Not all Poms are big girl’s blouses

The poor wee diddumses who want to ban tackling in Rugby are getting a bit of pressure.

Campaigners seeking a ban on tackling in school rugby have been on the receiving end of a backlash which included homophobic and sexist abuse, while one supporter claims that he was told not to attend a key event this weekend.

In what he views as a punitive measure after speaking this week in support of the proposed ban, Adam White, a board member of the England Rugby Football Schools Union (ERFSU), said he had been asked not to attend a prestigious rugby schools event this weekend at the Allianz Stadium, the home of Saracens, where he was due to act as a safeguarding officer.

White told the Guardian on Wednesday that restrictions along the lines of those proposed in an open letter signed by 70 doctors, health experts and academics were the only way to keep young people safe.

He said: “I am extremely disappointed that there already is the closing down of discussion in the RFU [Rugby Football Union] of some voices. It is quite evident that they are trying to lead the narrative on this and are perhaps not happy to listen to opposition.”

The RFU said White had offered to step down from the safeguarding duties, adding: “This was not instigated by the ERFSU or the RFU. There is no action presently being taken against Adam as a result of his media interviews this week. He is free to express his opinions, although it should be emphasised that he is not speaking on behalf of the ERSFU board.”

While the campaign has sparked passionate debate, a lead signatory to the letter said some of the criticism he had received included homophobic abuse.   Read more »

Perhaps Liam Messam should stand for Labour?

Liam Messam, a rugby player, seems to think he knows an awful lot about international trade and has declared that the TPPA should be axed…you know because he is a rugby player and we should listen to him.

Another high profile rugby player has spoken out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ahead of its expected signing in Auckland next month.

All Blacks and Chiefs star Liam Messam has taken to social media to criticise the huge trade deal.

“Ummmm think I’ve been living under a rock but this TPPA is some BS,” Messam tweeted to his 103,000 followers today.

His message was tweeted more than 50 times and received more than 100 favourites.

Read more »

NZ Herald editor believes a non-promising, essentially arseholey kid would also have been discharged

A promising young rugby player with a “glittering career” ahead of him has been given a discharge without conviction after admitting an assault on a man who was at a bar with his ex-girlfriend. The judge in the Wellington District Court said the consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to the seriousness of the offence. …

Discharges without conviction are reasonably common for young first offenders for whom the shock of an arrest and prosecution might be sufficient to ensure they learn from a youthful mistake. But that should be the only ground on which a discharge is given.

To Teariki Ben-Nicholas, who played for New Zealand at under-20 level last year, Judge Peter Rollo said, “The information which is before me suggests you have every opportunity to pursue a professional rugby career at the top level, maybe even rising as far as the All Blacks if your development continues.” He also noted Ben-Nicholas was studying at university for a degree in law and commerce, “so I have the clear view that you are someone who should be given a second chance to reach your full potential without a conviction standing in the way of that”.

Exactly.  Had he not been a “promising” person, he would not have had a discharge without conviction.   Yet the Herald believes the same would be extended to anyone.   Read more »

McCaw is going out on top – class from start to finish




All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is expected to confirm the country’s worst-kept secret on Thursday by announcing his retirement from rugby.

Stuff understands the 35-year-old will officially hang up his playing boots at the announcement, a decision widely expected to come after he led New Zealand to their second straight Rugby World Cup title in England earlier this month.

Prior to and during the tournament, McCaw publicly stated he had deliberately not thought about or made any decision on his potential retirement so he could give the All Blacks campaign his full attention and focus. Read more »


Photo Of The Day

King George V presents the King's Cup to James Ryan, captain of the New Zealand Services Rugby Team, after the team's win in the Inter-Services Tournament at Twickenham rugby ground, London in 1919. Major General Charles William Melvill and another officer look on. The team some of whom have fern leaf emblems on their jerseys are standing in a line. A film cameraman appears in the background. Photograph taken April 1919 by Thomas Frederick Scales.

King George V presents the King’s Cup to James Ryan, captain of the New Zealand Services Rugby Team, after the team’s win in the Inter-Services Tournament at Twickenham rugby ground, London in 1919. Major General Charles William Melvill and another officer look on. The team some of whom have fern leaf emblems on their jerseys are standing in a line. A film cameraman appears in the background. Photograph taken April 1919 by Thomas Frederick Scales.

The Forgotten Story of

The First Ever ‘World Cup’

 In 1919, in the aftermath of WWI, a group of international rugby teams gathered in Britain for The King’s Cup, a tournament unprecedented in its time but little remembered today. Some rugby historians have dubbed The King’s Cup as the ‘First Rugby World Cup Tournament.’

On October 31, the two finalists of the 2015 Rugby World Cup will take to the hallowed turf of Twickenham for what will be the finale of, officially at least, the 8th edition of a tournament that began in 1987. But on the same pitch on April 19, 1919 – some 96 years ago – military teams representing New Zealand and Great Britain faced off in the final of what, for all intents and purposes, was a World Cup in all but name: The King’s Cup.

Along with the two finalists, military teams from Canada, Australia and South Africa took part, as well as an RAF side made up of players from various nations. It was a gathering of international rugby talent that had never been seen before.

Read more »

Rapey teacher and rugby coach sacked

A TOP NORTH Island school with Anglican traditions dating back more than a century has sacked a rugby coach facing rape charges.

The man’s identity cannot be revealed because of suppression orders relating to both criminal and Family Court matters – but it is understood he is facing one charge of rape and another of unlawful sexual connection.

The Teachers Council website shows the man’s teaching certificate expired in June this year and has not been renewed.

It is also understood he has been sacked from the coaching role he once held at the school where he previously was employed teaching English.

It is understood the man has been in the teaching profession for more than two decades, both here and overseas. He began teaching at his current school in 2011.

Details of the allegations against the man are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed they relate to a former partner.

The principal of the co-educational boarding and day school where the man used to work said he was no longer involved with coaching the school’s first XV side.

He declined to comment further, saying the man had name suppression.  Read more »


Ouch, two upsets. AB’s and Boks both go down


Cameron Spencer / GETTY images

It’s written on their faces.

Out-muscled at scrum time, beaten at the breakdown and in danger of losing the Bledisloe Cup, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wasn’t fudging the facts after his side’s 27-19 loss to the Wallabies in Sydney.

But although Hansen didn’t hide his disappointment at losing the Rugby Championship title, he was also confident his side would use the hurt of defeat to put things right in Auckland next Saturday.

“We just got beaten by a better side on the night. We have to face up to that reality. It’s an inconvenient fact, but we’ve been here before,” he said. “We’ve lost games before and it doesn’t mean we’ve all of a sudden become a bad team. We just have some things we need to tidy up and we’ll get back to Auckland tomorrow and start that process.”

Also  Read more »


Green killjoys bitter over Parliamentary rugby team

What a bunch of killjoys the Greens are opposing the traditional Parliamentary rugby tour.

The Greens are objecting to a corporate-sponsored trip for MPs to play in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.

Corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, his colleague Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith and NZ First leader Winston Peters are among those who will skip parliamentary sessions in lieu of the September junket.

They’ll also be at the Rugby World Cup, which runs alongside the tournament.

Also on the team are Labour’s Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis, and National’s Alfred Ngaro and Mark Mitchell.

“If there are corporate lobbyists going, they have privileged access to ministers,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says.

It is not dissimilar to the Cabinet Club approach where there are select few who get to spend extended time with ministers and MPs.

“This isn’t the first time this has been raised.”

She added: “This is a trip to the Rugby World Cup, there is no point try to pretend that’s not what it is. And the fact that it has now been sanctioned as a parliamentary trip raises real concerns.”

In 2007, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark called for an inquiry into the Parliamentary rugby team after a trip to France.    Read more »

The ABs v the Argies “Live”ish blog thingy

Super Rugby Final – debate post


This is the spot to talk about the game.  Before, during and after.  Please do not use Backchat.