Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

The Big Apple, tropics on agenda for All Blacks' stars after the season-ending match against France in Paris tomorrow

The Kiwi summer beckons, but not for some All Blacks, who are planning northern hemisphere holidays following their blockbusting Northern Tour.

The squad ends their four-match tour, which included tests against Ireland and Italy in Chicago, Rome and Dublin, with tomorrow's season-ender against France in Paris.

Players, some joined by wives and partners, have been enjoying the sights on tour, posting dozens of snaps to Instagram and Twitter since leaving New Zealand last month.

An All Blacks spokesman wouldn't reveal how many players will be returning to New Zealand when the squad arrives home on Tuesday morning, but it is not uncommon for some players to remain behind after tours for sponsorship obligations or holidays.

Player managers contacted by the Weekend Herald also would not confirm players' plans.

However at least two All Blacks appear to be planning extended time offshore, with post-tour holidays in the United States and Fiji.

In the meantime, players and their partners have been soaking up the sights on their continent-hopping tour, most recently in Paris.

Winger Julian Savea enjoyed a kiss on the Eiffel Tower with wife Fatima, and the pair also posted photos of a visit to the sprawling Palace of Versailles.


Brother Ardie Savea also enjoyed the sights in the city of love with his partner, Saskia Hartmann-Hechenberger.

Powerful loosie Steven Luatua revealed a softer side, taking in some culture with a visit to the Louvre Museum, home of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

"Forgot how much I enjoyed this city #Paris," he wrote on Twitter.

Centre Malakai Fekitoa, who won't play in Paris after copping a one-week ban for a high tackle on Simon Zebo in Dublin, also spent time at the famed museum.

Louvre Museum

A photo posted by Malakai Fekitoa (@malakaifekitoa) on


Several All Blacks late this week donned their number ones for an after dark visit to the Arc de Triomphe.

They had good reason, non-playing apprentice Jordie Barrett wrote on Instagram.

"A nice wee war memorial ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe tonight. In remembrance of all NZ and French soldiers."

A nice wee war memorial ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe tonight. In remembrance of all NZ and French soldiers

A photo posted by Jordie Barrett (@jordie_barrett) on


Several All Blacks also slotted in a spot of shopping, emerging from sportswear outlet HUB Bastille with bags of goodies.

Coach Steve Hansen landed on his feet, dining at the Guy Savoy Restaurant in Paris.

A photo posted to Twitter by France-based rugby writer Ian Borthwick shows the restaurant's head chef and owner, Guy Savoy, with a smiling Hansen.

The caption, written in French, indicated Hansen was explaining "the recipe of success" of the All Blacks to the celebrity chef.


Not everyone was as enamoured with the fare on offer.

Flyhalf Lima Sopoaga went local, posting a photo of a bowl of infamous French delicacy, snails, sharing his discomfort with the caption "here goes nothing".

Perhaps he had ordered in error - in an earlier tweet the same day he lamented his former teenage self for not paying attention in "3rd form French class".


Lost in translation moments are less likely for the Saveas.

They're New York City bound after tomorrow's match, with front row seats booked when the New York Knicks take on 2016 NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on December 7.

The courtside experience doesn't come cheap - the couple paid more than US$500 each for their row 1 seats.


The election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency put an, albeit brief, dampener on their plans, with Fatima Savea expressing fear her country of birth would cause problems at the border.

"IM BORN IN IRAQ. You've got nothing to worry about. I'm gonna get held in customs. I guarantee it," she wrote after her All Black husband asked if she still wanted to go to the United States.


Rising star TJ Perenara also looks to be heading Stateside.

The dynamic halfback's longtime partner Greer Samuel has remained in New Zealand during the Northern Tour, but not for much longer.

An enticing photo of a tropical island pool indicates the pair are planning some serious R&R.

"Once we're done in the USA . . . We're coming for ya in the new year Fiji. Need some sunshine ASAP! #holiday #RnR #Fiji #NewYear," she wrote on Twitter.


One major event remains on the rugby calendar before Christmas, the New Zealand Rugby Awards on December 15 at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.

An All Blacks spokesman would not confirm how many players would attend the awards.

- NZ Herald

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