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Author Archive for Matt McILraith

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This week’s most significant game of New Zealand rugby takes place in… Japan | Matt McILraith

Post-World Cup, the country is benefitting from an influx of foreign players, including a number of former All Blacks New Zealand eyes are on Japan this weekend, for a top of the table clash between two unbeaten teams. There are All Blacks, Springboks …

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All Blacks take risk despite perception of Ian Foster as the safe option | Matt McILraith

New Zealand’s new head coach, through no fault of his own, lacks appeal among the supporter baseWe are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismIn choosing continuity by appointing Ian Foster as All …

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Muted response to vacant All Blacks position speaks volumes | Matt McILraith

An apparent lack of enthusiasm is a less than positive legacy of the last two New Zealand rugby regimesWe are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismIt is the pinnacle of coaching in New Zealand, a…

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Australia’s swoop for New Zealander Dave Rennie fails to ruffle Kiwi feathers | Matt McILraith

In contrast to when Robbie Deans took over, the Wallabies are no longer seen as a threat to the All BlacksFormer India cricket coach John Wright once memorably described coaching against his home nation New Zealand as like playing a brother in the back…

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New Zealand rugby enters new era with challenges on and off the field | Matt McILraith

The new chief executive of New Zealand Rugby has more than just the All Blacks to worry about We are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismThe conclusion of a disappointing Rugby World Cup for the…

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Sonny Bill Williams departs as he arrived: dividing opinion like no other All Black | Matt McILraith

As the curtain falls on a unique international career, the New Zealander is viewed either one of his country’s greats or an injury-prone, entitled enigma• We are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journa…

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Sonny Bill Williams departs as he arrived: dividing opinion like no other All Black | Matt McILraith

As the curtain falls on a unique international career, the New Zealander is viewed either one of his country’s greats or an injury-prone, entitled enigma• We are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journa…

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Sonny Bill Williams departs as he arrived: dividing opinion like no other All Black | Matt McILraith

As the curtain falls on a unique international career, the New Zealander is viewed either one of his country’s greats or an injury-prone, entitled enigma• We are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journa…

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Warning signs ignored as All Blacks team selection template falls short | Matt McIlraith

New Zealand paid the price for ignoring lessons that could have been learned earlier in the year • We are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismIt was appropriate that the rush defence employed by…

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England should look to past to ensure they have a Rugby World Cup future | Matt McIlraith

England head into their semi-final against New Zealand as underdogs, but they would be well served revisiting the tactics of the 2003 champions if they are to cause an upsetWe are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our …

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The making of Richie Mo’unga: the All Black good enough to learn from adversity

The playmaker who was once deemed too small to succeed is poised to upstage some of New Zealand’s all-time greatsWe are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismAs the Rugby World Cup prepares for th…

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Crusaders’ influence reaches far and wide at Rugby World Cup | Matt McIlraith

It isn’t Super Rugby but with 24 players figuring in Japan, the Canterbury club is having a big sayWe are expanding our coverage of New Zealand. Please help us by supporting our independent journalismThe New Zealand career of Willi Heinz might have end…

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The inconvenient truth that threatens All Black’s World Cup supremacy | Matt McIlraith

New Zealand’s disciplinary statistics through three Rugby World Cup cycles are revealingStatistics can tell us many things, and be interpreted in different ways, especially in the always-emotive context of international sport, but, over time, clear pat…

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Number of Kiwi coaches at World Cup prompts questions over health of global rugby | Matt McIlraith

With seven New Zealanders leading teams in Japan, the diversity of the game may not be evolving at the highest levelAs the ninth Rugby World Cup approaches, the bookmakers’ odds on a Kiwi getting his hands on the trophy at tournament’s end are small. P…

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Third time lucky for All Blacks’ unlikely hero Matt Todd | Matt McIlraith

Flanker will finally go to a Rugby World Cup where he will bring many qualities that can be so crucial at major tournamentsAll Blacks flanker Matt Todd is no stranger to the feeling of deja vu. Indeed, he could have been forgiven for fearing he would e…

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All Blacks hope Beauden Barrett gamble pays off to avoid repeat of history | Matt McILraith

Settled combinations win Rugby World Cups and last-minute changes have seldom suited the reigning world championsWednesday’s announcement of the All Blacks squad for the Rugby World Cup is unlikely to contain any surprises, but Steve Hansen still loves…