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Richie McCaw on how New Zealand can stop the exodus.

“You’ve just got to make it really hard for guys to make that decision to go overseas.”

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Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand Rugby legend Richie McCaw has admitted that the exodus of top talent from the Rugby club is concerning.

McCaw never quite thought of heading abroad during his illustrious Rugby career. These days the Rugby landscape is different and many players leave. In some cases, it is done in order to play in a less demanding environment and thus prolong their Rugby careers. In other cases, it is motivated by financial incentives.

Brodie Retallick, Beauden Barrett, Kieran Read, Ben Smith &Nehe Milner-Skudder are just a few of the New Zealand Rugby players who have either confirmed that they will be leaving New Zealand following the World Cup or who have been linked with moves away.

McCaw feels that the current situation is ”unfortunate”.

“I think it’s always been a challenge,”

“It has been for a while and it’s always going to be. It’s just unfortunate the things you have to deal with as New Zealand Rugby. I think we’re probably never going to compete dollar-for-dollar for what’s on offer for some of these guys up in the Northern Hemisphere.”You’ve just got to make it really hard for guys to make that decision to go overseas.”

The solution which McCaw put forward to the issue is simple. He feels that nothing can beat getting the opportunity to wear the jersey of the All Blacks.

“We’ve always said having an environment that’s really enjoyable and fulfilling, [where] you get looked after, and the chance to play for the All Blacks, that’s the things that we’ve got in our favour as New Zealand Rugby.

“And some will [leave], and rightly so if that’s the right thing for them. But if we keep the environment good and the All Blacks successful, it’s quite a hard team – when you’ve had a taste of it – to turn your back on.

“They’re the things that you can control and if you do that, then hopefully we encourage a good number to stay behind and stay here and keep playing. But I think it’s always going to be a challenge and we’ll be talking about it for a long time but we’ve just got to keep hopefully inspiring people that want to perform in the black jersey because I think it’s a pretty big carrot to stay here.”

International

Wallabies selector O’Connor outlines requirements for Quade Cooper

Clear instructions.

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Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

New Australian Rugby selector Michael O’Connor has highlighted that Quade Cooper can take less risks to win international selection, now that he has joined the Melbourne Rebels.

Connor is set to start his work as a selector next month. He will work alongside head coach Michael Cheika and in-coming director of Rugby Scott Johnson.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “There are still areas in his game he needs work on and if he can improve those, well then he’ll be in the reckoning.

“I would be very surprised if Michael (Cheika) didn’t agree with that. At Test level though you can’t be throwing blind passes. You can’t be taking risks at the line.”

Cooper was impressive during the Rebels recent 34-27 victory against the Brumbies.

O’ Connor expects his side to face a few selection dilemmas this year especially as it is a world cup year. However, he does feel that the final decisions will ultimately go down to coach Cheika.

Check out some of Quade’s highlights from his debut with the Rebels

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Sonny Bill Williams linked with Canadian move.

#Wolfpack

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Toronto Wolfpack owner David Argyle says the club are on the brink of signing one of the biggest names in rugby union according to League Weekly.

Several players have been linked with Canadian club across social media, but it does seem that Sonny Bill Williams is the name that seems most likely.

The 33-year-old has played across both codes. He left rugby league to return to the Union in 2014.

SBW has suggested in a number of interviews that he would like to finish his rugby career in League, where it all began for him when he ran out for the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2004.

Wolfpack owner Argyle certainly stirred the pot while speaking at a viewing party on Saturday night.

“We’ve got some really exciting things coming up,”

“Before the Rugby Union World Cup in Japan later this year, we will have one of the top five rugby players in the world (coming here).”

Toronto’s rise in Rugby League has been a radical one with the team playing their first pro game in 2017.

Backed by billionaire Argyle, who has made his fortune in mining they almost secured back-to-back promotions but were beaten in last year’s Million Pound Game by London Broncos.

They have started this seasons campaign with real purpose and have set their sights on the top flight under new head coach Brian McDermott.

Could we actually see Sonny Bill Williams become part of the ‘Wolfpack’ and appear for the transatlantic team next season, potentially in Super League?

Stranger things have happened.

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Barrett wary of French move following Savea blastings

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Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal has came out swinging this week at his players following their lost to Agen. Julian Savea took the brunt of the abuse while Rhys Webb took a spraying too.

Beauden Barrett was speaking to reporters since the comments were made and has said the savaging of former All Blacks teammate Julian Savea by Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal would make him think twice about joining the French club.

The unrepentant French tycoon doubled-down on his criticism of Savea with another astonishing rant after Savea publically responded to the ‘released‘ comments made by his boss. This sparked a huge Twitter backlash against Boudjellal with friends and former colleagues of the All Black winger showing him their support.

Barrett took things a step further when questioned if Boudjellal’s comments would put him off signing for Toulon when he decides his post RWC Future.

“It certainly doesn’t help,” he told reporters.

“Firstly, you’ve got to be comfortable. It’s a big move to move offshore and you have to be happy with a number of things.

“Your family have to be happy, you have to be happy with the coaching setup and team culture, so there are a number of different things.

“It’s totally different over there from what we see externally. It must be a different dynamic, it’s not the same as here.”

The Twitter backlash against Boudjellal seemed to stoke the fire as he unleashed round 2 of his spat yesterday, saying the rest of his contract will be “very long for him”.

The owner was particularly unhappy Savea took a month off for a trip to Fiji to attend the wedding of his brother and All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea.

“I can not think it’s normal for a player paid more than 1 million euros per year to go on holiday to Fiji for a month in December … he just had to attend his brother’s wedding, not take long leave,”

Boudjellal words perhaps were an intentional warning for those considering joining the club.

“Do not come to Toulon as a tourist. There is enough in the region,”

Earlier this season the outspoken owner came out and said when he intended leaving the club. Perhaps this isn’t soon enough for some players.

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