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 Farmlands Rural Legends Shield – Chiefs to face Blues in Te Kuiti
Farmlands Co-operative have teamed up with the Gallagher Chiefs to bring top flight rugby to Te Kuiti on 2nd February. The Farmlands Rural Legends Shield will pit the two-time Super Rugby champions, the Gallagher Chiefs, against three-time winners the Blues at Te Kuiti’s Rugby Park. The game, which kicks off at 4.00pm, is an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution rural New Zealand has played in shaping our national sport. Farmlands Chief Executive Peter Reidie says the game will be played on the same park that produced King Country grassroots heroes like the Meads brothers and Paul Mitchell...More
The numbers game
In making its annual announcement of numbers of participants in the game this week, New Zealand Rugby announced that “rugby remain[s] a strong part of New Zealand communities” and “the game remains in an excellent shape”. However, a closer look at the statistics suggests that the core foundation of amateur Rugby Union in New Zealand, the community-based amateur club, faces significant challenges. Let’s take a look at the numbers. Those aged 5 to 20 comprise less than a quarter (22%) of New Zealand’s population, but comprise 81% of all registered rugby players in the country...More
Wellington's Ghost Clubs Part 3: Polhill Gully RFC,Mitchelltown
Above: Holloway Road, Aro Valley, which runs up Polhill’s Gully toward the south coast of Wellington Wellington's "Ghost" Rugby Clubs  Part 3 – “The Working-Man’s Club” – Polhill Gully Rugby Football Club, Mitchelltown In April 1907, it was reported that “a breathless citizen rushed out of Polhill Gully the other day and baled up the first person he saw and told him to rush off and get a gun, for there was a terrible stripey animal running wild in the gully...More
First All Black Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens squads named for season
The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens teams play their opening tournaments of the 2017-18 season at the Oceania Sevens Championship in Fiji next weekend and have both selected their squads to open their campaigns. All Blacks SevensScott Curry (Bay of Plenty)Tim Mikkelson (Waikato)Tone Ng Shiu (Tasman)Teddy Stanaway (Bay of Plenty)Dylan Collier (Waikato)Bailey Simonsson (Bay of Plenty)Joe Ravouvou (Auckland)Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)Regan Ware (Bay of Plenty)Andrew Knewstubb (Tasman)Joe Webber (Bay of Plenty)Sione Molia (Counties Manukau) An experienced All Blacks Sevens team has been named with Bay of Plenty youngster Bailey Simonsson the only debutant...More
 NZ U20s training squad announced
A contingent of 52 players has been selected to attend the New Zealand U20 Development Camp in Palmerston North from 3-9 December. The players are ForwardsJohn Akau'ola-Laula (AucklandSione Asi (Manawatu)Suetena Asomua (Counties Manukau)Tom Christie (Canterbury)Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (Tasman)Rob Cobb (Auckland)Jacob Devery (Hawke's Bay)Sosaia Fale (Waikato)Tim Farrell (Hawke's Bay)Devan Flanders (Hawke's Bay)Tom Florence (Taranaki)Brayden Iose (Manawatu)Ricky Jackson (Otago)Joe Johnson (Bay of Plenty)Josh Kaho (Waikato)Tevita Mafileo (Bay of Plenty)Slade McDowall (Otago)Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato)Sam Moli (Tasman)Ajay Mua (Bay of Plenty)Xavier Numia (Wellington)Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa (Auckland)Ben Sa'u (Auckland)Bradley Slater (Taranaki)Hoskins Sotutu (Auckland)Cameron Suafoa (Auckland)Sione Talitui (Auckland)Flynn Thomas (Southland)Will Tucker (Canterbury)Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Wellington)Tupou Va'ai (Taranaki)Ricky Van Der Heyden (Bay of Plenty) BacksWiseguy Faiane (Auckland)Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman)Scott Gregory (Northland)Jack Grooby (Tasman)Ciarahn Matoe (Taranaki)Rupena Parkinson (Tasman)Harry Plummer (Auckland)Rameka Poihipi (Canterbury)Carlos Price (Wellington)Billy Proctor (Wellington)Ngane Punivai (Canterbury)Jay Renton (Southland)Xavier Roe (Waikato)Jamie Spowart (Tasman)Bailyn Sullivan (Waikato)Tanielu Tele'a (Auckland)Danny Toala (Hawke's Bay)Salyn Tonu'u (North Harbour)Sheldon Tovio (Waikato)Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty) Not considered due to Super Rugby or Sevens commitments: Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Will Jordan (Tasman), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago)...More
Curtain comes down on NPC competitions
Above: The Wanganui Butcher Boys celebrating their Meads Cup victory on Saturday in Levin. Photo by Dave Lintott Photography.  The curtain has fallen on the 2017 national provincial rugby competitions. Winners were: Mitre 10 Cup Premiership (Men's NPC Division 1)Canterbury 35 – Tasman 13 Mitre 10 Cup Championship (Men's NPC Division 2)Wellington 59 – Bay of Plenty 45 Farah Palmer Cup Premiership (Women's NPC Division 1)Canterbury 13 – Counties Manukau 7 Farah Palmer Cup Championship (Women's NPC Division 2)Bay of Plenty 7 – Otago 5 Heartland Championship Meads Cup (1st v 2nd)Wanganui 30 Horowhenua Kapiti 14 Heartland Championship Lochore Cup (7th v 8th)Mid Canterbury 47 – West Coast 15 An exciting season of domestic rugby has come to a close with six scintillating finals closing out the 2017 season of national provincial championships...More
Aisle be back: All Blacks end of year tour and NPC finals
The All Blacks are basically the Dr Whos of the rugby world. For those who've never seen TV in the past half century, Dr Who regenerates every three or four years rather than dying.  To achieve that feat in rugby terms, you need to be blessed with a constant production line of new talent, and the nous to realise that the old generation is getting, well, a bit old.  When you can't do that, you end up with teams that have great eras, but then fall into holes. The dreaded rebuilding has to begin. Some nations are always rebuilding...More
Finalists confirmed in NPC and Heartland competitions
After an exciting weekend of semifinal action, the 2017 finalists have been confirmed across the Men's NPC, Farah Palmer Cup and Heartland Championship. Canterbury will get the chance to defend their Premiership title at home next week and once again host Tasman in the final. Canterbury were too strong for North Harbour in their semifinal, winning 35-24 at home. Tasman upset the table-topping Taranki with a thrilling 30-29 victory in New Plymouth. On Friday night Wellington confirmed they will host the Championship final with a classy 49-21 victory over Northland...More
Aisle be back: The Brisbane Bledisloe
Can't wait for Bledisloe Three this weekend. The battle between the world number 1 and number 3 teams.Actually I could happily not have Bled Three. Happily not see another test match against Australia for oh, a year or so.Because, as I've said before, the Bled is officially boring.The three-test Bledisloe is a historic hangover, from the days when the Wallabies had parity or even supremacy. That was pretty much the late 20th century.Aussie fans are voting with their feet. How long long before our stadiums start to thin out at the prospect of another one-sided clash with Australia, or the Boks...More
Semi-finalists found in NPC and Heartland competitions
The top four teams and the venues have been determined in each of New Zealand’s three national rugby competitions and divisions of the Men’s and Women’s NPC and the Heartland Championship. In the Men’s NPC, the Premiership semi-finalists were already decided heading into the last round, but the order of finishing needed resolving. Top qualifiers Taranaki will take on the Tasman Makos and second placed Canterbury will host third placed North Harbour. Wellington had locked in their home playoff even before their win over Northland on Thursday night, but who they would host rested on the last game of the regular season between Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu...More
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