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Tom Vinicombe Tom Vinicombe is Southern Hemisphere editor for The XV. Tom has covered rugby in both New Zealand and Japan and is a regular feature writer and news reporter for RugbyPass.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Eligibility tweaks and Autumn thrills game-changing for RWC

An already game-changing November has culminated in international eligibility changes.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Can Antoine Dupont arrest Aaron Smith's mantle in Paris?

All should be trembling in anticipation at this weekend's potential scrum-half battle.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Mouth-watering mid-year challenge looms for All Blacks

The All Blacks may finally have a challenge on their hands in their own backyard.

FREE READ
Tom Vinicombe

Manu Samoa 'under no illusions' ahead of Barbarians clash

Manu Samoa are preparing for a Barbarians onslaught at Twickenham.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Ireland, not France, will be the All Blacks' toughest test

Ireland have been quietly going about their business without any of the hype of France.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Springboks finally take first steps towards rebuild

With so many tough games to kick off the year, only now are the Springboks giving chances to young players.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Abundant All Blacks versatility might open the door for Quinn Tupaea

The All Blacks showed off their backline's unique versatility against Wales.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Last chance saloon arrives for All Blacks loose forwards

With the axe hanging ominously over the All Blacks loose forwards, the next month will prove crucial.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Why the USA can take heart from Japan's improvement

There are some parallels between the USA and Japan, even if their rugby development is years apart.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Chance arrives for Japan to prove Rugby Championship mettle

The Brave Blossoms have yet to prove they can compete with the speed of the Wallabies or All Blacks.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Eagles showdown both a promise and a warning for All Blacks

Games between the All Blacks and USA could become more plentiful in the years to come.

INTERVIEW
Tom Vinicombe

Clayton McMillan's Chiefs eyeing bold Super Rugby future

Clayton McMillan and Warren Gatland are cooking up something special in Chiefs country.

Tom Vinicombe

Springboks skirmish will be true test of Wallabies' standing

After a tough three-match stint, the Wallabies finally have some respite from the All Blacks.

Tom Vinicombe

World Cup versatility on trial in All Blacks' mammoth tour

When Ian Foster is selecting his World Cup squad, he may look back on 2021 with begrudging fondness.

OPINION
Tom Vinicombe

Who will make the most of Aaron Smith's All Blacks absence?

The next month looms as a crucial time for TJ Perenara and Brad Weber to prove their starting pedigree.

Tom Vinicombe

All Blacks dream not over for Japan-bound Brett Cameron

Brett Cameron's surprise call-up to the All Blacks in 2018 was just the start of his rugby odyssey.

Tom Vinicombe

Marika Koroibete's rescinded red card a lesson for World Rugby

World Rugby need to seriously rethink 20-minute red cards.

Tom Vinicombe

The era of Ardie Savea has arrived

With Sam Cane set to spend plenty of time on the sidelines, Ardie Savea needs to make a statement.

Tom Vinicombe

Japan's progress must not cost the Pacific nations

The Rugby Championship can't simply keep absorbing new teams when they reach tier-one status.

Tom Vinicombe

Damian McKenzie at a career crossroads

A stint overseas, no matter how short, could spell an end to Damian McKenzie's All Blacks hopes.

Tom Vinicombe

All Blacks exclusion could be the making of Cullen Grace

Paradoxically, being dropped by the All Blacks could kick-start the career of 21-year-old Cullen Grace.

Tom Vinicombe

The new propping blood gunning for All Blacks selection

The All Blacks will look to rejuvenate their front-row in 2021. Which men are due a call-up?

Tom Vinicombe

Half's time

Promising Chiefs halfback Xavier Roe has finally earned himself a start after an exceptional provincial season.

Tom Vinicombe

Loose ideas

An injury to Shannon Frizell has possibly made the loose forwards selection picture clearer for the All Blacks.

Tom Vinicombe

Red mist

The Reds' 40-34 win over the Chiefs breathes new life into a competition that was quickly becoming stale.

Tom Vinicombe

A rock and a hard place

There's no obvious solution to fix Super Rugby Trans-Tasman moving forward.

Tom Vinicombe

Shifting tides

Samoa haven't played a test match since 2019 but there's plenty to look forward to for the island nation.

Tom Vinicombe

Running before walking

Bonus points could decide the Trans-Tasman finalists but shouldn't be chased at the expense of a win.

Tom Vinicombe

Dynamic duo

The Crusaders had one All Blacks midfield combo before the season started. They've unearthed another.

Tom Vinicombe

Rising son

Isaac Lucas is a once in a generation Australian talent currently making waves in Japan.

Tom Vinicombe

Slog or sidelines

There's no middle ground in Super Rugby Aotearoa this year - if you're not a seasoned pro, you're left right out.

Tom Vinicombe

That winning feeling

After a torrid year, the Chiefs have finally rediscovered the lost art of winning.

Tom Vinicombe

Rise from the ashes

NZ were once unstoppable at Under 20s level but the landscape has changed over the last decade.

Tom Vinicombe

Advantage over

Quirks of the law were brought to fore in the Chiefs' golden-point win over the Highlanders.

Tom Vinicombe

Pain, pleasure and patience

Pari Pari Parkinson, one of the most promising physical specimens in New Zealand rugby, is back.

Tom Vinicombe

Bubble and squeak

A Trans-Tasman Super competition has just gone from doubtful to highly likely. That's good news for everyone.

Tom Vinicombe

Blue blooded

Joe Rokocoko's soft spot for the Crusaders vanished when they beat his beloved Blues in the 1998 Super 12 final.

Tom Vinicombe

League of his own

Leicester Fainga’anuku is setting Super Rugby Aotearoa alight. But he’s ambivalent about how his career develops.

Tom Vinicombe

Generation X

A new crop of Kiwi 10s are set to make names for themselves in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Tom Vinicombe

High-speed half-life

The Hurricanes struggled to replace Beauden Barrett in 2020. How will they fair without TJ Perenara in 2021?

Tom Vinicombe

Red and black and black and blue

After a year blighted by injury, Quinten Strange is ready to reaffirm his place in the pecking order.

Tom Vinicombe

Final push

Rugged All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick is eyeing the 2023 World Cup as his international swansong.

Tom Vinicombe

Cracking the code

History shows Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's high-profile move from league to union will not be an easy task.

Tom Vinicombe

Unburdened and unbowed

Liam Squire sets the record straight on the media storm that was his 2019 season.

Tom Vinicombe

Fullback gambit

The All Blacks' dual-playmaker strategy requires a demanding skillset from NZ fullbacks.

Tom Vinicombe

Annus mirabilis

He started the year a hopeful sevens player but Caleb Clarke ended 2020 as a global superstar.

Tom Vinicombe

Fresh start

After four years at the Chiefs, fullback Solomon Alaimalo hopes a move to the Highlanders will reignite his career.

Tom Vinicombe

Mana on mana

The Maori All Blacks holds a special place for those who put on the famous jersey.

Tom Vinicombe

Home comforts

Bryn Gatland has finally landed his dream contract at the Chiefs.

Tom Vinicombe

Rethinking the Argentina approach

Argentina's victory over New Zealand showed that more matches don't always lead to better results.

Tom Vinicombe

Prop, rock and roll

Taniela Tupou showed in Bledisloe IV exactly what the All Blacks are missing from their propping stables.

Tom Vinicombe

Perfect prototype

Caleb Clarke may be 110kg of destructive power, but he’s no one-trick pony.

Tom Vinicombe

Honeymoon is over

A wave of euphoria swept through New Zealand rugby in June, but the bubble has burst.

Tom Vinicombe

Rugby's greatest mismatch

The man set to replace Warren Gatland almost produced one of the greatest upsets of the modern era.

Tom Vinicombe

Taking sides

On Sunday, for the first time in almost three decades, a Kiwi referee took charge of an All Blacks match.

Tom Vinicombe

Tales of the unexpected

Tupou Vaa’i didn’t even have a Super Rugby contract at the start of the year. Now he’s an All Black.

Tom Vinicombe

School of hard knocks

Anton Lienert-Brown has fought a long mental battle to become a regular All Black.

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