French Barbarians roar to shock win over Maori All Blacks

The Maori All Blacks have fallen to a spirited French Barbarians side 19-15 in Bordeaux.

After an error ridden first half, the Maori All Blacks trailed 8-3 at the break, with Sean Wainui scoring in the opening minutes of the second spell to level the scores.

From there however, it was all one way traffic for the French Barbarians, who surged ahead after prop Jordan Maniera was shown a yellow card.

A late penalty try gave the Maori All Blacks hope of a comeback win, but the French Barbarians held on for a famous win.

FULLTIME: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

It's over! The French Barbarians have pulled off a stunning upset win over the Maori All Blacks!

79 mins: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

Another penalty against the Maori All Blacks, and the French Barbarians will have a kick to secure at least a draw. Hang on, they've gone for the lineout instead!

78 mins: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

The Maori All Blacks getting desperate now, giving away a penalty in the final few minutes to waste a golden opportunity for a match winning try. Lineout to the French Barbarians.

75 mins: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

Akira Ioane claims the lineout but there's a maul and the French Barbarians look to have stolen it! Solid defence from the hosts! Rebbaj the heto. Scrum for the French Barbarians.

74 mins: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

N'tamack fumbles form the kick off and the Maori All Blacks have a great chance! The referee has the arm out for a penalty, before play comes back. Ihaia West finds touch and it's a great kick for the Maori All Blacks! 

72 mins: Maori All Blacks 15 French Barbarians 19

Penalty try!!! Polwart has a crack at the line and the Maori All Blacks are claiming the try! The Maori All Blacks go close from a lineout on the five metre line, it looks like Polwart's been taken out before he could get the ball down, could we have a penalty try? 

It's just going to be a penalty to the Maori All Blacks for a high tackle on Polwart. Hang on, the referee is now saying he's changed his mind - yellow card for Tochit, and a penalty try for the Maori All Blacks after all!

70 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 19

The Maori All Blacks give away another penalty, and N'tamack converts with no trouble. The Maori All Blacks are back to 15, but the French Barbarians are well in control now.

65 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 16

HUGE scrum from the French Barbarians, the Maori All Blacks are really struggling now with a penalty awarded against them.

63 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 16

Ihaia West comes on for the Maori All Blacks, along with Liam Polwart for the French Barbarians.

61 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 16

Penalty! The French Barbarians really putting the pressure on with the numerical advantage now. The Maori All Blacks give away a penalty, what will the French Barbarians do? They go for the three points, N'tamack steps up and converts.

56 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 13

Yellow card! Another bout of push and shove and the referee's had enough. The TMO is looking at it. Jordan Manihera's started it, coming out of nowhere and the Maori All Blacks' prop could see a card here. It looks like there's been a punch thrown by one of the French players, which is what Manihera was responding to.

The referee confirms with the TMO, Manihera is shown a yellow.

52 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 13

Scrum for the French Barbarians, the Maori All Blacks are all over them in defence though, led by Tim Bateman. Wainui steals the ball and gets it back to Pryor who spills it, Bateman pounces on the loose ball and goes over but the referee calls knock-on. Tempers really boiling over now and there's more push and shove. Scrum to the French Barbarians.

48 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 13

TRY! Akira Ioane gives away a penalty for offisde and the French Barbarians take the lineout! Pelissie throws and Flanquart takes it. The French Barbarians drive from the lineout and they score! It's Pelisse who finishes it! There's a bit of push and shove from the two sides before the referee separates them.

N'tamack with his first kick of the night, and he's missed! French Barbarians restore their five-point lead.

46 mins: Maori All Blacks 8 French Barbarians 8

TRY! Franklin comes up with a brilliant steal at the lineout and the Maori All Blacks have it! They look to move the ball quickly and Weber throws a perfect cut-out pass for Sean Wainui who scores in the corner! Great start for the Maori All Blacks and the scores are level with a kick to come.

Garden-Bachop lines up the conversion and it hits the upright! Scores level in Bordeaux.

43 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

The Maori All Blacks win the ball at the breakdown and look to strike! Ash Dixon of all people stabs a kick through for Stevenson to chase, but the bounce of the ball goes against the Maori All Blacks and into touch. Lineout for the French Barbarians.

41 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Both sets of players making their way back out onto the field for the second spell. No changes for the Maori All Blacks after a woeful first half. Jackson Garden-Bachop gets things back underway. 

HALFTIME: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Dixon throws again but Chouzenoux steals the ball, France clear the danger and that'll be halftime.

42 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Dixon throws and the Maori All Blacks drive. Referee with the arm out again, the French Barbarians steal the ball but play goes back for the penalty. The Maori All Blacks take another lineout.

40 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Charlie Ngatai slices through the French Barbarians' line and the Maori All Blacks are so close! The ball is spilled but the referee goes back for a penalty against the French Barbarians.

The halftime siren goes, what will the Maori All Blacks do? They go for one last lineout before the break.

37 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

The Maori All Blacks go down the blindside from the lineout through Henwood, who finds Wainui out wide before another knock on. Six handling errors from the Maori All Blacks and it's not even halftime yet.

36 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Scrum for the Maori All Blacks, Brad Weber looking to take control of the game. Pick-and-go from the forwards, offside from Rebbaj and the Maori All Blacks have a penalty inside the French Barbarians' half.

33 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

The French Barbarians spill the ball from the back of their own scrum and the Maori All Blacks look to counter. Garden-Bachop kicks but Ramos calls for the mark.

31 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Ngatai stabs a kick through for Stevenson to chase, Ramos kicks the ball into touch to force a lineout inside the French Barbarians' half. Stevenson takes at first reciever, but the Maori All Blacks lose the ball again, they regain possession after the French Barbarians kick, before another handling error, this time from Marcel Renata.

Sloppy play from the Maori All Blacks so far.

28 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

Scrum for the Maori All Blacks in a great position, but they spill the ball and the French Barbarians look to counter. The kick the ball deep and Charlie Ngatai cleans up at the back. Dubie kicks in return and the Maori All Blacks have the ball again. Weber kicks from the back of the ruck but it's charged down! The referee blows for offside from the French Barbarians though.

24 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 8

TRY! Finally the French Barbarians cross over. The Maori All Blacks try to dally with the ball right on their own line. Garden-Bachop goes for the clearance but it's charged down by Chouzenoux! He pounces on the loose kick and scores! The referee checks with the TMO but there's no problem with that.

Ramos lines up the conversion, and he's missed it away to the right. French Barbarians lead by five.

22 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 3

The French Barbarians are through to score! Aguillon breaks clean up the middle, looking to get the final pass away to Couilloud who drops the ball! What a waste of a golden opportunity for the French Barbarians!

21 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 3

The French Barbarians attack down the wing! A break from Rougerie puts Pourailly down the wing, Stevenson works him into touch though and the Maori All Blacks have a lineout on the 5m line.

19 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 3

The referee stops play for a dangerous tackle from Henwood. He's slipped into the contact and ended up with an arm around the neck of the French attacker, purely accidental. Penalty to the French Barbarians.

16 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 3

Penalty! The French Barbarians break through Dubie! He gets the ball to Diaby and they go close! The Maori All Blacks get back in numbers and somehow turn the ball over, more incredible defence! The referee has the arm out after the clearance for offside and the French Barbarians attack again. Akira Ioane smashes the ball carrier and the play goes back for the offside.

The fullback Ramos takes the kick and he levels the scores.

13 mins: Maori All Blacks 3 French Barbarians 0

Penalty! Garden-Bachop points to the posts and the Maori All Blacks will have a shot at goal. No trouble with the kick as the Maori All Blacks have the first points of the match.

12 mins: Maori All Blacks 0 French Barbarians 0

The Maori All Blacks attack now and Garden-Bachop starts to assert his authority. Hemopo with a great bit of play before the kick is put through for Wainui to chase. Ramos carries it back before being tackled in goal. Scrum to the Maori All Blacks.

It's a strong scrum and the Maori All Blacks go at the line. The French Barbarians give away another penalty to bring the attack to an end. Great pressure from the Maori All Blacks.

8 mins: Maori All Blacks 0 French Barbarians 0

The French Barbarians win their own scrum and break upfield through Couilloud! He combines with N'tamack but the Maori All Blacks give away a penalty! The French Barbarians opt for the lineout instead of a shot at goal.

Flanquart claims the lineout and the French Barbarians drive! The Maori All Blacks turn the ball over on the five-metre line though! Huge defence and they've won a penalty too! Garden-Bachop clears the danger.

4 mins: Maori All Blacks 0 French Barbarians 0

The French Barbarians are penalised for incorrectly joining the ruck, Jackson Garden-Bachop finds touch with a mighty kick downfield and the Maori All Blacks have a great attacking lineout.

The forwards pick-and-go, Akira Ioane finds Garden-Bachop with a great pass, the Maori All Blacks flirt with the sideline before Ash Dixon loses the ball. The French Barbarians try to run the ball from behind their own posts! They lose the ball and go back for the first knock-on

1 min: Maori All Blacks 0 French Barbarians 0

Wainui gets the ball from the kick and tries an up and under straight away, the French Barbarians look to work the ball upfield through their forward pack.

KICK OFF!

Romain N'tamack kicks off and the game is underway!

8:46am

As to be expected, the Maori All Blacks perform a powerful haka, and the French Barbarians respond with a challenge of their own, marching in unison towards the halfway line to meet their opposition face to face - and they aren't turning away! The two teams' gazes are locked before the French Barbarians turn to get the game underway.

8:43am

Rather than a minutes silence, the Bordeaux crowd have observed a minute of applause in remembrance. The Maori All Blacks' haka is up next.

8:39am

We'll have the national anthems, before both sides observe a minutes silence for Armistice Day in France, commemorating the end of the first world war.

8:37am

Good morning and welcome to today's match. Both teams emerging from the tunnel. Ash Dixon leading the Maori All Blacks, Aurelien Rougerie leading the French Barbarians.

PRE MATCH

After romping home to a 51-9 win over Canada in Vancouver last week, the Maori All Blacks have travelled to Europe, where they will meet a French Barbarians side in their final match of 2017.

Coach Claton McMillan has shuffled the deck, handing starting debuts to lock Keepa Mewett and flanker Sam Henwood, while halfback Jonathan Ruru and centre Teihorangi Walden will come off the bench.

Elsewhere, the impressive Jackson Garden-Bachop replaces Ihaia West in the number 10 jersey, while Shaun Stevenson comes in for Ambrose Curtis on the left wing.

Their opponents meanwhile, boast a number of names surely familiar among New Zealand fans, with the likes of Aurelien Rougerie and Romain N'tamack - son of the great Emile - among those with international experience lining up for the French Barbarians.

TEAMS:

Maori All Blacks: 15. Charlie Ngatai, 14. Sean Wainui, 13. Tim Bateman, 12. Rob Thompson, 11. Shaun Stevenson, 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9. Brad Weber, 8. Akira Ioane, 7. Sam Henwood, 6. Tom Franklin, 5. Keepa Mewett, 4. Jackson Hemopo, 3. Marcel Renata, 2. Ash Dixon (c), 1. Chris Eves.

Reserves: 16. Liam Polwart, 17. Ross Wright, 18. Tyrel Lomax, 19. Jordan Manihera, 20. Dan Pryor, 21. Jonathan Ruru, 22. Ihaia West, 23. Teihorangi Walden.

French Barbarians: 15. Thomas Ramos, 14. Bastien Pourailly, 13. Aurelien Rougerie (c), 12. Pierre Aguillon, 11. Jean-Baptiste Dubie, 10. Romain N'tamack, 9. Baptiste Couilloud, 8. Martin Devergie, 7. Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6. Mahamadou Diaby, 5. Alexandre Flanquart, 4. Swan Rebbadj, 3. Cedate Gomes Sa, 2. Adrien Pelissie, 1. Sebastien Taofifenua.

Reserves: Anthony Etrillard, 17. Antoine Tochit, 18. Emerick Setiano, 19. Florian Verhaeghe, 20. Mathieu Babillot, 21. Teddy Iribaren 22. Matthieu Jalibert, 23. Loui Dupichot.


Topics



As it happened: Waikato's wild second half leads to successful Ranfurly Shield defence against Hawke's Bay

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of tonight's Ranfurly Shield contest between holders Waikato and challengers Hawke's Bay at FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

FT: WAI 42-22 HB

There's a HB TRY on the final whistle to Tofilau but it doesn't matter. Waikato have held onto the Log o' Wood with a stellar second half on attack. The Magpies were their own biggest enemy tonight. Too many handling errors and a poor performance on their lineouts really hurt them. That means Waikato hold the Shield for at least another two weeks until Southland comes to town. That's it from us folks. Pо̄ marie!

77min: WAI 42-15 HB

Hawke's Bay will get one last shot at consolation as Waikato are penalised in their own half for hands in the ruck. The Magpies take it quickly and carry the ball over into Waikato's 22m.

75min: WAI 42-15 HB

Hawke's Bay continue to be their worst enemies as they knock on the first decent touch they've had of the ball in the last 10 minutes. That gives Waikato a scrum 35m from Hawke's Bay's line.

73min: WAI 42-15 HB

WAI TRY! Waikato pull out all the stops and deliver the final blow. It takes them seven phases to get inside Hawke's Bays' 22m from the lineout. They attack to the right wing and  McWhannell gives a beautiful offload to Tucker. He links up with an offload to Takarangi 10m out and he goes the rest of the way to score. Three tries in 11 minutes. That's how you seal away the Ranfurly Shield for another week!

70min: WAI 35-15 HB

Hawke's Bay hurt themselves once again as they're penalised shortly after getting the ball back from kickoff for going off their feet in the ruck. Waikato use the penalty to find touch and it's a lineout on halfway.

68min: WAI 35-15 HB

WAI TRY! Smith floats behind the scrum and attack the blindside. It's popped to him from the base at speed and he bowls through the line and stretches out to score. That could just do it. 

65min: WAI 28-15 HB

Waikato looks destined to score again but there's a stunning trysaving tackle! Ball wrapped up and there's no one it's finding the grass. Hawke's Bay aren't out of the woods yet though. That just gives Waikato a 5m scrum.

63min: WAI 28-15 HB

Waikato follow up their end-to-end magic with a fantastic clearance kick from Smith. It gets every inch possible from 10m off his own line and pushes Hawke's Bay to a lineout on halfway.

61min: WAI 28-15 HB

WAI TRY! Didn't see that coming! Hawke's Bay lose the ball off their lineout and it leads to yet another stellar run from Reece. That gets Waikato to 30m from the Hawke's Bay line and they recycle quickly. It gets to the right wing but the defence stops it 1m short. A couple pick and gos and finally the line is broken thanks to Iti. Big moment in the match.

57min: WAI 21-15 HB

Hawke's Bay attacks for eight phases and they earn a penalty after a dangerous tackle. Nothing too serious. Just a bit high. But it gives the Magpies amazing field position as they earn a 5m lineout.

54min: WAI 21-15 HB

Waikato's turn to be sloppy. They butcher the scrum and there's a knock on at the base. Hawke's Bay scrum deep in their own territory. To make matters worse, there's a penalty soon after for kicking in the ruck so Hawke's Bay clears and gets a lineout 10m inside Waikato's half.

52min: WAI 21-15 HB

Waikato build pressure with a tactical kick floated and bounced into touch to force the Magpies into a lineout 15m from their line. It works perfectly as there's a knock on at the lineout and Waikato get a scrum 15m short.

50min: WAI 21-15 HB

Hawke's Bay turn over the ball but not for long. They look to attack on the right wing but there's an accidental shepherd shifting the ball out there so Waikato get a scrum on halfway.

48min: WAI 21-15 HB

Hawke's Bay's gamble backfires! It's lost at the lineout and Waikato recover it. They clear and to make matters worse for the visitors, they get pulled up for a forward pass in their counter attack bringing the ball back. Waikato scrum on 15m from halfway.

46min: WAI 21-15 HB

Moments after a brilliant play, the Waikato forwards let themselves down as they're penalised for collapsing the scrum. Hawke's Bay smell blood and turn down the three for a kick in the corner. 5m lineout coming up.

45min: WAI 21-15 HB

Waikato clear from their 22m but as Hawke's Bay look to return it, the ball gets held up for a maul. It's going nowhere and the ball is trapped so that's a Waikato scrum. 30m from their own line.

43min: WAI 21-15 HB

Wild start to the half as both sides throw their bodies at the contest for early posession and territory. Waikato make a break down the left wing but Tupaea is isolated and Hawke's Bay turn it over. There's no one back so Weber hoofs it downfield and bounces it into touch inside Waikato's 22m.

40min: WAI 21-15 HB

Waikato get us going again in Hamilton!

HT: WAI 21-15 HB

Hawke's Bay try one last shove but they're dragged into touch for halftime. Back and forth first 40 on our hands and everything you want in a Ranfurly Shield match. Reece is having another blinder for the hosts but Weber is looking just as dangerous for the Magpies. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back with the second half.

37min: WAI 21-15 HB

HB TRY! Hawke's Bay strike right back! Waikato are penalised immediately after the kickoff and the Magpies use it to get a 5m lineout. From there, they convert at the setpiece and cut the deficit to six points. 

34min: WAI 21-10 HB

WAI TRY! Waikato convert on the penalty and it's Reece magic! He breaks down the left wing and looks for an offload 2m from the line. Finds it, and Manihera scores. Mooloo men take a big lead.

31min: WAI 14-10 HB

Waikato straight back on attack after Hawke's Bay are penalised early after kickoff. Big kick from Smith and it reaches halfway for a lineout.

30min: WAI 14-10 HB

WAI TRY! What a solo run by Reece! The lineout is a shocker but the winger comes through and takes the bounce perfectly. Flies through Hawke's Bay's line and bolts for the posts. No one touches him. Try time!

28min: WAI 7-10 HB

It takes them a couple of attempts but they finally find the angle they want for a good clearance. Waikato lineout 35m from Hawke's Bay's line.

26min: WAI 7-10 HB

Waikato slowly build pressure after getting the ball back from kickoff. After 8 phases their on the Hawke's Bay 22m thanks to strong forward runs. It gets to 18 phases and their 1m out. They go for the line with a pick and go and there's a knock on on the line! Unbelievable. Hawke's Bay scrum on their 5m.

23min: WAI 7-10 HB

HB THREE! Waikato are penalised for leaving their feet in the ruck. Magpies are down a man so they take free three on offer.

21min: WAI 7-7 HB

Magpies immediately back on attack as they earn a scrum from the kickoff holding up ball-taker Manihera for a maul. Ball is stuck and going no where so it leads to Hawke's Bay feed 20m from Waikato's line.

20min: WAI 7-7 HB

WAI TRY! Too easy. Manihera pops to Stratton. He draws and passes to Sweeney in a hole and the skipper dives under the posts. All tied up.

18min: WAI 0-7 HB

Waikato hit the line and the ball comes loose! Hawke's Bay dives on it but they knock it on in their desparation! Waikato with their fourth 5m scrum in as many minutes.

17min: WAI 0-7 HB

Hawke's Bay's scrum is penalised and Waikato use it to set another. Something has to give.

15min: WAI 0-7 HB

Waikato come up inches short but they'll get a scrum for their efforts. 5m out, can they convert on this pressure?

14min: WAI 0-7 HB

Waikato using their backs with the numbers advantage but after a ruck is set, there's a knock on by Hawke's Bay trying to steal the ball. That means it's a Waikato scrum 20m from the line in the middle of the field. Prime attacking position.

12min: WAI 0-7 HB

HB YELLOW! Dunn is sent to the bin after his second dangerous tackle in less than 10min. Two poor lifting tackles and Waikato with a big advantage now. They kick for touch with the penalty and it's a lineout on Hawke's Bay's 22m.

9min: WAI 0-7 HB

It's a sloppy lineout but Hawke's Bay get a scrum from it. 10m inside Waikato's half.

8min: WAI 0-7 HB

Waikato get the ball back shortly after kickoff but Hawke's Bay's defence leads to a penalty. Didn't release in the ruck so that's a free kick for touch and a Magpies lineout 30m from Waikato's line.

6min: WAI 0-7 HB

HB TRY! What a try by the Magpies! There's a linebreak on halfway before the ball gets to Weber with 25m to go. He shakes off two, steps inside a third and dives under the posts. Perfect start for the visitors.

3min: WAI 0-0 HB

Waikato clear after the kickoff and Hawke's Bay try to counter attack. Six phases gets them no where so they float a kick into Waikato's 22m. No one there and it bounces into touch. Waikato lineout 20m from their line. Pressure is diverted soon after though as there's a dangerous tackle. Waikato find touch and it's their lineout on halfway.

KICKOFF

Hawke's Bay get us going in the Tron!

PREVIEW

After a slow start to the season, Waikato have found some red-hot form and claimed the Log 'o Wood with it thanks to a stunning 33-19 win over Taranaki on Sunday.

But celebrations have been cut short with their first defence already arrived as a Championship-leading Hawke's Bay come to town looking to strip it from them.

The Magpies only have one loss so far this season to Premiership outfit Counties but have posted wins over Southland, Otago and Bay of Plenty entering tonight's contest.

Waikato on the other hand started 2018 cold with losses to Manawatū, North Harbour and Auckland before toppling Premiership sides Wellington and and Taranaki last week.

Head-to-head, the hosts come in with a minor advantage having won 27 of the 49 contests between the two. The last time the two teams met in 2016, Waikato earned win No.27 with a 46-22 thumping in Hamilton as well.

TEAMS

Waikato: 1.Ayden Johnstone, 2.Samisoni Taukei'aho, 3.Joshua Iosefa-Scott, 4.Tim Bond, 5.Laghlan McWhannell, 6.Adam Burn, 7.Mitch Jacobson, 8.Jordan Manihera, 9.Jack Stratton, 10.Fletcher Smith, 11.Sevu Reece, 12.Dwayne Sweeney, 13.Quinn Tupaea, 14.Bailyn Sullivan, 15.Mathew Lansdown.

Substitutes: 16.Sekope Lopeti Moli, 17.Haereiti Hetet, 18.Sosaia Fale, 19.James Tucker, 20.Murry Iti, 21.Raniera Takarangi, 22.Mosese Dawai, 23.Tyler Campbell.

Hawke's Bay: 1.Ben May, 2.Kianu Kereu-Symes, 3.Joe Apikotoa, 4.Tom Parsons, 5.Michael Allardice, 6.Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 7.William Tremain, 8.Gareth Evans, 9.Brad Weber, 10.Tiaan Falcon, 11.Mason Emerson, 12.Pasqualle Dunn, 13.Stacy Ili, 14.Jonah Lowe, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Substitutes: 16.Jason Long, 17.Mark Braidwood, 18.Pouri Rakete-Stones, 19.Geoff Cridge, 20.Josh Kaifa, 21.Folau Fakatava, 22.Tofilau Sasa, 23.Michael Buckley.

Waikato's Josh Hohneck beaks a tackle to score a try. Ranfurly Shield Challenge, Hawkes Bay v Waikato, New Zealand. Friday, 09 October 2015. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
Waikato's Josh Hohneck beaks a tackle to score a try in 2015. Source: Photosport


Topics


Watch: Steve Hansen responds to Lima Sopoaga's All Blacks exodus comments

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has responded to comments made by former first-five Lima Sopoaga about a potential rise in young talent heading off shore for big paychecks.

“If they go, they go with our blessings and we’ll always support them.”

Sopoaga caught the global rugby community’s attention yesterday after he said more players were “wising up” to taking big deals in Europe rather than staying in New Zealand to chase the All Blacks dream.

"For a lot of guys like myself, who come from big families, from low socio-economic backgrounds the chance to change your family's life is pretty overwhelming.

"It's not something you should take lightly and sometimes the jersey is not enough for a better life.”

Hansen admitted when he did catch wind of players looking at overseas offers, he tried to convince them to stay.

“We’ll always understand that people are going to go overseas – particularly some of the Pacifika boys who are supporting more than themselves.

“Do we like it? No, I don’t like it when I lose some of the guys that can be a real benefit for the team because my job is to make this team as strong as possible, so I’m going to try and talk them out of it if I can.”

Hansen admitted he and New Zealand Rugby are doing more to try and deter players from heading offshore.

“We don’t have a commercial base like a lot of other places so we’ve got to try and create an environment where the players are well looked after.

“We’ve got to try and prolong their careers so maybe they don’t have to go overseas to get that big lump of money – they could play another four or five years here and get the same money.

“We’ve got to keep thinking of ways and means of keeping this big machine going because it isn’t going to keep going by itself.”

The All Blacks coach said he is trying to implement ways of keeping top Kiwi talent in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Watch: 'Looking forward to proving I can still play this level' - Ma'a Nonu speaks after signing with Blues

Returning Blues midfielder Ma'a Nonu is under no illusion he will have to prove himself in next year's Super Rugby season.

The 36-year-old is rejoining the Auckland franchise in 2019 after returning from a playing stint in France where he played three seasons for Top 14 club Toulon.

"I have been playing rugby a long time. I’ve known first-hand the highs and the lows of a playing career on and off the field and I am looking forward to giving my best and proving that I can still play at this level," he said.

"I know the Blues have had some tough times in the last few seasons but I am excited to play with some of the young and up-and-coming players who will have long careers and rejuvenate this place."

Nonu played 103 Tests for the All Blacks, with his last being the World Cup final win in 2015.


Confirmed! Ma'a Nonu, 36, signs with the Blues, wants to transform them into winners

Ma'a Nonu is returning to the Blues.

The Chiefs coach said he's focused on the team's quarter-final, not speculation regarding Nonu.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 36-year-old All Blacks great, who played two seasons for the Blues in 2012 and 2014, is returning to the franchise on a one-year deal next season.

A source close to Nonu confirmed the deal to 1 NEWS before a formal statement was released by the franchise later in the afternoon.

"Hopefully next year will be a year to build and to be successful. That is the challenge I am looking forward to," Nonu said in the statement.

"I know the Blues have had some tough times in the last few seasons but I am excited to play with some of the young and up-and-coming players who will have long careers and rejuvenate this place.

"And I am looking forward to be under the watchful eye of Tana who was a mentor when I was coming through, so I am looking forward to doing my best for him and the franchise."

He's set to team up with good friend Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield, in a combustible backline also featuring Rieko Ioane on the left wing.

It's a huge coup for Umaga, who needs a playoff-run to stay on as coach.

"We think Ma’a can play an important role for us and I am sure he can deliver on the field as well as help guide our young players," the head coach said.

Nonu played 103 Tests for the All Blacks, with his last being the World Cup final win in 2015.

He left Toulon after three seasons for personal reasons earlier this year.

"I have been playing rugby a long time. I’ve known first-hand the highs and the lows of a playing career on and off the field and I am looking forward to giving my best and proving that I can still play at this level."

It's not known if he'll be available for the All Blacks, with 2019 - next year - also being a World Cup year.