All Blacks, Black Caps legends to clash in exhibition T20 bonanza

Two teams of rugby and cricketing stars will face each other in an exhibition T20 clash in Christchurch, pitting some of each code's biggest names against one another.

The event, conceived by former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming, and Duco Events boss David Higgins, will take place at Hagley Oval on January 25, seeing some New Zealand sporting legends clash on the field.

With team cricket to be led by Fleming, team rugby will be spearheaded by Rugby World Cup winning coach, Sir Graham Henry.

The star power doesn't end there though for team cricket with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Grant Elliot and Luke Ronchi among those to appear.

Team rugby on the other hand will boast current All Blacks captain Kieran Read, and Crusaders coach, Scott Robertson.

Despite a perception of team rugby being out of their depths, Sir Graham said he's looking forward to the challenge.

"Some people will no doubt wonder what a bunch of rugby players are thinking in taking on the likes of Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum at their own game," Sir Graham said.

A NZ rugby XI will face off against a cricket XI in Christchurch early next year. Source: 1 NEWS

"But let me tell you, there is no shortage of cricketing talent in the ranks of Team Rugby. I can't give too much away, but I can say the team I'm assembling will be more than capable of holding its own on the cricket field. Make no mistake, we're out to win this thing."

Fleming also said that his side have all to play for, not wanting to lose at their own game.

"We're putting our reputations on the line here," Fleming said.

"We know just how good the likes of Kieran and his rugby mates are at cricket. They're exceptional athletes and many of them could have been international cricketers had they chosen another path. So we're on high alert, that's for sure."

The event will help raise funds for the respective players' associations for rugby and cricket respectively.

Kieran Read(c) of New Zealand after the Rugby Championship, South Africa v New Zealand All Blacks at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa. 7 October 2017. Copyright Image: Christiaan Kotze /
Kieran Read(c) of New Zealand after the Rugby Championship, South Africa v New Zealand All Blacks at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa. 7 October 2017. Source: Photosport

Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup tickets to go on sale, All Blacks fans urged to get in quick

All Blacks fans are urged to get in quick if they are to secure seats at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with officials warning tickets will sell out fast one year out from the tournament.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. New Zealand All Blacks v Australia Wallabies, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Saturday 31 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga /
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. Source: Photosport

Half a million tickets have already been pre-sold with tickets set to be open for sale to the public at 1pm today (NZ time).

Head of the Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin believes there will be an "unprecedented demand" for tickets which involves the home team, Japan's Brave Blossoms and the top tier nations.

"All the matches involving Japan, definitely all the matches involving New Zealand... England, Australia are experiencing high demand and we would expect they will be sold out very quickly," said Gilpin.

The All Blacks begin their title defence against the Springboks in Yokohama, the evening after the tournament opener between Japan and Russia in Tokyo on September 20, 2019.

Adult ticket prices are expected to range from ¥10,000 - ¥40,000 (NZD $136-$544) while tickets to the final on November 2 to cost anywhere between ¥25,000 - ¥100,000 (NZD $340-$1361).

"When you bring Rugby World Cup to a place like Japan, you hope that people will get behind it and the demand will be there – and it really has been," said Gilpin.

"It's a fantastic story for the event and a good message of confidence for the organising committee."


John Mitchell leaves Bulls for defence coach role with England under Eddie Jones - report

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has reportedly finalised a deal to join Eddie Jones as England's new defence coach.

ON THE MOVE: John Mitchell

South African newspaper Die Burger reports Mitchell has been released from his Super Rugby head coaching role at the Bulls after the Rugby Football Union agreed to pay a transfer fee.

The fee reportedly sat between NZ$300,000 and $450,000.

Mitchell will now assist Jones as the team looks to turn around their recent form in time for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Former Springboks captain Victor Matfield, who played 140 matches for the Bulls, has been rumoured as a possible replacement for Mitchell.

Under Mitchell, the Bulls finished 12th in this year's competition after losing 10 of their 16 games.



'This is bigger than boxing' – SBW motivated by charity ahead of next fight

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams says his next jaunt into the boxing ring is all about charity, rather than his reputation within the sport.

Williams, 33, will fight Australian reality TV star Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy in Sydney on December 1, with all funds raised to go aid homeless in Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking to media in Auckland today, Williams revealed his motivation for the bout.

"This is bigger than boxing," he began.

"I'm just humbled by Stu and Max (Markson, promoter) coming to me and asking if I want to be a part of it.

"Understanding that Bill Crews (of the Exodus Foundation) and the Auckland City Mission have big parts to play in that, that's what we're trying to do and raise funds for."

The All Blacks star will face Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy on December 1. Source: 1 NEWS

'He really rates himself as a boxer' - SBW reveals Dane Coles wants trainer role for charity fight

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has joked that teammate Dane Coles could act as his trainer for December's upcoming charity fight, with the hooker rating himself as a fighting prodigy.

Williams, 33, will take on Australian reality TV star Stu "The Bachelor" Laundy on December 1, raising funds for both the Auckland City Mission, and the Exodus Foundation.

Speaking to 1 NEWS at this morning's media conference in Auckland, Williams spoke of Coles' influence on his return to the ring.

"I sit next to him on the bus, and he's already talking so much," he began.

"He's telling me the fight plan, he really rates himself as a boxer.

"Maybe we can get him on the card."

The All Blacks hooker is looking to mentor his star teammate for December's bout. Source: 1 NEWS