Watch: 'There was a thought about not accepting it' - Humble Sir Bryan Williams shares motivaiton for embracing knighthood

One of the newest Knights Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit, former All Black Sir Bryan Williams, has admitted he thought about not accepting the honour.

Sir Bryan was recognised for his services to rugby in both New Zealand and Samoa in this year's New Year's Honours, but it's not the first time he's featured on the list.

"I was fortunate three or four years ago to receive another honour, the CNZM, and I was more than happy with that so this one has come as a huge surprise as I wasn't expecting it," he said.

As well as his 2013 appointment as a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit, Sir Bryan has also been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire - an honour he received in the 1983 Queen's Birthday honours.

Unlike those two appointments though, Sir Bryan admitted he had thoughts about not accepting his knighthood.

"I guess the title of 'Sir' doesn't rest that easy with me," he said.

"There was a thought about not accepting the knighthood but then you think about the life you've led and the people who have been part of the journey - my family has obviously played a big part in that."

Sir Bryan joins seven other All Blacks bestowed with knighthoods, including Kiwi icons such as the late Sir Colin Meads, the late Sir Wilson Whineray and the great Sir Brian Lochore.

He still remains part of the rugby scene, commonly spotted at Auckland's Mt Albert Grammar School where the number one playing field is named after him not just for his All Blacks achievements, but coaching commitments to the school.

Williams also serves as a committee member to Ponsonby Rugby Club where he is also a life member.

The former All Black doesn't want anything to change despite his new title. Source: 1 NEWS


'Mum and dad will be stoked' - Ioane brothers thrilled to re-sign with NZ Rugby

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has hailed the influence of older brother Akira, as the pair today recommitted to New Zealand Rugby for another four years.

Rieko, 21, and Akira, 23, both put pen to paper on new deals, deciding to remain within New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to media at Auckland Airport, Rieko spoke about the pair's decisions to stay at home in New Zealand.

"We've been lucky enough to play together for so long," he said.

"I'm pretty happy that both Aki and I are staying around home for a bit longer.

"I'm sure mum and dad will be stoked as well."

Both Rieko and Akira Ioane have penned new deals to stay in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS



'He's only just beginning' – Steve Hansen gushes over Rieko Ioane's new deal

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says that there's more to come from star winger Rieko Ioane, as the youngster put pen to paper on a new deal with New Zealand Rugby.

Since making his debut at the end of 2016, Ioane, 21, has been a standout for the All Blacks, displacing Julian Savea as the first-choice in the number 11 jersey.

Speaking to media ahead of his side's departure to Argentina, Hansen spoke of his delight at Ioane's commitment to the All Blacks.

"He's a special player and he's only at the beginning of his career," Hansen began.

"What he's done so far, with maturity and greater game understanding is just going to get better and better.

"He's only just beginning."

The winger has recommitted to New Zealand Rugby for another four years. Source: 1 NEWS



Rieko Ioane on rejecting huge overseas deals to stay in NZ: 'The Black jersey is enough for me'

All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane has spoken about rejecting lucrative overseas deals to remain in New Zealand, recommitting to NZR with a new four-year deal.

Ioane, 21, and brother Akira signed on the dotted line to remain in New Zealand for the next four years, fronting media at Auckland Airport to explain his decision.

"I want to establish myself in New Zealand," he began.

"The black jersey is enough for me, and is enough to keep me here.

"Rugby is what I love playing, and to play in the best team in the world is motivating enough for me, overseas didn't come into the picture."

The All Blacks star penned a new four-year NZR deal this morning. Source: 1 NEWS


Kieran Read out, Vaea Fifita recalled for All Blacks' trip to Argentina

All Blacks captain Kieran Read will miss his side's Rugby Championship clash with Argentina in Buenos Aires, with Wellington flanker Vaea Fifita called in as a replacement.

Read, 32, will be sent straight to South Africa, missing the All Blacks' Argentinian leg of their Rugby Championship campaign, coach Steve Hansen confirmed to media at Auckland Airport today.

"The original plan was always to make sure we don't have him sitting in a plane too long," Hansen began.

"When you go to Argentina then to South Africa, short turnaround, and not a great ride from Argentina to South Africa.

"The smart play is to leave him at home and send him straight to Africa."

Read's absence sees Vaea Fifita return to the side, having originally been overlooked for the All Blacks' Rugby Championship campaign, with the Wellington flanker controversially stating that he didn't understand why he'd been dropped.

"He's always been on our mind," Hansen said of Fifita.

"We've given him the task of going and playing some Mitre 10 Cup, he's done that.

"With Reado not coming we need a replacement, he's the obvious man."

The All Blacks' newest weapon sat out of practice with a sore shoulder today. Source: 1 NEWS