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NZ Rugby World

NZ Rugby World No 181 Aug-Sep 2016

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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

THROUGHOUT JUNE the thought that kept recurring was just how quickly things happen in rugby. It takes so little time these days for the world to be turned upside down. That much was apparent throughout the series in New Zealand, but to some extent, too, also in Australia and South Africa. It was the All Blacks, though, who continually demonstrated how much the game differs now to, say, even five years ago. For 55 minutes, the first test against Wales was genuinely in the balance. The Welsh, with a recent game against England behind them, were cohesive and full of energy. They were troubling a new look All Blacks team that was struggling to work together on defence. The All Blacks midfield was leaving space on the outside and Wales, through George North,…

2 min.
crazy world of sevens

OUR ROUND-UP OF THE RELEVANT AND RANDOM BITS OF INFORMATION THAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THE SPANISH STUNNED EVERYONE at the final qualifying event held in Monaco, when they beat first Ireland and then, in the final, Samoa. No wonder one of their players, Angel Lopez, said: “I am still trying to take it in. This is a dream for us. We are going to be Olympians. We believed that we are good enough, but wow, this is pretty special. “We now have a month to prepare for Rio 2016. We will be very motivated and determined to do our nation, our family and Spanish rugby proud.” That means the 12 teams that will be at the Olympics are: Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, USA, Kenya, Great Britain, France, Japan, Brazil,…

2 min.
blues begin in 10 se search

They bought Augustine Pulu earlier in the year – smashing purchase that one as Pulu could be one of those players who just needs regular game time to kick on and become a special player. Then, of course, they got the chequebook out and landed Sonny Bill Williams. The big man was keen to reunite with coach Tana Umaga and be based in his home city – for once. Amazing that of all the clubs and codes Williams has been involved with, he’s never played for a professional side in Auckland – the city where he was born and raised. And a week after Williams was announced, bruising Crusaders lock-cum-loose forward, Jimmy Tupou was signed along with his teammate, prop Alex Hodgman. That’s four good players on their way to the Blues for…

4 min.
in case you were asleep...

• England won a test series in Australia. • What...you hadn’t heard? Okay, fair enough, they kept it pretty low key and didn’t tell many people. • Well, at least their travelling media pack didn’t tell anyone or get carried away. Seemed entirely reasonable to suggest after winning two tests that England would have the All Blacks quaking. • Been here before chaps...remember? • You beat the All Blacks in 2012 – smashed them really and you did the same thing. Which was to start to talk about England as potential, or was that probable, world champions. • And what happened chaps? Oh yes, that’s right...England didn’t make it out of their group. • Wasn’t it the worst performance by a host nation in the history of the tournament? • We will look that up and come…

2 min.
world domination

THE WESTERN FORCE HAVE EFFECTIVELY GONE BUST AND BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION. The three new teams into the competition this year are filling the bottom places and, other than the New Zealand derbies, everyone is agreed that the skill level and intensity of Super Rugby has been lowered by the expansion to 18 teams. Everything is screaming out for Sanzar to stick their hand up, say they got it wrong and that the professional game in the Southern Hemisphere can’t support a competition that is played over such a vast geographic area with wildly differing time zones. But no. Absolutely not. What Sanzar are looking to do is expand the competition again. New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew has made that clear. “We’ve set this conference structure up…

3 min.
welcome to the modern age

IT’S POSSIBLE, BUT DON’T BELIEVE IT YET, that World Rugby may be about to be dragged into the modern age. And not even kicking and screaming. Yes... it could be possible. Not before time, a new leadership team has been installed with England’s former captain Bill Beaumont now chairman and Agustin Pichot his deputy. These two are already proving to be something of a dynamic duo and have targeted some quick and obvious fixes that are going to win them strong support. The first change they have made is to push back the draw for the next World Cup. Ridiculously, in the past, the draw has been made three years in advance which means that the seedings often don’t make any sense by the time of the tournament. That was the case…