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All Blacks XV team named for clash with Barbarians

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The All Blacks XV team has been named to play the Barbarians at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday 13 November, kick-off at 2.00PM GMT (3.00AM Monday 14 November NZDT).

The matchday 23 is as follows (Province/Super Rugby Club):

1: Aidan Ross (26, Bay of Plenty / Chiefs)
2: Brodie McAlister (25, Canterbury / Crusaders)
3: Tamaiti Williams (22, Canterbury / Crusaders)
4: Josh Dickson (27, Otago / Highlanders)
5: Patrick Tuipulotu – Captain (29, Auckland / Blues)
6: Dominic Gardiner (21, Canterbury / Crusaders)
7: Tom Christie (24, Canterbury / Crusaders)
8: Luke Jacobson (25, Waikato / Chiefs)
9: Brad Weber (31, Hawke’s Bay / Chiefs)
10: Damian McKenzie (27, Waikato / Chiefs)
11: Leicester Fainga’anuku (23, Tasman / Crusaders)
12: Alex Nankivell (26, Tasman / Chiefs)
13: Levi Aumua (28, Tasman / Moana Pasifika)
14: Bryce Heem (33, Auckland / Blues)
15: Shaun Stevenson (25, North Harbour / Chiefs)

16: Andrew Makalio (30, Otago / Crusaders
17: Finlay Brewis (22, Canterbury / Crusaders)
18: Pouri Rakete-Stones (27, Hawke’s Bay / Hurricanes)
19: Zach Gallagher (21, Canterbury / Crusaders)
20: Christian Lio-Willie (24, Otago / Crusaders)
21: Cortez Ratima (21, Waikato / Chiefs)
22: Josh Ioane (27, Otago / Chiefs)
23: Bailyn Sullivan (24, Waikato / Hurricanes)

All Blacks XV Head Coach Leon MacDonald has named strong team to challenge the Barbarians in their closing match at Tottenham Spur Stadium this Sunday. Following a win against Ireland ‘A’, the side sees the return of key combinations, alongside a mix of experience and rising talent with seven All Blacks XV players set to take field for the first time.

The All Blacks XV starting front row features loosehead prop Aidan Ross, tighthead prop Tamaiti Williams and Brodie McAlister at hooker. Andrew Makalio, Finlay Brewis and Pouri Rakete-Stones will provide impact off the bench.

Josh Dickson and Captain Patrick Tuipulotu make up the locking duo, with Dominic Gardiner, Tom Christie and Luke Jacobson the loose forward trio. With Crusaders players Zach Gallagher and Christian Lio-Willie on the bench.

In the backs, the experienced combination of Chiefs duo Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie will take the field at nine and ten, alongside Alex Nankivell and Levi Aumua in the mid-field at 12 and 13. Young Chiefs half-back Cortez Ratima will provide impact off the bench.

The back three is made up of Leicester Fainga’anuku on the left wing, Bryce Heem on the right and Shaun Stevenson starting at fullback. With Josh Ioane and Bailyn Sullivan named on the bench.

All Blacks XV Head Coach Leon MacDonald said: “To go out last weekend and win against Ireland A was special, especially given it was our first match as the All Blacks XV. We need to build on that performance against the Barbarians on Sunday.”

“This is going to be an exciting and intense match, the Barbarians have a squad filled with international experience, there are a number of key players currently at the top of their game. We have kept some combinations from last week and added in new players, it has also been great to have the talented Brad Weber and Leicester Fainga’anuku join us from the All Blacks.”

“It’s going to be an incredibly proud moment for the players and their whanau, especially the players who will be wearing the All Blacks XV jersey for the first time,” added MacDonald.

For fans in the UK, the All Blacks XV v Barbarians will be broadcast live on ViaPlay HERE.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Spencer looking to bring innovation to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki

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Former All Blacks and Blues first five-eighths Carlos Spencer hopes to pass on the sort of rugby that marked his career as a backs coach for the Blues women’s side in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.

The 99-time Blues’ pivot played 44 Tests for the All Blacks and 89 games for Auckland during his career spanning the turn of the century. He also played for Northampton and Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Since building his coaching record after completing his rugby-playing career in South Africa in Gauteng, he has coached in the Republic, the United States and the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Now he has taken the chance to join head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu with the Blues.

Spencer, 47, said: “When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to the table. Now, as a coach, I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our Blues wahine.”

Like most of New Zealand, he was caught up in the Black Ferns’ World Cup success, and he anticipates there will be a follow-on effect in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns.

“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

“I’ve known Willie [Walker] for a while. We’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship. He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup, and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.

“I don’t know Linda, but have seen her exploits on the field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was an enforcer on the field,”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said having Spencer on board with the Blues organisation was special, and was an example of harnessing the resources available within the franchise’s region.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Constructive talks between World Rugby, Erasmus

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team for their brave effort to earn their first win over England at Twickenham since 2014, and their first personal victories in London as they registered a rewarding 27-13 victory on Saturday.

The Boks built up an encouraging 14-3 halftime lead and managed to stretch it to 27-6 in the 57th minute before being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a red card for a dangerous tackle. Despite this, the team hung on as if their lives depended on it to snatch the memorable victory.

The result saw the Boks win two of their four matches on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour – with the two narrow defeats being against the first and second ranked teams in the world in Ireland and France.

“We’ve had a couple of special results as a team, but this was the first win for Siya and I at Twickenham, so it’s very special to us,” said Nienaber.

“The forwards were outstanding and created a good platform for our backs to attack, so all-in-all, it was a fantastic team effort.”

Kolisi echoed lauded the entire team for their efforts to make the victory possible.

“Sometimes we take it for granted what a special environment one is in and the great coaching team we have,” said Kolisi.

“When we got together with most of this coaching team in 2018, we all bought into the plans and the synergy and the way we work together is really special in this group.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Nienaber was delighted with the way some of the young players rose to the occasion and said: “With this match being outside of the international Test window there were a whole lot of players who were not available for selection, but we have a lot of players knocking on the door and it was great to give those guys an opportunity tonight.

“It’s always good to give those players a chance under such pressure in front of a packed Twickenham, which can be pretty hostile, and they stood up today.”

Asked what he had told his players when they were reduced to 14 men, Kolisi said: “We actually said last week there is nothing we haven’t faced together as a group year. We’ve even been in situation when we had a red card, so the players knew what to do.

“Everyone knew they had to work harder to make up for the extra man, and the way the forwards played was great, and everyone did their bit to get the result.”

Wrapping up the tour, Nienaber said: “This was one of the most enjoyable four weeks we’ve had had even though we only got a 50% win record. The way the team, coaches, management and the game drivers made plans and worked tightly together with it was great, and we can take a lot from this going forward.”

The team will make their journey back to South Africa on Sunday and arrive on their home soil on Monday.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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