• RSS NewsWire

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Dropkicks

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

‘Battle of the Hemispheres’ back on agenda

BRAGGING RIGHTS: An annual fixture between the Super 14 and Heineken Cup winners is back on the agenda.

WHO IS the best club team in the world?

That question could soon be answered, with an annual match between the winners of the Super 14 and Heineken Cup back on the agenda.

According to website RugbyHeaven, England’s premier clubs are backing the concept of a  “battle of the hemispheres”, meaning the long-mooted game looks set to become a reality.

CLICK HERE to read more.

A couple of interesting stories

I WOULD like to draw your attention to two stories I wrote for Whitireia Journalism School’s news website NewsWire.

The first is a feature profile about legendary rugby photographer Peter Bush, who has been covering rugby matches since 1949:

IT WAS the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Peter Bush’s picture shows the All Blacks and Ulster walking onto the field while armed soldiers and sharpshooters surround the stadium, after a threat to kill a player from either side was made.

Nothing eventuated, but later a bomb warning went out and Bush was escorted to a nearby pub and told to wait. CLICK HERE to read more.

The second is a feature about Maori rugby and what New Zealand’s national pastime means to Maori people and what is beng done to raise the profile of their unique brand:

MORE workshops, training camps and tournaments for Maori rugby players and coaches.

These are initiatives Wellington Maori Rugby is considering to increase Maori involvement in the game, says its deputy chairperson Rick Whatarau (Ngati Kahungunu).

They are looking to work with the New Zealand Rugby Union or local iwi, but plans have not been finalised. CLICK HERE to read more.

King Carlos to make Super Rugby comeback

FORMER All Black first five Carlos Spencer will play in the Super 14 this season – but not for his beloved Blues.

Website Supersport.com reports the 34-year-old (left), who played 34 tests for the men in black between 1997 and 2004, has signed with South African outfit the Lions.

He replaces former Springbok pivot Andre Pretorious, who will turnout for the Western Force this season.

Spencer represented the Blues between 1996 and 2005, playing a key role in Auckland-based franchise’s three championship victories.

He has been plying his trade with Gloucester in the Guinness Premiership after a stint with Northampton. CLICK HERE to read more.

Macqueen to coach Melbourne Rebels?

SPECULATION is mounting that former World Cup-winning Australian mentor Rod Macqueen is in line to become coach of the Melbourne Super 15 team.

Macqueen, who lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy with the Wallabies in 1999 and supported the city’s bid for inclusion in the expanded competition, is believed to be considering a position as a coaching director or head coach, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But Melbourne Rebels franchise head Harold Mitchell is remaining tight-lipped on the subject. CLICK HERE to read more.

Keane lands top job at Tasman

FORMER All Black Kieran Keane has been named as the new coach of the Tasman Makos.

The Marlborough Express reports Keane – whose CV includes coaching stints with Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand under-16 and Marlborough Boys’ College – was promoted from team’s co-coach to the top job following a season review and interview process by the Tasman Rugby Union.

He beat six candidates for the fulltime role, including fellow co-coach Bevan Cadwallader.

The Makos finished ninth in last season’s Air New Zealand Cup, but are likely to do it even tougher this year, as a number of players – most notably skipper Andrew Goodman, Quentin MacDonald and Kahn Fotuali’i – have left the province. CLICK HERE to read more.

Another Asian Bledisloe on the cards

THE ALL Blacks and Wallabies look set to play another Bledisloe Cup test in Asia this year, according to the Australian Press Association.

But with the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the expansion of the Tri Nations to include Argrentina on the horizon, it could be the last time the teams play an additional Bledisloe test.

The announcment comes after the two sides played matches in Hong Kong in 2008 and Tokyo last year – both of which were won by the All Blacks. CLICK HERE to read more.

Canterbury pull out of national sevens

FINANCIAL pressures has seen one of New Zealand’s powerhouse unions withdraw from this weekend’s national sevens tournament in Queenstown.

The Southland Times is reporting Canterbury will not attend the tournament as the union is looking at ways to curb spending after posting an $ 800,000 loss in October last year.

South Canterbury has taken the red and blacks spot instead.

In total, 16 provinces from throughout New Zealand will compete during the two-day event. CLICK HERE to read more.