Weekend Round Up

Weekend Round Up

Sekope Kepu to retire from International Rugby at the end of 2019


Wallabies veteran Sekope Kepu has today announced he will retire from international rugby at the end of 2019 following the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Kepu became just the ninth Australian Test centurion when he played New Zealand in Yokohama last year, and the first-ever Australian prop to bring up the milestone. Full story

Referee Rebecca Mahoney set to achieve another historic first

Referee Rebecca Mahoney. Photosport
Rebecca Mahoney will become the first female to referee in New Zealand’s premier domestic rugby competition when she officiates the Mitre 10 Cup match between Hawke’s Bay and Southland this Friday.  
The former Black Fern continues to break new ground for female referees after last year’s Mitre 10 Heartland Championship appointment and this season’s Otago versus North Otago Ranfurly Shield clash.
Josh Ioane joins All Blacks in Hamilton

The All Blacks have confirmed that Josh Ioane has joined the side in Hamilton as the team prepares for this weekend’s Test against Tonga.

Ioane was named in the All Blacks’ 39-man squad for the Rugby Championship, and was named on the bench in their season-opener against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Tonga name squad for Rugby World Cup


Players from clubs in England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, USA and Tongan based players will come together to represent Tonga Rugby.

Captained by Siale Piutau, Tonga will face England, Argentina, France and the USA in the battle of Pool C.

Wales depth proves Grand Slam champs can win Rugby World Cup, says Gatland

Warren Gatland believes the quality of the players he has left out of his Wales squad shows they have the strength in depth to win the Rugby World Cup.

Gatland announced his final 31-man selection on Sunday, with Rob Evans and Samson Lee missing out while Rhys Patchell was preferred to Jarrod Evans.

The Wales coach had revealed on the eve of the squad announcement that six positions were still "up for debate" and, on Sunday, acknowledged the difficulty of the decisions he had to make. Read more

Aaron Cruden in line for shock return to Super Rugby

Former All Blacks and Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden is in line for a shock return to the Chiefs for next year's Super Rugby season.


The 30-year-old will finish his stint at French club Montpellier later this year and is set to join Japanese Top League club Kobe Kobelco Steelers after that, however Stuff.co.nz has reported that he has a window of free time before that deal commences and that the Chiefs are in advanced negotiations to have him in their squad for 2020. Full story



Legion sign Hurricanes prop Chris Eves




The San Diego Legion have added vastly experienced New Zealander Chris Eves to their front row ranks for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. He arrives as a direct replacement for the departing Paddy Ryan, who will return to Japan to play for the Sanix Blues in the Top League following the World Cup.



Bayonne brought back down to earth by Clermont




Bayonne could not follow up their opening-day win over Racing 92 with another Top 14 victory despite an outstanding first half at home to Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

The newly promoted side had announced themselves back in the top flight with an impressive maiden triumph and it initially appeared as though they would make it two from two this week.

However, Clermont, last season's runners up, rallied to win 34-30. Read more

NRC wrap: Thrilling draw, gritty fightbacks highlight opening round of competition

A thrilling draw, amazing fightbacks and glimpses of stars of the future - the opening round of the NRC had something for everyone as the Super Saturday quadruple-header played out across the country.

NSW Country burst out of the blocks to start a scoring spree in the opening match that ended with almost 100 points notched up in Perth in an entertaining round of competition which showcased many of the best young stars of the sport.

Fresh from their success at the World Rugby U20 championships in Argentina earlier this year, many of the Junior Wallabies showed signs they are set to emerge as stars of the open ranks, with Canberra's Noah Lolesio, Brisbane City's Isaac Lucas and Queensland Country's Harry Wilson among the stars of the opening round.

Full Wrap

Hutchinson double gives Townsend's men rare away win




Wales 17-22 Ireland: Stockdale at the double in improved Irish display

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