From afar: November 24 is show time for the NZRU family

What is going on in the world of sport this week?

I'm only just coming out of a sleep-deprived, baby-brain state after giving birth on Friday so please excuse my ignorance.

I vaguely remember the men in the house cheering on the All Blacks early on Sunday morning as I recovered from the life-changing moment of becoming a mother for a second time.

Our family now consists of two children, which requires me to lift my game a little when it comes to planning, logistics, and multitasking.

In many ways, the New Zealand Rugby Union is also dealing with extending its family beyond the favoured first sons known as the All Blacks.

Now with AIG willing to sponsor all the NZRU's prodigies, November has become quite a busy season in the NZRU household as each sibling team fights for media attention and attempts to please its parent body so as to get more (or the same) level of praise and resources next year.

The All Blacks have begun their mission to impress by ruffling the feathers of Scotland and Italy, as well as the judicial system.

The flamboyant but sometimes neglected Maori rugby team has finally transitioned from being fostered to adopted and has attracted interest from sponsors such as Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd and BNZ.

Although the Maori couldn't avoid a mauling from the boot of the Tigers in their opening match, they redeemed themselves against the RFU Championship XV and really need to make a lasting impression against Canada if they want to remain in the good books with the olds.

The oldest daughter of the NZRU, the Black Ferns, has until recently been neglected which culminated in a poor performance against England last year.

This year, the Ferns have been overshadowed by the new addition to the family, the women's sevens team.

However, they still hold the title of world champions in the 15-a-side game which provides them with just enough respect to warrant another three-test series against England.

The Black Ferns have a new captain, and five new caps, and unlike last year are coming off the back of a healthy NPC and sevens campaign.

The status of the Black Ferns within the family is under threat, but for now, they just have to beat England (not an easy task) to keep their "shotgun" place in the NZRU family when it comes to women's rugby.

Here in the Manawatu the New Zealand Under 20s camp is in full gear, as potential Baby Blacks line up for their inauguration into the revered All Black family.

Like any youngsters, they are full of hope and believe anything is possible.

As the end of the month fast approaches, it is time for the energetic members of the family to take centre stage.

The men's sevens team have been a part of the family for some time, but the recent addition of an official women's team adds a new dimension to the family dynamics.

Like parents pandering to the "needs" of their teenage daughter as she plans her senior ball, the NZRU has invested a lot of resources into women's sevens now, so as to steal the show in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

A lot is riding on how the new member of the family goes in Dubai.

November 24 is a big day for the NZRU family in terms of putting on a show for the rest of the world.

The Maori team plays Canada, the Black Ferns play England, and the All Blacks play Wales.

As a mother of two, I will learn how to appreciate each child in their own right, and cherish what they bring to the family unit in their own way.

Each of the rugby teams mentioned in this article is different and special and November is a time for them to show what role they play in the ever-expanding and evolving NZRU family.




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