Episodes
On the latest episode, Elliott and Liam ask... can anyone stop the Hurricanes this year? They review their win over the Chiefs as well as the other sometimes confounding results of week eight of Super Rugby Pacific. We also dive into the Super Rugby Aupiki final and ask about the future of the competition, as well as a whip around of the week's other big news including the Club World Cup on the verge of confirmation, coaching movements abound and the news of Blues forward Cameron Suafoa's...
Published 04/15/24
Published 04/15/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam review big wins for the Blues and Chiefs in Super Rugby Pacific, discuss the impending departures of Fergus Burky and possibly Josh Moorby and hail the success of the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens after winning the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens. We also catch up with Black Ferns 15s assistant coach Steve Jackson to talk the Aupiki season to date and what he and the fellow coaches are looking for ahead of their first squad being named...
Published 04/08/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam discuss the big breaking news that former All Blacks scrum doctor Mike Cron is joining Joe Schmidt's Wallabies coach and ask whether NZ Rugby should be worried. We dig into Cam Roigard's likely lengthy sidelining through a knee injury and ask whether the Crusaders are back. And we break down the governance issues plaguing NZR. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 04/02/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier dive into round five of Super Rugby Pacific as the Hurricanes continue to surge, the Chiefs and Blues bank important wins and the Crusaders continue to crumble. All Blacks legend Jeff Wilson also stops by for a chat to review the opening month and a half while we also talk the prospect of Sam Whitelock returning to the All Blacks in 2024 out of France. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 03/25/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review the fourth round of Super Rugby Pacific, which has seen the Hurricanes continue their unbeaten run and the Crusaders continue their winless streak. We review the Six Nations and cast an eye to the England tour of New Zealand later this year and where their strengths might lie. And we discuss the news of the late Billy Guyton's CTE diagnosis and ask... where to for rugby? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 03/18/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier take a look at the Hurricanes being unbeaten in Super Rugby Pacific and the Crusaders yet to nab a win, Ireland lose in the Six Nations and Italy wins away at home for the first time in a long time. We also stick our oar into the Hurricanes Poua haka saga which has dominated headlines for the past week. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 03/12/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam review Super Round in Melbourne, with three teams still unbeaten after the opening two weeks of the competition. We ask if the Crusaders decline is anything other than to be expected and also discuss the news the Jaguares may be returning to Super Rugby Pacific after a five-year absence. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 03/03/24
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific and discuss the so-called mouth-guard controversy which has become a major talking point from the first weekend. We also take a look at the Six Nations. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/26/24
On this special edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier sit down with New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson to discuss a wide range of issues facing rugby, including the Shape of the Game, Super Rugby's future, NRL rivalry, the provincial unions, Rugby Championship's future, women's rugby and more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/23/24
On the first Rugby Direct for 2024, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier begin by looking back at a mega off-season of rugby news - from Joe Schmidt's appointment to the Wallabies to the glut of rugby documentaries and the start of Six Nations. We also look ahead to the Super Rugby Pacific season starting Friday with a deep dive into every New Zealand side. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/18/24
In the final edition of Rugby Direct for 2023, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier reflect on Ian Foster's tenure as All Blacks coach, with the benefit of a few weeks having passed since the World Cup finishing. We also look ahead to 2024 and Scott Robertson's first year in charge and what his biggest challenges will be in what could be up to 15 test matches in total. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/27/23
On the latest Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier reconvene three weeks on from the World Cup final - to talk the latest in rugby news including Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan being dumped, a new specialist coach joins the Blues staff, Sam Cane takes an overseas sabbatical and Beauden Barrett eyes an earlier than expected return to New Zealand Rugby among others. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 11/21/23
On the latest (and final) Rugby Direct from Paris, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review the Rugby World Cup final, won by South Africa 12-11 in Paris. We break down the decider from the yellow and red cards, to TMO intervention to the actual rugby itself and whether it was a "good"final and showpiece for the game. We break down Ian Foster's somewhat complicated legacy in charge of the All Blacks and where to next for him, as well as touch on the news out of Australia that Eddie Jones is out...
Published 10/29/23
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, the scene is set for the World Cup final and Elliott Smith and Liam Napier dive into the two sides named by the All Blacks and South Africa for the big dance. We talk the make-up of the sides and how we expect them to play as well as the emotion of the match, as well as the new World Rugby Awards nominations and some form of conclusion to the racism saga in the sport this week. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/26/23
On the latest Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review the contrasting ways the All Blacks and Springboks punched their tickets to the Rugby World Cup final - the All Blacks comfortably, South Africa less so. We talk about the wider media reaction to both games and whether it was fair, while we also discuss the impending departures of several key All Blacks players and staff and if that will have a role in RWC final week. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/24/23
On the latest Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier check in from Paris after the All Blacks name their team to face Argentina in the World Cup semi-finals, we review the changes and offer some predictions on how the two semis might play out. We also chat about the latest in "Jones Gate", or "Eddie Gate" (take your pick) from Australia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/18/23
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, it's bonjour once against from Paris as we say Au Revoir to the Irish and the hosts France on a big 100th episode of Rugby Direct Elliott Smith and Liam Napier review the most astonishing quarter-final weekend in Rugby World Cup history with the All Blacks marching into the semi-finals with a stunning win over Ireland. We also take in the other three quarter-finals and ponder what the defeat for France might do for the interest levels here on the...
Published 10/17/23
On the midweek edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith (Newstalk ZB ) and Liam Napier (NZ Herald) discuss the breaking news out of Paris that Mark Tele'a has been stood down for a breach of team protocol and won't appear in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland. We also analyse the team named by Ian Foster and his selectors and cast an eye over the other 3 RWC quarter-finals. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/12/23
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier convene post midnight to discuss Portugal's historic win over Fiji at the Rugby World Cup, before branching out into the All Blacks and Ireland quarter-final this weekend and where both teams are placed heading into it and if the All Blacks can stop a seemingly unstoppable Ireland. Elliott and Liam each pick a combined All Blacks-Ireland XV, as well as discuss where the truth lies on the Scott Robertson saga. See...
Published 10/09/23
Elliott Smith and Liam Napier check in from Lyon to review the All Blacks side named to face Uruguay in their final RWC pool match (Live on Gold Sport and iHeart Radio).  We also take stock of the games to come this weekend and update French captain Antoine Dupont's superhuman return from injury. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/04/23
This week on Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier are in Lyon and assess the All Blacks' big win over Italy and how it reshapes the Rugby World Cup - if at all. We also take stock of the Ranfurly Shield damage scandal story from back home, wonder if the Rugby World Cup should expand and discuss potential changes for the All Blacks' final pool game against Uruguay Friday morning. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 10/02/23
On this midweek edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott Smith and Liam Napier assess the All Blacks side named to face Italy in their crunch World Cup Pool A match in Lyon, as well as run the rule over the other major news of the World Cup in the week to date. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 09/28/23
Elliott Smith and Liam Napier jump on for Rugby Direct from Lyon, as the All Blacks take a backseat for a few days with the Rugby World Cup ramping up with two big pool games with major ramifications. First we review the Wallabies almost certain pool play exit and where the sport goes to in Australia after their dismal showing, before jumping into the Ireland-South Africa blockbuster and discussing how the Irish were able to quell the reigning World Cup champions. We also take a look at New...
Published 09/26/23
On the latest edition of Rugby Direct, Elliott and Liam check in from Bordeaux - to discuss and update the midweek happenings at the tournament in France. We review Ethan de Groot's suspension, the All Blacks finding a useful stat to guide them in their week off, the Springboks opting for a 7-1 bench against Ireland this week and Drew Mitchell coming off the long run against Eddie Jones. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 09/20/23