NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World August - September 2020

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.

New Zealand
Langhills Publishing Ltd
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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
editor’s letter

WATCHING THE ALL BLACKS trudge slowly round the field in Yokohama last year after they had been knocked out of the World Cup by England, there was a definite sense that it was time for a new beginning. The national team had been creaking for the last 12 months or so. That was apparent not just in the results, but in the performances, too and the slightly uncertain vibe that emanated from the coaching team. The confidence of the team dipped from the middle of 2018 through to that loss in Japan. What that meant was that the All Blacks lost the ability they had between 2012 and 2016 to dig their way out of any hole in which they found themselves. They could put that down to many factors. New, younger players…

7 min.
the breakdown

DAN DOES CLUB RUGBY… AGAIN There are few better sights than star All Blacks wearing club jerseys and Dan Carter gave everyone what they wanted to see when he turned out for Southbridge during a bye-week for the Blues in July. The 38-year-old is no stranger to club rugby, having famously played for his beloved Southbridge in 2009 when he returned to action after a seven-month lay-off due to a damaged Achilles he suffered while on sabbatical with Perpignan. Carter, of course, had surprised everyone a few weeks earlier when he joined the Blues as an injury replacement for Stephen Perofeta. FROM RAGS TO RICHES TO RAGS It is kind of ridiculous that the Blues have been unable to lure a world class No 10 for the better part of 15 years and now they…

2 min.
gone in 60 seconds

Everyone’s favourite Tylor Ardron [pictured above] has left the Chiefs to take up a contract with French club Castres. The 29-year-old joined the Chiefs in 2018 as a loose forward-cum-lock and has been the best foreign import to a New Zealand Super Rugby side. Ardron has featured across the back five and has even captained the team on occasion – bringing physicality, mobility and a high level of rugby intelligence. Carlos Spencer has been cut by the Hurricanes, who could no longer afford to have such a large coaching team. Spencer, who joined the club in 2019 as an assistant coach, was told at the beginning of lockdown that there was a chance his role may be made redundant as a result of financial pressures. When that was confirmed in…

16 min.
the hurt harnessing

Something went wrong in Yokohama on October 26 2019. It wasn't just that the All Blacks lost to England in the World Cup semi-final, it was the way it happened. The All Blacks, so dominant and dynamic the week before against Ireland, were meek and mild against England. They didn't find much, if anything at all, to throw at their opponents and the All Blacks didn't have the ability to stop England making the gainline over and over again. It wasn't such a surprise that the All Blacks struggled to play with the same pace and intensity as they had the week before against Ireland as backing up a great performance with a great performance is the toughest thing in rugby. But it was a surprise that they didn't manage even short periods…

1 min.
world cup flow

ROUND AGAIN Few predicted that veteran players such as Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu would still be first choice All Blacks in 2015. 2011 Tony Woodcock Keven Mealamu Andrew Hore Ali Williams Richie McCaw Andy Ellis Dan Carter Conrad Smith Isaia Toeava Mils Muliaina 2015 Tony Woodcock Keven Mealamu Owen Franks Ben Franks Sam Whitelock Jerome Kaino Victor Vito Richie McCaw Kieran Read Dan Carter Conrad Smith Ma'a Nonu Sonny Bill Williams Colin Slade 2019 Joe Moody Dane Coles Codie Taylor Sam Whitelock Brodie Retallick Sam Cane Kieran Read Aaron Smith TJ Perenara Sonny Bill Williams Beauden Barrett Ben Smith…

3 min.
cyrstal ball gazing

The natural tendency is to imagine that in three years, the All Blacks will be heavily populated with players currently uncapped and barely known. But in actual fact that hasn't been what has happened in previous cycles. Typically, slightly more than a third will survive from the previous campaign and a handful who were close to being selected last time, will make it. If history is an accurate guide, then less than half of the 2023 squad will be made up of players not currently capped. But we are not sure that history will be an accurate guide in this cycle as the All Blacks squad of 2019 was significantly younger than the successful groups that played in 2011 and 2015. The post World Cup cleanout has also been less severe this time around…