Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World

Latest Feature

'Let's return to reality - Ireland must exercise caution'

Irish expectation soars as Andy Farrell's team sweeps all in its path, but cool heads are needed if they are to heed mistakes of the past

Ex-All Black returns from France to break record after 12-year hiatus

By Ben Smith
John Afoa of the Crusaders looks on during the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between Crusaders and NSW Waratahs at Orangetheory Stadium, on May 27, 2023, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Former All Black prop John Afoa broke Super Rugby records after returning to New Zealand and turning out for the Crusaders in the 42-17 against the Waratahs.


The 38 Test veteran hadn’t played Super Rugby for 4,347 days since his last stint in 2011 with the Blues.

He officially set a new record as Super Rugby Pacific’s oldest player, 39 years and 233 days, by starting at tighthead prop for the Crusaders.

The former Blues prop debuted in 2004 before becoming a centurion with the club. After leaving New Zealand following the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Afoa has played over 250 first class games in Europe.

He just finished his season in the D2 in France with Vannes, returning to New Zealand from France two days ago.

The 39-year-old prop answered an SOS call after injuries to the Crusaders’ front row stocks depleted their squad.

Afoa managed 48 minutes in his first outing with the Crusaders, logging nine tackles and one carry.


All Blacks George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Joe Moody and youngster Finlay Brewis are all sidelined with injuries leading to the SOS call.

Potential All Black bolter Tamaiti Williams has taken on a heavier load as a consequence which left the Crusaders searching for an answer.






Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
FEATURE Super Rugby Pacific's chickens are coming home to roost Super Rugby Pacific's chickens are coming home to roost