NPC (National Provincial Championship)

NZ Rugby 2021 had some Good and some Bad

In the calendar year, reports and analysis are due and with consideration of the NZ Rugby 2021 season, you would be correct in classifying it as ‘some good, some bad’. Unsettled yes. Disastrous, No. That isn’t accurate. Three losses for the national team yes – both men’s and the women’s Black Ferns disappointed. Each had […]

Former All Black Dan Carter retires as record-holding Champion

As former All Black Dan Carter retires from first-class rugby, it is as a record-holding Champion. One who played at the elite level for his entire professional career, and he leaves a legacy of near-perfection. In a career that stretched from his provincial debut for Canterbury in 2002, his years as a professional footballer lasted […]

Ranfurly Shield on the move 'again'

On the move ‘again’ the Ranfurly Shield is capturing the attention of rugby fans for not only its quick transition but also, the quality of the matches. For the third time this season alone, the Ranfurly Shield has been taken away from the holder. To the delight of rugby followers – or to the torment […]

Golden point used in 'top of the table' Mitre 10 Cup match

While a winner must usually be found in sport, for the first time in the New Zealand national provincial championship, the Golden Point rule was used in ‘top of the table’ Mitre 10 Cup match. Wellington had traveled down to challenge Canterbury. In a spirited attempt, the match ended after 80 minutes at 26-all. A […]

Tell Us - do you read the Rugby Papers?

In these modern times, the good old Rugby Papers have appeared to become a second rate option. Compared to all the ‘rugby pods’ or independent websites available today, how does the average rugby reader actually consume content these days? Here at Last Word on Rugby, we decided to ask you ‘what is your preferred option?’ […]

Flying their Provincial Colours: North v South teams

All week, the anticipation of the North v South match has been building. Player’s have been flying the colours of the province where they made their debut in first-class rugby. It is still a conversation but, the All Blacks selectors chose that criteria, and the players have accepted it. On Saturday night in Wellington, the […]

Ian Foster can find 2020 All Blacks squad from North v South clash

With the 2020 All Blacks squad coming from the participants in the North v South trial game, head coach Ian Foster will select his players comprising that group on Sunday, September 6. The rescheduled fixture has been shifted to Wellington, so that players from Auckland can attend. Covid-19 restrictions limit the possibility of fans attending […]

Postponed North v South clash dependent on Covid-19 status

The squad announcement occurred on August 18 yet no sooner had the applause quietened down, has New Zealand Rugby (NZR) had to postpone the North v South clash as the ability for the match to continue is wholly dependent on Covid-19 alert level status. With the harsher restrictions surrounding the Auckland boundaries, and with a […]

Aaron Smith: star halfback 'passes' 150 Super Rugby caps

‘Passing’ 150 Super Rugby caps will see Aaron Smith join an exclusive club. He has been a one franchise man, who is maturing into one of the best halves in the modern game. At age 31, entering his premier stage of a Domestic and International career that has been crowned by a Super Rugby title […]

Andy Haden; the Headstrong All Black

The way he played and commented on the game, is how Andy Haden should be remembered, as a headstrong, yet proud and high-quality All Black lock and senior figure within the game. Compiling over 100 tests for New Zealand, as well as 100 games for Auckland and 100 for his club Ponsonby; it makes Haden […]

2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw announced for Premiership/Championship

A revised 2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw has been announced, with a new schedule for the Premiership and Championship conferences, that starts on September 11. Across New Zealand, the 14 unions are committed to commencing the national provincial championship, as the country overcomes the Coronavirus pandemic. With Super Rugby being played, the Mitre 10 Cup […]

Covid-19 health/family focus now switches back to rugby training mode

From the intense Covid-19 personal health and family focus of the last few months, it now switches back to one of a ‘rugby training mode’ for both men and women across the rugby-globe. Moving from the life-affecting changes to society and to the state of rugby worldwide was monumental for all. One which the Coronavirus […]

Women's rugby and Schools/Clubs given green light in NZ

After an age of postponement, Women’s rugby and Schools and Clubs have been given the green light in New Zealand, to resume training ahead of a June return. The phased reintroduction of team sports across rugby union, football, and other sports like Hockey, Netball/Basketball, will see many smiling faces. Player’s have had to bide their […]

Southern hemisphere rugby

Southern Hemisphere rugby has had to endure a period of change in the last month. Not battered to the same degree as Europe has, yet wage cuts, fans and players’ seasons disrupted, and unease for what the future may hold is certainly is disarming. While still well mannered and constructive, everything has been spoken of, […]

Premiership New Zealand XV
James Barker, Editor - Apr 14, 2020

Following the selection of a Pacific Island XV of the best-imported players into the Premiership, James Barker now selects a Premiership New Zealand XV; the best Kiwis to have played in England. Premiership New Zealand XV 15. Charles Piutau – Wasps, Bristol Bears A fairly simple decision to begin with. The most highly paid player […]

Radio Sport NZ culled amid Covid-19 sport 'lockdown'

Radio Sport New Zealand (NZ) operates in an industry of content. So while health and safety are paramount, Radio Sport NZ has been culled amid the worldwide Covid-19 sport ‘lockdown’. A sign of the times, one might say. A period of self-isolation for sportspeople that has taken a victim of a different type. An organization, […]

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Around LWOS...

Final round playoff hopes hang in balance for Tier One leagues

Over two hemispheres, final round playoff hopes hang in the balance for leading Tier One nation leagues of Premiership Rugby and Super Rugby Pacific. With the leading sides all but set, it is now up to those in the fight to make the semi-finals of the 2021/22 Premiership, and complete the Top eight places in […]

La Rochelle's head coach Ronan O'Gara, celebrates with Tawera Kerr-Barlow after making the Heineken Champions Cup Final at Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Edward Munro-Martin - Dec 27, 2021

This weekend sees the biggest game in the European club rugby calendar. The Champions Cup final is finally here. Last year’s beaten finalists, La Rochelle, are back for another shot at glory. Opponents Leinster are looking to add yet another star to their jersey. In a game of such magnitude every collision could prove crucial […]

most popular rugby clubs
Connor Dickins - Dec 27, 2021

At LWOS, we have previously covered which countries have the most registered players. This got us thinking about other aspects of rugby’s popularity. At the very least, it can indicate how and where rugby flourishes. Using social media statistics, this list ranks the world’s most popular rugby clubs.Of course, social media won’t tell the whole […]

Toronto Arrows scores his first-ever try on May 19, 2022

The Toronto Arrows ended the New England Free Jacks’ 10-game-winning streak after the latest round of the Major League Rugby season. It was only the Free Jacks’ second loss of the season. The win at York Lions Stadium also put Toronto back in the MLR playoff race with only two games to go. Toronto Arrows […]

Stalling tactics in England v Argentina 7s match an 'aberration'

The visual evidence is damming yet, the recent stalling tactics in the recent England v Argentina 7s match at the Toulouse leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has tarnished each nation’s team’s strategic desires to ‘win at all costs’. Yet for all the social media beat-up, it clearly is an aberration in the […]

Indigo Group Premiership

Indigo Group Premiership transfer season is now underway as club’s start announcing retained staff before moving on to those who they are bringing in. Robert Rees brings you the destination of either incoming or outgoing Prem players. Kieran Meek The 28-year-old Pontypool centre is on the move to Newport after a strong recruitment drive from […]

Spanish Rugby RWC self-immolation
Edward Anderson - Dec 27, 2021

In what feels like a lifetime ago, LWOS began to feature Rugby Europe Qualification coverage. Team’s right across Europe had high hopes, and Spanish Rugby RWC hopes were high – that was until what can be described as self-immolation that has all but spoiled those ambitions. It cannot be overstated just how important qualifying for […]

NRL converts: Australia looking to boost chances of home RWC success
Edward Munro-Martin - Dec 27, 2021

Australia has been awarded the 2027 men’s Rugby World Cup and the women’s tournament two years later. This has kickstarted talk about whether Rugby Australia will look to a few NRL converts to boost their chances? In the past, NRL converts have had mixed success. For every Sonny Bill Williams, there is a Sam Burgess. […]