Rugby

2nd December

Argentina captain, players suspended over racist posts

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Pablo Matera has been stripped of the Argentina captaincy and suspended along with team mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for posting racist comments on social media, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR)...

1st December

Barbeary gets first England call-up for Autumn Nations Cup final

(Reuters) – Wasps hooker Alfie Barbeary has been given his first England call-up after being included in the 33-man squad for Sunday’s Autumn Nations Cup final against France. The 20-year-old made an immediate impact when he scored a try on his Premiership debut from the bench against Worcester Warriors in August and then scored a...

Tony Brown vows Māori will bring ‘test-like’ intensity to Pasifika game

AUCKLAND, 01 DECEMBER 2020 (STUFF NZ) – Māori All Blacks assistant coach Tony Brown isn’t a fan of the ‘spectacle’ concept – he wants his side to beat Moana Pasifika in Hamilton on Saturday and expects them to be clinical in how they go about their business. “It’s a pretty big test match so the...

James O’Connor’s return gives Wallabies coach Dave Rennie selection headache for Pumas clash

SYDNEY, 01 DECEMBER 2020 (SMH) – James O’Connor will return to the Wallabies’ starting XV when Dave Rennie reveals his team for the final test of the year on Thursday. O’Connor – who suffered a torn MCL in the Wallabies’ 27-7 loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park before suffering a plantar fascia injury...

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 to expand to 16 teams

DUBLIN, 01 DECEMBER 2020 (INSIDE THE GAMES) – World Rugby has announced that the women’s edition of the Rugby World Cup is to increase in size from 12 teams to 16 from 2025 onwards. Earlier this year, the Rugby World Cup Board decided to approve this change, which reflects World Rugby’s strategic plan for 2017...

Samoa Rugby Union rebranded as Lakapi Samoa

APIA, 01 DECEMBER 2020 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The name Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) is now a thing of the past. Last week, the Union’s Board approved the proposed rebranding of the Union to be called “Lakapi Samoa”. A new logo for Lakapi Samoa has also been approved and will depict Samoa’s Teuila flower with the...

30th November

Les Bleus forced to bank on inexperienced players for final v England

PARIS (Reuters) – On paper, a France versus England rugby test should be an exciting European clash, but next Sunday’s Autumn Nations Cup final between the two may be one of the their most lopsided encounters yet. While England are expected to be at full strength in Twickenham, where 2,000 spectators will be allowed in...

‘Not good enough’: uninspired Irish beat Georgia 23-10

DUBLIN (Reuters) – A lacklustre Ireland beat Georgia 23-10 on Sunday to wrap up the group stages of the Autumn Nations Cup in a Pool A finale that was academic for the standings but which coach Andy Farrell said was not good enough. The hosts could manage only three second-half points in a day brightened...

Nemani Nadolo reveals 8kg weight loss as he and Fiji team remain holed up in hotel rooms

PARIS, 30 NOVEMBER 2020 (RUGBY ONSLAUGHT) – Fiji and Leicester Tigers man-mountain Nemani Nadolo revealed that he has lost about 8kg in weight as he and his teammates struggle with isolation in the Fiji camp. The Fiji rugby team have all been in isolation for weeks in France after 29 players tested positive for COVID...

29th November

Farebrother trophy champion to share $18k

Farebrother Sullivan Trophy champion Nadi received a bonus payment of $18,000 for finishing the 2020 season with the ‘holy grail’ of Fiji rugby. Jack’s of Fiji Nadi wrested the prized cup from Namosi after defeating the holders 22-21 in a nail-biting encounter at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on October 24 and then successfully defended...

McCaw joins tributes to referee Nigel Owens’ 100th test

Nigel Owens reckons refereeing his 100th rugby test wasn’t as tough as “waiting for TB testing results’’ at his Welsh farm, but All Blacks great Richie McCaw was among a group of rugby luminaries to laud the whistleblower’s landmark moment. Owens, 49, became the first referee in rugby history to officiate in 100 internationals when...

‘We never lost belief,’ says rapt All Blacks coach Ian Foster

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has praised the belief and patience of his men as they signed off their 2020 season with a runaway 38-0 victory over Argentina in Newcastle. The five-try shutout, with the bonus point, put the All Blacks into the box seat on the Tri-Nations standings, with the winner of next week’s...

All Blacks wallop Pumas in Tri Nations test

This was the backlash All Blacks captain Sam Cane so badly needed from his men. The All Blacks’ 38-0 bonus point victory over Argentina in the suffocating heat in Newcastle on Saturday night was, quite possibly, the most important victory of Cane’s short tenure as leader of the national rugby side and now there’s a...

27th November

New 7s find – Sadrugu fits into Baber’s jigsaw puzzle

Fiji is about to surprise the world again with another new 7s rugby find. Welcome livewire Suva openside flanker and new Fiji 7s extended squad member Taniela Sadrugu who has coach Gareth Baber instantly impressed. He could add more firepower into Fiji’s arsenal when international 7s tournaments reopen. “He’s non-stop isn’t he?” said Baber of...

Akira Ioane returns to start for All Blacks against Pumas

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has not made wholesale changes after the shock loss to Argentina but Akira Ioane returns to the starting line-up at blindside flanker for just his second test appearance. Ioane started his first in the 24-22 defeat to the Wallabies in Brisbane three weeks ago but was replaced after 30 minutes because of prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi’s red card....

Wairiki 7s: 40 teams ready to go

Forty teams will battle it out next week for a chance at securing the 13th 2020 Fiji Bitter Wairiki Sevens title. “All teams are ready and eager to go,” said tournament official Iowane Gade during the launch today at Walu Bay. A total cash prize of $27,230 will be up for grabs across three sporting...

Tonga Rugby looks to kick off new era

The Tonga Rugby Union is seeking a Chief Executive Officer, in a bid to kick-start a new future of stability for 2021 and beyond. The full-time role comes after the TRU signed a tripartite agreement with World Rugby and the Tonga government in September, after the global governing body had threatened to pull all financial...

26th November

Nadolo speaks – Big Fijian winger reveals situation in France

Flying Fijians prolific winger Nemani Nadolo has broken his silence on the Flying Fijians dismal Autumn Nations Cup hamstrung by COVID-19, saying the trip had been a genuine chance gone begging. Nadolo, who came out of international retirement, spoke to Rugby Pod, a rugby news agency, while at camp in France. “We actually came into...

Hunt still on for Fiji 7s replacements

Although the search was still ongoing for Vilimoni Botitu and Aminiasi Tuimaba replacements, Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber said the hunt was still in its early days. “It’s still early too say,” Baber said. “Even when Tuimaba came into the squad, I didn’t know he was going to emerge the qualities that he had.” Baber...

Hurricanes utility excited to represent his Pasifika heritage

Hurricanes player, Vince Aso, is excited to represent his Samoan heritage, after being named in the first Moana Pasifika team. The All Black hopeful said playing for his nation of heritage would rule him out of New Zealand selection, so the Moana Pasifika provided a unique opportunity to represent his Samoan roots without that consequence....

World Cup hosts to be decided by open vote as World Rugby approves changes

(Reuters) – The World Rugby Council on Tuesday approved recommendations by its World Cup Board for a more transparent process of selecting hosts for future men’s and women’s editions of the tournament, including an open electronic vote with results published. The sport’s global body said that after an interim meeting, it was decided that awarding...

Wales lose Moriarty but duo back in training ahead of England

(Reuters) – Wales have released injured loose forward Ross Moriarty from their squad ahead of the Autumn Nations Cup showdown with England in Llanelli on Saturday, but have welcomed back Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau to training. Moriarty failed to recover from an ankle injury that has kept him out of the autumn series of...

Extended squad named

A strong 71-member extended Fijiana XVs squad was announced by head coach Senirusi Seruvakula after the completion of the National 10s competition at Tavua’s Garvey Park last weekend. Seruvakula said the squad selected were the cream of women’s rugby players in the country who participated in the Fiji Rugby Union’s 2020 Skipper Cup, 2020 Vodafone...

Race for WC spots

Fijiana XV coach Senirusi Seruvakula said pressure was now on our local players to work hard for a spot in the Rugby World Cup squad with overseas players willing to turn down contracts to climb aboard on Fiji’s maiden voyage to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Seruvakula said his phone had been ringing off...

25th November

Tuwai: Medal for every Fijian

Olympics gold medallist and sevens rugby star Seremaia (Jerry) Tuwai dedicated his Order of Fiji Medal to the Fijian people. The Fiji 7s halfback was bestowed the honour along with 32 other recipients during an investiture ceremony at the State House yesterday. “It was an honour to represent Fiji and I am grateful for the...

Ash Dixon to captain Maori All Blacks

Hawke’s Bay hooker Ash Dixon has been named to captain the Maori All Blacks in their one-off game against Moana Pasifika in Hamilton next month. The 24-strong squad includes eight new caps while former All Black loosie Liam Messam returns to the side for the first time since the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour....

Nadolo: Flying Fijians eager for last remaining Autumn Cup match

Flying Fijians winger Nemani Nadolo has spoken out on the Flying Fijians situation in France saying the team members are in high spirits and eager for their last remaining Autumn Nations Cup match against Georgia. “If this was called off, I guess we would have been home already by now, but at this stage we...

Willis, Watson back in the England frame to face Wales

LONDON (Reuters) – Flanker Jack Willis, winger Anthony Watson and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie have been included in Eddie Jones’s extended 25-man squad to face Wales in the Nations Cup on Saturday, but centre Ollie Lawrence will miss the game with a hip injury. Willis made a tryscoring debut against Georgia two weeks ago but was...

Tana Umaga won’t rule out Moana Pasifika job but says he is ‘happy at the Blues’

AUCKLAND, 25 NOVEMBER 2020 (STUFF NZ) – All Blacks great Tana Umaga knows the coaching industry is an unpredictable industry but has declared his contentment with life at the Blues despite the likelihood of Moana Pasifika gaining admittance into Super Rugby in 2022. Umaga will coach Moana Pasifika in their one-off clash against NZ Māori...

Key elements approved for future Rugby World Cup awarding

DUBLIN, 25 NOVEMBER 2020 (WORLD RUGBY) – The World Rugby Council has approved a progressive package of recommendations by the Rugby World Cup Board that reflects the organisation’s ambition to select future men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup hosts via a transparent, best-practice host selection process. The Council, at its interim meeting last week, confirmed...

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