All Blacks legend Sir Bryan Williams honoured at Eden Park after knighthood

All Blacks legend Sir Bryan Williams drew quite a crowd this afternoon as New Zealand rugby greats and fans gathered to celebrate his knighthood at Eden Park in Auckland.

Sir Bryan was officially knighted a week ago and a lunch was organised by the NZ Rugby Barbarians of which he's a patron.

"Any excuse is good enough for a party isn't it?" asked Sir Bryan.

Former All Blacks coach Sir Graham Henry was in attendance and said the former All Blacks winger has been a huge influence in rugby in New Zealand.

"If anybody has done more for rugby in this country than BeeGee, I don't know who that is," said Sir Graham.

Sir Bryan's former All Blacks teammate Stu Wilson said he had fond memories learning off him.

"You just soaked it up from him aye, you know that's why I always wanted to go and sit with him for breakfast lunch and dinner and just keep probing you know," said Wilson.

Sir Bryan played 38 Tests for the All Blacks between 1970-78.

A lunch was organised at the Auckland stadium by the NZ Rugby Barbarians. Source: 1 NEWS


Joe Moody returns from injury for Crusaders to face Waratahs

All Blacks prop Joe Moody is finally set to make his first appearance for the Crusaders this season, against the Waratahs on Saturday night in Christchurch.

The 31 Test loose-head injured his shoulder nine months ago in the Rugby Championship.

He then broke his finger in a club match last month.

"I thought I was back in the mixer but I only lasted about two minutes at club footy," said Moody.

"It's good to be back again."

The Crusaders sit on top of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference ladder.

The All Blacks prop injured his shoulder nine months ago and last month broke his finger. Source: 1 NEWS



Video: 'We're disappointed' - NZ Rugby on Brad Shields' release to be made available for England

New Zealand Rugby are not at all pleased about how England Rugby have dealt with the request for Brad Shields' services, the NZR confirmed the release of the Hurricanes skipper earlier this afternoon.

Shields has the chance to be selected in the English squad for their June Test series against South Africa.

NZR head of professional rugby's Chris Lendrum said he was baffled by the request from England Rugby.

"We're disappointed to have found ourselves in the position to receive a release request from English Rugby, but we have tried to put the athlete at the centre of our decision making and do the right thing by Brad," said Lendrum.

"Well it is not a decision we would have made, Brad hasn't yet played any rugby in the English jurisdiction. It seems highly unusual that they can't find players within their own county to pick."

Shields, 27, rejected a call-up from the All Blacks last year during New Zealand's northern hemisphere tour in November when Jerome Kaino suffered a season ending injury.

The Hurricanes loose forward is set to join England Premiership side the London Wasps at the end of the Super Rugby season.

"In the end it is their decision, Brad wants to play and we want to do the best by him," said Lendrum.

"I am really comfortable with the precedent I think we (NZ Rugby) all are, it's a unique situation and Brad is a unique person as well."

Shields represented New Zealand in the under 20s Junior World Championship in 2011.  

NZ Rugby's Chris Lendrum said he was surprised by the request from England Rugby, considering Shields hasn't played any rugby in England. Source: 1 NEWS