All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's made no secret of the way he prepares for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the selection of 19 extra players to join his squad ahead of their test against Japan continues a long-standing policy.
- Highlanders prop Tyrel Lomax has made a quick rise up the ranks and made the All Black squad to play Japan next month.
- Otago coach Ben Herring was enjoying his coffee in the first 40 minutes — but things did not quite go as sedately in the second half.
- Otago assistant coach Ryan Martin did not have to look far to get excited about winning the Ranfurly Shield — just a picture on the wall of the team room in Dunedin.
Former Volts all-rounder Craig Smith found early form with the bat on the second day of the Oamaru twenty20 senior competition, making an unbeaten 101.
- Central Districts moved to the top of the Plunket Shield standings with a 145-run win against Canterbury in Nelson on the weekend.
- The Otago Sparks have a lot of work to do before the season gets under way judging by their results in back-to-back twenty20 matches against Canterbury.
- Green Island’s Tom Beaton produced a second impressive batting effort to help his side record a comfortable win against University-Grange at Sunnyvale.