Henry Speight attacks for the Brumbies against Bundee Aki of the Chiefs. Photo: Skysports
Wins for the Sharks and Brumbies on Saturday confirmed the lineup for the 2014 Super Rugby semi-finals next weekend in Christchurch and Sydney.
As the lowest ranked side to make the last four, the Brumbies must travel to Sydney to face the Waratahs, who finished first in the standings at the end of the regular season.
The Sharks meanwhile are heading over to New Zealand to face the Crusaders, who finished in second place.
Samoa plays against Tonga in a PNC match last month in Apia. Photo: Moller Images
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, has confirmed that the All Blacks will face Samoa in Apia on July 8, 2015.
The Samoan leader revealed the news on his weekly radio programme that a letter confirming the fixture had been received from the NZRU.
The fixture, to be played on a Wednesday, will be the first between the two countries ever to be played in Samoa.
Tuilaepa added that renovations would be carried out on Apia Park ahead of next year’s fixture, with help from overseas.
Given the timing of the fixture, it’s likely to be used as a warm-up match before the Rugby Championship begins, in a busy year before the Rugby World Cup in England.
Flying Fijian Sireli Bobo runs away from the Japanese in an earlier PNC match. Photo: Zoom Fiji
Japan is the only logical choice for Super Rugby’s expansion into Asia in 2016, the country’s head coach Eddie Jones told AFP on Friday.
Super Rugby will expand from 15 teams to 18 in 2016, with the return of the Kings from South Africa’s Eastern Cape and a team based in Argentina already previously confirmed.
Organisers of SANZAR confirmed earlier this week that Japan and Singapore would battle to fill the final team and a decision will be made in September or October.
Brian O’Driscoll on the British Lions tour last year. Photo: Planet Rugby
British and Irish Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll believes the 2017 tourists should play a fixture in the Pacific Islands en route to New Zealand.
O’Driscoll, who was part of four tours, said that the game should be played instead of one such as 2013’s against the Barbarians in Hong Kong.
“It’s probably more of a give than take for the Lions [to play in the Pacific Islands] but it would be great for the people there and it would probably take away from that commercial feel that the Lions are this commercial juggernaut,” he told The Times.
Ben Ryan and wife Natalie. Photo: The Rugby Paper
Stepping down from the England Sevens head coach role after six years in charge last August, Ben Ryan was set to take a year out and work as a consultant for UK Sport with the dream of leading Team GB to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
But a Skype interview in the middle of the night in his Teddington home turned his world upside down.
In the space of a few weeks, he packed his bags, took his wife Natalie with him and travelled to the other side of the world to become Fiji Sevens head coach.