Well, not much has been happening this side of the equator (erm, the Southern side that is) since the curtain came down on the Rugby World Cup of 2007. Three things worth a mention though:
Doug Howlett's wedding to long time love, Monique Everard
It hasn't been the best of years for Doug what with flunking out of the Rugby World Cup and then being arrested for vandalising some parked cars while wearing a flowerpot on his head. At least he leaves New Zealand's fair shores with a wife and some semblance of dignity before his big debut in Ireland. Well, a little dignity....
Sivivatu in trouble again
It was disgusting enough that Sitiveni Sivivatu was selected to play for the All Blacks in 2007. After all, he had been charged earlier in the year with assault of his wife. In a country where domestic violence is a serious problem it was a crying shame that Sivivatu was even allowed to call himself an All Black. So he took himself to the World Cup and underperformed....as usual. Now we hear he is back on assault charges again. This time against another woman in an Auckland pub. If this isn't the end of his All Black playing career, then I'm supporting the English next year.
Robbie Deans and the one eyed cantabs
Ever since Graham Henry was relected All Black coach for another couple of years it was always going to be on that Deans (who many considered front runner for the All Blacks top dog position) would look to ply his trade beyond the Tasman. Deans is a good coach but people seem to have short term memories when it comes to the spectacular losses of All Black teams at world cups. Who was John Mitchell's assistant coach in 2003? Still, Henry is in for another two years and Deans has gone to look after the Wallabies. Meanwhile in the parochial outreaches of Canterbury and beyond, thousands of angry talkback callers keep the radio airwaves alive while they vent their spleen.
Doug Howlett weds long time love - NZ Herald
Sivivatu denies (again) that he has assaulted someone
Read here the rants about Robbie Deans and you'll understand why NZ has every right to be worried about its brain drain