New Zealand RU

New Zealand slideshow

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen before the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey - 27/10/15 Sam Whitelock of New Zealand during a press conference Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne
New Zealand Press Conference
Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey - 27/10/15 Sam Whitelock of New Zealand during a press conference Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne
New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence. Wellington is seeking to establish a joint team from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga that would join the Super Rugby club competition, which is contested by 15 teams from southern hemisphere nations and Japan. The involvement of a new Pacific islands team - called Pacific Force - is being seen as a potential catalyst for development in the region at a time when China is seeking to gain a foothold through massive investment. "Part of the plan is that rugby can be a diplomatic force to counter China's influence in the Pacific," said New Zealand media outlet Newshub, who first reported the plan. "The idea is that rugby will help keep hearts and minds away from China, which is saturating the region with money to obtain influence." New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters earlier this year expressed "strategic anxiety" over the Pacific. Beijing is being seen as using its economic muscle to gain influence in South Pacific countries. Australia's Lowy Institute estimates China provided US$1.78 billion in aid, including concessional loans, to Pacific nations between 2006-16. Samoa's lock and captain Chris Vui is tackled during the autumn international rugby union test match between Scotland and Samoa at Murrayfield stadium Credit: AFP China has built a presidential palace and government buildings in East Timor and invested heavily in Vanuatu, a tiny island 1,200 miles north-east from Brisbane where reports last month suggested Beijing was eyeing a military base. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said officials had commissioned an NZ$80,000 (£41,000) report into a Pacific Island Super Rugby franchise. The spokeswoman said: "The establishment of a regional fully professional rugby team in the Pacific Islands has the potential to deliver economic and social benefits to individual players, their families and communities, Pacific Island national rugby unions and teams, and to Pacific Island economies." Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are long-established rugby nations, but players often opt to play for foreign teams at an early stage in their careers. A strong home-based team would help keep star players within the islands, and boost the development of the sport and wider investment. Super Rugby officials are currently exploring plans to restructure the competition from 2021 to 2030. There is speculation that South African teams might opt to join European rugby sides in alternative competitions.
New Zealand deploys ‘rugby diplomacy’ amid scrum with China over Pacific islands
New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence. Wellington is seeking to establish a joint team from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga that would join the Super Rugby club competition, which is contested by 15 teams from southern hemisphere nations and Japan. The involvement of a new Pacific islands team - called Pacific Force - is being seen as a potential catalyst for development in the region at a time when China is seeking to gain a foothold through massive investment. "Part of the plan is that rugby can be a diplomatic force to counter China's influence in the Pacific," said New Zealand media outlet Newshub, who first reported the plan. "The idea is that rugby will help keep hearts and minds away from China, which is saturating the region with money to obtain influence." New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters earlier this year expressed "strategic anxiety" over the Pacific. Beijing is being seen as using its economic muscle to gain influence in South Pacific countries. Australia's Lowy Institute estimates China provided US$1.78 billion in aid, including concessional loans, to Pacific nations between 2006-16. Samoa's lock and captain Chris Vui is tackled during the autumn international rugby union test match between Scotland and Samoa at Murrayfield stadium Credit: AFP China has built a presidential palace and government buildings in East Timor and invested heavily in Vanuatu, a tiny island 1,200 miles north-east from Brisbane where reports last month suggested Beijing was eyeing a military base. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said officials had commissioned an NZ$80,000 (£41,000) report into a Pacific Island Super Rugby franchise. The spokeswoman said: "The establishment of a regional fully professional rugby team in the Pacific Islands has the potential to deliver economic and social benefits to individual players, their families and communities, Pacific Island national rugby unions and teams, and to Pacific Island economies." Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are long-established rugby nations, but players often opt to play for foreign teams at an early stage in their careers. A strong home-based team would help keep star players within the islands, and boost the development of the sport and wider investment. Super Rugby officials are currently exploring plans to restructure the competition from 2021 to 2030. There is speculation that South African teams might opt to join European rugby sides in alternative competitions.
New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence. Wellington is seeking to establish a joint team from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga that would join the Super Rugby club competition, which is contested by 15 teams from southern hemisphere nations and Japan. The involvement of a new Pacific islands team - called Pacific Force - is being seen as a potential catalyst for development in the region at a time when China is seeking to gain a foothold through massive investment. "Part of the plan is that rugby can be a diplomatic force to counter China's influence in the Pacific," said New Zealand media outlet Newshub, who first reported the plan. "The idea is that rugby will help keep hearts and minds away from China, which is saturating the region with money to obtain influence." New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters earlier this year expressed "strategic anxiety" over the Pacific. Beijing is being seen as using its economic muscle to gain influence in South Pacific countries. Australia's Lowy Institute estimates China provided US$1.78 billion in aid, including concessional loans, to Pacific nations between 2006-16. Samoa's lock and captain Chris Vui is tackled during the autumn international rugby union test match between Scotland and Samoa at Murrayfield stadium Credit: AFP China has built a presidential palace and government buildings in East Timor and invested heavily in Vanuatu, a tiny island 1,200 miles north-east from Brisbane where reports last month suggested Beijing was eyeing a military base. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said officials had commissioned an NZ$80,000 (£41,000) report into a Pacific Island Super Rugby franchise. The spokeswoman said: "The establishment of a regional fully professional rugby team in the Pacific Islands has the potential to deliver economic and social benefits to individual players, their families and communities, Pacific Island national rugby unions and teams, and to Pacific Island economies." Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are long-established rugby nations, but players often opt to play for foreign teams at an early stage in their careers. A strong home-based team would help keep star players within the islands, and boost the development of the sport and wider investment. Super Rugby officials are currently exploring plans to restructure the competition from 2021 to 2030. There is speculation that South African teams might opt to join European rugby sides in alternative competitions.
New Zealand deploys ‘rugby diplomacy’ amid scrum with China over Pacific islands
New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence. Wellington is seeking to establish a joint team from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga that would join the Super Rugby club competition, which is contested by 15 teams from southern hemisphere nations and Japan. The involvement of a new Pacific islands team - called Pacific Force - is being seen as a potential catalyst for development in the region at a time when China is seeking to gain a foothold through massive investment. "Part of the plan is that rugby can be a diplomatic force to counter China's influence in the Pacific," said New Zealand media outlet Newshub, who first reported the plan. "The idea is that rugby will help keep hearts and minds away from China, which is saturating the region with money to obtain influence." New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters earlier this year expressed "strategic anxiety" over the Pacific. Beijing is being seen as using its economic muscle to gain influence in South Pacific countries. Australia's Lowy Institute estimates China provided US$1.78 billion in aid, including concessional loans, to Pacific nations between 2006-16. Samoa's lock and captain Chris Vui is tackled during the autumn international rugby union test match between Scotland and Samoa at Murrayfield stadium Credit: AFP China has built a presidential palace and government buildings in East Timor and invested heavily in Vanuatu, a tiny island 1,200 miles north-east from Brisbane where reports last month suggested Beijing was eyeing a military base. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said officials had commissioned an NZ$80,000 (£41,000) report into a Pacific Island Super Rugby franchise. The spokeswoman said: "The establishment of a regional fully professional rugby team in the Pacific Islands has the potential to deliver economic and social benefits to individual players, their families and communities, Pacific Island national rugby unions and teams, and to Pacific Island economies." Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are long-established rugby nations, but players often opt to play for foreign teams at an early stage in their careers. A strong home-based team would help keep star players within the islands, and boost the development of the sport and wider investment. Super Rugby officials are currently exploring plans to restructure the competition from 2021 to 2030. There is speculation that South African teams might opt to join European rugby sides in alternative competitions.
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey - 22/10/15 New Zealand's Joe Moody during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic
New Zealand Press Conference
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey - 22/10/15 New Zealand's Joe Moody during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs New Zealand - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - November 18, 2017 New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs New Zealand
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Scotland vs New Zealand - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - November 18, 2017 New Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Swansea RFC, Wales - 15/10/15 New Zealand's Dane Coles during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
New Zealand Press Conference
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Swansea RFC, Wales - 15/10/15 New Zealand's Dane Coles during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Swansea RFC, Wales - 15/10/15 New Zealand's Dane Coles during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
New Zealand Press Conference
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Press Conference - Swansea RFC, Wales - 15/10/15 New Zealand's Dane Coles during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Training - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey - 27/10/15 Liam Messam of New Zealand during training Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Training
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Training - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey - 27/10/15 Liam Messam of New Zealand during training Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
New Zealand's Israel. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
Rugby Union - Championship - New Zealand All Blacks vs Argentina Pumas
New Zealand's Israel. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
Rugby Union - Championship - New Zealand All Blacks vs South Africa Springboks - Auckland, New Zealand - September 16, 2017 New Zealand's Lima Sopoaga reacts after scoring a try. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
Rugby Union - Championship - New Zealand All Blacks vs South Africa Springboks - Auckland, New Zealand
Rugby Union - Championship - New Zealand All Blacks vs South Africa Springboks - Auckland, New Zealand - September 16, 2017 New Zealand's Lima Sopoaga reacts after scoring a try. REUTERS/Nigel Marple
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Captains Run - Surenois Rugby Club, Suresnes, France - November 10, 2017 New Zealand's Kieran Read during the captains run REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
New Zealand Captains Run
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - New Zealand Captains Run - Surenois Rugby Club, Suresnes, France - November 10, 2017 New Zealand's Kieran Read during the captains run REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 20/8/16Australia's fullback Israel Folau throws away his wrist tape before the end of the match. REUTERS/Jason Reed Picture Supplied by Action Images
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 20/8/16Australia's fullback Israel Folau throws away his wrist tape before the end of the match. REUTERS/Jason Reed Picture Supplied by Action Images
<p>Steaming scrum: The British & Irish Lions and Maori All Blacks engage during a match at Rotorua International Stadium in Rotorua, New Zealand, June 17, 2017.<br>All players in the Maori All Blacks must have a confirmed Maori whakapapa, or genealogy. The British & Irish Lions is a composite squad formed every year by players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, selected by the coach who oversees the tour. The squad tours every four years through one of the southern hemisphere’s big three rugby union nations: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Rotorua match was played in wet conditions and ended with a 10-32 win for the Lions. (Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SportsFile) </p>
Sports, second prize singles: Stephen McCarthy, Ireland

Steaming scrum: The British & Irish Lions and Maori All Blacks engage during a match at Rotorua International Stadium in Rotorua, New Zealand, June 17, 2017.
All players in the Maori All Blacks must have a confirmed Maori whakapapa, or genealogy. The British & Irish Lions is a composite squad formed every year by players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, selected by the coach who oversees the tour. The squad tours every four years through one of the southern hemisphere’s big three rugby union nations: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Rotorua match was played in wet conditions and ended with a 10-32 win for the Lions. (Photo: Stephen McCarthy/SportsFile)

Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand
Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - France vs New Zealand - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 11, 2017 New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia&#39;s Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 20/8/16Australia&#39;s fullback Israel Folau throws away his wrist tape before the end of the match. REUTERS/Jason Reed Picture Supplied by Action Images
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 20/8/16Australia's fullback Israel Folau throws away his wrist tape before the end of the match. REUTERS/Jason Reed Picture Supplied by Action Images
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand&#39;s Amanaki Nicole runs with the ball. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand's Amanaki Nicole runs with the ball. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand&#39;s Tone Ng Shiu is tackled by Kenya&#39;s Jeffrey Oluoch. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand's Tone Ng Shiu is tackled by Kenya's Jeffrey Oluoch. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand&#39;s Jordan Bunce is tackled. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand's Jordan Bunce is tackled. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand&#39;s Rocky Khan is tackled by Kenya&#39;s Oscar Ouma. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - New Zealand's Rocky Khan is tackled by Kenya's Oscar Ouma. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - Kenya&#39;s Jeffrey Oluoch is tackled by New Zealand&#39;s Jona Nareki. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - Kenya's Jeffrey Oluoch is tackled by New Zealand's Jona Nareki. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - Kenya&#39;s Willy Ambaka reaches for the ball. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Rugby Union - World Rugby Sevens Series
Rugby Union - Kenya v New Zealand - World Rugby Sevens Series - Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong, China - April 8, 2018 - Kenya's Willy Ambaka reaches for the ball. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Australia&#39;s fullback Israel Folau. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australia Rugby Union - Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney
Australia's fullback Israel Folau. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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