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Recent News and Updates

I started this site as a small-scale website for New Zealand rugby. However, as more people (particularly the UK bunch) have asked me for perhaps a bit more international news, here is the answer.

French beat world champs to Six Nations

France confirmed that England's honeymoon is most definitely over as they held off a English fightback to collect the 2004 RBS Six Nations title and the Grand Slam courtesy of a 24-21 win at Stade de France in Paris.

This RBS Six Nations decider match lived up to its top billing by delivering a pulsating, full-blooded encounter - but England will rue the fact that they decided to join the party after half-time only.

England fans have grown accustomed to watching their side toy with their prey before going in for the kill late in the game, but it was France who did all the early toying in this game - capitalising on some shoddy defence to rack up all 21 points in the first period of the game.

England managed to find their natural second-half grit, and pulled themselves back into contention from 24-6 down - but it was too little too late: the horse had already bolted.

So was the World Cup just a fluke? Has England fallen back into the time where everyone else could beat them at the games they invented?

Who knows.

New Zealand Tours Confirmed

New Zealand's schedule for visiting teams over the next eight years has been confirmed by the International Rugby Board.
The itinerary for home tours up to 2012 was confirmed at an IRB meeting in Dublin yesterday.
After the Lions make a 10-game trip next year the All Blacks will host Ireland (two tests) and the Pacific Islanders in 2006, France (two) and Italy in 2007, England (two) and Ireland in 2008, Wales (two) and Argentina in 2009, France (two) and England in 2010, Scotland (two) and Italy in 2011 and England (two) and Wales in 2012.

Kiwis Stomp French in U19 World Cup Final 

The New Zealand team took the title at the International Rugby Board (IRB) Under-19 championships in Durban on Monday when they out muscled the French, beating them comfortably 34-11 in the Final at the ABSA Stadium.

Sevens News

South African captain Marc de Marigny scored a sudden death extra-time try to secure a 24-19 victory for his team over Argentina in the Final of the Singapore Sevens on Sunday, which saw the Springboks draw level with England in second place on the IRB Sevens standings.

Argentina recorded their third successive victory over New Zealand on the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens circuit, when they beat them 12-7 in a Pool A match on Day One at the Standard Chartered Singapore Sevens on Saturday.

England, fresh from their third successive Hong Kong Sevens triumph, are hoping to become the first team to win back-to-back tournaments on the 2003/04 IRB Sevens circuit, when the Sevens road show reaches Round Six in Singapore this weekend.

Canada produced the first major upset of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Hong Kong Sevens on Day Two, on Saturday, with a 14-12 win over Sevens specialists, Fiji, but all the favorites, the Fijians included, progressed into Sunday's Cup quarter-finals.

Kidney Donor Found For Lomu 

New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu - who has been sidelined for over a year now with a serious kidney disease - has revealed that a potential kidney donor has finally been found, prompting hopes that the giant wing could return to competitive rugby.

Lomu was diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome back in 1996, a rare kidney disease that causes a build-up of water in the body and allows protein to leak from the bloodstream into the urine.

The condition of his kidneys recently deteriorated to the extent that he needs to undergo dialysis three times a week for several hours at a time.

Lomu has suffered severe nerve damage to his feet and lower legs as a result of the treatment, and doctors have warned that he faces life in a wheelchair if he does not receive a kidney transplant.

But Lomu, who attended the 2004 Hong Kong Sevens as an International Rugby Board (IRB) ambassador for the game, told the South China Morning Post that doctors had finally identified a suitable donor.

"I will be back - a close friend of mine has agreed to donate a kidney, and I expect the operation will be done sometime this year," he said.

"If all goes well, I expect to be back playing rugby again. I want to play for the All Blacks again. The surgeon has promised me it will be a success."

Stephen Munn, head of the Auckland Hospital transplant unit, has said his team hope to insert the new kidney in a higher than usual position in Lomu's abdomen, in order to protect it and thereby heightening the winger's chances of returning to the rough and tumble world of Rugby Union.

Fixtures for Six Nations sides in November 2004:

v Canada, November 13/14
v South Africa, November 20/21
v Australia, November 27/28

v Australia, November 13/14
v Argentina, November 20/21
v New Zealand, November 27/28

v New Zealand, November 13/14
v Canada, November 20/21
v USA, November 27/28

v South Africa, November 13/14
v USA, November 20/21
v Argentina, November 27/28

v Japan, November 13/14
v Australia, November 20/21
v South Africa, November 27/28

v Romania, November 13/14
v New Zealand, November 20/21
v Japan, November 27/28

Please let me know of anything else you'd like to see here.