'The Barrett boys are keen cricketers' – former NZ cricket rep Kieran Read hints at possible team for cross-code T20 clash

All Blacks captain Kieran Read is lining up a plethora of stars for his rugby XI, set to take the field in a charity T20 cricket clash in January next year.

After the match, scheduled for Christchurch on January 25, was confirmed earlier today, Read fronted media, discussing his side - to be coached by Sir Graham Henry.

Read, who played youth cricket for New Zealand under-17s, couldn't help but drop the names of several keen cricketers from within the rugby fraternity, looking to unleash a number of stars against the likes of Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum.

"The Barrett boys are keen cricketers, Israel Dagg, the likes of Andy Ellis who played to a high level as well," Read said.

"Probably the biggest thing for us rugby players is that (we've) potentially put on a few extra KGs from when we did play cricket.

"Getting our arms over, and swinging a cricket bat at the speed we need to is probably going to be the big challenge.

"It's going to be a big summer for us."

Read also spoke about the prospect of playing under Sir Graham Henry, having been regularly in touch with his old boss in recent time.

"As soon as I found out I was going to captain the side, Ted (Sir Graham) hasn't stopped ringing me and texting me."

"I've been trying to prepare for the last two weeks, and he only wants to talk about cricket games.

"He's looking forward to it, we can't wait."

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

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 / www.Photosport.nz
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