ defensive coach. He will officially begin his role on the end of year tour but will be with the team during the Rugby Championship, shadowing Smith to help make a smooth transition later in the year. Since McLeod joined the Highlanders, they have become one of the best organised and most…

2 min.
in case you were asleep

About 20,000 people dressed in red sneaked into New Zealand. Well, they didn’t really sneak because they made a lot of noise. They roared like lions in fact. Oh no sorry, they roared the word lions... Incessantly...lions, lions, lions... It reached the point where it was hard not to wonder if any of them could say anything else. The fact some of them were Welsh intensified that doubt. Oh that is harsh... Except it’s quite tame in comparison with how the various components of this red army feel about each other. That’s the amazing thing about the Lions...they are made up of four countries that spend the rest of their time plotting to take each other’s heads off. Has anyone seen Braveheart per chance..? Well, if you have, you will know the Scots don’t like the English. Not so keen at all…

6 min.
the magical mystery tour

AND, SUDDENLY, it was all over. That tour that we had waited 12 years for, finished, nothing left but the sound of people counting their money, counting their losses, clinging to the moments that lit it all up, wondering who claimed the ‘moral victory’ from a tied series and whether there might be a good deal going on a nearly new, brightly painted Land Rover. It was everything a Lions tour has come to be in the modern era. An epic battle, raging on and off the field laced with big hits, big moments and controversy right to the wire. On the field you had what was billed as a clash of rugby ideals, northern hemisphere musclebound drudgery against South Pacific wizardry, although it never quite turned out to be that did it? The…

4 min.
the epic centre of the lions

SOMEHOW IN THE awkward aftermath of their drawn series with the All Blacks, the British and Irish Lions found time to vote on their player of the series. They’d been through an uneasy presentation ceremony at Eden Park where none of the players quite knew how to react to the stalemate. The Lions looked more content with the deadlock than their hosts and that was understandable. If the All Blacks had been as accurate as their prematch intentions they would have sorted the series inside the first half. As it was they scored two tries and should have had a few more but missed their moments in the face of the gritty Lions resilience. Eventually the All Blacks fluffed their lines even more and then lost the contentious offside debate with Monsieur Poite in…

12 min.
leading the next generation

Adding a Lions series victory to his two World Cup triumphs was what Kieran Read was hoping for. It would have come with extra special significance as Read won his 100th cap on the night the series should have been decided. What a way to write himself into the record books as one of the All Blacks greats – captain the side to a series victory on the same night he became just the seventh New Zealander to hit the century of caps. That would have been the way for Read to unequivocally establish himself as one the All Blacks’ most legendary figures. But alas, it wasn’t to be. He so nearly got there, not quite. He didn’t fail, but nor did he succeed as, of course, the All Blacks drew with the…