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Rugby: Chiefs flanker Lachlan Boshier’s cruel omission from North vs South explained

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Lachlan Boshier’s cruel omission from the North squad speaks to New Zealand rugby’s rich loose forward depth and the All Blacks’ desire to harness more physicality from this area of their game.

Impressive Chiefs flanker Boshier was the major causality as the North and South teams were revealed for Saturday’s inter-island match in Wellington.

Halfbacks Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and Mitchell Drummond; hookers Kurt Eklund and Andrew Makalio, props Alex Fidow and Daniel Lienert-Brown, Blues wing Mark Telea, Hurricanes flanker Reed Prinsep and Highlanders midfielder Sio Tomkinson also missed the cut.

Of that group, though, Boshier’s absence is the main talking point.

Boshier, often in tandem with All Blacks captain Sam Cane, was one of New Zealand’s form loose forwards this season. He was a constant menace at the breakdown where he frequently won telling turnovers while his defensive work rate was off the charts.

The fact he stood out in a winless Chiefs side that went 0-9 to end their campaign says everything about his efforts.

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Boshier ultimately missed out to Ardie Savea and Akira Ioane who start at seven and six respectively, and Dalton Papalii who will come off the bench for the North side. Hoskins Sotutu also returns from a knee injury to start at No 8. That dynamic quartet should have the advantage over the South’s Shannon Frizell, Tom Christie, Tom Sanders and Dillon Hunt.

New All Blacks selector and North Island head coach John Plumtree admitted leaving Boshier out was one of his most difficult decisions.

“I pulled Lachlan aside and told him he’s not in the 23 and he’s disappointed and rightly so the way he’s consistently played for the Chiefs this year,” Plumtree said of the 25-year-old Taranaki product. “If you look at the group it’s a tough loose forward trio to break into and that can happen.

“He’s got a couple of things he’s going to work on and he has a bit of direction around that. I’m sure he’s going to get many opportunities above Super level in the future.

“Anything can happen in the loose forwards there’s a high rate of injury in that position. Lachlan is in that mix. When we talk about sevens in this country his name is mentioned amongst the selectors all the time and that’s the right place for him to be.

“It’s similar with Du’Plessis Kirifi and Dillon Hunt. In this country we always develop really good sevens through our franchises so it’s a tough position to be in.

“It was a tough call but there were many tough calls there’s many good players not here.”

Lachlan Boshier was one of the standout players for the Chiefs in 2020. Photo / Photosport
Lachlan Boshier was one of the standout players for the Chiefs in 2020. Photo / Photosport

While Plumtree did not want to elaborate on specific elements Boshier has been asked to work on it’s likely to be adding more size and physicality to his repertoire.

England exposed the All Blacks in the World Cup semifinal last year by dominating the physical collisions. That loss, and the manner of it, still stings. Lessons will be absorbed.

In that match the All Blacks were steamrolled up front. To avoid a repeat they recognise the need to harness brutal big men in their loose forwards. With Savea and Cane locked in the likes of Frizell, Sotutu, Ioane and Papalii bring significant bulk and power to their domains.

All are capable of fulfilling the enforcer roles the All Blacks need from their pack.

Sotutu hasn’t played for one month after a knee injury ruled him out of the backend of the Blues season but, prior to that, his form off the back of the scrum turned heads – so much so that England coach Eddie Jones and Fiji counterpart Vern Cotter were keen to lure him into their national set ups.

The match up between Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga at No 10 will continue to hog headlines but for Plumtree, a former hardnosed loose forward, there is no hiding which area he is keen to witness.

“Those boys haven’t played together so I’m looking forward to seeing what that looks like,” Plumtree said of his loose forwards. “Hoskins has got a lot of natural ability. He’s really strong and has a good work rate too. We’ve been really impressed.

“He hasn’t played for a while so he will be a bit rusty. He’s a quiet character but confident as well. I said to him ‘you’ll be right for half a game’ and he said ‘nah I want a bit more than that’. He wants to put his hand up and impress and play a game that’s probably going to be a higher level of intensity than Super Rugby.”

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7s World Cup

Can the USA help Australian rugby league and rugby union?

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There is no doubt that both international rugby union and rugby league federations would love their sports to grow through added interest in the United States of America. (more…)

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Duo quit Eddie Jones’ England coaching set-up

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Two members of Eddie Jones’ backroom staff have stepped down from their coaching roles with England.

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed the departure of assistant coaches Simon Amor (attack) and Jason Ryles (skills).

Amor and the RFU have mutually decided to part company so that he can explore new opportunities, whilst Ryles has chosen to stay in Australia with his family due to the challenges created by Covid-19.

For England’s summer series of fixtures, John Mitchell (defence) and Matt Proudfoot (forwards) will continue in their roles while Jones will oversee the attack until England recruit a new coach for that facet of the game.

Amor joined the RFU in 2013 to head up the men’s sevens programme. During his time, he led Team GB Sevens men to silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the England Sevens men to silver at the 2018 World Cup, and bronze for the England men’s and women’s teams at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He also oversaw the integration of the men’s and women’s programmes and helped both teams qualify for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

He moved to work with the men’s XVs as attack coach in 2020 and was part of the England coaching staff that won that year’s Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup.

Ryles joined England on a full-time basis as skills coach in October 2020, after winning the NRL Grand Final with Melbourne Storm. He was also a key part of the coaching staff for the successful Autumn Nations Cup campaign.

Commenting on the coaching changes, Jones said: ‘I’d like to thank Simon and Jason for their contributions to England.

‘I would like to commend Simon’s outstanding diligence and his hard work, and I have no doubt he will find a role soon that suits him perfectly.

‘With Jason, the Covid-19 restrictions have proved too difficult for him and his family to overcome, which we fully understand but are disappointed for us and the team.

‘They both leave with the best wishes of everyone involved with England and for their future pursuits in the game.’

Photo: Getty Images

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African rugby teams are coming together to prepare for the Olympic Games and Olympic Repechage – Final day – European Gaming Industry News

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World Rugby’s reach across Africa grew further as Algeria and Burundi became full members of the international federation

Algeria and Burundi achieve full member status of international federation; World Rugby (www.WorldRugby.org) membership stands at 128 countries, including 19 associate members; Both nations will enter Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying via the Rugby Africa Cup 2021; Rapid growth in African rugby being led by strategic focus on youth and women’s rugby; More than 350,000 registered female players recorded in Africa in 2020, up from 50,000 in 2012.

World Rugby’s reach across Africa grew further as Algeria and Burundi became full members of the international federation following approval at the World Rugby Council meeting, held virtually today.

The African nations were successful after achieving all the necessary criteria and their elevation to full member status sees World Rugby’s membership stand at 128, including 109 full members and 19 associate members.

See full List of World Rugby Member Unions >> (https://bit.ly/3tE9SRP)

The announcement follows the launch of World Rugby’s new Strategic Plan 2021-25 in April, which provides a framework for the continued development and expansion of rugby, supporting unions and regions in building capacity and capability, as the international federation strives to continue the journey towards becoming a global sport for all.

Both the Fédération Algérienne de Rugby and the Federation Burundaise de Rugby are full members of Rugby Africa and have sustainable women’s rugby and development programmes in place as they continue to grow as rugby nations.

Burundi currently has 2750 registered players and has been an associate member of World Rugby since 2004, while Algeria has over 80 men’s and 40 women’s teams and became an associate member in 2019.

Both countries will enter the qualification journey for Rugby World Cup 2023 as they are set to compete in the Rugby Africa Cup 2021. The competition begins with a repechage event in June before the group phase sees four pools of three teams each playing a round-robin tournament at a single venue per pool.

Burundi will compete in the Rugby Africa Cup repechage in Burkina Faso from 5-13 June which also includes Burkina Faso and Cameroon. The winner of the repechage will join Rugby Africa Cup Pool D in Tunisia in July together with Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile Algeria will play in the Rugby Africa Cup Pool C in Kampala against Ghana and hosts Uganda from 10-18 July.

The best two teams from each pool qualify for Rugby Africa Cup 2022, which serves as the final round of the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier for Africa. The eventual winner of the Rugby Africa Cup in August 2022 will qualify for RWC 2023 as Africa 1, entering group A alongside hosts France, while the runner-up will enter the final qualification tournament for another chance at qualifying.

Increasing the reach and diversity of the international federation’s membership represents a key element of World Rugby’s global growth strategy, ensuring that upon meeting the relevant criteria unions are provided with a framework and support to continue their growth and development as part of the World Rugby family.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are very pleased to welcome Algeria and Burundi as full members, reflecting their commitment and progress in achieving the relevant criteria, thanks to the many talented coaches, administrators and volunteers involved in growing the sport.

“We are dedicated to the sustainable global growth of our sport, combined with strong governance and there is no doubt that Africa is a key region with huge potential for the future development of rugby. Africa is home to the current men’s Rugby World Cup winners and we will continue to work closely with Rugby Africa to ensure we provide emerging unions such as Algeria and Burundi with continuous support and a solid framework to further accelerate the growth of the sport across the region.”

Mr Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa said: “I am delighted to welcome the Burundian and Algerian rugby unions as full members of World Rugby, bringing the total number of African member unions of World Rugby to 20. Rugby in Africa is growing rapidly and our strategic focus on youth and women’s rugby is evidence of this dynamic growth.

“In 2020, we recorded more than 350,000 registered female players in Africa, up from 50,000 in 2012. This is the result of a firm collective commitment from all African unions. I wish to congratulate Mr Albert Havyarimana, President of the Fédération Burundaise de Rugby and Mr Abdelkader Sofian Ben Hassen, President of the Fédération Algérienne de Rugby for their dedication and relentless efforts culminating in this recognition today. Both countries are in the running for Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification for the first time in their history and the entire African rugby family wishes them good luck in this new chapter.”

Albert Havyarimana, President of the Fédération Burundaise de Rugby: “This affiliation was long awaited by all the participants of Burundian rugby and comes as a reward for many years of hard work. From now on, it becomes a rugby legacy for Burundi, that we will seek to preserve and build upon for the development of rugby. It is an unforgettable event for the Fédération Burundaise de Rugby (FBR). Joining the global rugby family will enable Burundian rugby players to develop rugby on all levels.

“Although this recognition comes at a time when the world is going through a difficult situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are confident that we will overcome these challenges. Achieving this membership required great effort from all of us and it will now enable us to accelerate our growth. The FBR takes this opportunity to express its appreciation to all companies and individuals who committed themselves to bringing this journey to fruition, including various players and coaches of the clubs and their technical and medical staff.

“This membership, far from being an end in itself, is rather the beginning of a challenge and calls on all of us to step up our efforts to make Burundi Rugby shine at the regional and international levels.”

Sofiane Abdelkader Benhassen, President of the Fédération Algérienne de Rugby said: “This long-awaited membership of World Rugby as a full member will provide us with support in four main areas. It will allow us to accelerate the growth of the game in the country. Secondly, Algeria is currently ranked sixth in the African rankings, and will now come into the world rankings. We will from now on be able to participate in World Rugby’s General Assemblies and have a voice that counts. And finally, with this membership, Algeria can enter the qualification journey for the Olympic Games and the Men’s and Women’s Sevens and Rugby World Cups. I would like to thank Rugby Africa and its President, Khaled Babbou, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Olympic Committee and ACNOA as well as our private partners for their support. And I congratulate all the clubs presidents and founders of Algerian rugby and the entire union staff for their relentless efforts that have led us to this wonderful day.”

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