Rugby morning headlines as All Blacks lose major sponsor after World Cup flop and South Africa hero lands award

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Here’s a full roundup of the latest rugby morning headlines.

New Zealand lose major sponsor after World Cup flop

New Zealand have lost their main sponsor, US insurance giant AIG, after their disappointing efforts at the 2019 World Cup.

The All Blacks were beaten by England in the semi-finals in Japan, with Steve Hansen later leaving his post as head coach.

And on Tuesday it was confirmed that they will no longer have AIG as their main shirt sponsor.

“Lengthy commercial partnerships such as this are unusual, and the lead-in time provided means NZR is very well placed to attract new sponsors,” New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said.

England celebrate their victory over the All Blacks in the Rugby World semi-final (Image: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Ex-Wales wing gets Super Rugby gig

Former Wales star Mark Jones has been named as the Crusaders’ new defence coach.

The 40-year-old spent three seasons with Premiership outfit RGC 1404 but has now made the huge step up to Super Rugby.

“I’m really excited. It’s a huge opportunity and the welcome I have had in New Zealand has been fantastic,” he told WalesOnline.

“Without being disrespectful to other rugby clubs, the Crusaders are probably regarded as the best rugby organisation in the world. So for them to feel I can add value means a lot.”

You can read the full interview with Jones – who won 47 caps for Wales – right here.

Mark Jones has spoken about his new role with the Crusaders (Image: Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency)

All Black reveals mental health struggles after World Cup omission

Akira Ioane has revealed he suffered mental health issues after missing out on New Zealand’s 2019 World Cup squad.

The young prospect had a roller-coaster season with the Blues in 2019, and head coach Hansen cited fitness and attitude as reasons for not including the forward in his plans.

And Ioane has revealed the pressure from the outside world got on top of him.

“I’m just a dude who thought I could come in and it’d be good,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

“I’m still young and I thought all this mental health awareness stuff was all rubbish… but it hits you pretty hard when you don’t know how to deal with certain outcomes that don’t go your way.

“It was a real eye-opener, so that’s what I’ve been working on.”

South Africa skipper lands award

Siya Kolisi has been voted the Rugby Union Writers’ Club personality of the year for 2019.

Kolisi was named as the Springboks’ first black Test captain in 2018.

The 28-year-old was a monumental figure as the Springboks tasted glory in Japan last year, with Kolisi helping his side to defeat England in the final.

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