All Blacks bid farewell
June 16, 2011
Chiefs' Mils Muliaina will run out for the Waikato franchise on Saturday for the final time © Getty Images
The last round of the Super Rugby campaign represents a final bow for a host of familiar names who will be leaving New Zealand at the end of the season.
The Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders are all out of contention for the play-offs and as a result some familiar names will pull on their side's jersey for the final time this weekend. Veteran Mils Muliaina will make his last appearance for the Chiefs against the Reds and he will be joined by Dwayne Sweeney, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Mike Delany in saying goodbye to the Hamilton-based franchise. Muliaina is set for a switch to Japanese side NTT Docomo and he will be joined in the Far East by Delany and Sweeney with Sivivatu heading to France to join up with Top 14 giants Clermont Auvergne.
The Hurricanes will bid farewell to Ma'a Nonu and Andrew Hore following their clash with the Crusaders with both recently informed that their contracts will not be renewed beyond this season. Also on their way out of Wellington are Neemia Tialata, John Schwalger and Anthony Perenise who all head to the northern hemisphere while Rodney So'oialo is another heading to Japan where he will be joined by the Highlanders' Alando Soakai.
The Blues are nicely poised for the play-offs though a home semi-final is by no means a certainty. Therefore, the clash with the Sharks could be the last time the Blues' supporters have a chance to see some of their favourties run out at Eden Park. Winger Joe Rokocoko will join Bayonne at the end of the season with versatile back Luke McAlister also heading to France with Toulouse. Also heading for the exit are John Afoa and Jared Payne, who are set to join Irish province Ulster, and Japan-bound Stephen Brett.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene