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New Zeeland Rugby
Cruden, SBW keep All Blacks places
Chiefs duo Aaron Cruden and Sonny Bill Williams will start at fly-half and inside centre when New Zealand face England at Twickenham on Saturday.
As expected, the All Blacks selectors have made a number of changes after giving less experienced squad members an opportunity against the United States, with 12 of the squad from that matchday 23 boosted by the return of some experienced players….read more here…..
All Blacks new kit goes all black
New Zealand have unveiled their new Test match jersey at an event in London on Tuesday, ahead of facing England this weekend. Ditching the white collar of recent times, adidas have designed two different shirts for forwards and backs.
The new look jersey is the product of a two year design process which saw adidas collaborate with senior All Blacks Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Liam Messam, Aaron Smith, Israel Dagg and Conrad Smith.
Savea plays down Lomu comparisons
Julian Savea is the most dangerous scoring threat in international rugby but he insists he will always be behind Jonah Lomu. The current All Black winger was responding to praise from his coach Steve Hansen, who claimed he was better than Lomu before Saturday’s clash with England at Twickenham. Everyone has their own opinion.
“For Steve [Hansen] to say that I’m better … it was an honour and a privilege to be compared to him [Lomu]. “But to me personally, no one is better than Jonah. He was my idol growing up. I had his haircut. “He changed the game back in his era and inspired a lot of kids as well. No one is ever going to be better than Jonah. He’s one in a million.”
No hiding place against NZ – Robshaw
England captain Chris Robshaw underlined the scale of the challenge facing his side when they play New Zealand in their opening November international at Twickenham on Saturday by saying there was “no hiding place” against the world champions.
“There’s no hiding place,” said Robshaw. We’re not going into this game to come out second best. “You can’t stand off these guys for a second. It’s about us putting our game out there. “You have to defend extremely well and take your chances — there is no magic formula to beating them.
Ball keen to prove a point against Australia
Wales lock Jake Ball will hope to prove to Australia that his decision to turn his back on a career that might have led to a ‘Baggy Green’ cap as a fast bowler was the right one when he faces the Wallabies at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Best ruled out of Springboks clash
Ireland have been struck by another injury blow with the news that veteran hooker Rory Best will miss Saturday’s Test against South Africa. The 32-year-old has been unable to train fully this week due to a calf injury that has now ruled the Ulster stalwart out of the clash in Dublin.
In better news for Irish fans, tighthead prop Mike Ross is expected to be available having recovered from a groin injury, which is some relief for coach Joe Schmidt, who has limited options following injuries to Marty Moore and Nathan White. Ireland will announced their team on Thursday.
Quickie from South Africa
Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen, will attend the match between Saracens and Western Province at Allianz Park, London, on Sunday. The scrumhalf, capped 89 times by South Africa, is raising awareness for Motor Neuron Disease, a condition he has been fighting since 2011.
- Western Province will wear black armbands in Sunday’s clash against Saracens at London’s Allianz Park in honour of the late Tinus Linee, who passed away on Monday from Motor Neuron Disease. Linee, 45, played 112 matches at centre for Western Province between 1992 and 2001 and will be remembered as a loyal WP player with a no-nonsense approach to defence as displayed by his bone-crunching tackles.
- Sports medicine experts, school heads and sports administrators are hailing a breakthrough week in their battle against school pupils using steroids and illegal performance enhancing drugs after Parliament discussed key draft amendments that will pave the way for improved testing and sanctions.
- Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said on Wednesday his team’s preparations for the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series opener in Dubai on December 4 and 5 were on track as the countdown begins to their debut season.