What a wild week for the All Blacks. But there is often opportunity in crisis and with Ian Foster and other New Zealand coaches forced to isolate, the situation has allowed Joe Schmidt to come in early -- and that may prove vital against Ireland.
Leicester Fainga'anuku will make his Test debut on the left wing against Ireland as All Blacks coach Ian Foster named all three Barrett brothers in the run-on side to face Ireland.
At last kick-off is upon. Unfortunately for Eddie Jones, the build-up has come without a verbal sparring partner. But there is still plenty to discuss as the Wallabies host England in the first Test in Perth.
The rugby world is set to reunite this July, with World Rugby's Test window bringing the northern and southern hemispheres together across the globe. So what shape are the top 10 in at this key juncture, and what might they be looking to nail down?
A tantalising three weeks of Test rugby kicks off this weekend, as the two rugby hemispheres collide across the globe. Stay across all the line-ups, team news, odds and our individual match previews here.
New Zealand's preparations for their opening Test against Ireland have been rocked with head coach Ian Foster and his assistant John Plumtree as well as two key players all testing positive for COVID-19.
Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named five uncapped players in an extended 40-man squad for their three-test tour of New Zealand that will gauge both nations' progress ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.
With six rookies selected, and incumbents making way for those inclusions, for the three-Test series against Ireland, All Blacks coach Ian Foster is chasing swift improvement after successive defeats, and a sense of trepidation, ended last year.
New Zealand will kick off their international season against Ireland at Eden Park on July 2 before meeting the Six Nations runners-up at Dunedin and Wellington in the three-Test series.
Ireland and Leinster flanker Dan Leavy announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 27 on Tuesday because of a long-term knee injury.
Ireland clinched the Triple Crown with a 26-5 victory over Scotland in Dublin, but failed to seal the overall Six Nations title after France beat England in Paris to win the Grand Slam.
Scotland's Blair Kinghorn has replaced regular fly-half Finn Russell as one of two changes for their final game of the Six Nations against title-chasing Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Ireland second row James Ryan will miss their final Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday as he goes through return to play protocols after suffering a concussion.
It took Ireland 70 minutes to finally break England's resolve as the visitors kept their composure and title hopes alive.
Ireland took full advantage of a red card for England lock Charlie Ewels after less than two minutes of Saturday's Six Nations encounter at Twickenham to claim a bonus-point 32-15 victory.
England second-row Charlie Ewels was shown a red card after just 84 seconds in their key Six Nations clash against Ireland at Twickenham.
Tom Curry will feature at open-side flanker for England while Ireland captain Johnny Sexton returns for this weekend's huge Six Nations clash.
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton will retire after next year's World Cup and said he wants "to go out at the top" after signing one last contract on Tuesday to lead his country to the global showpiece in France.
Ireland kept the pressure on unbeaten Six Nations leaders France with a 57-6 thrashing of Italy on Sunday.
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton has been named on the bench for their Six Nation's clash against Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, while fullback Michael Lowry is set to earn his first international cap.
The Reds lost Taniela Tupou before kick-off, Tate McDermott before halftime, had little ball nor territory, but still found a way to scrounge what may prove to be a crucial victory on the road in Sydney.
Ireland have received a boost ahead of Sunday's Six Nations match at home to Italy with captain Johnny Sexton set to return.
Izack Rodda's contract extension was good news for Australian rugby, but the question must still be asked whether the country puts enough importance on the lock position. Meanwhile, is this the year the Waratahs come unstuck in Super W?
With Super Rugby Pacific underway, and the Six Nations set to resume after a week off, there is plenty happening across the rugby world. Our writers break down some of the big stories in the first edition of Rugby Real or Not.
South Africa have committed to SANZAAR through 2025 despite talk of a move to join the Six Nations, as reports of a fresh plan to set up a Nations Championship appear to have increased backing across the globe.
- Tries Scored1st 24 Tries
- Points Difference= 1st 105 points