News in Brief
Reihana commits to Saints
January 26, 2010
Bruce Reihana will stay at Northampton
© Getty Images
- Bruce Reihana has reaffirmed his commitment to Northampton Saints by signing a new contract at Franklin's Gardens.
The former All Black has been in good form in the Saints' run to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and led them to the European Challenge Cup title in 2009. He first joined the Premiership club in 2002-03 after making his name with Waikato and the Chiefs, playing two Tests for the All Blacks in 2000.
"One of the big reasons I decided to stay was that I've been through thick and thin with the club," he said. "I've chosen to stay twice when I could have gone elsewhere to try and help the club get back to where it should be. Now we are starting to get to where we should be and I want to be a part of what's ahead of us."
Meanwhile, Saints' Irish international flanker Neil Best has joined their Guinness Premiership rivals Worcester on a two-year deal.
"I met Mike Ruddock, and although I knew about him as a coach and his ethos, his passion and ambition for success can only rub off on you," said Best. "Everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and keen for success - that makes you want to play for the club. I will leave Northampton at the end of this season with very fond memories."
- Harlequins have confirmed that England international fullback Mike Brown and Saxons back-row Tom Guest have signed new deals to remain at the Stoop.
- Former All Black fullback Leon MacDonald will step into coaching with Tasman this season. MacDonald, who played 56 Tests for New Zealand between 2000 and 2008, has joined the Air New Zealand Cup side as assistant
coach and will also manage the Nelson rugby academy.
"Having had 13 years as a professional rugby player including 122 matches for the Crusaders and seven for the Chiefs, his experience and knowledge can only be beneficial to the young up and coming players within our region," Tasman chief executive Peter Barr said.
- Hawke's Bay have begun their preparations for the new Air New Zealand Cup season by announcing a trio of new signings. Wellington fly-half Dan Kirkpatrick, Wellington prop Anthony Perenise and Tasman scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i will all join the Magpies for this season's tournament. Lock Bryn Evans and veteran flanker Michael Johnson have also re-signed.
- The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has said that women's domestic rugby is one of many victims of the tight financial times.
The NZRU has faced a barrage of criticism for their decision to cancel the women's provincial competition in 2010, a Rugby World Cup year. General manager of provincial rugby Neil Sorenson admitted that cost-cutting across the board is far from ideal but unavoidable as a "sizeable loss" looms this year.
"Like most organisations in New Zealand and the world, we're facing tough times and we have to cut our cloth to suit," Sorenson said. "We've tried to not affect club rugby and schools rugby and the like but even in that area we've to make some cuts as well. There is a possibility that the odd standout player in that competition [NPC] in 2010 may miss out but we're going to be replacing the competition with camps and trials anyway for the Black Ferns."