Watch: Ardie Savea, Sam Cane blast through weighted chin-ups in gut-busting All Blacks' gym session

The All Blacks' forwards are leaving no stone unturned ahead of this weekend's Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney, hitting the gym less than 24 hours after arriving.

Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock, Shannon Frizell and Joe Moody all powered through a gruelling work out of weighted chin ups, each adding an extra 20kg at least to their already hulking bodyweights.

The All Blacks' side to face the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday will be announced on Thursday.

The men in black are leaving no stone unturned for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup opener. Source: 1 NEWS


Victor Vito handed captaincy of French club La Rochelle

Former All Blacks flanker Victor Vito's reputation in the northern hemisphere has seen him named as the new captain of French club side La Rochelle.

Vito, 31, takes the reigns from another ex-All Blacks and Hurricanes teammate - lock Jason Eaton, who retired at the end of last season.

"Victor Vito will be the captain of our team and will be assisted by Pierre Aguillon, Romain Sazy and Zeno Kieft." La Rochelle's acting head coach Grégory Patat told French newspaper Sud Ouest.

Another Kiwi, coach Jono Gibbes, will join La Rochelle's ranks for the coming season, as the club looks to improve on their seventh placed finish in the 2017/18 season.

, United Kingdom - 13 January 2018; Victor Vito of La Rochelle during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 5 match between Ulster and La Rochelle at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Victor Vito of La Rochelle during the European Rugby Champions Cup. Source: Getty



'They should keep supporting them' - Steve Hansen urges Wallabies fans not to give up on rugby

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has urged disenchanted Australian rugby fans to keep supporting the Wallabies despite their Bledisloe Cup drought.

New Zealand have held the trophy since 2003 and Australia last won the series outright in 2001.

The Wallabies win in their most recent encounter was only their second in their last 19 contests against the world champions.

With the lack of success compared to Australia's glory days at the turn of the century, crowds in Sydney have dropped off significantly since then, with next Saturday's attendance at ANZ Stadium expected to fall well short of the venue's 80,000 plus capacity.

"I think that's the local fans probably feeling like they've moved away from Australian rugby and they shouldn't do that," Hansen said upon the All Blacks arrival in Sydney yesterday evening,

"The Australian team, I believe anyway, is a really good side and they should keep supporting them."

Hansen stressed the traditional trans-Tasman rivalry remained relevant despite the lop-sided results of recent years, describing it as "semi-family-like.

"Little brother always likes to beat big brother and big brother doesn't like losing to little brother, so that keeps the competition alive," he said.

"Then players, particularly, get to understand the history of the Bledisloe and they take a pride in that."

Most of the current Wallabies were still at school when Australia last held the Bledisloe.

They would recall Australia ruling the roost at the start of the millennium having won the 1999 World Cup, a series against the British and Irish Lions in 2001, in addition to holding the Bledisloe at the start of the 21st century.

"I really enjoyed going out and watching the Wallabies obviously in a golden era back then and winning lots of games," back Reece Hodge said.

"We were just talking about it during the week, how big the crowds were and how much the support was behind Australia especially when we doing well.

"We want to be the ones to change that and to bring that kind of support and attitude back to Australian rugby."

Hansen said it looked increasingly like versatile Melbourne Rebels back Hodge would fill the Wallabies' No.13 jersey next Saturday.

"You'd call him a utility player and because of that he gets moved around a lot so it's probably to his disadvantage," Hansen said.

"But at the same time he's a pretty handy footballer."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: Pete Samu of the Wallabies celebrates with team mates during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Ireland at Suncorp Stadium on June 9, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
Pete Samu of the Wallabies celebrates with team mates during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Ireland Source: Getty