Source: World Rugby

Latest Rugby News, November 2023

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New Zealand

The four franchises of Super Aupiki have announced their squads of 30 for the new competition starting in March 2024. Carlos Spencer, head coach of the Blues, has expressed his concerns: though the programme now extends an extra two weeks to seven, he feels it still lags a distance behind its European equivalents. It’s up to the authorities to bring it into line.

Multiple changes in membership reveal some of the challenges: players moving to a new centre only delay the togetherness so vital for a successful team, and there are precious few games for the management to resolve their best formation. At least a period of preparation has been scheduled for the first time.

The well-known north-south drift in England is reversed in NZ. So Matatū, the holders and the only franchise based on South Island, have lost Renee Holmes and Grace Steinmetz, who both head north.

Other Leagues

The Allianz PWR (England)

After two rounds only Exeter Chiefs and Saracens can claim an 100% record, though the holders, Gloucester-Hartpury, are unbeaten with a game in hand.

AIL (Ireland)

After seven rounds unbeaten UL Bohemians lead Blackrock College and Old Belvedere by four points.

Elite 1 (France)

Of the two pools of six, Pool 2 looks the more competitive. Recent matches: Lyon OU lost 20-32 to Stade Toulousain; Stade Rennais beat Lons 25-20 and Blagnac beat Grenoble 32-6;

– whereas in Pool 1 Stade Bordelais beat Stade Français 64-5 away, Romagnat beat SVM Lille 46-0 and Montpellier beat Bobigny 44-3 away – far more decisive victories. But it’s still early days here.


In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace Sarah Hunter, till recently captain of the Red Roses and now assistant coach, has been awarded the CBE by the Prince of Wales.

Ella Wyrwas and Mo Hunt have been awarded England contracts. That brings the total to 34 players with six on transition contracts.