Nucifora to be new ARU high performance manager

Staff Reporter

Departing Auckland Blues coach David Nucifora will take up the position of the Australian rugby Union's (ARU) high performance manager in June, ARU chief executive John O'Neill told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday. The former Wallabies hooker will replace Pat Howard, who returned to Australia last year after a successful stint with English club side Leicester Tigers.

Sanzar mulls six-team play-off

Staff Reporter

The expansion of the Super 14 rugby finals to a six-team play-off next year is all but a certainty after this season's logjam saw two form teams miss the cut. Sanzar officials have been considering revamping the finals, with the most obvious first step being to increase the number of teams involved following repeated complaints that a four-team final is far too restrictive.

Blues beat Hurricanes in Super 14 thriller

Staff Reporter

The Auckland Blues kept their faint Super 14 semifinal hopes alive with a pulsating 19-17 win over the Wellington Hurricanes in Auckland on Friday. Trailing 16-17 at half-time, the Blues scored the only points of the second period when fullback Nick Evans kicked his fourth penalty to give his side what turned out to be a match-winning lead.

Super 14 set for exciting climax

Chris Foley

The Wellington Hurricanes and Auckland Blues kick off a climactic final Super 14 round on Friday in which six teams have a chance of joining the Canterbury Crusaders in the final four. The make-up of the semifinalists is unlikely to be decided until the final match of the weekend when the Sharks play the Chiefs.