Category Archives: Lions

Steep hill to climb

Rotorua attraction . . . geothermal lakes

The Flying Fijians will have a steep hill to climb on the return match in Rotorua on Saturday night after humbling the Kiwis 27-10 in Suva.

The end of the 62 year drought against the Maori All Blacks will have sent chills in the spines of both the big boys of the Pacific; New Zealand and Australia and will try to out-manouvre the tiny island nation and put them back in the backwaters where they belong.

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Filed under All Blacks, British Lions, Europe Fiji players, Fiji, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, French Club, Lions, New Zealand, Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby, Top 14, World Rugby Cup

Wallabies success needed for new golden age

2013 matchup

2013 matchup

This is an opinion piece by former Wallaby Mathew Burke on the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour to Australia in June. Burke is a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

I’m sensing the vibe is a little different for this series against the British and Irish Lions compared with 2001.

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Filed under Lions, Opinion, Overseas xvs, Six Nations, Test

Ioane takes huge French deal

Digby Ioane will head to Paris at the end of the year. Photo: Getty Images

Digby Ioane will head to Paris at the end of the year. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies winger Digby Ioane will leave the Queensland Reds and Australian rugby later this year after signing a massive two-year contract with French glamour club Stade Francais.

It’s understood Ioane will reap almost $2.5 million but the deal will severely endanger his chances of playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael on Thursday night confirmed French radio reports the world-class back would link with the Parisian club at the end of the year.

Ioane is regarded among the best wingers in the game and his loss is a major blow to both the Wallabies and the Reds.

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Filed under Broadcast, Contract, Lions, Oceania, Pacific Islanders, Personalities, Super 15

Fijian wingers make team of the semi-finals

Nalaga, Brown made the top pick of the Heineken Cup semi-finals. Photo: Planet Rugby

Nalaga, Brown made the top pick of the Heineken Cup semi-finals. Photo: Planet Rugby

Now that the dust has settled on the European semi-finals, we select the players who stood out from the crowd this weekend.

Without further ado, here comes Planet Rugby’s offering – be sure to add your own 15-1 team selections below.

Heineken Cup Team of the Semi-Finals:

15 Delon Armitage (Toulon): Many forget that Armitage was one of England’s best players during the Martin Johnson era. For those that had, he offered a sharp reminder on Sunday. Outstanding under the high ball and in defence, he also showed great pace.

14 Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont): Class. A constant threat whenever he had ball and especially when offloading, ‘Sivi’ will be one of the first names in the mix when we pick our team of the tournament.

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Filed under Europe Fiji players, European Club, Heineken Cup, Lions, Pacific Islanders, Personalities

Three islanders in British and Irish Lions party

Manu Tuilagi goes in for a try against the All Blacks. Photo: Planet Rugby

Manu Tuilagi goes in for a try against the All Blacks. Photo: Planet Rugby

Three Pacific Islanders were named in the 37-man squad that will face Australia this year, with Sam Warburton named as captain.

Centre Manu Tuilagi, prop Mako Vunipola and backrower Toby Faletau made the squad announced yesterday.

Cardiff Blues flanker Warburton was confirmed skipper at Tuesday’s press conference, which saw fifteen Welshman included in the squad.

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Filed under Lions, Overseas xvs, Pacific Islanders