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All Blacks named for final Fortinet Rugby Championship Test



(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The All Blacks team has been named to play in the final Test match of the Fortinet Rugby Championship against South Africa at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast, on Saturday 2 October (Kick off: 8.05PM AEST / 11.05PM NZT).

The matchday 23 is (Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (53)
2. Codie Taylor (63)
3. Nepo Laulala (36)
4. Brodie Retallick (88)
5. Scott Barrett (47)
6. Akira Ioane (9)
7. Ardie Savea (55) – captain
8. Luke Jacobson (9)
9. Brad Weber (13)
10. Beauden Barrett (97)
11. Rieko Ioane (43)
12. David Havili (10)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (52)
14. Sevu Reece (13)
15. Jordie Barrett (31)

16. Asafo Aumua (3)
17. George Bower. (7)
18. Ofa Tuungafasi (41)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (40)
20. Ethan Blackadder (6)
21. TJ Perenara (74) 
22. Richie Mo’unga (26)
23. Damian McKenzie (36)

The starting forward pack remains unchanged from the original named last week, with Luke Jacobson returning to the number eight jersey, after his late withdrawal with illness last weekend. Asafo Aumua comes in at reserve hooker and George Bower comes in for Karl Tu’inukuafe on the bench.

In the backs, Brad Weber will start at halfback with TJ Perenara on the bench, Anton Lienert-Brown returns from injury to the 13 jersey, with Rieko Ioane moving to the left wing and Sevu Reece named on the right.  First five-eighth Richie Mo’unga, who re-joined the team this week, is on the reserves bench alongside Damian McKenzie.

All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said the team was keen to finish the Fortinet Rugby Championship on a high.

“The energy levels are high in the team, it’s our fifth Test in a row, and we’re highly motivated ahead of another big Test against South Africa and the last Test of the Championship.

“We’ve achieved the Championship title, which we’re really proud to have achieved. The fact that we now have the chance to achieve a potential Grand Slam against our Southern Hemisphere opponents is pretty special. I’m excited by that and it has already given this weekend’s Test an edge.”

Foster said the All Blacks were looking for improvement in their game across the board this week.

“We learnt some lessons last week.  We didn’t look after the ball as well as we could have and some of our work at the ruck wasn’t as good as we wanted.  We have to lift our performance in that area and the team is keen to get that right this weekend.”

Stats and facts 

Beauden Barrett has scored 688 points for the All Blacks so is closing in on 700 points.  He is the third highest points scorer for the All Blacks, behind Dan Carter (1,598 points) and Andrew Mehrtens (967). 

TJ Perenara will be playing his 75th Test this weekend.

South Africa and the All Blacks have played 100 times: the All Blacks have won 60 times and South Africa 36.

The All Blacks have won all five matches in The Fortinet Rugby Championship and will achieve the Southern Hemisphere version of the “Grand Slam” if they win this weekend.  The last time the All Blacks achieved this was in 2017.

The All Blacks lead the competition stats in Tries Scored (25), Clean Breaks (39), Metres Carried (4,511), Defenders Beaten (120), Offloads (53) and Scrums Won (83 percent). For all the competition stats go HERE.

Rieko Ioane is first on the competition list for Clean Breaks with six and second on Metres Carried with 498 metres; his brother loose forward Akira is second on Defenders Beaten with 18; midfielder David Havili and Will Jordan are second equal of the Try Scorers (together with South African Malcolm Marx) with three; while Jordie Barret is second on the Carries list with 43 and third on the Points Scored list with 39. For all the individual player stats, go HERE.

All Blacks matches – 2021 Fortinet Rugby Championship

Round 1
All Blacks 57 Australia 22, Saturday 14 August, Eden Park, Auckland

Round 2
Australia 21 All Blacks 38, Sunday 5 September, Optus Stadium, Perth

Round 3
All Blacks 39 Argentina 0, Sunday 12 September, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Round 4
Argentina 13 All Blacks 36, Saturday 18 September, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 

Round 5
All Blacks 19 South Africa 17, Saturday 25 September, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Round 6
South Africa vs All Blacks, 8.05PM AEST / 11.05PM NZT,  Saturday 2 October, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Source – All Blacks Rugby


Scott Robertson appointed All Blacks Head Coach from 2024



Scott Robertson will become the All Blacks Head Coach from 2024.

The 48-year-old father of three was appointed following a robust interview process and will announce further key appointments to his coaching and management team in coming months before officially taking up his new role following the conclusion of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

Robertson has been appointed for four years from 2024 through to the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup and will succeed current All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster, who will lead the All Blacks through the conclusion of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. Robertson’s appointment was confirmed at an NZR Board Meeting on Tuesday morning. 

“It’s an honour to be named as the next All Blacks Head Coach,” Robertson said. “It’s a job that comes with a huge amount of responsibility, but I’m excited by the opportunity to make a contribution to the legacy of the black jersey. To represent your country, as a coach or player, is the ultimate honour in sport and it’s humbling to be given that opportunity. I can’t wait.”  

Robertson, who played 23 Tests for the All Blacks as a loose forward between 1998 and 2002, has compiled an impressive coaching resume. Following, retirement from the professional game in 2007 Robertson commenced his coaching career with the Sumner Rugby Club in Christchurch, before moving into an Assistant role with Canterbury in 2008 and then taking over as Head Coach in 2013, where he went on to win three Premiership titles between 2013 and 2016,. He has guided the Crusaders to six consecutive Super Rugby titles as Head Coach since 2017. Prior, to that he coached New Zealand U20s to a Junior World Championship crown, and most recently he coached the famous Barbarians FC to a win over the All Blacks XV last year.  

“Having significant time to plan for 2024 and beyond is crucial to setting the All Blacks up for success during the next World Cup cycle. I have a job to do with the Crusaders and that will be my main focus through to the completion of DHL Super Rugby, but I will now have the opportunity to work with NZR to get some key appointments in my coaching and management team finalised, so we can hit the ground running next year.“ 

NZR Board Chair Dame Patsy Reddy said: 

“We were very happy with the calibre and quality and quality of the people involved and would like to thank all of those who took part in the process. The decision to appoint the next All Blacks Head Coach ahead of the Rugby World Cup was not taken lightly, but we believe it was the right decision for New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks and will set the team up for future success. 

“We congratulate Scott on his appointment and look forward to working together in 2024, but have also been clear that New Zealand Rugby’s full support this year will be focused on the current All Blacks coaching team as we look toward the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.” 

NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said: 

“I’d like to congratulate Scott on his appointment. His coaching record speaks for itself in terms of success, but what came through strongly during the interview process was his innovative approach to the game, his passion for his players, and his desire to add to the All Blacks legacy. We firmly believe he is the right person to lead the team in 2024 and beyond.”  

BIO – Scott Robertson 

As a player Robertson was capped 23 times in Tests for the All Blacks as a loose forward between 1998 and 2002. He made his debut against Australia in Christchurch in 1998 and was a member of the 1999 Rugby World Cup squad, playing in a 101-3 pool win over Italy. He moved into coaching with the Sumner Rugby Club and quickly transitioned into the Canterbury NPC environment where he was part of the team that won five titles between 2008 and 2012. Robertson was then elevated to Head Coach where he guided the team to three NPC Premiership titles between 2013-2016. Even greater success followed in Super Rugby, where he has guided the Crusaders to six consecutive Super Rugby titles as Head Coach since 2017. In 2015, the New Zealand Under 20s won the Junior World Championship title with Robertson as Head Coach, and last year coached the famous Barbarians FC to a win over the All Blacks XV.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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Key All Black signs contract extension



All Blacks back David Havili has his sights set on more success in Aotearoa after re-signing with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) until the end of 2025.

The Nelson-born utility wants to build on the success he has had in the international arena, DHL Super Rugby Pacific and Bunnings Warehouse NPC.

His impressive résumé includes 25 Tests for the All Blacks, six consecutive Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and a pair of NPC titles he won as captain of the Tasman Mako.

“I’m very happy and grateful to be re-signing with New Zealand Rugby and I’m looking forward to the future,” Havili said.

“From when I was a young kid, I’ve always wanted to play professional rugby. So to have the opportunity to play for my three favourite teams – Tasman, the Crusaders and the All Blacks – for a few more years is special and something that I didn’t want to give up just yet.”

The 28-year-old utility has become a regular in the All Blacks, featuring in 22 of a possible 28 Tests over the last two seasons.

“David is a special player who is held in high regard by everyone in our game,” said NZR CEO Mark Robinson. “We are proud to have him on board for an extended period and wish him even more success in the coming years.”

Havili has been a key contributor to the Crusaders’ impressive six-year run, playing in all but one of their recent Super Rugby finals. The vice-captain became the 22nd Crusader to reach 100 games for the club in DHL Super Rugby Pacific last year and has proven himself at multiple positions in the backline.

“To coach someone that has multiple skills, that can play in so many different positions at a world-class level, is so unique,” said Crusaders coach Scott Robertson.

“He has a skill factor, but a toughness factor too. He’s tough as a trainer, tough as a player and tough on himself. He’s got true grit in him.

“For him to sign on until 2025 and be so loyal just shows what it means to him to play rugby here in New Zealand. It shows how much we value him and how much he values us.

“He is still young enough to get better, and he wants to compete. So, while he’s at his peak and getting better now, it’s great to have him still here.”

A product of the Nelson College 1st XV, Havili debuted for the Tasman Mako in 2014 before leading the side to back-to-back NPC titles in 2019 and 2020.

“David is a great Mako man who has given a lot to the jersey and will continue to give a lot to New Zealand rugby in years to come,” said Gray Cornelius, who co-coaches Tasman alongside Dan Perrin in the Bunnings Warehouse NPC.

Tasman CEO Lyndon Bray added: “It’s a real privilege for us to maintain our relationship with David for the long term and I think one of the greatest things that he brings to our region is the fact that he mentors our younger players throughout different parts of the year.

“Even if we don’t get him on the field for us, what a lot of people don’t see is the difference he makes to the younger generation through the system while being in contact and being connected with those players.” 

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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All Black prop extends contract with New Zealand Rugby & Hurricanes



All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax has re-committed to New Zealand Rugby (NZR) until the end of 2026.

The extension will also see the 26-year-old continue to be aligned with the Hurricanes in DHL Super Rugby Pacific and the Tasman Mako in the Bunnings Warehouse NPC. 

“My family and I are very happy to have re-signed with Tasman, the Hurricanes and NZR – three outfits I feel very privileged to represent,” Lomax said.

The 23-Test tighthead prop was one of the All Blacks’ top performers in 2022 and has proudly represented the Māori All Blacks on eight occasions. 

“Tyrel represents himself, his family and this country with pride,” said NZR CEO Mark Robinson. “We are proud of his growth and can’t wait to see what this next period brings for his career.”

Born in Canberra where his Kiwi father John became a rugby league great, Lomax spent time on both sides of the Tasman during his childhood. He launched his Super Rugby career in Melbourne but moved to New Zealand in 2017 to sign with Tasman and the Highlanders, before making his All Blacks debut the following year.

He would not add to that sole international appearance until 2020, when he joined the Hurricanes.

“We were delighted to sign Tyrel in 2020 and he has been a key member of our club since then,” said Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee. “He is a really humble man that is going from strength to strength on the field, and it’s great to see him cement a place in the All Blacks too.”

Of Tūhoe and Muaūpoko descent, Lomax’s move to Wellington was fitting given he grew up in Wainuiomata where his dad played and coached.

“Tyrel has been an integral part of our pack and our scrum over the last couple of years,” said Hurricanes Head Coach Jason Holland. “Over the last 12 months he has also been outstanding for the All Blacks. So it’s massive for the Hurricanes to have him as the cornerstone of our pack.”

Lomax has represented Tasman since 2017, playing a key role in their maiden NPC title win in 2019. While playing for the Mako last year, he was recalled to the All Blacks as injury cover during The Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship, quickly cementing himself as the first-choice tighthead.

“It is great to have Tyrel re-sign with the Mako,” said Gray Cornelius, who co-coaches Tasman alongside Dan Perrin. “Obviously, he is a fantastic rugby player, but also a great Mako man.”

Tasman CEO Lyndon Bray was equally lavish in his praise: “Tyrel epitomises what the Mako stands for. Not only with his unassailable grit on the field, which is one of our strong Mako values, but he is a true trailblazer for Tasman through to Super Rugby and the All Blacks.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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