Opinion

Robson: Dagg, Jane out

Injury has meant Chiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow has played limited rugby in 2015.

OPINION: Lima Sopoaga and Tawera Kerr-Barlow deserve RWC berths, writes Toby Robson.

Knowler: Dagg may get favour

Fullback Israel Dagg and coach Steve Hansen share a quiet word after the All Blacks beat the United States 74-6 in Chicago last year.

OPINION: Aaron Smith’s durability could play major part for one other player, says Fairfax rugby writer Richard Knowler.

England are the big threat

Former All Blacks coach Alex Wyllie said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika knew what he was doing with weird selections at Eden Park last week.

OPINION: England, Ireland, SA, Australia, and of course, the damned French threaten NZ at the RWC.

Sevens squad needs pace

Gordon Tietjens has a fine squad at his disposal in 2016, but two more big names would be icing on the cake.

OPINION: With two more star additions NZ could go from capable to within a whisker of an Olympic certainty.

Previous world cups show they do get it wrong

Jonah Lomu was an easy choice for an all-time Rugby World Cup All Blacks XV.

OPINION: You can debate all you like about the best All Blacks to have played at the Rugby World Cup.

'Ref was unintentionally biased' video

Hooker Dane Coles has been the big mover for the All Blacks this season and was outstanding on Saturday night.

OPINION: All Blacks were good but "assaulted" players, and ref Nigel Owens was ''unintentionally biased'', writes Mark Reason.

Too early to knight McCaw?

Richie McCaw poses with his parents Don and Margaret and girlfriend Gemma Flynn with a cake celebrating his world record 142 test caps.

OPINION: Should the Government really be in a hellfire hurry to knight Richie McCaw?

Sopoaga's gain could be Slade's pain

Lima Sopoaga could be the surprise selection in the All Blacks World Cup squad.

OPINION: Lima Sopoaga, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Charles Piutau look like big winners for ABs' World Cup squad.

Gifford: McCaw's fitting farewell

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw shows the scars of battle during Saturday's Bledisloe Cup victory over the Wallabies at Auckland's Eden Park.

OPINION: Brave McCaw adds another golden chapter to his glittering resume after Eden Park triumph.

Hinton: Carter back to his best gallery

Dan Carter showed once again why he's considered one of the world's best first-fives after a superb display against the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday night.

OPINION: Star first-five shows he's well on track to complete his World Cup mission of redemption.

Great players can defy time

Richie McCaw can become the oldest captain to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and Dan Carter can become the oldest first five.

OPINION: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen rejuvenated the team when he first took over in 2012, but he needs to do it again.

Garner: Are All Blacks fans too arrogant?

Richie McCaw willl be looking to right the ledger in the Bledisloe Cup decider.

OPINION: The All Blacks face relentless pressure to be the best team in the world.

The hijacking of the ABs' mystique

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and head coach Steve Hansen show their disappointment after last weekend's loss to the Wallabies in Sydney.

The ever-more commercialised All Blacks risk selling their soul - and losing their edge.

ABs in need of second pivot

All Blacks first five Dan Carter often had limited options during the Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney.

OPINION: Broken play attack will have provided the toughest viewing in training after Sydney loss.

Fraility of human mind exposed in Sydney test

Coach Michael Cheika's hard-nosed attitude has installed a new found belief in the Wallabies.

OPINION: The frailty of the human mind was on display in Sydney last Saturday.

All Blacks are desperately predictable video

The Wallabies' 27-19 win over the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday night has been a long time in coming and will have given the world champions a wake up call ahead of next month's Rugby World Cup in England.

We're blaming the wrong things for the loss. The problem lies deeper, writes Mark Reason.

Johnstone: AB futures in balance video

Dan Carter, second left, and the All Blacks had every reason for feeling dejected after their showing in Sydney.

OPINION: Several senior stars will be playing for their future in the return Bledisloe Cup test in Auckland, writes Duncan Johnstone.

Loss could be perfect tonic

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, left, and coach Steve Hansen ponder the lessons they can take from a rare loss to the Wallabies in Sydney.

OPINION: History suggests the All Blacks will benefit from their painful night in Sydney.

Thank goodness for Milner-Skudder

All Blacks debutant Nehe Milner-Skudder scores one of his two tries in Saturday night's 27-19 defeat in Sydney.

OPINION: The All Blacks have a new ice-water kid and Steve Hansen has some thinking to do.

Aussies were once the big scalp

The captain of an outstanding 1980s Wallabies side, Andrew Slack, pictured at Eden Park after the 22-9 Bledisloe Cup-clinching win on September 6, 1986.

OPINION: A chill used to grip NZ fans when a game against Australia was close. Not any more.

Robson: Carter must confirm his class

Dan Carter still has the weight of expectation on his shoulders ahead of the Rugby World Cup in England.

OPINION: Seeing the 33-year-old unravel the Wallabies on Saturday night would be worth its weight in gold, writes Toby Robson.

Snook: RWC conditioning has come a long way

Wales coach Warren Gatland has not spared the rod with his players.

OPINION: In 1987 the All Blacks got the drop on their opponents by introducing canny Scotsman Jim Blair to their set-up.

McCaw doing it his way till the end

Richie McCaw salutes Schalk Burger's Springboks after the All Blacks' win in Johannesburg on July 26.

If anyone has earned the right to play the exemption card in the All Blacks, their inspirational captain surely has.

Racism is no shrug off issue

Christchurch club player Sake Aca copped abused by dopes from Lincoln University on the sideline.

OPINION: The ugly face of racism is usually expressed by three main groups, the drunk, the dumb, and the spotlight seekers.

TMO blight on the game

Richie McCaw scores the winning try against South Africa in Johannesburg after a cunning lineout move.

OPINION: Boks done with a sucker punch and it would have been a travesty to have ruled it out.

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.

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