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Steve Hansen makes decision on his future

All Blacks head coach has made a decision.

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Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

It’s been an action packed week for New Zealand rugby with Ben Smith announcing he’s off to France and Nehe Milner-Skudder also en-route to Europe. With a press conference called for 9am (NZ Time) was All Blacks coach Steve Hansen about to bring some good news or confirm that he too would be on his way.  

In typical laid back Steve’s fashion, he simply said, 

“I’m going”

The 59 year old whose contract is due to expire at the end of the 2019 World Cup will have been part of the All Blacks coaching ticket for 16 years. Prior to taking the head coach role in 2012 he worked as the assistant coach to Graham Henry.

“I just think that after 16 years it is the right time to move on after the World Cup. It is the right thing for the team. We can have a fresh pair of eyes come into the team,” said Hansen.

Hansen added, “It’s been a huge privilege to be part of the All Blacks for such a long time and I’m really looking forward to, and excited by the challenges, of the next 12 months. We’ll be attempting to do something that has never been done before – to win three consecutive Rugby World Cups. I’m highly motivated by that, as is the whole group, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

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Hansen felt it was important to make the announcement about his future now so that New Zealand Rugby had plenty of time to identify his successor.

“This is a critical process which shouldn’t be rushed and shouldn’t be made in the turbulent period that tends to follow a Rugby World Cup campaign.”

Hansen said he hadn’t made any decision on his future at present and his focus was on preparing for the 2019 season.

All Blacks Chairman Brent Impey has lead the tributes to Hansen.

“On behalf of the New Zealand Rugby Board, I’d like to thank Steve for his enormous contribution to our national game. He’s hugely respected, clear in his views, and will leave the job as one of the greatest ever All Blacks coaches.

“His record is unsurpassed. The All Blacks currently hold all the major trophies we play for, he played a critical role in the back-to-back-Rugby World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, and we wish him and the team all the very best for next year’s campaign.

“Whatever happens next in Steve’s career, his place as a New Zealand rugby legend is guaranteed,” 

All Blacks Chairman Brent Impey

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said Hansen had overseen “one of the richest periods in All Blacks history.”

“On his watch the All Blacks have had a winning rate of close to 90 percent – a remarkable run of sustained success”

“As well as his success on the field, he will also be remembered for his bold selections and the way he and his management team provided the opportunity and environment for the players to achieve their full potential on the international stage.

“He cares deeply about the game and the wider issues facing it and his views are hugely respected not only in New Zealand but internationally.

“On behalf of New Zealand Rugby, we congratulate Steve, his wife Tash and his family on his contribution to New Zealand Rugby – and the contribution he’ll continue to make in 2019 – and we all look forward to what next year will bring.”

Without doubt, there will be a few names bandied about as potential successors with Joe Schmidt, Ian Foster and Scott Robertson already being mentioned. One thing that is for sure is that whoever gets the gig will have a tough act to follow.


International

Australia A confirm side to face Japan XV

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Australia A coach Jason Gilmore has named an imposing side as they prepare to kick-off a three-match series against a Japan XV on October 1 in Tokyo.

Scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan once again will lead the side as they look to build from their second-place finish in the Pacific Nations Cup in July.

Catch Australia A take on Japan XV LIVE and ad-free on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

Lonergan is joined in the halves by Waratahs flyhalf Ben Donaldson, eager to continue his breakout season, with Gilmore confirming Tane Edmed will likely get a shot in the second Test.

Suliasi Vunivalu will get his chance to shine, selected on the wing in an all-Reds back-three as he partners Filipo Daugunu and Jock Campbell.

Gilmore has kept a relatively settled front-row from their last match against Tonga, with Brumbies hooker Lachlan Lonergan coming in to partner Matt Gibbon and Tom Robertson.

Wallabies Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville form an imposing second-row, with Ned Hanigan making his return from injury with Ollie Callan and Langi Gleeson in the back row.

Force centre Bayley Kuenzle will make his first appearance in the Australia A side, partnering Brumby Hudson Creighton.

Exciting Brumbies hooker Billy Pollard headlines the replacements off the bench alongside Archer Holz and Harry Hoopert.

Rebels back-rower Brad Wilkin has been rewarded for a strong season with selection on the bench, with Ryan Smith rounding out the forwards’ reserve.

He is joined by club teammate James Tuttle as well as Reds back Isaac Henry and Mark Nawaqanitawase, who returns from a brief stint with the Sevens.

Gilmore also confirmed Tom Banks will be likely used in some capacity in the second Test, still recovering from a broken arm.

Every game of the Australia A tour of Japan will be streamed live and available on demand on Stan Sport.  

Australia A team to play Japan at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday 1 October, 7:00pm JST/8:00pm AEST

1. Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels)

2. Lachlan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies)

3. Tom Robertson (Western Force)

4. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies)

5. Cadeyrn Neville (ACT Brumbies)

6. Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)

7. Ollie Callan (Western Force)

8. Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs)

9. Ryan Lonergan (c) (ACT Brumbies)

10. Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs)

11. Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds)

12. Bayley Kuenzle (Western Force)

13. Hudson Creighton (ACT Brumbies)

14. Suliasi Vunivalu (Queensland Reds)

15. Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)

Replacements

16. Billy Pollard (ACT Brumbies)

17. Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds)

18. Archer Holz (NSW Waratahs)

19. Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)

20. Brad Wilkin (Melbourne Rebels)

21. James Tuttle (Melbourne Rebels)

22. Isaac Henry (Queensland Reds)

23. Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs)

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


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6 Nations

Referee Appointments Made For November Internationals

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The match day officials for Ireland’s international fixtures in November have been announced by World Rugby and the IRFU High Performance Referees will have a busy month on international duty.

For our teams in green, the RFU’s Adam Leal will take charge of the game between Ireland ‘A’ and the All Blacks XV at the RDS on Friday, 4th November. The following day, Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli has the whistle for the game between Ireland and World Champions South Africa at Aviva Stadium.

South African Jaco Peyper is in charge of Ireland v Fiji and New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe is the man in the middle for Ireland’s final game of the Autumn Nations Series against Australia.

IRFU referee Andrew Brace takes charge of two games during this international window – England v Argentina and France v Japan. Joy Neville, who will have just returned from the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, is in the TMO hot seat for the France game against the Brave Blossoms.

Frank Murphy in on duty for Scotland against New Zealand at Murrayfield and Chris Busby has the whistle for the French Barbarians against Fiji in Lille.  Both Chris Busby and Eoghan Cross are on duty in Dubai for the World Cup Final Qualifier tournament.  Chris is refereeing the game between Portugal and Hong Kong with Eoghan in the AR role for that game and the clash between the USA and Kenya.

Friday 4th November, 2022
IRELAND A v All Blacks XV
REF: Adam Leal (RFU), ARs: Luc Ramos (FFR), Benoit Rousselet (FFR)

Saturday 5th November, 2022
IRELAND v South Africa
REF: Nika Amashukeli (GRU), ARs: Mathieu Raynal (FFR), Andrea Piardi (FIR)

Saturday 12th November, 2022
IRELAND v Fiji
REF: Jaco Peyper (SARU), ARs: Tual Trainini (FFR), Jordan Way (RA)

Saturday 19th November, 2022
IRELAND v Australia
REF: Ben O’Keeffe (NZRU), ARs: James Doleman (NZRU), Tual Trainini (FFR)

IRFU High Performance Referee Appointment

England v Argentina
REF: Andrew Brace (IRFU), ARs: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Pierre Brousset (FFR)

USA v Kenya
REF: Tual Trainini (FFR), ARs: Damian Schneider (UAR), Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

Portugal v Hong Kong
REF: Chris Busby (IRFU), ARs: Damian Schneider (UAR), Eoghan Cross (IRFU)

Scotland v New Zealand
REF: Frank Murphy (IRFU), ARs: Andrew Brace (IRFU), Chris Busby (IRFU)

Romania v Samoa
REF: Mathieu Raynal (FFR), ARs: Eoghan Cross (IRFU), Shota Tevadze (IRFU)

French Barbarians v Fiji
REF: Chris Busby (IRFU), ARs: Ben Blain (SARU), Adrien Marbot (FFR)

France v Japan
REF: Andrew Brace (IRFU), ARs: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Christophe Ridley (RFU)
TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)

England v South Africa
REF: Angus Gardner (RA), ARs: Andrew Brace (IRFU), Pierre Brousset (FFR)

Wales v Australia
REF: Matthew Carley (RFU), ARs: Luke Pearce (RFU), Chris Busby (IRFU)

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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International

Match officials announced for November Internationals

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

South Africa’s Jaco Peyper has been appointed as referee for two Tests in the traditional November international window after he was given a break during the recently-concluded Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

World Rugby also announced on Monday the names of the match officials for the Springboks’ six matches on their tour of Europe, which includes four Tests and two midweek games.

Peyper will be the man in the middle when France host Australia in Paris on 5 November, and again a week later when Ireland face Fiji in Dublin on 12 November, which will be his 61st Test as referee.

AJ Jacobs has been given assistant referee duties in four Tests over two weekends in Dubai, when Hong Kong, Kenya, USA and Portugal square off in the Final Qualification Tournament for Rugby World Cup 2023 over three match-days consisting of six clashes in total.

Marius Jonker and Marius van der Westhuizen have been appointed as Television Match Officials in five Tests next month.

The referees for the Springboks’ four Tests are Nika Amashukeli from Georgia (against Ireland in Dublin on 5 November), Wayne Barnes of England (against France in Marseille on 12 November), Mike Adamson of Scotland (against Italy in Genoa on 19 November) and Angus Gardner of Australia (against England in London on 26 November).

The Test in Marseilles will mark a special occasion for Barnes, who is back on the international circuit after also getting a break during the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, as it will be his 101st as referee, a new record for match officials.

Karl Dickson of England will referee the midweek match against Munster in Cork on 10 November, and a week later, on 17 November, Adam Jones of Wales will carry the whistle in the clash against the Bristol Bears in Bristol.

<< CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE APPOINTMENTS >>

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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