Anton Oliver

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The French team face up to New Zealand as the latter perform the Haka before the dramatic World Cup quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final: France 20 New Zealand 18 - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff This is tricky. To begin with, to be a fan or no(...)

New Zealand captain Kieran Read after the defeat to England in the Rugby World Cup semi-final at the  Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Some get to pen their own exits, be it Brian O’Driscoll to Derek Pender in our neck of the woods, or in Rugby World Cups most recently there was the A(...)

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw with France’s Thierry Dusautoir. “If there wasn’t a certain Richie McCaw running around during the same period, Dusautoir would be seen as the dominant guy who has played rugby in that position over a long period,” says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

A confession: in 2007, embittered after being denied the chance to cover a World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff, I checked out from faux reality to e(...)

Former Springbok prop BJ Botha learned some hard scrummaging lessons early in his career from players like Anton Oliver and Carl Hoeft. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It was a slightly different festive period for BJ Botha. He had his mum and dad over, albeit flight complications ensured them of a first and last Chr(...)

Jonah Lomu of New Zealand is tackled by Shane Horgan and Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2001. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

“Ireland is a pretty significant place for me having played my first Test here . . . ” – Richie McCaw, New Zealand captainOne hundred and twenty two T(...)