All Blacks

Sonny Bill Williams still interested in boxing

The former All Black has made his first official appearance as a Toronto Wolfpack player in London at a packed media conference at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, as he prepares to embark on his new sporting adventure.

Williams has signed a two-year contract worth $10 million to become the face of North America's first professional rugby league team ahead of their English Super League debut.

Barrett backs Foster for top job


All Blacks treated to haka from fans on return to New Zealand after Rugby World Cup

Sonny Bill Williams took selfies with fans at Auckland Airport as he returned home where is expected to make a decision about his playing future in the coming days.

Williams, who played his last Test for the All Blacks in the win over Wales, is expected to return to rugby league and sign a historic contract with the Toronto Wolfpack in the Super League.

The deal would see Williams own shares in the Wolfpack, the first time an athlete has been a part-owner of the club they were playing for, according to Fox Sports Australia.


Richie McCaw and Graham Henry inducted into World Rugby Hall of Fame

The two-time World Cup winning All Blacks captain joined his former All Blacks coach Graham Henry in the Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony in Japan.

"It's a huge honour to be inducted," said McCaw, 38, who played 148 tests between 2001 and 2015.

"I'm number 143 and the other 142 names on there are legends of the game so to have your name alongside them is very special," McCaw said.

All Blacks beat Wales 40-17 in third-place play-off

After the loss to England in the semifinal last week, New Zealand ended its World Cup campaign - and Steve Hansen's tenure as head coach - on a positive note with the win in the third-place playoff, extending their 66-year winning streak over Wales to 31 Tests.

Playing with intent and accuracy that had been lacking last weekend, New Zealand scored six tries to two at Tokyo Stadium.

Hansen said the players did very well to pick themselves up for the match.

"There was a lot of external talk about not wanting to play this game.

Aaron Smith ready to stick around for another four years

The Highlanders No 9 will start in Friday night's bronze medal match against Wales in Tokyo.

Smith will be 34 by the time the next World Cup rolls around.

But he said he had taken inspiration from the form of outgoing captain Kieran Read, who is currently 34 himself.

"It doesn't mean I'm going to make it like he did.

"But us halfbacks don't take as many knocks. The only challenge will be if I'm still there mentally and if I'm still quick enough.

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks team to play Wales named

Hansen has made seven personnel changes to the starting side that lost to England last week, with Dane Coles, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane, Rieko Ioane, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty and Ben Smith all named to start against Wales on Friday.

Scott Barrett has been named at lock instead of blindside flanker, while Kieran Read will start at number 8 and captain for his final match.

Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett all retain their positions as well.

NZR dismisses Gatland

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is set to step down after Friday's third-place match against Wales in Tokyo after the two-time defending world champions were stunned by England in the semi-final.

Gatland is also poised to depart Wales following 12 years in charge as he prepares to coach the Lions in South Africa in 2021, while he has also signed on to lead Super Rugby outfit the Chiefs on a four-year deal.

Tew, who will also vacate his position at the end of the year, poured cold water on the prospect of the 56-year-old New Zealander replacing Hansen.

Māori or Pacific Island heritage needed in All Blacks coaching set-up - SBW

Head coach Steve Hansen will complete his tenure after Friday's bronze medal match against Wales in Japan.

Assistant coach Ian Foster has already expressed his interest in the position, while there are sure to be other high profile candidates.

Asked what positive traits Foster could bring to the role, Williams wouldn't be drawn other than to say he knew there would be a lot of interested applicants.

But the cross-code star, who is of Samoan heritage, did reveal a suggestion for New Zealand Rugby about the next All Blacks coaching group.

All Blacks star Smith 'embarrassed'

Two-time defending champions New Zealand saw their unbeaten run at World Cups that stretched back to 2007 ended in convincing fashion by England.

Eddie Jones' ran out 19-7 winners in the semi-finals to consign the All Blacks to the bronze-medal match.

Scrum-half Smith was adamant the reverse was not for a lack of heart, though, as he compared the New Zealand dressing room to a funeral.

"I'm truly gutted and highly embarrassed," Smith said. "You've got family, friends texting you, but you know they're pretty gutted.