NPC (National Provincial Championship)

Richie Mo'unga Japanese contract post-RWC

An announcement that the Richie Mo’unga Japanese contract post-RWC is a lifestyle change, as much as an opportunity to maximize earning potential now, is a valuable revelation. It means that the conclusion of the Crusaders Super Rugby Pacific season is likely his last for the red and blacks. Completing 2023, Richie Mo’unga will have accrued […]

Aaron Smith provides Dichotomy on professional sport with All Blacks unavailability

100-test All Black Aaron Smith has provided a unique Dichotomy of this professional rugby player today with his All Blacks unavailability choice, by choosing family ahead of a three-month odyssey overseas. Unique, as is his choice to not only stay home for the birth of his second child that was put ahead of his contractual […]

2021 Bunnings NPC to revitalize Provincial Rugby

Rebranding it the 2021 Bunnings NPC (renamed from the Mitre 10 Cup) will help to revitalize Provincial Rugby this season in New Zealand. That is not due to any new trial laws, or some variation of the format – it is just the most logical reason. The NPC (National Provincial Union) is the traditional analogy […]

Sir Wayne Shelford celebrated for his ongoing services to Rugby & Community

The famed former All Blacks captain and community advocate Buck Shelford is now celebrated as Sir Wayne Shelford, in the 2021 New Zealand Queens birthday honours list. Honoured for what he contributed on the field for his beloved Navy club, North Harbour rugby, and the grassroots game, as well for all the work Shelford continues […]

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 […]

Last minute victories can sometimes be ‘heart stopping’ for fans and supporters. For North Harbour (Harbour) followers, they had to wait until the 79th minute before Bryn Gatland secured the 2016 Championship victory with a drop goal. Winning this clutch result 14-17 is both a credit to the team, but also a great exhibition for […]

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 […]

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National Rugby League

Ever found yourself in a chat with a rugby-mad buddy, only to be baffled by the lingo and the rules? Let’s start unscrambling that confusion by diving into the world of the National Rugby League (NRL) – the premier global competition in Rugby League.

Welsh Rugby Union head coach Warren Gatland looks on with pride after the Wales Grand Slam Celebration
Thomas Booth - Jun 7, 2020

Warren Gatland has had his say on the Rugby World Cup in France in his recent UK Daily Telegraph article. Wales failed to progress beyond the last eight not because they were outfought and outthought. Rather that there is something wrong with the rules of the game, and how it is played at the highest […]

Rugby Heroes and Villains of 2023; Scotland

In a look back, Last Word on Rugby views the Rugby Heroes and Villains for 2023. Not focused entirely on one or the other – balanced in as how the sport of rugby union is a team-based game; as much as for individuals who can shine or be villainised for their contributions. Over the last […]

Rugby Canada women's team player, Fancy Bermudez, celebrates try against France

The 2023 Rugby Canada women’s team might be seen as one of the best years in the national team’s history. There were many highlights for the national team, including playing the Pacific Four Series in the nation’s capital in the summer. 2023 Rugby Canada women’s team: Finished second in the WXV 1 competition Strengths Players […]

Your Favourite Rugby Players' Most Interesting Hobbies
Ricky Carroll, Editor - Jun 7, 2020

Rugby League players are a talented and fearless bunch, so it only stands to reason that amongst them are some unusual hobbies. If you’ve ever wondered what some of the most exciting rugby league players in the world get up to in their spare time, or get up to now that they’ve retired, then we’ve […]

Jean-Bouin, home of the Stace Stade Français vs Leicester game on Sunday

The Champions Cup game of the Stade Français vs Leicester game will take place on Sunday at 12:30 PM ET. This will be the first group-stage game for Stade Français Paris after the Leicester Tigers won on December 10 against the Stormers. While Stade Français lost on the road against the Sale Sharks, it will […]

Marcus Smith, of the Harlequins F.C., playing against Racing 92
Charlie Inglefield - Jun 7, 2020

The two most impressive teams this past week in European Professional Rugby Club (EPRC) competition were perhaps the Harlequin F.C. and the Exeter Chiefs. And in those games, Marcus Smith and Will Joseph were superb in Harlequins’ scintillating win over Racing 92 in Paris. On Saturday afternoon, the Chiefs were equally impressive in downing mighty […]

Paris Stade Jean-Bouin, one of the 14 home venues for the Top14 Round Nine Games
Larissa Falls - Jun 7, 2020

If you love a stat or fact, then you’ve come to the right place! After the French Top14 Round Nine concludes, LWOS adds to your weekend’s enjoyment. 14 Fun Facts of Top14 Round Nine Larissa Falls continues her series breaking down the names and numbers from Round Nine of the French Top14. Après un énorme combat, […]