New Zealanders Helping Racing 92 to the Top

The experience of former All Blacks is helping Paris club Racing 92 with long-term ambitions, both nationally and internationally, said club president Jacky Lorenzetti.

French clubs often give priority to their own national championship, but Lorenzetti said, “To be champion of France would be great, but to be champion of Europe would be even better. Europe is the measure of our ambition.”

Its expensive and well-publicised ventures into the global talent market, most recently with the signing of Daniel Carter – the All Blacks legend, World Cup winner and International Player of the Year – which have been complemented by investment in developing local talent.

Since last season and a loss to English club Saracens, experience, much of it from the All Blacks, has since been added. Carter, 33, has joined his former New Zealand teammates like the winger Joe Rokocoko (pictured), 32, the lock Ross Filipo, 36, and the back-row forward Chris Masoe, 36.

“The New Zealanders have made a real difference,” Lorenzetti said. “There is a new maturity and a different level of performance.”

So Racing’s international brand will be built this year, first by a challenge match against New Zealand’s Otago Highlanders in Hong Kong on 6 February, and then by a preseason training camp in either Texas or California.

Original article by Huw Richards, The New York Times, January 15, 2016.

Photo by HKRU.

Tags: Chris Masoe  Daniel Carter  Jacky Lorenzetti  Joe Rokocoko  New York Times (The)  Racing 92  Ross Filipo  

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Erika Fairweather has won her maiden swimming world championship title with victory in the women’s 400m freestyle final in Doha. The 20-year-old from Dunedin is the first New Zealander to win…