'I didn't think I was going to be good at it' - Cross-code youngster selected for Baby Blacks squad

John Akau’ola switched from league to union three years ago and is set to represent NZ at the World Rugby Championship U20 in France Source: 1 NEWS


Land Rover reclaims sponsored car from Israel Folau as fallout over social media comments continues - report

The fallout of Israel Folau's controversial comments continues with a key sponsor opting to distance themselves from the Wallabies star.

The Sydney Telegraph reports Land Rover has taken back their sponsored car from the Waratahs winger due to his anti-gay sentiments on social media.

The motor company did however emphasise Folau was never an official ambassador in the first place with car being part of a $850,000 deal Land Rover had with Rugby Australia.

It is the first financial backlash Folau has received since posting his religious beliefs on social media.

The 29-year-old probably isn't worried though - he can still get around in the $500,000 Lamborghini he purchased last year.

SYDNEY, NSW - MARCH 18: Waratahs player Israel Folau (14) looks towards the scoreboard at round 5 of the Super Rugby between Waratahs and Rebels at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on March 18, 2018. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire)
Waratahs player Israel Folau. Source: Photosport



'You're wondering who do we leave out!' Guy Heveldt says All Blacks' talent depth will see unlucky stars left out of squad

The unbelievable depth of talent the All Blacks have at their disposal currently will lead to some disappointed Super Rugby stars missing out at Sunday's team announcement.

That's the feeling coming from 1 NEWS Sport reporter Guy Heveldt ahead of this weekend's selections as the All Blacks gear up to host rivals France in a three-Test series next month.

Heveldt told TVNZ1's Breakfast there are three positions in particular which will be heavily contested.

"Number 8, the midfield and the wing," Heveldt said.

"Number 8 because Kieran Read is out of this series - he will go into camp and train with the team but he won't play - so there you've got no captain and you've got to fill Number 8."

Heveldt says there are two options to fill the void of the 108-cap loose forward.

"Luke Whitelock who captained the All Blacks last year and Jordan Taufua who is playing incredibly well for the Crusaders."

Heveldt says the All Blacks will likely take four midfielders in their 32-man squad, backing Test experience over recent experience to be the main criteria they go off.

"There's Nani Laumape, Sonny Bill Williams, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rob Thompson - they're all really good players.

"I think they'll probably go with the Likes of Sonny Bill, Laumape and Crotty - I don't know about the fourth."

The same dilemma lies further out on the wing.

"You've got guys like Julian Savea, Wiasake Naholo, Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ben Lam who is scoring tries for fun - who do you pick from that?

"I think Ben Lam might be a little bit unlucky just because the All Blacks love picking players that they know and trust... he'll get a chance at some stage though."

Heveldt also backs either Sam Cane or Sam Whitelock to captain the side in Read's absence.

Possible All Blacks squad

Hookers: Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Ricky Riccitelli

Props: Joe Moody, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Owen Franks, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen

Locks: Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Vaea Fifita

Loose Forwards: Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Jordan Taufua, Liam Squire, Akira Ioane

Halfbacks: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

First-fives: Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo'unga

Midfield: Sonny-Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape

Outside Backs: Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Jordie Barrett, Ben Smith

With the All Blacks squad named on Sunday, Heveldt chipped in his picks for the team. Source: Breakfast