Kevin and Robyn Barrett were overwhelmed at the news their sons Scott and Jordie would be joining older brother Beauden on the All Blacks end-of-year tour. While Beauden was a shoo-in to make the tour to the United States, Ireland, Italy and France, Scott was named in the squad as injury cover for Sam Whitelock, who has a high ankle sprain, while Jordie has been chosen as an apprentice. "We were just taken back, overwhelmed at the news," Kevin said. "We're just so proud." Read more here
UPDATE: New Zealand won 67-3. The Black Ferns kick off a busy six weeks of Test rugby with a clash against old foes Australia at Eden Park as part of a historic double header with the All Blacks and Wallabies today. Live on Sky Sport 1 from 4.45pm. Read more here
Wanganui and Buller will meet in next week's Meads Cup final after winning contrasting semi-finals today. Wanganui defeated Wairarapa Bush 58-26 and Buller beat South Canterbury 16-6 in the other. The Lochore Cup final will also be a North Island v South Island affair with King Country set to meet North Otago.
Openside flanker Connor Collett (Massey) is this year's North Harbour Club Player of the Year. Collett was also named North Harbour's Most Promising representative Player of the Year. Chris Vui was the Supporters Player of the Year and Murphy Taramai the Coaches Player of the Year. Chelsea Alley was the Women's Player of the Year.
Whakatane Marist’s Steven Mapu collected the new Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Supreme Award at the unon's awards last night. In February Mapu achieved 500 official Senior A grade games for Whakatane Marist. He commenced his senior career with Whakatane Marist in 1989, at the start of the Bay of Plenty Baywide Competition and he has played continuously for the past twenty seven years and is yet to hang up his boots. Meanwhile, Rangataua Rugby’s Premier side were the fitting winners of the Club Team of the Year and their coach Aramahou Ririnui was award Club Coach of the Year following the sides Baywide Premier Club Rugby winning performance for the 2016 title. Te Puna Rugby Club was presented Club of the Year for their positive contribution to the growth and development of rugby within their community
Taranaki will play Tasman in one of the NPC premiership semi-finals next weekend in New Plymouth.
In the repeat of the 2014 final, Tasman booked their place in the play-offs with a dominating 56-0 win over Southland on Sunday, scoring eight tries in the process.
In the other semi-final Canterbury will host Counties Manukau in Christchurch with Waikato's win over Wellington on Saturday night knocked out Auckland's semi-final hopes.
Both premiership semi-finals will be held on Sunday afternoon.
In the championship Otago will host Bay of Plenty and Wellington will play North Harbour with those games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Canterbury (1) will host Counties Manukuau (4) and Taranaki (2) will entertain Tasman (3) in next Sunday's NPC Premiership semi-finals. Meanwhile, Otago (1) and Bay of Plenty (4) will meet on Friday night and Wellington (2) will play North Harbour (3) on Saturday in the two Championship semi-finals. Visit Draws & Results above for more
Black Ferns Head Coach Glenn Moore has named a squad of 28, to take on the Australian Wallaroos in the two-Test series, as preparation for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 starts to ramp up. The first match against the Australian side is a double header with the All Blacks Bledisloe match at Eden Park on Saturday 22 October. The Black Ferns will play the Australian Wallaroos again at QBE Stadium on the North Shore on Wednesday 26 October. Read more and view the squad here
The trial breakdown laws introduced to domestic rugby this year have been red carded. New Zealand Rugby high performance referee manager Rod Hill confirmed the trial breakdown laws used in the Men's NPC have been dumped by World Rugby although there would not be a total return to the old laws around the breakdown. The trial involving six-point tries and two-point penalties, used in the Heartland Championship this year, has also been dumped. The big change at the breakdown is the ''fetcher'' will be allowed back into the game and there will be more of a breakdown contest. Read more here
The Hawke's Bay Magpies have been relegated from the Men's NPC Premiership division for next year with a round to spare, following their 46-22 defeat to Waikato on Satturday night. The Hamilton-based side led the Magpies 27-3 at halftime and went on to win 6 tries to 3.
Above: Leni Apisai, who plays for the Northern United club in Wellington, is one of six new caps in the squad that leaves on Sunday. The Māori All Blacks squad to tour to Chicago, London and Ireland next month has been named, featuring six new caps. Then new players named are Leni Apisai (Wellington), Whetu Douglas (Waikato), Billy Guyton (Tasman), Leighton Price (Taranaki), Reed Prinsep (Canterbury) and Kara Pryor (Northland).
So about 9.30 this Saturday night, the current All Blacks will hold the world record for consecutive tier-1 test match victories. Now I know 2016 is no year for predictablility, but it would be trite to trot out the usual cautionary line ahead of Eden Park. This is the fortress, and there are none of the other potential landmines that have derailed past streaks - such as a tired team, playing away or on neutral ground, and facing competitive opposition.
Photo above: Taranaki's Stephen Perofeta, seen here playing for his club Clifton, has signed up with the Blues. Photo by Dave Lintott Photography. It was only a matter of time, but Taranaki playmaker Stephen Perofeta has signed up with the Blues Super Rugby franchise after a strong season for his province in the national provincial championship. Originally from Wanganui, Perofeta will join Otago’s Mike Collins as the new additions to the Blues side.
Photo above: Berny Hall has suffered another injury and will miss Taranaki's final regular season match against Auckland on Thursday night. Photo by Dave Lintott Photography Taranaki’s chances of playing in a home semi-final, for the second time in two seasons, are slim when they face Auckland at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth on Thursday night, but a play-off spot is extremely likely.
The ninth and last round of the Men’s NPC round-robin series starts tonight. See below to see the possible semi-finals permutations across both divisions from the eight matches coming up. Premiership Only one thing is certain – Canterbury (40) are the top qualifiers and will host one semi-final, and if they win that then the final as well. The interest is in the five sides vying for the remaining three places.