Home' Greymouth Star : November 3rd 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Sonny Bill Wiliams has been reunited
with Charlie Line, the young rugby
fan he graciously gave his World Cup
He tweeted this morning:
Williams made headlines around the
world for his gracious act. Charlie was
“smoked” in a tackle from a security
guard after running on the field.
Williams said he felt sorry for the
boy. “A young fella snuck onto the field
somehow but when he was coming up
security guard, full-on tackled him. He
was only eight and the other fella was
a big man so he was lucky he didn’t
break his ribs or something,” Williams
explained about the encounter with
Charlie Line, who is in fact 14.
“Only takes one thing to change
someone’s life. Enjoy it, Charlie bro.
“ If that was a younger brother or
cousin I would have given the security
guard a hiding you know. But I just
picked the kid up and took him back to
his old lady and tried to make the night
more memorable for him.
“ I think the moment got the better
of him but he was just so excited to
get onto the field with the All Blacks.
I just thought I’d make it a night to
remember for him.
“ Rather than have the medal hanging
up at home, it’s going to hanging
around that young fella’s neck. He can
tell that story for a long time to come.”
Williams then posted on his
Instagram: “Only takes one thing to
change someone’s life. Enjoy it Charlie
Williams was rewarded by World
Rugby with a new medal.
The game’s governing body, not
wanting him to go without a memento
for his achievements on the pitch
because of his good-natured actions,
“dug out a spare” to send home with
Williams was called on stage at
World Rugby’s awards ceremony to
be handed the replacement. “ World
Rugby would like every winner this
evening to go home with a medal,
so they’ve rummaged in the store
cupboard and they have found the final
one,” the event ’s host Alex Payne said,
before Williams was given a standing
Williams played down the exceptional
nature of the incident, saying it could
have been any one of his team-mates.
“I ’m really surprised, most of the boys
would have done the same,” he said.
Charlie is a Year 9 pupil at the
prestigious independent Millfield
School in Somerset. He was watching
the match with his family, including
his brother Will Line and cousin
Harry Glenn, who posed for pictures
wearing the medal.
Charlie and Will’s parents are both
British, and were educated at Rugby
School, but the two boys are understood
to have been born in Singapore, and to
have lived in various locations around
the world. Their mother, Amanda, is
a partner at PWC, the accountants,
based in Dubai.
Williams was also lauded for
consoling deflated South Africa players
after the semis, and offered finals
tickets to Syrian refugees.
— New Zealand Herald
of the New Zealand Herald
The Magic may be forced to make a late
coaching change ahead of next season if Julie
Fitzgerald lands the Silver Ferns job.
Netball New Zealand is expected to
replacement this week, with Fitzgerald
tipped as the frontrunner for the position.
If appointed, Fitzgerald will become the
first Australian to lead the Silver Ferns — a
prospect that does not sit well with many in
the New Zealand netball community.
It is understood Fitzgerald, who has a year
left to run on her contract with the Magic,
will not be able to continue in her role at the
Waikato-Bay of Plenty franchise if appointed
to the top job because of the conflict of
interest it poses and the time demands.
The Silver Ferns coach would have regular
contact with the national players during the
ANZ Championship season, giving them
exclusive access and insight into the athletes’
health and fitness. It would therefore be
improper for a national coach to also be in
charge of a transtasman league team because
they would be able to gain key intel on players
from rival franchises.
The incoming coach would also struggle to
juggle both jobs, with the Silver Ferns set to
play a test series in late January — a crucial
time in the ANZ Championship pre-season.
Magic chief executive Tim Hamilton
was not prepared to discuss the prospect
of a coaching change for next season until
Netball NZ has confirmed the new Silver
Ferns coach. But with pre-season training
set to begin next month, the organisation
will need to act quickly if required to find a
replacement for Fitzgerald.
As well as a new coach, the Waikato-Bay
of Plenty side may also be looking for a new
captain next season, with speculation star
defender Casey Kopua may be set to step
away from the game at the end of the year,
despite signing on with the team for the 2016
season. An announcement on Kopua’s future
is expected this month.
It will likely be a month of big netball
announcements, with Netball NZ also
expected to confirm the details of a new
national league for 2016.
The Netball NZ board finally signed off
on the structure of the new competition
last week, after months of consultation with
the five zones. The need for a new domestic
league was identified after a major review of
the sport ’s player pathways and development
systems revealed a competition gap between
secondary school and ANZ Championship
contested among the five zones, and the
national championships, are currently the
only opportunities second-tier players have
to compete at representative level. But with
both competitions being held as week-long
tournaments, they are not preparing young
players for the demands of league-based
It is understood the new domestic
competition will be contested among the
five zones, and feature a double round-
robin and finals running alongside the ANZ
Netball NZ chief executive Hilary Poole
said the body would direct much of its
resources and energy over the next few
months into ensuring the new competition
would be in play for next year.
“ We need to have a league underpinning
the top level so when athletes get selected
for ANZ they know what it is to be a high-
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Silver-fern clad fans will be
out in force to give the All
Blacks a heroes’ welcome home
The team will be touching
down in Auckland at 7am.
A ticker-tape parade will be
held at Victoria Park at midday,
with hoards of cheering fans
expected to turn out, before the
men in black head down the
rest of the country.
Christchurch fans will
welcome the All Blacks with a
street parade and ceremony at
Hagley Park on Thursday while
Wellingtonians will celebrate
with an event on Friday.
New Zealand Rugby general
manager Neil Sorensen said it
was important for fans but also
“ We know fans will be really
keen to see the All Blacks and
show their appreciation for this
historic back-to-back triumph
which has made us all so
“The team also wants to show
New Zealanders how much
their support has meant to
them over the past six weeks,”
“Just as we did after the 2011
victory, we will be looking
at ways making sure all New
Zealanders can share in this
fantastic moment. We don’t
want the Webb Ellis Cup
gathering dust at New Zealand
Councils and the rugby union
were remaining tight-lipped
about the planned victory
parades until this evening.
events team Ateed said it had
been waiting on confirmation
from the New Zealand Rugby
Union before anything could be
announced. Mayor Len Brown
said Aucklanders would want
the chance to celebrate the
unique achievement of New
Zealand’s national team.
“Four years ago, the All Blacks
won RWC2011 at home and
Aucklanders turned out in their
“I expect a similarly
enthusiastic response when they
arrive home tomorrow after
doing it again at RWC2015”,
Christchurch Mayor Lianne
Dalziel said the city would turn
on a heroes’ welcome.
The players would travel
on the back of utes through
Christchurch before finishing
at Hagley Park.
“ I was inundated with
requests for a homecoming
parade from the moment the
final whistle blew,” she said.
“I remember an All Blacks
coach saying that the All Blacks
wasn’t a team of champions, it
was a champion team and we
will welcome them as a team
who have done us proud.”
The details of Wellington’s
parade are yet to be confirmed.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Keven Mealamu with a supporter and the Webb Ellis Cup as the team arrives at Heathrow Airport
at the start of their return to New Zealand.
Proud rugby boss Steve Tew
touched down in Auckland this
morning happy to come home
from a historic All Blacks win
he described as “pretty special” to
The New Zealand Rugby
Union (NZRU) chief executive
walked off flight NZ1 from
London in good form, saying
not only did the All Blacks make
history — they did it in style.
“It’s obviously very pleasing to
come home knowing we’ve got a
bunch of men on a plane who’ve
done something no one else has
ever achieved before, and I think
they did it in great style,” he said
at Auckland Airport ’s arrivals
“The feedback we got from
people over the two months
we were away was incredibly
positive, not just about the
rugby but the way they carried
themselves, the interaction they
had with the community, the
work they did for our commercial
partners — everything was really
“So to be at Twickenham on
Saturday and see that piece of
history was pretty special, no
question about that.”
Tew said the boys in black
were emotional after the win —
becoming the first nation to win
back-to-back world cups, and
to take the trophy home for the
“There was a lot of emotion
in the shed, and clearly there
are a big bunch of players who
are leaving us now who have
contributed so much to that
jersey, so that would have been a
bitter sweet kind of moment I’m
“ But they ’ll have had 24 hours
to reflect before they get on the
plane and I guess as I have, over
the last 20 or so hours on a plane
you get a chance to think of
exactly what ’s been achieved.”
New Zealand rugby had “a lot
to celebrate” this year, Tew said
and not just the Rugby World
“ We’ve got a bunch of players,
including our women’s sevens
and our Black Ferns who’ve
had an exceedingly good year,
so we’ve got a lot to celebrate
when we get together for our
own awards later in the year, and
I guess we’ll all go away and have
a summer break and reflect with
Tew could not shed any light
on whether star skipper Richie
McCaw would hang up his shirt
after the celebrations are over.
McCaw is expected to hang
up his No 7 jersey, but his post
match speech at Twickenham
hinted that his love for the game
isn’t over yet. “I think he’s still
keeping his cards very close to
his chest, so we’ll let him make
those decisions and announce
them when he’s ready,” Tew said.
of the New Zealand Herald
Such is the relentless expectation
imposed on the All Blacks, that 24
hours after reclaiming the Webb Ellis
Cup, questions were already coming
about their readiness for 2016.
The golden generation have done
their dash and clearly, the loss of
Richie McCaw, Daniel Carter, Keven
Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Ma’a
Nonu and Conrad Smith is going
to hurt. Between them, they have in
excess of 700 test caps.
Nor is it just experience that they
have been bringing in recent weeks.
All of them, in varying degrees, have
made telling contributions to the All
Blacks World Cup campaign.
The hole they will leave is not going
to be easily filled and yet the All
Blacks, like they had to do in 2012,
will have to take stock of who is out
there and where their next generation
of talent can be found.
The All Blacks do not do rebuilding.
The team must regenerate without
long periods of under-performance.
How well placed are they to do that?
Assistant coach Ian Foster, who has
signed on for another two years,
is reasonably confident the overall
picture is bright and a cause for
“ When you look at the planning
there is still a large part of the playing
group that will be eyeing that (next
year) as well and that holds us in
pretty good standing,” he said.
“From a selection mechanism, we
have tried hard to keep the team
rejuvenated and some of that has been
from natural attrition. What we have is
what the Northern Hemisphere teams
don’t have — which is we lose our
players to the Northern Hemisphere
clubs and that forces a regular change
of the guard.
“But we work hard to understand
who is underneath in terms of the age
group and franchises and we have an
ITM Cup and franchise system that
does a very good job in developing
players. So it is not just about the top
of the tree with the All Blacks — it
is about all we have done underneath
Some of the holes that will appear
already have strong candidates to fill
them. Joe Moody is poised to be a
long-term replacement for Woodcock.
Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett
are keen on Carter’s jersey, as is Lima
Sopoaga; Malakai Fekitoa could be
the new Nonu or new Smith and
Waisake Naholo has a huge upside to
go into the back three pool with Nehe
The challenge will be to dig a bit
deeper in 2016, much as the selectors
did in 2012. That year they had to find
a handful of new players to replace a
group of senior men who departed
after the last World Cup.
It was a relatively big turnover and
the selectors opted to mostly introduce
relatively unknown, younger players to
add some vibrancy to the mix.
That was the year Brodie Retallick,
Sam Cane, Aaron Smith and Julian
Savea were introduced.
information gathering phase to look
at who is coming through,” says Foster
about how they handle the first half of
“ We will keep an eye on the Under-
20s and Super Rugby to see how the
jigsaw comes together. If you look
at 2011 to 2012 we changed about
30% to 40% of the team very quickly,
to the point we arrived at this World
Cup with, I think, 15 of the 31 who
played at the last World Cup.
“If you keep that sort of mix
percentage then you get a really nice
balance of experienced guys, but
you also get an influx of youth and
“Also those players bring something
to the stage that the opposition
haven’t seen before and perhaps Nehe
is a classic example.”
Coach decision could rock Magic
Netball NZ’s expected choice to replace
Taumaunu, Julie Fitzgerald, would force
late changes at Magic franchise.
Two days from the start
of the first test, Australia’s
captain Steven Smith has
given his New Zealand
rival Brendon McCullum
a verbal slap and promised
no holding back on
sledging their opponents
in the series.
Smith, ahead of what
will be his first series since
taking over from Michael
Clarke, was reacting to
criticism by McCullum
over an incident during
Australia’s tour of
England this year.
Smith’s failure to
withdraw an appeal after
England player Ben
Stokes was given out
obstructing the stumps
from an attempted run
out while taking evasive
action, drew a sharp
opinion from McCullum.
“ We’ve all done things
on the field that we regret
later, I know I certainly
have,” McCullum wrote
in a column in Britain’s
Daily Mail newspaper.
“But it was
disappointing that Smith
had a chance to make
a statement about the
way he wants his side to
play the game and chose
to go the other way. By
not withdrawing the
appeal, Smith showed his
immaturity. He may live
to regret it.”
Smith admitted he was
“a little bit disappointed”
“I didn’t really think it
was any of his business,”
he told Sydney ’s Daily
He insisted he had
moved on from the
incident but “wouldn’t
change a thing” if the
incident was replayed.
“No regrets,” he added.
hefty sledging of New
Zealand batsmen during
the World Cup final left
a sour taste, Smith will
not shy away from being
tough-minded in their
“I think that ’s the way
we play our best cricket
— if we’re aggressive and
positive,” he said.
“ We know there’s a
line that can’t be crossed
and our players are going
to be playing that hard
aggressive cricket and
making sure we stay on
the right side of that
New Zealand had a
solid training session at
Brisbane’s Allan Border
Field on Sunday, and
another workout at the
Gabba nets yesterday,
compensating for the
shambles of a leadup
match in Sydney last
week, when the game
was abandoned halfway
through the second day.
They are in good spirits.
— New Zealand Herald
as ABs head home
Plenty of top talent waiting in the wings
‘Pretty special to be part of ’, says Tew
Williams was moved by the gift of a
new winner’s medal.
SBW reunited with Charlie
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