Opinion

Ugliest voices always loudest

Christchurch's Fijian winger Sake Aca was the target of racial taunts during the weekend's  club rugby final  between Lincoln University and Christchurch.

OPINION: We need to stop being bystanders and call out the racists, writes Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

The cut for the Rugby World Cup is no clearer

James Broadhurst's loyalty to New Zealand rugby might not be enough to earn him a world cup spot with the All Blacks.

The final make-up of the All Blacks 31-man Rugby World Cup squad remains intriguing.     

Hinton: Smith needs to play fullback

Is it time for Highlanders star Ben Smith to be restored to his favoured position of fullback for the All Blacks?

OPINION: It's time for the All Blacks coach to play Ben Smith in his best position, writes Marc Hinton.

Quartet of first fives possible?

All Blacks first five eighth Lima Sopoaga looked at ease at test level in Johannesburg.

OPINION: Lima Sopoaga just made things a whole lot more interesting ahead of the World Cup.

All Blacks player ratings

The All Blacks perform the haka before their Rugby Championship test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

From the sublime to the solid and the not-seen-so-much, here's how each All Black performed.

Sopoaga, Piutau press claims

Lima Sopoaga on the burst for the All Blacks against the Springboks in the Ellis Park test.

OPINION: A close encounter at Ellis Park, here's what we learned about the ABs from the test.

Gifford: What has Hansen done wrong?

Has All Blacks coach Steve Hansen let sentiment cloud his judgement of veteran captain Richie McCaw?

OPINION: There’s nothing unusual about All Black coaches, and their selections, being criticised – but this coach's team keeps winning.

All Blacks' PR machine goes awry

Ye 'Gods': The All Blacks perform the haka ahead of their clash with the Pumas.

OPINION: The All Blacks don’t get many things wrong, but their PR machine did at the weekend.

King Carlos claims to Blues job video

The Blues have had no joy since Carlos Spencer led them to glory in the 2003 Super Rugby final with this sort of free-wheeling approach.

OPINION: Super Rugby franchise could do worse than inject exAll Black into their coaching ranks.

Ellis Park a tough cauldron for the All Blacks

Ellis Park provides a unique atmosphere for the All Blacks.

OPINION: It was interesting to hear Conrad Smith say how much he loved playing at Ellis Park and how it was his favourite ground, with spectators almost sitting right on top of the players.

Robson: Still time for injured Cory Jane to return

Barbarians wing Cory Jane limps off Eden Park with an ankle injury.

OPINION: All Blacks shouldn't discard Cory Jane from World Cup plans just yet.

Napier: Dagg seals World Cup spot vs Pumas

Israel Dagg is beginning to show glimpses of his best.

OPINION: ABs fullback showed enough on Friday to prove he deserves inclusion for World Cup.

Hinton: Hansen's Barbarians policy paid in full video

Recent All Blacks debutant George Moala was a standout for the NZ Barbarians at second five-eighth.

OPINION: Barbarians win over Maori displays depth of talent available to All Blacks coach as World Cup looms.

Gifford: McCaw summons up divine fury in victory

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw charges over to score a try against the Pumas.

OPINION: NZ captain breaks long-standing taboo – suggesting it was important to pause and enjoy success.

Five takeaways from the Christchurch test

Israel Dagg showed encouraging form against Argentina.

Marc Hinton assesses the second All Blacks performance of the year, and finds plenty to enthuse over.

Hometown heroes don't disappoint video

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw confronts the Pumas defence during what is expected to be his last test in Christchurch.

OPINION: All Blacks greats' hometown send-off goes perfectly to script for rugby romantics.

All Blacks face their acid test

Sonny Bill Williams is one All Black with a point to prove against the Pumas in Christchurch.

OPINION: Result done and dusted? Maybe, but here are five things we'd like to see against Los Pumas.

Days of Lions playing in the provinces long gone

Taranaki centre Mark Stewart is tackled by British and Irish Lions player Danny Grewcock in 2005.

OPINION: The romance once surrounding the game of rugby has long since disappeared as the head has taken control of the heart and the game is played to maximise revenue at the expense of the average rugby supporter and player.

Johnstone: ABs Naholo, Savea hard to ignore video

The prospect of Waisake Naholo, left, and Julian Savea operating in tandem for the All Blacks is increasingly real.

OPINION: Giant wing pairing a mouth-watering prospect for the All Blacks, bring on the test debut of Waisake Naholo.

Heat on Dagg to prove case

All Black fullback Israel Dagg will be hoping to get another shot after struggling to make his mark against Samoa.

OPINION: In a chilly week in the south, no All Black will be feeling the heat more than fullback Israel Dagg.

Lions tours straddle old and new

Lions prop Julian White and his All Blacks counterpart Tony Woodcock exchange pleasantries in the second test of the 2005 series.

OPINION: In the winter of 2017 there'll be nothing else on a Kiwi rugby tragic's mind.

Smith: South Island should be hosting Lions test

Supporters of the British and Irish Lions rugby team cheer before the first test against the All Blacks at Jade Stadium in Christchurch in 2005.

OPINION: SI fans need to give NZ Rugby a blunt message that two Lions tests in Auckland won't be tolerated.

Carter must work on crosskick

Dan Carter struck three sweet crosskicks against Samoa in Apia and just one went to hand, resulting in NZ's only try of the match.

OPINION: NZ legend has the opportunity to sign off his international rugby career in style.

Great occasion, scratchy show

Captain Richie McCaw feels the heat during the All Blacks' scratchy 25-16 win over Manu Samoa at Apia Park.

OPINION: Over 8000 privileged souls packed into Apia Park to witness a rugby wall come tumbling down.

Reason: Jimmy's my hero

James Graham died of a heart attack on Friday night.

OPINION: James Graham was one of the finest sportsmen this country has ever known.

First XV: Players NZ snared

Sonny Bill Williams and Tana Umaga miss out in the midfield in this Samoan All Blacks first XV.

OPINION: No room for Umaga or SBW, revealing the embarrassment of NZ rugby's Samoan talent riches.

Hinton: ABs need A game

The All Blacks can expect to be tested by a fired up Samoan team in Wednesday's historical test at Apia Park.

OPINION: Real test looms for the men in black against their Samoan rivals at Apia Park.

Canes tense up under weight of history

Hurricanes players - right to left - TJ Perenara, Conrad Smith, James Marshall and Beauden Barrett wonder what went wrong after losing the Super Rugby final to the Highlanders at Westpac Stadium on Saturday

OPINION: The Hurricanes fluffed their lines on the big stage, leaving a familiar feeling in the capital.

Highlanders, 'team of destiny' gallery video

Highlanders No 10 Lima Sopoaga, right, hugs Aaron Smith after the Super Rugby final victory over the Hurricanes on Saturday night.

OPINION: The true story of this final, and season, is the Highlanders. Honestly, who are these blokes?

Highlanders Super Rugby's comeback kings gallery video

Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith makes a break during his side's Super Rugby triumph against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday night.

OPINION: Highlanders deserving winners in a Super Rugby game worthy of the occasion.

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