Tackling rugby's hot topics

Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert Brown will take centre stage at Eden Park in his matchup against George Moala.

OPINION: Marc Hinton looks at the big talking points of the week as the Lions tour draws ever closer.

More ball please, says Savea

Play hasn't quite run the way of Hurricanes wing Julian Savea this season.

For whatever reason, Hurricanes wing Julian Savea has been quiet this season.

Ben Smith: ABs are the pinnacle

Highlanders fullback Ben Smith wants to play against the British and Irish Lions for his franchise.

As long as he's selected, Ben Smith will play for the All Blacks against Samoa.

NZ Baabaas extend squad

Bryan Gatland will face the Lions, who are coached by his father, Warren.

NZ side bolsters its playing stocks with some Super Rugby additions for the Lions tour opener.

Kiwis 'scenting blood' of Lions

Gareth Anscombe has a warning for the Lions.

Gareth Anscombe warns Lions that Kiwis 'will be coming for them scenting blood' during their NZ tour.

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Play-by-play: Blues v Chiefs

Chiefs first-five Aaron Cruden.

The Blues' clash with the Chiefs a play-at-a-time, in Auckland.

Live: Blues v Chiefs

Pride is on the line for Steven Luatua and the Blues as they clash with the Chiefs in Auckland.

The Blues play for pride as the Chiefs come to town intent on pressing their finals claims.

Hansen to finish in 2019?

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has confirmed he will finish up after the 2019 World Cup.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen can't see himself staying in the job past the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Christie out of Super Rugby

Shane Christie receives medical help for a cut in February 2016. He has been ruled out of the current season with ...

Shane Christie's Highlanders season is over due to "concussion-like" symptoms.

Smith wary of confident 'Tahs

Highlanders fullback Ben Smith, left, will play his 127th game for the Dunedin-based franchise on Saturday night.

The Waratahs' form guide isn't flash, but Highlanders captain Ben Smith is bracing for a 'massive challenge'.

Crusaders No 9 keen to stay

Halfback Bryn Hall will get a rare chance to make back-to-back starts when the Crusaders meet the Rebels in Melbourne on ...

Claiming the Rebels' scalp will earn the Crusaders their 13th consecutive victory of the season, matching the 2002 champion team's golden run.

No bulls for Riccitelli

Set-piece prowess has become a big focus for the Hurricanes and their hooker Ricky Riccitelli.

Hurricanes' South African-born trio feeling at home on the high veldt.

Chiefs duo extend contracts

Tim Nanai-Williams has re-signed with the Chiefs.

Tim Nanai-Williams and Taleni Seu to stay on at the Chiefs.

Good injury news for Lions duo

Sean O'Brien (right) has been struggling with a calf problem.

After losing Billy Vunipola, two Irish Lions are improving from their respective injury concerns.

Vunipola loss 'astronomical'

Billy Vunipola will miss the tour of New Zealand because of a shoulder injury.

Injured Billy Vunipola a massive loss but English lock says why Lions can cope without star No 8.

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opinion

Can anyone conquer the Crusaders?

Doesn't matter who the Crusaders have on the paddock, the high quality of the output is much the same.

OPINION: Crusaders looking unbeatable, Blues still shaky and Highlanders lurking under the radar.

Cully's ABs squad to face Lions

OPINION: Jordie Barrett and Rieko Ioane squeezed out by 19-14 forwards/backs split, writes Paul Cully.

Reason: Rugby needs its head examined

ABs watch: Cruden, Faumuina shine

Video

Ex-All Black's frank Lions warning

Ben Franks says the Lions can surprise NZ by toppling the All Blacks, warning his brother to expect a tough series.

all blacks

Hansen to finish in 2019?

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has confirmed he will finish up after the 2019 World Cup.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen can't see himself staying in the job past the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Scott McLeod backed for ABs

Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod has been linked to the soon to be vacated All Blacks defence coach role.

Highlanders coach Tony Brown sees similarities between McLeod and ABs defence coach Wayne Smith.

ABs win acclaim in Spain

The All Blacks have won a prestigious Spanish sports award.

Prestigious Spanish award goes to the All Blacks for their "shining example".

Coaching against his country

Coach Warren Gatland is on his third Lions tour.

OPINION: That there isn't a home-grown Six Nations coach to do the Lions job is an indictment.

international

Good injury news for Lions duo

Sean O'Brien (right) has been struggling with a calf problem.

After losing Billy Vunipola, two Irish Lions are improving from their respective injury concerns.

Vunipola loss 'astronomical'

Billy Vunipola will miss the tour of New Zealand because of a shoulder injury.

Injured Billy Vunipola a massive loss but English lock says why Lions can cope without star No 8.

Farrell reveals ABs fears

Andy Farrell has masterminded two victories over the All Blacks as defence coach of England and Ireland.

Mastermind of two ABs losses says Lions camp is 'exceptional' but admits one 'massive part' is needed for NZ.

Lions 'strength' can beat ABs

Vern Cotter on why the Lions can beat the All Blacks.

The determination, desire and belief is there to beat the ABs, ex-Scotland coach Vern Cotter says.

provincial

Key Stag may not return

Brumbies first five-eighth Wharenui Hawera.

Stags coach Hoani Macdonald is awaiting confirmation if first five-eighth Wharenui Hawera will be back this year.

Ripe to return to their roots

Stephen Donald was still a schoolboy when he first played for Counties Manukau.

Kieran Read is heading home to Counties, but who else in NZ rugby could make the switch?

Historic win for St Thomas over St Bedes

St Thomas celebrates beating St Bedes for the first time in 34 years.

St Thomas breaks 34-year drought in round four of the UC Championship.

Who is in the Stags mix?

Marist second five-eighth Matty Johnson is one of the Stags midfield contenders for 2017.

Logan Savory takes a look at who he thinks could be contention for the 2017 Southland Stags squad.

sevens

Great Britain 7s merger talks

Warwick Lahmert of England makes a pass in a match between England and Wales.

Discussions to permanently merge England, Scotland and Wales for the Sevens World Series begin.

Drummond in sevens heaven

Jess Drummond could be set for her New Zealand sevens debut after being selected in the latest squad.

The unavailability of five key players has opened the door for a Riwaka school teacher to make her NZ sevens debut.

XVs into sevens doesn't go

It wasn't a good day for Lewis Ormond and the New Zealand sevens team in London

NZ rugby chief Steve Tew has conceded it's a difficult equation dominating the XVs game and sevens one as well.

Businessman backs Sevens video

Lawrenson Group chief executive John Lawrenson is quietly optimistic about Hamilton hosting the sevens.

Bar owner John Lawrenson is optimistic about the Hamilton Sevens, since Dallas Fisher is in charge.

super rugby

Play-by-play: Blues v Chiefs

Chiefs first-five Aaron Cruden.

The Blues' clash with the Chiefs a play-at-a-time, in Auckland.

Live: Blues v Chiefs

Pride is on the line for Steven Luatua and the Blues as they clash with the Chiefs in Auckland.

The Blues play for pride as the Chiefs come to town intent on pressing their finals claims.

Christie out of Super Rugby

Shane Christie receives medical help for a cut in February 2016. He has been ruled out of the current season with ...

Shane Christie's Highlanders season is over due to "concussion-like" symptoms.

Smith wary of confident 'Tahs

Highlanders fullback Ben Smith, left, will play his 127th game for the Dunedin-based franchise on Saturday night.

The Waratahs' form guide isn't flash, but Highlanders captain Ben Smith is bracing for a 'massive challenge'.

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