Ben Smith of the All Blacks is spotted by Aaron Smith during a New Zealand training session at London Irish  in Bagshot. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

A World Cup cycle has increasingly come to represent the end of international careers across the rugby firmament, and for this exceptional group of Al(...)

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen: “Leadership  . . . is a learning skill. Self-belief is a massive thing.” Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

By the end, it was all black alright. Seemingly half of New Zealand had travelled over, and as Twickenham was engulfed in rain and a black sky more li(...)

South Africa’s lock Lood de Jager  is tackled Dan Carter, Owen Franks  and New Zealand captain Richie McCaw  during the  Rugby World Cup semi-final a Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It had been an absorbing, brutally physical encounter in sharp contrast to the often bitter and violent rivalry of decades gone by. Yet as befits the (...)

New Zealand perform the haka before the start of the quarter-final against France at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

This could easily have been the final, but ever since the draw was made in December 2012, this one loomed as the day the Twickenham earth might shudde(...)

Schalk Burger  is tackled by  Richie McCaw during New Zealand’s match against South Africa  in Johannesburg on July 25. Photograph: Marco Longa/AFP/Getty Images

The Rugby Championship decider against Australia this weekend will be a litmus test of how New Zealand’s preparations for their World Cup defence are (...)

 All Blacks forward Sam Cane at yesterday’s press conference at the  Castleknock Hotel & Country Club,  Co Dublin.  Billy Stickland/Inpho

The All Black management have no concerns around team discipline or players holding curfews this week in Dublin.Following Australia’s suspension of si(...)

World champions New Zealand will test some new combinations in Saturday’s match against Japan in Tokyo before they embark on their tour of Europe for (...)