Leon MacDonald to join Tana Umaga at Blues as assistant coach - report

Former All Black Leon MacDonald is expected to be announced as the new Blues assistant coach this afternoon.

MacDonald is expected to be announced at a press conference this afternoon where the Blues are also anticipated to confirm Tana Umaga will stay on as the head coach.

MacDonald, who is currently the head coach of Tasman and an assistant to Scott Robertson at the Crusaders, will be in a familiar environment with Umaga after the duo worked together with the New Zealand U20s three years ago.

New NZ Under 20s coaches Leon MacDonald, Scott Robertson, Tana Umaga

The pair worked under Robertson at the 2015 u20 Rugby World Cup which the Baby Blacks won, beating England 21-16 in Italy.

MacDonald and Umaga also played together in the All Blacks between 2000 and 2003.

The announcement is being made at 2pm.

Leon MacDonald said the Crusaders will be up for the challenge come Saturday against the Highlanders.
Source: 1 NEWS


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Black Ferns, Maori All Blacks headline triple-header rugby event in Chicago

The Black Ferns will get their first experience playing in Chicago later this year when they face off against USA in a triple-header rugby event.

The World Champions are joining the Maori All Blacks, USA Eagles, Italy and Ireland at Chicago's NFL stadium Soldier Field in November as part of a massive afternoon of rugby action.

The match programme opens with the USA Women's Eagles up against the Black Ferns, followed by Ireland and Italy facing off in a Six Nations rivalry match before culminating in a clash between the USA Men's Eagles against the Maori All Blacks.

"This is going to be a very special weekend for rugby and for New Zealand," New Zealand Rugby Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said.

"We are excited to be able to bring our Women's Rugby World Cup champions, the Black Ferns, to be part of such a wonderful spectacle of rugby.

"These matches will be a fantastic way to kick off end of year campaigns for both teams."

It is the first time in the Black Ferns' history they will run out on North American soil.

The Rugby Weekend will take place on November 4 NZT.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 26: Fiao'o Faamausili of New Zealand lifts the trophy following the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final between England and New Zealand at Kingspan Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Belfast, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charles McQuillan - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
Fiao'o Faamausili of New Zealand lifts the trophy following the Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 Final between England and New Zealand. Source: Getty


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All Blacks star Elliot Dixon to stay with Highlanders, Shane Christie retires due to concussion

Highlanders star forward Elliot Dixon's decision to move off shore at the end of this year's Super Rugby season doesn't mean he is done playing down in the south.

Japanese club the Ricoh Black Rams announced yesterday that he had inked a contract with them.

Elliot confirmed today that he will stay with the Highlanders through till 2020.

"Good on him though, he's doing what's best for him and his family," said Highlanders second rower Alex Ainely.

The move will allow Dixon to bring up 100 caps for the southern franchise next season, something he has publicly stated he always wanted to do.

One of Dixon's teammates who won't be back for the Highlanders is Shane Christie, who announced his retirement from rugby yesterday due to concussion.

Dixon has signed on with the Highlanders for another two years. Source: 1 NEWS