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Issue 8 The NZRU newsletter for Professional Players and Coaches April 2007

the biggest, blackest year yet

Our national teams take the on the world in 2007
It seems as if every year is a huge year for New Zealand the benefits for global rugby and the experience of the
rugby, but there’s no doubt that 2007 is shaping up to be players. This year’s three match swing through Samoa, Fiji
one of our biggest and best – and it’s not all about the and Tonga promises to be physically demanding but a very
Rugby World Cup. enriching rugby experience for all involved, both on and off
The All Blacks season begins with the Iveco Series in the field. Coming off the back of the Rebel Sport Super 14
June against France and Canada, followed by a shortened and moving more into winter, it should be a final chance to
Philips Tri Nations Series. see some constant sun as well!”
Then it’s on to France for the Rugby “The New Zealand Under 21 prog-
World Cup in September and October. ramme also contains some exciting
Portugal has just been confirmed as the changes this year, with a strong focus on
All Blacks’ fourth RWC pool opponent, player development for our next tier of
having beaten Uruguay by one point in a international players. There is no IRB World
recent home-and-away playoff. They will join Championship in 2007, but we have put
the All Blacks, Scotland, Italy and Romania together a programme we hope will enhance
in Pool C. the development of these young players and
The All Blacks will be based in or give them quality one-on-one coaching from
near Marseilles during pool play, but will our top resource coaches,” Andrew said.
also play in Lyon and Toulouse as well as New Zealand Under 21 will play a one-off
Edinburgh during this period. If the All game against Canada in Rotorua on
Blacks finish top of Pool C, they will face 21 June.
the runner-up of Pool D in the quarter-final, The black jersey holds a special significance
In addition, New Zealand Maori will
likely to be Argentina, France or Ireland. for every player who pulls it on. continue their annual participation in the
The semifinals are scheduled for 13 and 14 Churchill Cup tournament in the UK in May
October at Stade de France in Paris, with the final at the and June, and the New Zealand Sevens team will continue
same venue a week later on 20 October. their quest for another IRB Sevens title with remaining
The Junior All Blacks will participate in an expanded tournaments in Hong Kong and Adelaide (March/April),
IRB Pacific Nations Cup, playing three matches in the London and Edinburgh (June).
Pacific Islands against Fiji, Tonga and Samoa followed by NZRU Professional Rugby Manager Neil Sorensen says
a match against Australia A in Dunedin before heading to 2007 will be an exciting year for New Zealand rugby across
Japan the following week. the board. “Our national teams will once again be involved
NZRU Player Development Manager Andrew Hore is in top international competitions, culminating in the Rugby
delighted with the Junior All Blacks programme. “We had World Cup. Player welfare will remain a key focus for us
strong feedback from Junior All Blacks management in during this time. We’ll work closely with our national team
2006 that the team should play more of their fixtures coaches to avoid any conflicts over player availability, based
against the Pacific Island teams in the islands, to maximise specifically on the rationale of what’s best for the player.”

Key NZRU Contacts for Professional Players and Coaches

Neil Sorensen, Professional Rugby Manager 04 498 5910 Ben Smith makes the most
Mike Chu, High Performance Coach Development Manager 04 498 5920 of an injury break (P2)
Andrew Hore, Player Development / Sports Science Manager 04 494 0966 Tony Philp keeps Japanese
Steve Targett, Medical Director 04 499 5732 eyes on the World Cup
Chris Tindall, Contracts Manager 04 494 0776 prize (P6)
Chris Lendrum, Contracts Assistant 04 474 7250 If you would like to be involved in
Kerry Small, ACC Administrator 04 494 0780 the next issue, please contact Chris
Lendrum at the NZRU
Natalie Jones, PA Contracts Management 04 494 0790

from the CEO

Those of you who
Making the Most of a Bad Break
watch the business
news or follow foreign It is smart streetwear for men with
exchange markets strong New Zealand branding. It’s
will be aware that the called Elusiv (like me).
New Zealand dollar is Well Elusiv is not that little
currently very strong,
any more. Infact it’s turning into a
with one NZ dollar
consistently worth
monster that is eating up cash like
nearly 70 US cents over the last six a high maintenance lady friend. The
months. original idea was to make money,
While a strong NZ dollar is good not roll up and smoke the little
if you need spending money on an that I had to start with. Short term
overseas tour, it’s not good news for sacrifice for a longer term gain they
the NZRU’s bank balances. Almost reckon. However now, more than
two-thirds of our income comes from one year after the little darling Elusiv
overseas, including broadcasting was launched, there are 25 retail
revenue from our partners at News streetwear stores in New Zealand
Corporation (Australia) and SuperSport that stock our brand. We have
(South Africa) and from sponsorship
just had some of our range at the
income from adidas (Germany) and
our new major sponsor Iveco (Italy). Streetwear entrepreneur Billy Elusiv Dunedin Fashion Show which is good
These organisations pay us in either (occasionally aka Ben Smith) tells for our profile. But that doesn’t beat
US dollars or Euros. Engage! how he turned an unwelcome JD Fortune of INXS wearing our T at
In simple terms, the stronger the injury into a welcome opportunity. a concert in Auckland last year. Now
NZ dollar is the less income we get for It was not what a standard rugby that’s good profile.
every US dollar or Euro we convert. If training should be like... Why did I want to start a clothing
the NZ dollar is weak, at US$0.50 for The hills around Logan Park in business while playing rugby?
example, we receive NZ$2.00 for every Dunedin are ablaze and there are Well I had studied marketing and
US dollar paid to us. But if the NZ three helicopters buzzing around management at varsity and wanted
dollar is strong, at US$0.70 cents as it to apply that knowledge. I thought
trying to put the fires out. Also, the
is now, then we receive approximately the best way was to give it a crack
NZ$1.45 for each US dollar. Multiplied groundsmen seem to have put a
beach-full of sand on the grass for and learn from my mistakes along
by millions of dollars, you can see what
a huge difference this makes to the some reason. Interesting. Warm up the way. I would love to claim all the
NZRU’s finances. goes alright, and then the trainer credit but I cannot. My better half
Over the last few years, we have introduces Gaelic football as a warm Nicola Reilly is the designer and
benefited from a weak NZ dollar, as up game, without the contact. On my production manager which leaves
revenue was converted into NZ dollars first touch of the ball I catch it, go me with not much really, just some
at favourably low value exchange to take off and as I do, my foot gets
rates. As a result, we have built up caught in the beach and twists around, INXS’s JD Fortune wears Elusiv, and a couple of tattoos
considerable amount of cash to cover my knee snaps backwards, and next to remind himself that he’s just like you and me.
a rainy day; that bad weather, due to thing I know I’m on my back. I heard a
the current strength of the NZ dollar, is
big suction popping noise, like taking
with us now. The result is that in 2006
the NZRU made a loss of $4.8 million. the cork out of a wine bottle. It took
If the NZ dollar remains strong in 2007, the cork out of me, that’s for sure.
we will have to absorb another loss. Really sore. My hands were going to
Clearly multi-million dollar and fro from face to knee. You know
losses are not sustainable forever that feeling when you realise you are
and therefore we are taking steps going to be out for a long time? Well
to reduce our expenses in 2007 I’d never had that feeling before, never
by $2 million. We will however this thought it would happen to me.
year maintain our core activities The injury was diagnosed as a
including funding for teams, players, ruptured ACL, with a solid six months
competitions and the All Blacks’ Rugby
of recovery. I’m not afraid to admit
World Cup 2007 campaign. In addition
there were a few tears at the time, but
we are nervously watching the NZ
dollar and hoping that it falls. That I suppose it could have been worse – it
more than anything will help us to get could have been career ending.
back into the black. So, what was I going to do with
Regards, myself now? Luckily I have a little
Chris Moller business on the side to keep me going.

Making the Most of a Bad Break

of the modeling, but I’m even trying me something to do away from rugby,
to phase myself out of that now and at the moment, away from gym/
because I get crucified for it from the rehab/prehab and all that other “hab”
boys. Surprisingly though, I do get stuff. Otherwise I get bored.
offers from some of the players when So the moral
nobody else is around, saying that of the story is:
they are available for some part time keep your options
modeling work. Even some of the open outside of
management have sidled up to me footy. Just don’t
and proposed themselves as having pin your hopes on
the goods to do the job. True! I would being a model for
dearly love to name names, but you Elusiv when you
might have to wait and see if I get retire.
another Engage! column to find out.
Elusiv is great fun, keeps my mind Kick, push, kick, push, kick, push, kick, push, coast...
sharp as a tack (if it ever was), gives Josh looking Elusiv at Dunedin’s Fashion Week.
image: otago daily times


It’s fair to say there is plenty of anticipation both from the players and public alike about the results of the recently
concluded conditioning programme undertaken by 22 of our top professional players. All Blacks and National
Fitness Adviser Graham Lowe brings Engage! up to speed with the programme, its goals and its potential outcomes.
The conditioning window was in effect a pre-season training opportunity for a group of players who, due to high
playing demands over the past three years, have had limited opportunities to get consistent conditioning work done
on an annual basis. The goals of the window were to create some quality training history, refresh players mentally,
attain some performance goals, and
acknowledge some welfare issues
that relate to the significant amount of
game and competition load that these
players have experienced.
The conditioning players started
training together in groups within
each franchise in early January,
each completing three cycles of
three weeks’ training. Each cycle
was concluded with a national camp
that included fitness testing and
monitoring to ensure that the next
stage of the programme met their
individual needs.
Overall, the individual programmes
had a strong focus on strength, power,
and speed development. Not only is
this is an area where New Zealand
players have a relatively poor training
Lowie with eight of his enthusiastic subjects.
history, but it is also an area that we
believe we have a distinct advantage over other countries and so the thinking was, why not enhance that advantage?
The delivery of the programme was achieved through fantastic support from key people in each region, from franchise
management through to the conditioning, medical and massage people who worked at the coal face with the players.
Without their hard work and dedication this would not have been possible.
Barring some niggling injuries that some players experienced through the intensity of the programme, there are some
impressive changes in physical capacity both in the gym and on the field. Almost to a man, players achieved personal
bests in one or more of the areas we tested and monitored. They are now excited about being back on the field, and we
wish them all the best in their return to play.

Changes at the
As some of you will already be In 2006, the NZRU agreed to increase its contribution to the
aware, Steve Lancaster left his Player Payment Pool for the remainder of the term of the
position as manager of the NZRU’s Collective Agreement, with a number of programmes and
Professional Player, Coach and benefits receiving increased funding. From the increased
Referee Team in September contribution, $355,000 was allocated to be spent on the
2006 to take up the new role of development of the Professional Development Programme in
High Performance Leader at the 2007 and 2008. NZRU Player Development Manager
Crusaders. Andrew Hore discusses the plans for extending the PDP.
We wish Lancs and his family The use of the additional funding was agreed between the NZRU and the
all the best for their move back to Players Association following a review of the current programme in November
Christchurch. 2006. The review was held over two days in Wellington and incorporated
The professional rugby areas of feedback from all people involved in providing and receiving the benefits of
the NZRU’s business have now been the PDP, including the five franchise PDMs, NZRU and Players Association
reorganized into one team under representatives, coach and team management personnel and three players
the leadership of Professional Rugby – Tane Tu’ipulotu, Greg Somerville and Angus Macdonald.
Manager Neil Sorensen. The review concluded that the PDP should be extended to allow each non-
franchise host Provincial Union (ie all Provincial Unions involved in the Air New
Zealand Cup except Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago) to
have a part-time PDM who would be managed by their respective franchise
PDM. This decision was made for a number of reasons, including:
• It is currently extremely difficult for the five franchise PDMs to see and cater
for all Provincial Union contracted players within their franchise.
• It was felt that in many cases Provincial Union players who are not selected
for the Rebel Sport Super 14 are the players with the greatest need for
PDP support, as they often play Air New Zealand Cup and have to find
employment during the rest of the year. The PDP can assist by exposing this
group to business and workplace opportunities;
Sos oversees a large team • Expansion will allow players to transition from the Air New Zealand Cup to
covering contracting, national team the Rebel Sport Super 14 environment easily, and improve coordination of
administration, medical, player individual players’ professional development; and
development and sports science, The addition of Provincial Union PDMs will mean that the franchise PDM will be
and high performance coaching and responsible for Rebel Sport Super 14, Wider Training Group and New Zealand
referees. He will also be involved Sevens players, while the Provincial Union PDM will be responsible for their
in maintaining our communication Provincial Union-level players.
and relationship with the Players The new roles of Provincial Union PDMs are likely to be part-time roles of
Association. 15–20 hours per week. Advertising for the new roles began in February and
Sos has moved over into his new it is likely that appointments will be made around the country in time for the
role from his previous job as NZRU beginning of each province’s Air New Zealand Cup campaign.
Rugby Operations Manager, which
included managing tournaments,
inbound tours and national teams. Coaching Course for Professional Players
He will maintain that role as well as Last November the NZRU ran our first Players Transition to Coaching
his new one until May, when a new Course in Palmerston North, attended by 14 current and former
face, Simon Jelowitz will take over as professional players. The course covered the fundamentals of the NZRU
Rugby Operations Manager. Principles of Rugby Coaching (PORC) curriculum and was facilitated by
Simon joins us from the IRB, NZRU coaching staff Richard Skelly and Mike Chu, along with Christchurch
where he was in charge of running College of Education Lecturer Hugh Galvan. Topics such as principles of
IRB tournaments, including the attack and defence, lineouts, scrums, coaching philosophies, styles and
Under 19 and Under 21 World mental toughness were covered, as well as a session from leading NZRU
Championships. professional referee Lyndon Bray.
Also on the move is Mark The attendees ranged in coaching experience, but all were expected to
Robinson. Robbo joined the NZRU coach a session during the two-day course and are now in the process of
in 2006 as our Talent Identification completing the 50 hours’ coaching required to complete the course.
Manager, a newly created role at that Feedback from attendees was very positive, and another course is
time. He has now taken up the role planned for November 2007. For information on this year’s course contact
of CEO at the Taranaki Rugby Union, Alice Foot at, or contact your local PDM.
where he started in March.

Give an Education and Save a Life

As part of the ongoing
relationship between
the All Blacks and
the NZRU’s official
charity, Save the
Children, several All
Blacks volunteered
their time to visit Save the Children
programmes in South Africa and
Fiji after the end of the Philips
Tri Nations Series in 2006. The
visits were featured in Save the
Children’s annual appeal television
commercial. NZRU Marketing
Executive JOE MAKISI, who joined
the trip to Fiji, reports.
Anton Oliver, Doug Howlett, Keven
Mealamu and Carl Hayman visited
Harrismith High School, in Free State,
South Africa. In this part of South
Africa, one in five people has HIV/AIDs
and one in six children has lost a
parent to HIV/AIDs. Almost 80% of the
children in this area live in poverty. community at Narere, in Suva, Fiji. Save the Children and the NZRU
Having the guys there for the day There they met the families serviced by would like to say a big thank you
was definitely a big change from the Save the Children’s mobile playgroup to all the players involved in the
kids’ daily routine, and they loved project and installed recreation project site visits. Their time, effort
it! The players played games and equipment outside the tin buildings and support really does make a
read books with the kids, and helped where local kids learn and play. Again, difference.
to plant a vegetable garden in the the guys put constant smiles on the For more information on Save the
school. kids’ faces, and with their tops off in Children and their valuable work, visit
Jerry Collins, Joe Rokocoko and the 30 degree heat, all the mums were or call
Byron Kelleher visited the little smiling too! 0800 167 168.

Above: Jerry, Byron and Joe swapped balls

for bricks in Fiji.
image: nz woman’s weekly, fiona tomlinson
Below left: Keven and Carl lead Harrismith students
in a clapping game.
Below right: Doug and Anton get in touch with
the African soil.
images: save the children

chiefs prop lifting japanese rugby

30-year-old former Chief Tony stration, firstly as the Academy in implementing a high performance
Philp is currently working in Japan Manager and then later as Rugby plan that focuses on player, referee
as the High Development Manager, where I was and coach development as well as
Performance responsible for the Academy, RDOs looking at who and when we play
Manager for the and amateur rep teams. in our international and domestic
Japanese Rugby At the end of 2005, I applied for the competitions.
Football Union. IRB’s High Performance Manager roles The vision for this plan is “ATQ”,
He tells Engage! with the Pacific Islands. However, the which stands for “Advance to the
about the IRB thought my skills and experience Quarterfinal” at the Rugby World Cup
pathway he took were better suited to Japan, so here tournament in 2011. I believe that
to his current I am. My family and I are thoroughly Japan has the potential to reach this
role. enjoying the challenge, culture and goal, although it will take a lot of hard
As an aspiring player, I always experience of Japan, with its friendly work and commitment from Japan’s
felt it was really important to get people, great food, and high efficiency! rugby community.
an education and some work My role as High Performance But if I didn’t believe it was
experience behind me, so that if Manager is to help support the JRFU possible, I wouldn’t be here!
my on-field career did not work out
I had something to fall back on.
So from school I went to Massey
University and studied a double
major in Management and Sports
Management and Coaching, and
then did a year at Sport Wanganui as
a district coordinator.
With all of that behind me, I
began to concentrate on becoming
a professional rugby player. In 2000,
I took up a contract with Waikato
that eventually saw me working as a
full-time Rugby Development Officer
as well as playing for Waikato in the
Air New Zealand NPC. I resigned as
an RDO in 2001 when I was picked in
the Chiefs for the first time.
In the middle of 2003 I found out
that I had a serious back injury which
forced me to retire from professional Tony and his family have slipped, or should that be slippered, right in to the way of life in Japan.
rugby. I rejoined Waikato’s admini-

UPDATE: Player Loyalty Plan

As of 20 March, a total of 151 The table below shows the amount invested in each of the nine investment
Rebel Sport Super 14 and New options:
Zealand Sevens players were
members of the NZRU Player AMP Capital Assured....................................... $249,640
Loyalty and Superannuation AMP Capital Stable......................................... $188,757
Plan. This means 77% of eligible AMP Balanced................................................. $187,963
players are part of the scheme. ASB Balanced.................................................. $105,732
By franchise, the percentage of BT Balanced...................................................... $95,243
players who are members is: ING Balanced.................................................. $249,059
Blues 73% Tower Balanced..................................................$73,241
Chiefs 70% AMP High Equity........................................... $1,164,277
Hurricanes 75% Lifesteps – Establishment.................................$71,707
Crusaders 82% Total................................................................ $2,385,625
Highlanders 73%
Total 77% Those of you who haven’t yet joined may still do so by contacting your PDM.

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