Farah Palmer struggled to contain emotions after her passionate presentation helped secure New Zealand the right to host the 2021 women's Rugby World Cup, the first to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere. The Black Ferns, five-time world champions, finally get the chance to play at home. Dr Palmer, the legendary Black Ferns captain turned New Zealand Rugby board member, led the winning presentation at a World Rugby council meeting in Dublin alongside former All Blacks midfielder and fellow NZR director Mark Robinson. NZR chief executive Steve Tew and former All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson also attended after a combined group worked behind the scenes on bid for the best part of 12 months. In the end, New Zealand comfortably defeated Australia, the other formal challenger to stage the tournament, 25 votes to 17. "I'm over the moon," a beaming Palmer said. "This is about the momentum we've got for women's rugby. With the Black Ferns based in Aotearoa, New Zealand, we pitched it that if … [Read more...] about NZ wins bid to host women’s Rugby World Cup
Rugby world cup final
OPINION: What a couple of weeks it has been for fans of the All Blacks. Defeat to the Springboks in Wellington came as a genuine surprise. The team had, to this point, been so utterly dominant in the Rugby Championship - three wins from three, cruising to the title, and could all but sew it up with victory against a South African team coming off the back of a loss to Argentina and Australia. How hard could this challenge really be? And then it happens. The All Blacks make uncharacteristic errors, concede five tries, claw their way back, before blowing a chance to win it at the death. Andrew Gourdie: Rieko Ioane's powerful statement Andrew Gourdie: Why Beauden will remain ABs first-choice Andrew Gourdie: The big decision facing Joseph Parker Just like that, the seemingly unbeatable team suffer defeat, at home, against a side nobody perceived as a threat. The end is nigh. The initial fan reaction is shock. Did that really happen? It did. But what a game! Congratulations to the … [Read more...] about Andrew Gourdie: Are you prepared for Rugby World Cup heartbreak?
So, it's T-minus one year until rugby's biggest tournament takes centre stage in Japan – the first time the World Cup will be held in Asia. The hosts kick-off the showpiece against minnows Russia on September 21, 2019 at the Tokyo Stadium – and they will hope to start as they did in 2015 when they produced a stunning victory over the Springboks in a blockbuster on the south coast. Holders New Zealand are, despite last weekend's slip-up against South Africa, firm favourites to retain their crown – but can any of the northern hemisphere sides challenge the formidable All Blacks next autumn? England looked to be their strongest challengers until a string of big defeats in 2018 was coupled with Ireland's emergence as a true world force. But there are still plenty of contenders among the big rugby nations. Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the year ahead, the stadiums, how the home nations are shaping up and just how strong the three southern hemisphere sides are … [Read more...] about 2019 Rugby World Cup countdown: Complete guide with one year to go
0 Have your say IN A couple of decades a group of ex-footballers – some greyer around the temples, some rather more rotund – will converge upon a comfortable sofa, perhaps with a nice glass of wine or a tumbler of malt as an extra companion. The cameras will roll and the recollections will flow like vintage claret as Jeff Stelling, Gary Newbon – or some other broadcaster of that ilk – opens up the memory vault. England 2018: The Time of Our Lives.This current England football team and latest band of sporting brothers to enchant the public are leaving an indelible mark on the psyche of this country, just as their predecessors memorably did in 1990 and 1966. Just as their rugby cousins also did in 2003 and their cricketing colleagues two years later. They are in esteemed company and will be similarly remembered.This may help convey the sense of achievement by a group of young sportsmen rich in spirit and togetherness and wonderfully low in … [Read more...] about World Cup – Leon Wobschall: From Barnsley and Crewe to the cusp of a World Cup final
This week M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment chief executive Steve Martin discusses a life raised in rugby, World Cup memories and his hopes for Rory McIlroy at next year's Open. What are your sporting passions? Rugby and golf. I grew up in those environments. Rugby and golf are both very strong in Northern Ireland, where I'm from. You'll find a lot of other Northern Irish guys who love rugby and golf. Those passions haven't changed since I was young. How did you first get into sport? I went to a really strong rugby school, Royal Belfast Academical Institution. It's produced loads of internationals, quite a few British and Irish Lions captains. That gave me a good grounding in the sport. Then there was the local rugby club where my dad played. It was an old boys' club for my school. It was quite inspirational because I would see all these amazing players who played at international level. It became a real part of our lives. It was the same with golf. My dad took me to play. He … [Read more...] about My Sporting Life: M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment boss Steve Martin on a life in rugby and golf with a World Cup final along the way