Become a Couch Critic

Write for NZ Rugby World

Anyone can contribute to NZRW and have their work featured alongside some prominent sports journalists. We want to publish hundreds of fan articles and videos each month. Send us yours and you might see your name up in lights!

Whether you’re an avid reader, a budding writer, a couch critic, or a keen videographer, we’d love to have you join us in creating a space for passionate, informed fans with a place to meet, discuss and engage with the game that they love.

The Crowd goes Wild

By sharing your opinion with thousands of other sports fans in the ‘Couch critics’ section, you can gain followers, or simply start working on a portfolio of your own sports writing. Who knows? This could be your first step towards becoming a professional sports writer.

Everyone has an opinion, and we’re here to celebrate that. What we’re really after is getting to your thoughts. What do you think about that game, that player, that coach, that refereeing decision, or that team naming? What can you add to the discussion that hasn’t already been added?

Before you get started have a look through these helpful hints because although these hints might seem obvious, they’ll take your writing to the next level.

10 Helpful hints for writing quality pieces

1. Have an opinion, and get to the point

Your job is to tell us your opinion on what’s going on in sport. What do you really think about rugby related issues around the world. Make sure you know what you want to say before you start writing, or putting pen to paper. What’s your unique take on this story? Will someone be interested in reading it?

2. Stay on track

Once you’ve got your opinion, make sure you stick to it and not veer off track. Don't muddy the waters, if you have some other things you want to get off your chest then leave it for another time. The golden rule is to stay on point, and keep on it for the whole article.

3. Be unique

As well as keeping on track, it’s important that you know what others have said. Make it uniquely your own. Read widely, and have something different to say.

4. Evidence

There’s nothing worse than a rant with no substance behind it. Readers want to hear your opinion but want to be convinced. So back it up with evidenceThe evidence can come in the form of stats, history, what an expert has said or purely your observations on the topic, make sure there’s something in there backing up what you’re saying.

5. Know your audience

You’re talking to people who know and love their rugby. You can assume they know the basics of the game. Give your readers context where they’ll need it.

6. Be professional

We want NZRW to be a place for sports opinion and discussion. We are proud to report on diversity in the game and are not an avenue for hate or fake news.

Some basics include:

  • Don’t swear
  • Write as professionally as you can
  • Treat it as if you were giving a speech at a public forum or presentation at work

7. Extend your Vocab

Be creative with your wording. A piece can be hugely improved just by changing up verbs and adjectives.

8. KISS= Keep it short stupid !

Writing brings with it a temptation to go on and on. Don't be a waffler. Between 500-700 words is your ideal range, with one idea at the centre.

9. Use full names

Using a person’s full name, at least on the first time you mention them, is very important in helping give the audience context about who you’re talking about. After the first time, nicknames, first names and last names by themselves are all great. But always for the first time, it’s their full name.

10. Reading mileage

Just like your Intermediate teacher told you "the best way to get better at writing is to read more". You learn a lot about writing style, voice, techniques etc when you read other journalists writing. Read a range of writers work to find out what you enjoy about their style.

What are you waiting for?

Fill in the below information to submit your first article. Go on become part of the NZ Rugby World movement.

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Important Notice

You must have full ownership of the written content which you send to us. By submitting your content to us, you agree to have it published by NZ Rugby World.

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