There are rising concerns over the workload of the New Zealand side. Players from the Crusaders and Hurricanes would be meeting in opposite sides when both sides meet for their Super Rugby fixture. After the tied Test series outcome against the Lions, the All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen would be watching the game to know which players to rest before the quarter final match at Wespac Stadium.

Crusaders players Sam Whitelock and Kieran Read require careful management in the following weeks, considering their recent schedule. Hooker Codie Taylor played all three Tests as Dane Coles was absent. Israel Dagg, Owen Franks, Joe Moody also need to be closely monitored after efforts against the Lions. (more…)


The Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) boss Ross Xenos has hit out at the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) for making an enemy of almost everyone with the move to determine which team it can remove legally in disenfranchising plans.

Xenos condemned the plans of overly cutting cost, saying it does not bode well for the game. (more…)

New Zealand Brings In Hudson

New Zealand have brought in Anthony Hudson has the new permanent manager to replace Ricki Herbert, who was relieved of his duties several months ago. New Zealand football Association has been considering offers from several managers across the world for their vacant managerial position. It has so far been taken care of by former assistant boss Neil Emblen. However, it was revealed a few months ago that Neil Emblen would not become a permanent manager despite having been one of those to register an official interest.

This decision appears to have been taken because of the poor results that the national team has had under Neil Emblen as the interim coach. Hudson was previously linked with the vacant managerial position at Bahrain, but he has chosen to join New Zealand. The All Whites are ranked 105 in the world, but they are one of the few teams with this ranking that can dream of a World Cup spot. The lack of much competition from the oceanic region means that New Zealand could be seen at the World Cup 2018.

They have qualified for the 1982 and 2010 World Cup. They will be keen on repeating the feat once again and the World Cup qualifiers will begin shortly.

“I want to go to the World Cup. I want to make history with the All Whites by going further than we’ve ever gone, and I want to do it in a certain way. We need to be showing up to training and how we work every day with one thing on our mind, and that’s to make history; to improve football in the country and make people happy,” said Hudson after taking in charge. Since the 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in September 2013, New Zealand are without a victory in all competitions.

Lewandowski Completes Transfer To Bayern Munich

Poland international Robert Lewandowski completed his much awaited transfer from Borussia Dortmund networks rivals Bayern Munich. At his unveiling, he stated that his main ambition is to win a lot of titles at his new club. Bayern will certainly provide a lot of opportunities to do so especially since they have won at least two trophies every season in the last few years. Lewandowski will be replacing Mario Mandzukic, who has joined Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed transfer fee. Lewandowski will be one of the highest earners in this Bayern Munich team.

Since he was available on a free transfer, he is thought to have agreed a $75 million/five-year contract that makes him one of the best paid players in the world. At 26 years of age, he has a lot to offer for the Bayern Munich team. He scored more than 100 goals during his four-year spell at Dortmund. He joined Dortmund for a fee believed to be in the region of €4.5 million. He comes into the Bayern Munich team as one of the top strikers in two world. He would also fit well into the Bayern Munich’s passing system, which was seen as one of the reasons for Mandzukic leaving the club.

“It was time to take the next step. I knew that Bayern Munich are of the level where I can be an even better player and win even more titles. I feel really good. I have had a great break and I am certainly raring to go. I am starting a new chapter,” said Lewandowski. Bayern started the new campaign is overwhelming favourites to once again win the league title. After a few years of domination from Dortmund, Bayern have now won back-to-back league titles. Guardiola will also be looking to challenge for the Champions League.


There is a lot of frustration amongst the South African fans after their team recently lost 5-0 at the hands of Brazil. Even though they were taking on the five-time world champions, South Africa were not expected to receive such a hiding in front of the home supporters. They have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on New Zealand in a friendly that was only recently announced by New Zealand national team coach Neil Emblen. Emblen, who has been appointed as the interim manager until a permanent solution is found, will once again be leading the players for this match.

Emblen has been in charge of national team after he succeeded Ricki Herbert, who was the star of the World Cup 2010, following the national team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup 2014. The friendly match will be taking place just a few days before the start of the World Cup. This will be a great preparation for New Zealand, as they target to make an appearance in the World Cup for the 2018 season. The qualification round begins on September and Emblen has already laid down his target.

Emblen has been trying to revolutionise the national team during his unexpected short spell in charge of the team. He has been naming very youthful looking squads for the recent friendly matches.

“Given the nature of our situation with players now based all over the globe, it’s imperative we take every opportunity to bring the group together. A game in Auckland against strong opposition in South Africa – a country with which we enjoy a strong and competitive sporting relationship – ticks a number of important boxes for us on and off the field,” said the coach of New Zealand, whose team are without a win in the last six matches.


New Zealand will be taking on Japan in a friendly match at Tokyo tonight. Ahead of the match, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Neil Emblen, as he has been appointed only for this match. He has been the assistant manager of former coach Ricki Herbert for the last three years during which time the national team achieved immense success. Hence, there is pressure on Emblen to at least preserve this status when New Zealand take on one of the World Cup qualified teams – Japan – in a friendly match.

Emblen has named a youthful looking squad for this encounter with a number of players around the ages of 19 and 20. Ryan Thomas and Tyler Boyd are one of the high-profile inclusions under the decision by the manager to introduce new players to the national team squad. However, Emblen is aware that he will be able to retain his job only with a good performance against Japan. The team has been on a poor run of form in the last five matches. Since they have failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014, it is imperative that the nation are in the best of shape prior to the start of qualification for the next World Cup, which is expected to take place in Russia.

“We’ll be certainly looking to show a brave possession-based brand of football. It’s not like we’re bringing in players that don’t deserve to be involved, but yes some of the older guys have now been overlooked for this game, a couple of players unavailable,” said Emblen regarding the upcoming match against Japan. Senior players like Marco Rojas, Tommy Smith, and Winston Reid are unavailable for this match due to several reasons. Smith, for example, has chosen to remain with Ipswich Town for this international break.


New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss has stated that he will be extremely happy to captain the team when they take on Japan next month. This will be the first match for new New Zealand manager Neil Emblen, who was appointed on an interim basis recently. He takes over from Ricki Herbert and it will be a huge task to overcome the achievements of the former coach. Herbert managed to lead New Zealand to their first appearance in a World Cup in the 2010 edition. The team did exceedingly well during this tournament, but have suffered since then.

Herbert left the role as the New Zealand manager after the team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Emblen has stated that the path to qualify for the next edition, which will take place in Russia, begins with this match. However, he will be without important players like Tommy Smith and Winston Reid. In their absence, Moss is expected to captain the team. The goalkeeper, who is regarded as the Peter Shilton of this region, says that it will be an honour to lead the team. Japan are currently 48th in the latest FIFA rankings, while New Zealand are 91st.

Despite this gap, the goalkeeper is confident that New Zealand will be able to make an impact in this match.

“It was a pretty surreal moment when Embers told me I’d be captain for the match. I was already excited about the game and looking forward to getting into camp and now I’ve been made captain, it’s raised that feeling up a notch. It’s a pretty proud moment for me. Embers and I have known each other for a while now and I’ve also been in the set-up for a while now too going back to 2005,” said the goalkeeper about the possibility of captaining the team.


New Zealand were the surprise team to be present at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but it looks like they will not make it to the 2014 edition. They suffered a 5-1 defeat against Mexico in the first leg of the intercontinental play-offs. This result means that New Zealand must score four goals away from home and should also not concede. It is looking highly unlikely after Mexico recently appointed a new manager. The World Cup 2014 qualification campaign, thus, is looking to come to an end for New Zealand.

This will also bring an end to Ricki Herbert’s time as the national team manager. It has been a great time for New Zealand with Herbert as the main man. He has been able to astonish the world with some incredible tactical displays, which helped New Zealand get a surprise result against Spain in the last World Cup. The defensive organisation of New Zealand was highly praised, but it was not up to standard against Mexico. Herbert has been in charge of the national team since 2005, but it is now known that he will step down from his role after the second leg match.

“Ricki assumed control of the All Whites at a point of instability for our men’s national team. From the moment he stepped into the coaching role he began building and shaping a team which became one of the best sides we’ve ever had at a time when competition, in what is a truly global sport, has never been tougher. The impact Ricki has had on football in New Zealand is immense and it is testament to the fantastic job he has done,” said Hattum.

New Zealand’s FA chairman Frank van Hattum has confirmed that Herbert will not be forgotten for his exploits with the national team.