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NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World June - July 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

IT’S NOT EASY to appreciate the value of tight-five forwards. We all kind of get that they are important and do a job that matters, but then a player like Beauden Barrett will wiggle his hips and we go all gaga for it. That’s the nature of things, isn’t it? A big lock can graft away for 80 minutes, enduring unspeakable punishment and showing unbelievable commitment and skill to deliver the ball and receive not one word of praise or acknowledgement. Yet a wing or a first-five can stand around looking pretty for 79 minutes and then produce two seconds of magic and be hailed the hero of the hour. It’s the overt nature of X-factor – we all see it, we all get it, we all wish we had it. But if…

1 min.
the best photography from photosport

BRING BACK THE BIFF When the Blues played the Stormers in Cape Town there were a few moments that saw tempers flare in both sides. In this picture, the Blues players were trying to calm down Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth after he clashed with Akira Ioane. The South African was shown a yellow card for his troubles. DIVE PASS Remember former Chiefs and All Blacks halfback Brendon Leonard? Well here he is in action for his new club Ospreys. Did he ever pass like that when he played in New Zealand? SIGNATURE MOVE So, yep, we kind of hate the way Chris Ashton scores tries with that over the top dive that says look at me, look at me! Makes us wonder about him and his values. However, there is no denying it makes for…

10 min.

ALL BLACKS DRAW BOKS THE DRAW FOR THE 2019 WORLD CUP HAS BEEN MADE AND THE ALL BLACKS HAVE BEEN PUT IN A POOL WITH SOUTH AFRICA, ITALY AND TWO QUALIFIERS WHO COULD BE NAMIBIA AND SPAIN. As number one seeds they knew they were going to avoid England, Ireland and Australia, whose respective world rankings at the time of the draw were two, three and four. This is how World Rugby does it: of the 12 teams that have already qualified [countries that finished first, second or third in their respective pool at the last World Cup] the four teams with the highest world ranking at the time of the draw are put in one band; the four teams with the next highest ranking are put in another and then the next…

3 min.
in case you were asleep...

▪ Various universities started to think about offering degree courses to Super Rugby fans to help them understand how the competition works. ▪ They said they would be looking for applicants once their top boffins had themselves worked out what was going on. ▪ Expectations were high that the first course would be up and running by 2023. ▪ That won’t be soon enough to help the Blues make peace with the fact that coming into the June break they had enough competition points to sit seventh on the table. ▪ Except of course their real position on the table was ninth because it’s not possible for all five New Zealand teams to actually make the playoffs no matter what. ▪ The ridiculousness of that hit home in May and early June when the Brumbies…

6 min.
a brain trust

THE GUARD CHANGES slowly in the All Blacks’ management these days. Gone are the days when New Zealand Rugby bowed to the ‘sack the coach’ mentality whenever anything went wrong, and let’s face it not much has gone wrong in the last seven or eight years. Consistency and succession planning have been the keys with the only significant departures in recent times being Graham Henry post World Cup 2011, Doctor Deb Robinson in 2013, and more recently skills guru Mick Byrne. But soon they will face a landmark departure, and the end of an association that stretches back an incredible 37 years. I vaguely recall the first time I clapped eyes on Wayne Ross Smith. He was 21, I was 18 and serving time as a radio cadet in the glamorous halls of Radio Forestland…

4 min.
south africa’s time must come again

ANNIVERSARIES FILL this month’s calendar as the Lions move towards the most telling phase in their New Zealand expedition. Thirty years ago in an invitation-only tournament, the Rugby World Cup started life as a modest trans-Tasman event of questionable lifespan with the All Blacks claiming the inaugural title against the French. Eight years later, in 1995, South Africa joined the rising wave of global rugby interest for the first time and also, remarkably, acted as hosts. That dramatic conjunction brought stacks of different dynamics to a tournament which ended with a dramatic extra-time win to the Springboks against the All Blacks. Since then, South Africa has been wrenched and pulled in many directions as the political and social forces juggled their aspirations with sport draped across those demands. Only last month, the Ministry of Sport…