New Zealand: Former head coach Sir Steve Hansen reveals his biggest positive from the All Blacks’ 2022

Former All Blacks head coach Sir Steve Hansen believes Jordie Barrett’s emergence as an inside centre for New Zealand is the biggest positive from 2022.

It was a turbulent year for the All Blacks, suffering a series defeat to Ireland in July before falling to a maiden defeat in New Zealand to Argentina.

The All Blacks did manage to defend their Rugby Championship title, but their performance until then almost cost Ian Foster his job.

After the defeat to Argentina, Foster’s charges went on a six-game winning streak but ended the year with a 25-all draw to England.

First choice centre

While Barrett racked up a considerable amount of minutes at inside centre for the Hurricanes in 2022, Foster continued to select him at full-back for New Zealand in the early stages of the international season.

An injury to David Havilli finally allowed Barrett to start in the centre role in the black jersey when he started in the midfield with Rieko Ioane against Australia in their final Rugby Championship match.

He produced a magnificent performance in the role and would earn two more starts in the number 12 jumper.

Hansen believes Barrett’s performances in the position should make him the first-choice inside centre in 2023.

“The biggest positive from 2022 was Jordie Barrett at second five-eighth,” Hansen told D’Arcy Waldegrave on Newstalk ZB.

“He’s the man we’ve been looking for for quite some time to fill in that slot. He’s big; he’s strong; he’s fast. He’s got a great passing game. A wonderful kicker of the ball. Defensively he loves to get in amongst it and make the big hits and has the size to do it for you.

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“He’s a wonderful communicator, and both the 10s, whoever is playing, are going to benefit when they have a good 12 outside them who is prepared to communicate.

“He’s also a player that if nothing’s on, you can just give it to Jordie, and he’ll cart it, like back in the day with Ma’a [Nonu] and Sonny [Bill Williams] sometimes. He gives us that option, too, because he’s such a big athlete.”

Turning the ship

Commenting on the All Blacks’ coaching changes in 2022, Hansen says that tough decisions were made that turned the ship around for the side, with the side finishing the year positively.

“They were tough decisions that had to be made but were made by Ian, and the ship has turned itself around and I think they go into the World Cup with quite a bit of excitement,” he said.

“They ended the year pretty positively. Apart from 10 minutes against England they really dominated that game. It all started earlier in the year against Ireland. I think people underestimated just how good they were. We didn’t play anywhere near how we wanted to.


Hansen believes that the All Blacks’ challenges in 2022 will make them hungrier this year and that key learnings will have been made ahead of the World Cup.

“What they have encountered, and for this group it’s probably the first time ever, is a bit of adversity. And that adversity makes you hungrier, it makes you look at the mirror a lot harder and you start to have those inconvenient conversations that you don’t normally want to have and you can get away with not having them because you are winning,” he said.

“But when things are happening like they were, they’ve had to strip the whole thing back and have some really uncomfortable conversations. We’ve seen the changes that have come out of those conversations. We’ve also seen the players take some ownership and the coaching group take some ownership.

“I think they’ll be quietly satisfied. You’re never happy when you’re in the All Blacks, but they’ll be satisfied that they’ve made the progress they need to be going into this next block and then the World Cup.”

Official | PSG sign Paris FC midfielder Oriane Jean-François on a 2-year deal

According to Paris Saint-Germain’s social channels, the club have officially announced the signing of French international midfielder Oriane Jean-François (21) on a deal that will run until 2024. The player broke through in the Women’s D1 with fellow side in the French capital, Paris FC – where she played 50 matches since 2016, and decided against extending her contract at the end of the season. 

At international level Jean-Francois played for the French U17 side and then became an U19 champion with France, after which the young midfielder was called up to the French senior side by Corrine Diacre in 2020, making her first appearance against Macedonia and then on one other occasion in 2021. However she was not involved in France’s campaign in Euro 2022, which culminated in a semi-final exit against Germany last night. 

PSG said in the official statement that : “The Club is very pleased to welcome Oriane to its squad and wishes her every success in the Red and Blue colours.”





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PSG agree deal with Lille to sign Renato Sanches

L’Équipe report tonight that Renato Sanches’ move from Lille to Paris Saint-Germain is now a done deal, with the two clubs having come to an agreement in principle over a €15m fee for the Portuguese international.

Sources contacted by Get French Football News earlier tonight had indicated that the Ligue 1 champions were pushing for a loan deal with an obligatory permanent clause, but Lille were more inclined to accept the offer from Milan which would have consisted of a permanent transfer. Sanches, meanwhile, who had already agreed terms in principle with PSG, was favouring a move to the French capital.

The breakthrough in talks happened shortly after 10.30pm local time, report L’Équipe, with PSG accepting to make their offer a permanent transfer worth €15m – Milan’s bid, which was also accepted, was worth €16m.

Sanches leaves Lille after an impressive but injury-blighted three-year spell, having arrived from Bayern Munich, during which he made 91 appearances and was notably part of the team that won the 2020/21 league title.

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FIA warns F1 teams over pitwall fence celebrations

It’s a long-standing tradition in F1, but the FIA says that team members rushing towards the pitwall and climbing the fence to celebrate their driver’s win will now be referred to and eventually punished by the stewards.

Actually, climbing the fence for a collective celebratory salute has been outlawed since the 2006 F1 season, but the rule was never enforced.

However, the FIA now believes that it’s time to put a halt to what it considers as a practice that puts team members lives at risk.

Appendix H, Article 2.3.2 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code (ISC) states: “Organisers of races are reminded that the pit lane represents a potentially dangerous area during the running of a competition, not only because of the racing cars using it but also in view of accidents which may occur owing to cars being on the race track adjacent to it.

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“Therefore, access to the pit lane should be exclusively reserved during practice and races for those persons specially authorised and having a specific job to do.

“The pit wall signalling platform should be forbidden to all except authorised officials or race team personnel, having a special pass; the presence of any person in this zone should be strictly prohibited during the start of a race, unless there is adequate protection in place, at the discretion of the race director, if appointed, or the clerk of the course.

“Team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete.

“It is forbidden for personnel to climb on pit wall debris fences at any time. Any action by a team breaching this ban will be reported to the stewards.”

F1 Race Director Neils Wittich said the tightened up rule will be implemented from the start of the weekend’s Australian Grand Prix event.

But regardless of who crosses the checkered flag first this weekend, it’s unlikely that team members will converge to the pitwall on Sunday as Melbourne uses a glass wall to separate its pitlane from the track.

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Australian GP Free Practice 1 – Results

Full results from Free Practice 1 for the Australian GP at Melbourne’s Albert Park, round 3 of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship.

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2023 Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps

Max Verstappen
Red Bull


Lewis Hamilton
+ 0.433s

Sergio Pérez
Red Bull
+ 0.503s

Fernando Alonso
Aston Martin
+ 0.527s

Charles Leclerc
+ 0.588s

Carlos Sainz
+ 0.715s

Lando Norris
+ 0.746s

Pierre Gasly
+ 0.856s

George Russell
+ 0.909s

Lance Stroll
Aston Martin
+ 0.976s

Alexander Albon
+ 0.976s

Oscar Piastri
+ 0.987s

Nico Hulkenberg
+ 1.016s

Nyck de Vries
+ 1.143s

Logan Sargeant
+ 1.284s

Esteban Ocon
+ 1.385s

Yuki Tsunoda
+ 1.609s

Valtteri Bottas
Alfa Romeo
+ 1.629s

Zhou Guanyu
Alfa Romeo
+ 1.779s

Kevin Magnussen
+ 2.357s

Borussia Dortmund interested in Amine Gouiri

L’Équipe have revealed that OGC Nice forward Amine Gouiri (22) is a target for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. The French youth international would be allowed to leave the club if an offer of over €40m was submitted from a foreign club. 

Nice are hoping to retain Gouiri this summer, and the club have also promised to offer an improved contract to the player. However, that offer can not yet come to pass.  

Should an offer of over €40m arrive from a foreign club, there is a verbal agreement in place for Gouiri to leave. A club with the financial means of pulling off the deal, Borussia Dortmund, are interested in the player. 

Ligue 1 side Rennes are also interested, but Nice are reticent to selling to a rival, and the verbal agreement already in place stipulates that the €40m+ offer comes from a foreign club. 

The forward scored 10 goals in Ligue 1 last season, but saw his form drop off in the new year.

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Official | Lille sign Bafodé Diakité from Toulouse

Lille have this afternoon announced the signing of young defender Bafodé Diakité, with the French youth international joining from his formative club Toulouse on a four-year deal.

L’Équipe have previously reported the deal to be worth up to €3m plus add-ons, and that Les Dogues were drawn to the player as a result of his versatility, being able to play in any position across the backline.

The 21-year-old won promotion to the top flight by winning Ligue 2 title with Toulouse last season, making 24 appearances and scoring two goals, while his contract was expiring at the end of the upcoming campaign.

He had been a part of the first team at his formative and home town club for the last four years now, which includes 25 matches in Ligue 1 across his first two campaigns before becoming more of a key asset during the club’s two campaigns in Ligue 2. Overall, he leaves having turned out 83 times for Les Violets in all competitions.

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Local hero Piastri ready for ‘experience to remember’ in Melbourne

This weekend, Oscar Piastri will race for the first time on home soil as an F1 driver, and the McLaren rookie expects the special atmosphere surrounding the event to make the latter an experience that he’ll remember.

Piastri suffered a frustrating baptism of fire in Bahrain where mistakes cost him a spot in Q2 while his race was undermined by an electrical issue.

But in Jeddah last time out, the 21-year-old made the Q3 cut – contrary to his teammate Lando Norris – but was unlucky on race day, with a contact forcing him into an early stop for a front wing change that compromised his evening.

F1’s third round will hopefully allow for Piastri to enjoy a clean race, but the predominant aspect of his weekend will inevitably be his mere presence on the grid as a local hero.

“It’s great to be heading to Melbourne for my home grand prix,” the young gun said in McLaren’s Australian Grand Prix preview.

“I grew up in the suburbs of the city and it is a special feeling to be returning as an F1 driver. It’s set to be a fantastic atmosphere and I can’t wait to get there and be a part of it.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the home crowd and all of the papaya fans.

    Read also: Piastri looks to Aston for inspiration amid McLaren slump

This will be the first time that I’ve raced at Albert Park and I’m sure it will be an experience that I remember. The weather is usually changeable here so it could be an interesting one.

“Securing a starting position of P8 in my second-ever F1 quali and ticking another box by finishing a full grand prix was extremely satisfying in Jeddah, although Sunday was not seamless.

“There is a long way to go this season. We’ll keep on pushing hard as a team and my learning curve continues.”

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As the center of attention of the fans and of the local media, Piastri will be facing many distractions in Melbourne. However, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella doesn’t believe he’ll need to keep his driver in a bubble.

“He is a very calm guy, I think he will be able to keep himself in the bubble,” Stella explained.

“But certainly we’ll have to make sure that he can stay focused on racing, and he can stay focused on keeping up with this exceptional rate of development session after session.”

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Hoffenheim set to sign Club Brugge centre-back Stanley Nsoki

According to Foot Mercato an agreement is being finalised between Hoffenheim and Club Brugge for former PSG and Nice centre-back Stanley Nsoki (23) who is set to arrive in Germany on a 5-year deal for a transfer fee valued up to €12m. He is also set to complete his medical visit tomorrow. 

The Poissy-born defender, who is currently under contract at Brugge until June 2025, comes off the back of a successful season in Belgium after making 42 appearances for the club – including a Champions League campaign in which the young defender tested himself against the likes of Manchester City and former club Paris Saint-Germain.

At his time in the French capital, the player made 16 appearances in the 2018/19 season – before moving to OGC Nice  where he made 44 appearances between 2019 and 2021, featuring in the club’s Europa League campaign in 4 outings. The centre-back is a two-time Ligue 1 and Trophée des Champions winner – as well as winning the Belgian league with Brugge last season.




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Lens’ Séko Fofana on his future: “I don’t know why I’d be fixated on leaving.”

In an interview with L’Équipe published this afternoon, Lens midfielder Séko Fofana notably discussed his future at the club amid rumours of a departure, and looked ahead to the start of the season, as his team host Brest on Sunday to kick off their campaign.

How are you experiencing this uncertain period, with the transfer window?

I’m very calm about it. I’m not the only decision-maker in this situation. As long as I’m here, I’ll do what I have to do. I’m really happy. Maybe you want to see me elsewhere, I don’t know! [laughs] But right now, things are going very well, there have been new signings and we have a very complete squad. I don’t know why I’d be fixated or leaving and doing my head in with that.

Have you set yourself a deadline to decide on your future?

No. There are no certainties on anything in football. To be honest, as the coach [Franck Haise] said, we are very happy together, we’re working well. There are things that can happen. It’s a situation where lots of people are asking questions, where I’m being linked all over the place. I’m trying not to pay attention to that. The reality is that I’m at Lens right now and I’m very happy to be here. Sometimes, being set on leaving, I wouldn’t say that it scares me but the last two years have gone by quickly. I want to keep enjoying myself and I won’t take any decision lightly.

[…] Are you targeting a European place with Lens this season?

You might be, I’m not. The goal is not to put ourselves under pressure. We’ve had two good seasons. It’s true that maybe people expect us to go higher. This season, the league will be another proposition because there are four relegation spots, it’s a lot. So at the start of the campaign, I can’t really tell you what the objective is.

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