WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Long-time assistant Ian Foster has been confirmed as All Blacks head coach to succeed Steve Hansen after an appointment process shunned by some candidates who saw it as flawed and untimely. The 54-year-old Foster has been assistant coach since 2012, helping Hansen guide the team to its third World Cup title in 2015. Hansen stepped down after New Zealand’s third-place finish in this year’s World Cup in Japan, ending a seven-year tenure as head coach and a 15-year role in the wider All Blacks coaching team. Foster’s initial appointment is for only two years, not through the 2023 World Cup as might have been expected, suggesting an almost probationary start to his head coaching career. “I feel truly privileged and honored to be given this opportunity and I can’t wait to lead the team into the next chapter,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the All Blacks over the last eight … [Read more...] about Foster succeeds Hansen as New Zealand All Blacks head coach
Rugby world cup
May 29, 2019 Osman Samiuddin at The Oval Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print Faf du Plessis is sexy as hell. Try and deny it. If that's a bit too in your face, let's put this another way: he's the kind of guy some of us want to be like and the kind of guy some of us want to be with. 'Charismatic' works, 'magnetic' maybe even more so, because there's no escaping that he has this intrinsic pull that is the gift, sadly, of only a chosen few.Another land, another industry, who knows? A younger, leaner Joaquin Phoenix might've aspired to look like Faf, and at the very least auditioned to be his stunt double. Listen to that deep drawl and then imagine a slow, dirty beat synced to it in the background. Turn that gold up.What has any of this to do with anything? Nothing, it could be argued, except that, as we're in that time of our lives again when South Africa and captains of South Africa come into sharp view, it does feel relevant. Not least because … [Read more...] about Can smouldering Faf du Plessis sex up South Africa’s World Cup chances?
I cannot stress this enough: book your seats for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in two years’ time immediately. That is going to be an insane tour given what happened yesterday in Yokohama, when we witnessed a superb performance by South Africa. Losing that second Test with the Lions at Loftus Versfeld in 2009 is one of my worst memories in rugby, but South Africa is an amazing place to tour. How appetising does that contest seem now? As was the case when the Lions travelled to New Zealand in 2017, they will be flying to the southern hemisphere to take on the reigning world champions. There is a young group of special players in that Springbok side, when you consider that Malcolm... … [Read more...] about Scintillating Springboks should have everyone smacking their lips for the British and Irish Lions tour
Siya Kolisi will be just one of the boys at Twickenham on Saturday. Neither team leader nor the focal point of his entire nation. For one day only, South Africa’s first black Test rugby captain gets to play international rugby without a care. To pull on the Barbarians jersey for a match of zero consequence. For the first time since being appointed skipper against England in June, Kolisi does not face the scrutiny of 58 million South Africans. And yet, so great is the burden of office he bears that he can’t let his hair down. “It is tough, you carry the weight of the whole country,” he said. “And after the England series, I won’t lie, I was drained. My face was on every newspaper - and I’m not that kind of person. I’m shy, I keep myself to myself. “But I understand how big a deal it is. That it has given hope to kids from a similar background to me that can now say ‘we can be like that’ - people, black and white, who had … [Read more...] about Siya Kolisi ‘drained’ but proud after historic year as first black South Africa captain
If Scotland’s World Cup campaign felt like a natural changing of the guard, that feeling was strengthened on Wednesday when a second longstanding member of Gregor Townsend’s squad announced his retirement from international rugby ahead of the forthcoming Six Nations campaign. Wing Tommy Seymour hailed his “dream come true, [it’s been] an amazing journey” as he followed 76-times capped John Barclay into international retirement. Seymour spent the first nine months of his life in Nashville before heading via Dubai to Northern Ireland, where he grew up and where he represented Ireland under-19s and Ulster. But two years after joining Glasgow Warriors in 2011, Seymour – who qualified for Scotland... … [Read more...] about Scotland winger Tommy Seymour retires from international rugby