Super Rugby

kieran read
Ross Sanderson - May 19, 2021

This week has seen another legend of the game hang up his boots for good in former All Blacks captain Kieran Read. After the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Tokyo, Read retired from international rugby but has now announced his time on the pitch has officially come to an end. After a stellar career that […]

Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua granted conditional Super Rugby licences

The news that so many have been dreaming of, is that much closer. Disclosed to media on Wednesday, April 14, Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua have been granted conditional Super Rugby licences by New Zealand Rugby which could set the stage for those sides to compete in 2022. In a significant step forward for Pacific […]

Golden Point Extra Time win has vital impact for Chiefs

Notwithstanding Highlanders fans being upset, this weekend’s Super Rugby Aotearoa golden point extra-time win has vital context for the Chiefs 2021 season. By outlasting the home side in the relentless back-and-forth nature of their match in Dunedin, after the sides ended 80 minutes at 23-all, the reality of a draw in Super Rugby now has […]

NZ Rugby rumour; Scott Robertson set to sign short-term deal

In a news flash dated April 1, the relief of fans was heard right across the Canterbury plains when the Crusaders’ (based in Christchurch, New Zealand) Scott Robertson signed a Super long-term deal* ‘Timed to perfection’ the news flash was that Robertson was to settle the final key major signing of Super Rugby 2021 that […]

Coach Wayne Smith (then an assistant coach) during an All Blacks training session

To many, he is still the Professor. Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith, the mind behind much of the New Zealand teams ‘cut and thrust’ for over 17 years has returned from Japan and is refreshingly critical of the Super Rugby Aotearoa rugby style. Having been back in his native homeland for five weeks, as […]

Crusaders resting easy as 'the rest' tussle in Local Derby matches

As a couple of local derby matches took the center of attention over the weekend, the table-topping Crusaders’ side rested easy. More than easy, they have yet to ease out of summer mode actually; the early stages of Super Rugby Aotearoa have seen them feel relaxed and immediately in the zone. What zone that is, […]

Reassuring investment in Pacific Islands Super Rugby future from World Rugby

If the future of any Pacific Islands Super Rugby side(s) was in need of a secure platform. Then World Rugby has come to the rescue. In a three-point plan that is being received positively in the Southern hemisphere. The governing body has advanced a package of financial and administrative support to help facilitate two teams […]

Could fans be singing 'Blues beat Crusaders' this Sunday.... (maybe)

It is not often that Auckland fans read the statement ‘Blues beat Crusaders’ yet by Sunday evening, that might be headlining the 6pm news (maybe it could be, if the hosts defeat the visitors on March 21). While Sunday’s game is not yet a title-deciding fixture, it is the game that every fan wished they […]

All Black Sonny Bill Williams officially retires from storied rugby career
Ross Sanderson - Mar 12, 2021

This month, New Zealand All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams called time on his professional rugby playing career. Although already retired from rugby union at both club and international level, Williams announced he had played his last game in league too, officially hanging up his boots in rugby for good. In a career that spanned […]

Alastair Telfer - Mar 8, 2021

Ever since the emergence of professional rugby, the Pacific Islands have produced the highest calibre of elite athletes who, individually, have developed into top tier rugby players, Tonga, Fiji and Samoa have some of the best individual talents across both Super Rugby and European clubs. Their influence transcends the hemisphere boundaries. However, at international level […]

'Two is not enough' - Super Rugby Aotearoa thin on volume

‘Was that it?’ Blink and you can miss it as those wanting to enjoy the sport are left wanting. Two rugby games is not enough. The Super Rugby Aotearoa product is bereft of the volume and choice it once had. While the competition began to reduce voluntarily, the Coronavirus certainly took that idea and downsized […]

Siya Kolisi
Ross Sanderson - Feb 25, 2021

The curtain came down on Siya Kolisi ‘s career with South Africa’s Super Rugby side Stormers. He begins a new chapter at Durban-based side Sharks and has been officially unveiled as their player this week. After 11-years and 115 appearances, we take a look back at his sterling tenure in Cape Town. This is the […]

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 […]

Making the best of it; NZ rugby preseason XVs & 7s warm-up

Across the board, all nations have had to make the best of it. Yet for sides downunder and being somewhat isolated, the NZ rugby preseason for each of the XVs and 7s sides has had to be creative and especially reactive. Covid-19 has changed or made near impossible so many of the prearranged set preseason […]

New Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea

While humble in his self-assessment, new Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea will steel himself by having solid leadership around him, as he steps up into his new role in 2021. Savea says he is honoured to have the opportunity to lead. “This is getting out of my comfort zone, but I feel like this is a time […]

Super Rugby law variations - Super Innovative or designed to Confuse

To make it even more inventive, 2021 see’s new Super Rugby law variations that are designed to draw on many innovations that observers and fans have often invited. On trial here, they are a mix of introduced rulings and interpretations across both Super Rugby Australia and in New Zealand’s Aotearoa competitions. All approved by the […]

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The Toronto Arrows on TSN game against the New England Revolution

The Toronto Arrows on TSN is one of the newest trends happening in Canadian sports. For a new league like Major League Rugby, to find itself on the television sets of one of the two main sports channels in Canada is almost unheard of. In regards to rugby union, (The Sports Network) TSN it is […]

Springbok Rugby enforcers

Springbok rugby enforcers. South Africa has been blessed with many lock forwards who have carried that mantel. Big brutes who take no-nonsense on the field. A big part of their role is to push the boundaries of physicality. Power is a very important part of their game. Their role at scrum time is critical, providing […]

Young Scottish rugby players
Ross Sanderson - Feb 14, 2021

Last year, we listed four young Scottish rugby players that had the potential to become big names in the world of rugby and burst onto the international scene. Rufus McLean, Jamie Dobie, Ewan Ashman and Ross Thompson were the four players to look out for and, since publishing, all four had stellar campaigns last season […]

Time-wasting Wallabies Bledisloe Cup hopes dashed (yet) again

With fingers pointing at Bernard Foley and match referee Mathieu Raynal, it was a harsh end to such a sensational game – unfortunately, a match where any Wallabies Bledisloe Cup ambitions were dashed by a freekick penalty that stalled a fast-finishing Australian team in Melbourne. The game had fans on the edges of their seats. […]

Tigers' Title Defence
Elliott Butlin - Feb 14, 2021

Last Saturday saw the opening weekend of the Gallagher Premiership season, with champions Leicester Tigers’ title defence beginning with a trip to Sandy Park to take on Exeter Chiefs. The fixture saw the Tigers go down to a 24-20 defeat, with the Chiefs winning with the clock in the red. So what can we make […]

Fresh start for Glasgow Warriors 2022/23 United Rugby Championship
Ross Sanderson - Feb 14, 2021

The Glasgow Warriors 2022/23 squad will be the ones to get the United Rugby Championship new season underway, as they travel to Treviso to face Benetton in round one on Friday night. They will be hoping that a positive result in Italy will be the good start they need this year, to have a strong […]

Gallagher Premiership
David Jones - Feb 14, 2021

This weekend saw the first round of fixtures in the Gallagher Premiership kick-off. This is obviously a welcome change from the off-season. Financial trouble and the slimming down of playing squads to accommodate a smaller salary cap. These issues paint a different picture to the excitement being produced on the pitch. With the uncertainty around […]

The Rugby Queen of our Hearts

In the most humble and respectful tone, Last Word on Rugby wishes to recognize and to honour the passing of the Monarch. A woman who some would see as the ‘Rugby Queen of our Hearts’. In doing this, firstly a reflection on the Queen who was to the majority, a constant leader and figurehead of […]