Ceremony in Auckland five days out from kick-off highlighted cultural richness of wider Pacific region and the emerging darlings of the World Cup - Fiji.
England face compromising travel arrangements on way to New Zealand but the cost-cutting isn't confined to them, writes Patrick McKendry.
Black Ferns' wing, in hot form as evidenced by her seven tries against Japan, will rightly be seen as a huge attacking threat by opposition.
Questions about Kiwi's future after Joyce loss fail to recognise his growing reputation abroad as a charismatic warrior, writes Patrick McKendry.
Barrett's performance in No.12 jersey as the All Blacks thumped Wallabies to stay on track to win Rugby Championship was a huge plus for head coach.