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New Zealand national rugby union team

New Zealand
Union New Zealand Rugby Union
Nickname(s) All Blacks
Emblem(s) Silver fern
Coach(es) Steve Hansen
Captain(s) Richie McCaw
Most caps Richie McCaw (148)
Top scorer Dan Carter (1598)[1]
Most tries Doug Howlett (49)
First international
 Australia 3–22 New Zealand 
(15 August 1903)
Largest win
 New Zealand 145–17 Japan 
(4 June 1995)
Largest defeat
 Australia 28–7 New Zealand 
(28 August 1999)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1987)
Best result Champions 1987, 2011, 2015
Official website

The New Zealand national men's rugby union team, officially nicknamed the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is regarded as the country's national sport.[2] The All Blacks are the holders of the Rugby World Cup, since 2011, and are the 2014 World Rugby Team of the Year. They have won over 76% of their test matches and are the leading test match points scorers of all time. Their win ratio puts them amongst the most successful teams of any sport in history. They are the only international side with a winning record against every country they have played, and since their international debut in 1903 only five nations have defeated New Zealand in test matches.[1] Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in October 2003, New Zealand has held number one ranking longer than all other teams combined.[3] The All Blacks are also the first team to have set hands on the Webb Ellis Cup, the first team to successfully defend the Rugby World Cup and the first team to win the cup on 3 separate occasions.

New Zealand competes with Argentina, Australia and South Africa in The Rugby Championship – known as the Tri Nations before Argentina's entry in 2012. The All Blacks have won the trophy thirteen times in the competition's nineteen-year history. They also hold the Bledisloe Cup, which is contested annually with Australia, and the Freedom Cup, contested annually with South Africa. New Zealand have achieved a Grand Slam (defeating England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in one tour) four times – 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

They have also been named the World Rugby Team of the Year seven times since 2005.[4] Four members have won the World Rugby Player of the Year award – current captain Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, and Brodie Retallick. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; four of these are also inductees of the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

The team's first match was in 1884, and their first international match in 1903 against Australia in Sydney. The following year they hosted their first ever home Test, a match against a British Isles side in Wellington.[2] This was followed by a tour of Europe and North America in 1905 where the team suffered their first test defeat – to Wales in Cardiff.

New Zealand's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By the 1905 tour, they were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their name All Blacks dates from this time.

The team perform a haka – a Māori challenge or posture dance – before each match. The haka performed has traditionally been Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate, although since 2005 Kapa o Pango – a modified version of the 1924 All Blacks haka, Kia Whaka-ngawari – has occasionally been performed.


  • History 1
    • Introduction of rugby to New Zealand 1.1
    • International competition begins 1.2
    • Development of a legacy 1.3
    • Controversial tours 1.4
    • Early World Cups 1.5
    • Professionalism 1.6
    • Henry era 1.7
    • Hansen era 1.8
  • Jersey 2
  • Haka 3
  • Record 4
    • Overall 4.1
    • World Cup 4.2
    • Tri Nations and The Rugby Championship 4.3
  • Players 5
    • Current squad 5.1
    • Notable players 5.2
    • Individual all-time records 5.3
  • Coaches 6
  • Home grounds 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • Works cited 11
  • External links 12


Introduction of rugby to New Zealand

Photo of team players and management all of whom are seated or standing, in three rows, wearing their playing uniform and caps.
The team that toured New South Wales, Australia, in 1884

Rugby union – almost universally referred to as rugby in New Zealand – was introduced to New Zealand by Charles Monro in 1870;[5] Monro discovered the sport while completing his studies at Christ's College, Finchley, England.[6] The first recorded game in New Zealand took place in May 1870 in Nelson between the Nelson club and Nelson College.[7] The first provincial union, the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, was formed in 1879,[8] and in 1882 New Zealand's first internationals were played when New South Wales (NSW) toured the country.[9] NSW did not face a New Zealand representative team but played seven provincial sides – the tourists won four games and lost three.[10] Two years later the first New Zealand team to travel overseas toured New South Wales; where New Zealand won all eight of their games.[11]

A privately organised British team, which later became the British and Irish Lions, toured New Zealand in 1888. No test matches were played, and the side only played provincial sides.[12] The British players were drawn mainly from Northern England, but there were representatives from Wales and Scotland.[13]

International competition begins

In 1892, following the canvassing of provincial administrators by Ernest Hoben, the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) was formed by the majority of New Zealand's provincial unions, but did not include Canterbury, Otago or Southland.[14][3] The first officially sanctioned New Zealand side toured New South Wales in 1893, where the Thomas Ellison captained team won nine of their ten matches.[15][16] The following year New Zealand played its first home "international" game, losing 8–6 to New South Wales.[4][17] The team's first true test match occurred against Australia on 15 August 1903 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of over 30,000 spectators, and resulted in a 22–3 victory.[18]

The Original All Blacks that toured the British Isles, France and the United States during 1905–06. The team won 34 of their 35 tour matches.

A representative New Zealand team first toured the British Isles in 1905. The side is now known as the Originals, as the All Blacks name emerged during this tour when, according to team member Billy Wallace, a London newspaper reported that the New Zealanders played as if they were "all backs".[19] Wallace claimed that because of a typographical error, subsequent references were to "All Blacks". This account is most likely a myth – because of their black playing strip, the side was probably referred to as the Blacks before they left New Zealand. Even though the name All Blacks most likely existed before the trip, the tour did popularise it.[19] The name had earlier appeared in a New Zealand newspaper in 1904.[20]

The Originals played 35 matches on tour, and their only loss was a 3–0 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.[21] The match has entered into the folklore of both countries because of a controversy over whether All Black Bob Deans scored a try which would have earned his team a 3–3 draw.[22][5] In contrast to the success of the Originals on the field, the team did antagonise some in the Home Nations' rugby establishment; both administrators and the press complained that the All Blacks did not play the game within the amateur and gentlemanly spirit promoted by the International Rugby Football Board. These complaint continued to dog New Zealand teams until the 1930s.[23]

The success of the Originals had uncomfortable consequences for the amateur NZRFU. In 1907, a party of professional players was assembled to tour the British Isles and play rugby league – a professional offshoot of rugby union that was played by clubs that split from England's Rugby Football Union (RFU) due to disagreements over financial compensation for players.[24] When the All Golds, as the team came to be known, returned they established rugby league in New Zealand, and a large number of players switched to the professional code.[24][25] English and Welsh authorities were alarmed by the threat of professionalism to rugby in New Zealand, and in 1908 an Anglo-Welsh side undertook a tour to New Zealand to help promote the amateur values[6] under which they believed sport should be played.[27][28][7] The tourists were defeated 2–0 in the three-test series by New Zealand, but the Anglo-Welsh did manage to draw the second test 3–3.[29]

Development of a legacy

International rugby was suspended during the First World War,[30] but a New Zealand Services team did compete in inter-services competition known as the King's Cup.[31] After their departure from Europe the side toured South Africa before their return to New Zealand, and that tour paved the way for a South African team to tour New Zealand in 1921.[32] The Springboks – as the South African team is known – played New Zealand in a test series that ended all square. New Zealand conducted a return tour to South Africa in 1928, and the test series was again drawn; both teams winning two tests each.[33]

The 1924 All Black tourists to the British Isles and France were dubbed

Preceded by
Richard Hadlee
Halberg awards – Supreme Award
Succeeded by
Mark Todd
Preceded by
All Whites
Succeeded by
Hamish Bond & Eric Murray
New award Halberg Awards – New Zealand Team of the Year
Succeeded by
Paul MacDonald & Ian Ferguson
Preceded by
Team New Zealand
Succeeded by
All Blacks
Preceded by
All Blacks
Succeeded by
Equestrian Eventing Team
Preceded by
George Bridgewater
Succeeded by
Men's Coxless Four
Preceded by
All Whites
Succeeded by
Hamish Bond & Eric Murray
Preceded by
Hamish Bond & Eric Murray
  • New Zealand All Blacks official website
  • New Zealand Rugby Union official site

External links

  • Fagan, Sean (2013). The First Lions of Rugby. Richmond, Australia: Slattery Media Group.  
  • Harding, Grant; Williams, David (2000). The Toughest of Them All: New Zealand and South Africa: The Struggle for Rugby Supremacy.  
  • Howell, Max (2005). Born to Lead: Wallaby test Captains. North Harbour, New Zealand: Celebrity Books.  
  • Howitt, Bob (2005). SANZAR Saga: Ten Years of Super 12 and Tri-Nations Rugby. Harper Collins Publishers.  
  • Mulholland, Malcolm (2009). Beneath the Māori Moon: An Illustrated History of Māori Rugby. Huia Publishers.  
  • Palenski, Ron (2003). Century in Black: 100 Years of All Black test Rugby. Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers Limited.  
  • Peatey, Lance (2011). In Pursuit of Bill: A Complete History of the Rugby World Cup. New Holland Publishers.  
  • Ryan, Greg (1993). Forerunners of the All Blacks. Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press.  
  • Ryan, Greg (2011). "A Tale of Two Dinners: New Zealand Rugby and the Embrace of Empire, 1919–32". The International Journal of the History of Sport (Routledge) 28 (10): 1409–1425.  
  • Slatter, Gordan (1974). Great Days at Lancaster Park. Christchurch, New Zealand: Whitcombe and Tombs.  
  • Verdon, Paul (2000). Born to Lead – The Untold Story of the All Black test Captains. Auckland, New Zealand: Celebrity Books.  
  • Vincent, G. T. (1998). "Practical Imperialism: The Anglo-Welsh Rugby Tour of New Zealand, 1908". The International Journal of the History of Sport (Routledge) 15 (1): 123–140.  

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  1. ^ They are Australia, England, France, South Africa and Wales.
  2. ^ The British Isles side is now known as the British and Irish Lions.
  3. ^ Canterbury, Otago and Southland objected to the requirement that NZRFU executive committee members needed to live in Wellington. They eventually all joined the NZRFU, but the residency rule did not change until 1986.[14]
  4. ^ Six of the New South Welshmen were New Zealanders living in Sydney.[16]
  5. ^ Tries were worth three points at the time.
  6. ^ Amateurism was not just about not playing for money. Many in the traditional rugby establishment believed that: "Excessive striving for victory introduced an unhealthy spirit of competition, transforming a character-building 'mock fight' into 'serious fighting'. Training and specialization degraded sport to the level of work".[26]
  7. ^ The Anglo-Welsh are officially acknowledged as a British and Irish Lions side despite Ireland and Scotland refusing to contribute any players.[27]
  8. ^ This restriction on non-White players representing New Zealand in South Africa lasted until the 1970 tour, when four players of Māori or Samoan ancestry were allowed into the country as "honorary whites".[48]
  9. ^ Unlike South Africa and New Zealand, Lithuania did not have to play any Tier 1 or Tier 2 national teams.
  10. ^ Bonus points could be earned via two means; by scoring four tries or more in one match, or through losing a match by seven points or less.
  11. ^ They have been defeated in tests by two combined teams however; the British and Irish Lions, and a World XV.
  12. ^ The next oldest test player was Frank Bunce, aged 35 years, 305 days; over four years younger than Hughes.


See also

Ground First Test First Test Last Test Tests Held Win Percent Last Loss
Athletic Park, Wellington, North Island 1904
v British Lions
1904 1999 42 69% 25 July 1998
Tahuna Park, Dunedin, South Island 1905
v Australia
1905 1905 1 100% Never
Potter's Park, Auckland, North Island 1908
v British Lions
1905 1905 1 100% Never
Carisbrook, Dunedin, South Island 1908
v British Lions
1908 2011
v Fiji
38 86% 13 June 2009
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, South Island
Formerly Lancaster Park and Jade Stadium
v Australia
1913 2010
v Australia
48 81% 1 August 1998
AMI Stadium, Christchurch, South Island
Formerly Rugby League Park
2012 2015
2 100% Never
Eden Park, Auckland, North Island 1921
v South Africa
1921 2015
v Australia
72 83% 3 July 1994
Epsom Showgrounds, Auckland, North Island 1958
v Australia
1958 1958 1 100% Never
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, South Island 2012
v South Africa
2012 2014
v England
3 100% Never
McLean Park, Napier, North Island 1996
v Western Samoa
1996 2014
v Argentina
2 100% Never
North Harbour Stadium, North Shore City, North Island 1997
1997 2005 v Fiji 6 100% Never
Rugby Park, Hamilton, North Island 1997
v Argentina
1997 1997 1 100% Never
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, North Island 2000
v Australia
2000 2014
v South Africa
16 88% 14 June 2003
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, North Island 2002
v Italy
2002 2014
v England
11 89% 12 September 2009
Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, North Island 2008
v Samoa
2008 2013
v France
3 100% Never
TOTAL 238 81.93%

AMI Stadium was significantly damaged during the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, with cracks in some stands and the playing surface badly damaged by liquefaction as well as damage to infrastructure and streets surrounding the venue. As a result of the damage all scheduled 2011 World Cup games to be held in Christchurch were moved to other regions. Test rugby returned to Christchurch in 2012 at Rugby League Park. Although the stands at that venue were damaged severely enough that they had to be torn down, infrastructure damage was much less severe than at AMI Stadium, and the playing surface survived relatively intact. The stadium was rebuilt with a permanent capacity of 17,000, with temporary seating allowing for 9,000 more spectators.

Eden Park and AMI Stadium were upgraded in preparation for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2006, the Government of New Zealand proposed the construction of a waterfront National Stadium in Auckland as an alternative to Eden Park's upgrade; this proposal was rejected by the Auckland Regional Council.[172] By that time, the NZRU no longer considered Carisbrook a suitable test venue, and a covered sports stadium was proposed as a replacement.[173] Dunedin City Council approved the new stadium in March 2008,[174] land acquisition proceeded from August to October of that year,[175] and the new venue opened in August 2011, in time for the World Cup.

Prior to the construction of Westpac Stadium in 1999, Wellington's test venue was Athletic Park. Athletic Park was the venue for the first All Blacks test match in New Zealand against Great Britain in 1904.[170] The first home test match played outside the main centres of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin or Wellington was in 1996 at McLean Park in Napier.[171] Both the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup finals were played at Eden Park.

Like the other major rugby nations Argentina, Australia, France and South Africa, New Zealand does not have an official stadium for its national team. Instead, the All Blacks play their test matches at a variety of venues throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand national rugby union team is located in New Zealand
Eden Park
North Harbour Stadium
Waikato Stadium
Westpac Stadium
Forsyth Barr Stadium
AMI Stadium
Yarrow Stadium
McLean Park
Map showing locations of current home grounds in New Zealand

Home grounds

Name Years tests Won Drew Lost Win percentage
Alex McDonald 1949 4 0 0 4 0%
Tom Morrison 1950, 55–56 12 8 1 3 70.8%
Len Clode 1951 3 3 0 0 100%
Arthur Marslin 1953–54 5 3 0 2 60%
Dick Everest 1957 2 2 0 0 100%
Jack Sullivan 1958–60 11 6 1 4 59.1%
Neil McPhail 1961–65 20 16 2 2 85%
Ron Bush 1962 2 2 0 0 100%
Sir Fred Allen 1966–68 14 14 0 0 100%
Ivan Vodanovich 1969–71 10 4 1 5 45%
Bob Duff 1972–73 8 6 1 1 81.3%
John Stewart 1974–76 11 6 1 4 59.1%
Jack Gleeson 1977–78 13 10 0 3 76.9%
Eric Watson 1979–80 9 5 0 4 55.6%
Peter Burke 1981–82 11 9 0 2 81.8%
Bryce Rope 1983–84 12 9 1 2 79.2%
Sir Brian Lochore 1985–87 18 14 1 3 80.6%
Alex Wyllie 1988–91 29 25 1 3 87.9%
Laurie Mains 1992–95 34 23 1 10 69.1%
John Hart 1996–99 41 31 1 9 76.8%
Wayne Smith 2000–01 17 12 0 5 70.6%
John Mitchell[168] 2002–03 28 23 1 4 83.9%
Sir Graham Henry[169] 2004–11 103 88 0 15 85.4%
Steve Hansen 2012– 54 49 2 3 90.7%

The current head coach of the All Blacks is Steve Hansen, who has held the position since 2012. He is assisted by Ian Foster and Aussie McLean.[167] Due to the definition and role of All Blacks coach varying so much prior to the 1949 All Blacks tour of South Africa, the following table only includes coaches appointed since.[78]


The All Blacks' record test try scorer is Doug Howlett with 49 tries, who overtook Christian Cullen's 46 during the 2007 World Cup.[162] The world record for tries in a calendar year is held by Joe Rokocoko, with 17 tries in 2003; he also became the first All Black to score ten tries in his first five tests, as well as the first All Black to score at least two tries in each of four consecutive tests.[163] In test matches, the most capped All Black is Richie McCaw with 148 caps.[164] The record for most tests as captain is held by Richie McCaw with 110.[165] The youngest All Black in a test match was Jonah Lomu, capped at age 19 years, 45 days, whilst the oldest test player was Ned Hughes at 40 years, 123 days.[158][166][12]

The record for most test points for not only New Zealand, but any nation, is held by Dan Carter with 1,598 from 112 tests.[1] He surpassed Andrew Mehrtens' All Black record total of 967 points from 70 tests[159] in the All Blacks' win over England on 21 November 2009.[160] On 27 November 2010 Dan Carter scored a penalty against Wales to pass Jonny Wilkinson's previous world record of 1,178 points.[161] Carter also holds the record for points against Australia with 366.

Head shot of a European male
Richie McCaw is the most capped rugby player of all time, and was the first New Zealander to play 100 test matches

Individual all-time records

Jonah Lomu is generally regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby union.[155] He was the youngest player ever to appear in a test as an All Black, making his debut at age 19 years, 45 days in 1994. Lomu, a wing, had unique physical gifts; even though he stood 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) and weighed 119 kg (262 lb), making him both the tallest[156] and heaviest[157] back ever to play for New Zealand, he could run 100 metres in under 11 seconds. He burst on the international scene in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, scoring seven tries in the competition. Four of those tries came in New Zealand' semifinal win over England, including an iconic try in which he bulldozed England's Mike Catt on his way to the try line. He would add eight more tries in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Perhaps most remarkably, Lomu played virtually his entire top-level career in the shadow of a serious kidney disorder which ended his test career in 2002 and ultimately led to a transplant in 2004. Even with his career hampered and eventually shortened by his health issues, he scored 37 tries in 63 tests.[158] Lomu was inducted into the World Rugby Hall in October 2011, and was specifically recognised as one of four new inductees "who had left an indelible mark on Rugby World Cup for their moments of magic, inspiration or feats".[137]

For many years the most capped test All Black was Sean Fitzpatrick, with 92 appearances.[153] He played in the 1987 World Cup after incumbent Andy Dalton was injured, and was appointed All Blacks captain in 1992, continuing in the role until his retirement in 1997.[153] He played 346 first class rugby matches.[154]

The 1987 World Cup champions were coached by Sir Brian Lochore who had represented New Zealand in 25 tests between 1964 and 1971, including 17 as captain.[147] Lochore was knighted in 1999 for his lifetime services to rugby, and was also inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame on 24 October 2011 at a ceremony in Auckland alongside all other World Cup-winning coaches through the 2007 tournament.[137] Four of the 1987 World Cup squad that he had coached are also inductees in the International Hall of Fame, and one in the World Rugby Hall. Sir John Kirwan played a total of 63 tests between 1984 and 1994, scoring 35 tries, an All Blacks record at the time.[148] In the 1987 World Cup opener against Italy, Kirwan raced 90 meters to score one of the tries of the tournament.[148][149] An All Black from 1984 to 1993, Grant Fox was one of New Zealand's greatest point-scorers with 1067 points, including 645 test points.[150] Fox played 46 tests, including the 1987 World Cup final against France. Known as The Iceman, Michael Jones was one of the greatest open side flankers of all time.[151] Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Jones first played international rugby for Samoa, then for New Zealand, playing 55 tests between 1987 and 1998.[151] Due to his Christian faith, Jones never played rugby on Sundays, resulting in him not playing in the 1991 World Cup semi-final against Australia, and also in him not being picked for the 1995 World Cup squad.[151][152] The team's captain, David Kirk, was inducted into the World Rugby Hall alongside Lochore; all other World Cup-winning captains through 2007 (minus the already-inducted Australian John Eales) were also enshrined at this ceremony.[137]

The only All Blacks Hall of Famer to debut in the 1970s was flanker Graham Mourie. He captained 19 of his 21 tests and 57 of his 61 overall All Blacks matches between 1976 and 1982. Most notably, in 1978 he was captain of the first All Blacks side to complete a Grand Slam over the four Home Nations sides.[146]

Five hall of Fame inductees, including the first New Zealander named to the World Rugby Hall of Fame, played during the 1960s. Don Clarke was an All Black between 1956 and 1964 and during this period he broke the record at the time for All Black test points.[141] Clarke famously scored six penalties in one match – a record at the time – to give New Zealand an 18–17 victory over the British Isles at Dunedin in 1959.[141][142] Sir Wilson Whineray played 32 tests, captaining New Zealand in 30 of them.[143] He played prop and also number 8 between 1957 and 1965. New Zealand lost only four of their 30 tests with Whineray as captain.[143] On 21 October 2007, Whineray became the first New Zealander to earn induction to the World Rugby Hall of Fame.[136] In Sir Colin Meads' New Zealand Rugby Museum profile, he is described as "New Zealand's equivalent of Australia's Sir Donald Bradman or the United States of America's Babe Ruth."[144] Meads, nicknamed Pinetree, played 133 games for New Zealand, including 55 tests.[144] In 1999 the New Zealand Rugby Monthly magazine named Meads the New Zealand player of the century.[144] Ian Kirkpatrick played 39 tests, including 9 as captain, between 1967 and 1977.[145] He scored 16 tries in his test career, a record at the time.[145]

Sir Fred Allen captained all of his 21 matches for New Zealand, including six tests, between 1946 and 1949.[140] He eventually moved onto coaching New Zealand between 1966 and 1968. New Zealand won all 14 of their test matches with Allen as coach.[140]

Dave Gallaher played in New Zealand' first ever test match in 1903 and also captained the 1905 Originals. Along with [139]

Four former All Blacks have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. David Kirk, Lomu and Whineray were inducted primarily as players, whilst Lochore was inducted primarily as a coach.[136][137]

Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the Sir Wilson Whineray.[134][135]

Captain of the "Original All Blacks" that toured Britain and Ireland in 1905, Dave Gallaher is an inductee into the International Rugby Hall of Fame and World Rugby Hall of Fame

Notable players

Player Position Date of Birth (Age) Caps Franchise / province
Coles, DaneDane Coles Hooker (1986-12-10) 10 December 1986 36 Hurricanes / Wellington
Mealamu, KevenKeven Mealamu Hooker (1979-03-20) 20 March 1979 132 Blues / Auckland
Taylor, CodieCodie Taylor Hooker (1991-03-31) 31 March 1991 4 Crusaders / Canterbury
Crockett, WyattWyatt Crockett Prop (1983-01-24) 24 January 1983 45 Crusaders / Canterbury
Faumuina, CharlieCharlie Faumuina Prop (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 33 Blues / Auckland
Franks, BenBen Franks Prop (1984-03-27) 27 March 1984 47 Hurricanes / Hawke's Bay
Franks, OwenOwen Franks Prop (1987-12-23) 23 December 1987 78 Crusaders / Canterbury
Moody, JoeJoe Moody Prop (1988-09-18) 18 September 1988 11 Crusaders / Canterbury
Retallick, BrodieBrodie Retallick Lock (1991-05-31) 31 May 1991 47 Chiefs / Bay of Plenty
Romano, LukeLuke Romano Lock (1986-02-16) 16 February 1986 22 Crusaders / Canterbury
Whitelock, SamSam Whitelock Lock (1988-10-12) 12 October 1988 73 Crusaders / Canterbury
Cane, SamSam Cane Flanker (1992-01-13) 13 January 1992 31 Chiefs / Bay of Plenty
Kaino, JeromeJerome Kaino Flanker (1983-04-06) 6 April 1983 67 Blues / Auckland
McCaw, RichieRichie McCaw (c) Flanker (1980-12-31) 31 December 1980 148 Crusaders / Canterbury
Messam, LiamLiam Messam Flanker (1984-03-25) 25 March 1984 43 Chiefs / Waikato
Read, KieranKieran Read Number 8 (1985-10-26) 26 October 1985 84 Crusaders / Canterbury
Vito, VictorVictor Vito Number 8 (1987-03-27) 27 March 1987 33 Hurricanes / Wellington
Kerr-Barlow, TaweraTawera Kerr-Barlow Half-back (1990-08-15) 15 August 1990 20 Chiefs / Waikato
Perenara, TJTJ Perenara Half-back (1992-01-23) 23 January 1992 17 Hurricanes / Wellington
Smith, AaronAaron Smith Half-back (1988-11-21) 21 November 1988 47 Highlanders / Manawatu
Barrett, BeaudenBeauden Barrett First five-eighth (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 36 Hurricanes / Taranaki
Carter, DanDan Carter First five-eighth (1982-03-05) 5 March 1982 112 Crusaders / Canterbury
Slade, ColinColin Slade First five-eighth (1987-10-10) 10 October 1987 21 Crusaders / Canterbury
Fekitoa, MalakaiMalakai Fekitoa Centre (1992-05-10) 10 May 1992 13 Highlanders / Auckland
Nonu, Ma'aMa'a Nonu Centre (1982-05-21) 21 May 1982 103 Hurricanes / Wellington
Smith, ConradConrad Smith Centre (1981-10-12) 12 October 1981 94 Hurricanes / Wellington
Williams, Sonny BillSonny Bill Williams Centre (1985-08-03) 3 August 1985 33 Chiefs / Counties Manukau
Milner-Skudder, NeheNehe Milner-Skudder Wing (1990-12-15) 15 December 1990 8 Hurricanes / Manawatu
Naholo, WaisakeWaisake Naholo Wing (1991-05-08) 8 May 1991 3 Highlanders / Taranaki
Savea, JulianJulian Savea Wing (1990-08-07) 7 August 1990 41 Hurricanes / Wellington
Smith, BenBen Smith Fullback (1986-06-01) 1 June 1986 48 Highlanders / Otago

Note: Caps correct 31 October 2015

All squad members play rugby in New Zealand.

On 11th of October Tony Woodcock was replaced by Joe Moody because of a hamstring injury. [133]

New Zealand's 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[132]

Current squad


Updated: 8 August 2015

Rugby Championship (2012 – )
Nation Games Points Bonus
played won drawn lost for against diff
 New Zealand 21 18 1 2 628 337 +291 11 85 3
 Australia 21 10 1 10 434 515 −81 3 45 1
 South Africa 21 10 1 10 522 424 +98 10 52 0
 Argentina 21 2 1 18 337 645 −308 8 18 0
Tri Nations (1996 – 2011)
Nation Games Points Bonus
played won drawn lost for against diff
 New Zealand 72 50 0 22 1936 1395 +541 32 232 10
 Australia 72 29 1 42 1531 1721 −190 34 152 3
 South Africa 72 28 1 43 1480 1831 −351 24 138 3

New Zealand's only annual tournament is a competition involving the Southern Hemisphere's top national teams. From 1996 through 2011, they competed in the Tri Nations against Australia and South Africa. In 2012, Argentina joined the competition which was renamed The Rugby Championship. New Zealand's record of eleven tournament wins (the most recent in 2014) and 50 match wins is well ahead of the other teams' records. The Bledisloe Cup is also contested between New Zealand and Australia, and the Freedom Cup between New Zealand and South Africa, as part of the Tri Nations and The Rugby Championship.

Tri Nations and The Rugby Championship

New Zealand holds several World Cup records: most World Cup Matches (48), most points in one match (145 versus Japan in 1995), most cumulative points over all World Cups (2,248), most tries overall (306), most conversions (222) and also the record for the most points scored in the first half of a knockout game at the Rugby World Cup (29) (against France 2015) along with the largest knockout margin (49) in the same match.[131] Several individual players also hold World Cup records; Jonah Lomu for most World Cup tries (15 over two World Cups)(Currently tied with South Africa's Bryan Habana), Marc Ellis with most tries in a match (6 versus Japan in 1995), Grant Fox with most points in one tournament (126 in 1987), and Simon Culhane with most points in a single game (45 versus Japan in 1995).[131]

New Zealand have won the World Cup three times – (the only team to have done so) the 1987 inaugural competition held in New Zealand and Australia, the 2011 tournament also hosted in New Zealand – again defeating France and most recently, defeating Australia in England in 2015 (making them the first and only team to win back to back World Cups). In 1991, they lost their semi-final to Australia before winning the playoff for third. In 1995, they reached the final, before losing in extra time to hosts South Africa. They finished in fourth place in 1999, after losing their semi-final and then the third-place playoff game. In 2003, New Zealand were knocked out by hosts Australia in their semi-final, before finishing third. The 2007 World Cup saw their worst tournament, being knocked out in the quarterfinals by the host nation France;[129] until this they were the only team to have reached the semifinals of every tournament.[130] As a result of the poor performance in the 2007 World Cup the NZRU commissioned a 47-page report to detail the causes of the failure. The All Blacks have never lost a World Cup pool match, and have finished top of their pool in all seven tournaments.

World Cup

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Argentina 22 21 0 1 95.45% 881 294 +587
 Australia 155 106 42 7 68.39% 3160 2160 +1000
 British and Irish Lions 38 29 6 3 76.32% 634 345 +289
 Canada 5 5 0 0 100.00% 313 54 +259
 England 40 32 7 1 80.00% 969 560 +409
 Fiji 5 5 0 0 100.00% 364 50 +314
 France 56 43 12 1 76.79% 1407 726 +681
 Georgia 1 1 0 0 100.00% 43 10 +33
 Ireland 28 27 0 1 96.43% 812 310 +502
 Italy 12 12 0 0 100.00% 686 118 +568
 Japan 3 3 0 0 100.00% 282 30 +252
 Namibia 1 1 0 0 100.00% 58 14 +44
 Pacific Islanders 1 1 0 0 100.00% 41 26 +15
 Portugal 1 1 0 0 100.00% 108 13 +95
 Romania 2 2 0 0 100.00% 99 14 +85
 Samoa 6 6 0 0 100.00% 333 72 +261
 Scotland 30 28 0 2 93.33% 900 332 +568
 South Africa 91 53 35 3 58.24% 1765 1430 +335
 Tonga 5 5 0 0 100.00% 326 35 +291
 United States 3 3 0 0 100.00% 171 15 +156
 Wales 30 27 3 0 90.00% 916 307 +609
 World XV 3 2 1 0 66.67% 94 69 +25
Total 538 413 106 19 76.77% 14362 6984 +7378

Below is summary of New Zealand test results, updated 24 October 2015:[128]

Their all-time points record for tests stands at 14,362 points for and 6,984 against (updated 31 October 2015). Many national teams' heaviest defeat occurred against New Zealand – the national teams of France, Ireland, Argentina, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Japan, and Portugal have all suffered their greatest defeats at the hands of New Zealand. The All Blacks' largest test win was 145–17 against Japan in 1995,[127] while their heaviest loss was a 28–7 loss to Australia in 1999.[90]

New Zealand's longest winning streak is 17 test victories, achieved between 1965 and 1970 and again between 2013 and 2014; the second winning streak included every test played in 2013. Their longest unbeaten streak is 23 tests (from 1987 to 1990) with one game being drawn.[126]

New Zealand have only ever been beaten by five test nations,[11] and they are the only international team to have a winning record against every nation they have played. They have won 413 of their 538 test matches – 76.77% (see table), and have lost at home only 37 times. Since World Rankings were introduced by World Rugby in October 2003, New Zealand have occupied the number one ranking the majority of the time.[3] In the decade from 2000 to 2009, New Zealand won 100 tests (82% winning percentage). As of the 2015 Rugby Championship, the All Blacks have won a record 38 consecutive tests at home. The All Blacks had an unbeaten streak of 22 tests from June 2013 to September 2014.

Top 25 rankings as on 1 November 2015[125]
Rank Change* Team Points
1  New Zealand 96.10
2  Australia 89.33
3  South Africa 87.66
4  Wales 83.49
5  Argentina 82.59
6  Ireland 81.17
7  France 79.77
8  England 79.77
9  Scotland 77.94
10  Japan 77.05
11  Fiji 76.96
12  Italy 72.74
13  Tonga 71.60
14  Georgia 71.45
15  Samoa 70.36
16  United States 68.66
17  Romania 66.59
18  Canada 62.65
19  Uruguay 62.11
20  Namibia 61.75
21  Spain 61.54
22  Russia 61.10
23  Chile 57.34
24  Hong Kong 57.31
25  South Korea 56.70
*Change from the previous week
New Zealand's Historical Rankings
Source: World Rugby - Graph updated to 1 November 2015[125]



In November 2006, at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, New Zealand performed the haka in the dressing room prior to the match – instead of on the field immediately before kick-off – after a disagreement with the Welsh Rugby Union, which had wanted Wales to sing their national anthem after the haka.[122] In 2008, New Zealand played Munster at Thomond Park. Before the match, Munster's four New Zealanders challenged their opponents by performing a haka before the All Blacks started theirs.[123] On the same tour, Wales responded by silently refusing to move after New Zealand's haka, and the two teams simply stared at each other until the referee forced them to start the game.[124]

In August 2005, before the Tri-Nations test match between New Zealand and South Africa at Carisbrook stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand performed a new haka, Kapa o Pango, specially composed by Derek Lardelli and intended to reflect the Polynesian-influenced multicultural make-up of contemporary New Zealand.[119] Kapa o Pango was to be performed on special occasions and was not intended to replace Ka Mate.[119] Kapa o Pango concludes with what has been interpreted as a "throat slitting" gesture that led to accusations that Kapa o Pango encourages violence, and sends the wrong message to All Blacks fans.[120] However, according to Lardelli, the gesture represents "drawing vital energy into the heart and lungs".[121]

The All Blacks perform a haka (Māori challenge) before each international match. The haka has been closely associated with New Zealand rugby ever since a tour of Australia and the United Kingdom by the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team,[113][114] though the New Zealand team that toured New South Wales in 1884 may also have performed a haka.[115] The New Zealand native team that toured Britain in 1888 and 1889 used Ake Ake Kia Kaha, and the 1903 team in Australia used a mocking haka, Tupoto koe, Kangaru!. The 1905 All Blacks began the tradition of using Ka Mate – a haka composed in the 19th century by Ngāti Toa leader Te Rauparaha. The 1924 All Blacks used a specially composed haka Ko Niu Tireni, but later All Blacks reverted to Ka Mate.[116][117][118]

New Zealand perform Ka Mate before a match against France in November 2006


Adidas have been the All Black's kit suppliers since 1999, taking over from Canterbury.

In 2012, the NZRU took the controversial step of allowing American insurance and financial services company, AIG, to promote themselves on the centre-front of the All Black jersey. In return, the NZRU would receive direct financial sponsorship that was not officially revealed; the deal was estimated to be worth approximately 80 million dollars over five years.[112]

The change kit has traditionally been white with black shorts. After a few years playing with a change kit of grey shirt and black shorts, the NZRU announced a return to the traditional white jersey and black shorts in May 2009. For the 30 July 2011 Springboks match in Wellington, the All Black jersey introduced a white collar in homage to that sported by the 1987 World Cup-winning team.

Adidas currently pays the NZRFU $200 million over 9 years, expecting New Zealand to win around 75% of their matches.[110] Nike also looked at sponsoring New Zealand in 1996, but went with Tiger Woods instead.[111]

During the 2011 Rugby World Cup the All Blacks had an embroidered William Webb Ellis cup on the sleeve of their jerseys with the year '1987' underneath. This was to signify which year the team had successfully won the tournament. Each of the four teams who had previously won the competition had the same detailing on their jerseys.

Recently it has become traditional for New Zealand to wear an embroidered remembrance poppy on their jersey sleeve when playing France during the end-of-year tours.[108] The poppy honours the soldiers who died in the battlefields of Europe. Captain Richie McCaw said "We want to honour the overseas service of New Zealanders. It is an important part of our history as a country and a team."[109]

The current New Zealand jersey is entirely black (currently referred to as the 'blackest' jersey ever created) except the Adidas logo, the NZRU silver fern on the front and the AIG logo in the lower center (all of which are darkened from previously). The 1884 New Zealand tour to Australia was the first overseas New Zealand rugby tour, and featured clothing very different from today's jersey. Back then, the team donned a dark blue jersey, with gold fern on the left of the jumper.[105] In 1893 the NZRU stipulated at its annual general meeting that the uniform would be black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers.[106] However historic photographs suggest white shorts may have been used instead during these early years. Sometime between 1897 and 1901 there was a change; by 1901 the team met NSW in a black jersey, a canvas top with no collar, and a silver fern.[107]

All Blacks jerseys
The 1905 Jersey
The Adidas Jersey worn between July 1999 and August 2011


The team entered the 2015 Rugby World Cup and again went undefeated in their pool matches. They defeated France in the Quarter-Final, South Africa in the Semi-Final and Australia in the Final to become the first nation to retain their World Champion title and the first to win the Rugby World Cup three times.[104]

The Tri-Nations was expanded to include Argentina in 2012, and subsequently renamed The Rugby Championship. The All Blacks went undefeated in the inaugural tournament, and went through the year unbeaten until their last match of the year, where they lost to England at Twickenham. In 2013 New Zealand hosted France in a three-match series – their first meeting since the 2011 World Cup final. They won all three tests, before going unbeaten in the 2013 Rugby Championship.[102] In November 2013, New Zealand became the first rugby nation in the professional era to achieve a 100% record in a calendar year.[103]

Hansen era

In 2010 the All Blacks won the Tri-Nations series for the tenth time after three successive victories against South Africa, also retaining the Bledisloe Cup after consecutive victories against Australia. During 2010 New Zealand were undefeated for 15 test matches. Despite losing the 2011 Tri-Nations after a loss to Australia in Brisbane, but still entered the 2011 Rugby World Cup as one of the favourites. The All Blacks went through their pool matches undefeated, and after defeating Argentina, and then Australia, faced France in the final. The final was played at Eden Park, and New Zealand scored one try and a penalty to narrowly win 8–7.[101] Henry stepped down as coach following the World Cup, and was replaced as head coach by his assistant Steve Hansen.

The All Blacks opened the 2009 season with a 22–27 loss to France at Carisbrook, but defeated them 14–10 in Wellington a week later. On points difference, France won the Dave Gallaher Cup for the first time. A week later the All Blacks defeated Italy 27–6 in Christchurch. They finished second in the Tri-Nations Series, behind South Africa who lost only one game, and ended the series with a 33–6 win over Australia in Wellington.

The 2008 season started with three mid-year tests, the first against Ireland at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. The final two games were against England, the first at Eden Park and the second at AMI Stadium in Christchurch. New Zealand played their first Tri-Nations game against South Africa at Westpac Stadium in Wellington winning 19–8 but a week later at Carisbrook in Dunedin they lost to South Africa 28–30, ending a 30-match winning streak at home, their previous loss in New Zealand being against England in 2003. New Zealand played their next Tri-Nations match on 26 July against Australia at Stadium Australia in Sydney, losing 34–19 but a week later against Australia at Eden Park in New Zealand won 39–10. The greatest victory for New Zealand in the 2008 season was beating South Africa 19–0 in Cape Town at Newlands Stadium. New Zealand played their final match on 13 September against Australia at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane winning 28–24 and retaining the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri-Nations.

New Zealand playing Tonga in the 2011 Rugby World Cup

The 2007 season started off with two mid-year tests against France. New Zealand won the tests 42–11 at Eden Park and 61–10 at Westpac Stadium. A third game, against Canada, resulted in a 64–13 win, although the game was more competitive than the scoreline indicated.[100] New Zealand's first Tri-Nations game of 2007 was against the Springboks in Durban, South Africa. New Zealand scored two tries in the final ten minutes of the game to win 26–21. The following week against the Wallabies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground the Wallabies upset New Zealand to win 20–15, New Zealand's first loss to Australia since 2004. The All Blacks won their following home games to successfully defend the Tri-Nations Series for 2007. New Zealand entered the 2007 Rugby World Cup as favourites, and topped their pool, beating Scotland, Italy, Romania and Portugal by at least 40 points. However, they then suffered a defeat by hosts France in the quarter-finals in Cardiff. Following the loss to France coach Graham Henry's job was reappointed amid vocal debate and comment, despite then Crusaders coach Robbie Deans being a strong contender.

In 2005 New Zealand whitewashed the touring British and Irish Lions during their three-match test series, won the Tri-Nations, and achieved a second Grand Slam over the Home Nations for the first time since 1978. They went on to sweep the major IRB (now World Rugby) awards in which they were named: Team of the Year, Henry was named Coach of the Year, and first five-eighth Dan Carter was Player of the Year.[4] New Zealand were nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Team of the Year in 2006 for their 2005 performance.[97] The following year they again took the Tri-Nations Series after winning their first five matches, three against Australia and two against South Africa. They lost their final match of the series against South Africa. They completed their end of year tour unbeaten, with record away wins over France, England and Wales.[98] New Zealand were named 2006 IRB Team of the Year and were nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for the second time, while flanker Richie McCaw was named IRB Player of the Year for the first time.[4][97][99]

Henry's tenure began with a double victory over 2003 Rugby World Cup winners England in 2004. The two games had an aggregate score of 72–15, and England were kept try-less.[92][93] Despite the winning start to Henry's tenure, the Tri-Nations was a mixed success with two wins and two losses. The competition was the closest ever, bonus points decided the outcome, and New Zealand finishing last.[10][94] The 2004 season finished with three wins in Europe, including a record 45–6 victory over France.[95][96]

Henry era

Under Smith and Gilbert, New Zealand came second in the 2000 and 2001 Tri-Nations, and in neither season did the side reclaim the Bledisloe Cup – which had been lost in 1998. Both coaches were replaced by John Mitchell on 3 October 2001, and he went on to coach New Zealand to victory in both the 2002 and 2003 Tri-Nations, as well as regaining the Bledisloe Cup in 2003. The All Blacks entered the 2003 World Cup as one of the favourites and dominated their pool, running up wins against Italy, Canada and Tonga, before winning one of the most competitive matches of the tournament against Wales.[91] They defeated South Africa in their quarter-final, a team they had never beaten at the World Cup, 29–9, but lost to Australia 22–10 in the semi-final in Sydney. Afterwards, Mitchell had to reapply as coach, but the NZRU instead appointed Graham Henry.

The next three seasons saw mixed results for New Zealand, who won all their Tri-Nations tests in 1997 before losing the title for the first time in 1998.[88] In 1998 New Zealand lost all five tests in the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup series (two to South Africa and three to Australia), the first time they had lost four tests in succession since 1949.[89] The following year they suffered their worst test loss, 28–7 to Australia in Sydney.[90] At the 1999 World Cup later that year, the All Blacks dominated their pool, handing England a 30–16 defeat at Twickenham. They advanced past Scotland 30–18 in the quarter-finals to play France at Twickenham. After New Zealand finished the first half 17–10 ahead,[90] France then produced a famous half of rugby to which New Zealand had no answer, winning 43–31.[90] Hart subsequently resigned as coach and was replaced by co-coaches Wayne Smith and Tony Gilbert.

The professional era in rugby union began in 1995, spurred by creation of the SANZAR group (a combination of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia)[83] which was formed with the purpose of selling broadcast rights for two new competitions, the domestic Super 12 competition and the Tri-Nations.[83] The first Tri-Nations was contested in 1996, with New Zealand winning all four of their tests to take the trophy.[84] After a 1996 Tri-Nations match hosted by South Africa, won 29–18 by New Zealand,[85] preceded a separate three-match test series between the two sides.[86] Under new coach John Hart and the captaincy of Sean Fitzpatrick, New Zealand won a test series in South Africa for the first time.[87] Fitzpatrick rated the series win higher than the 1987 World Cup victory in which he had participated.[87]

The All Blacks and England contesting a line-out. Both sets of forwards lined up wearing white and black respectively, with a player from each side at the rear of the line out being lifted by their team-mates while both reaching for the ball.
New Zealand playing England at Twickenham in 2006


Laurie Mains replaced Wyllie in 1992, and was given the job of preparing the side for the 1995 event in South Africa. New Zealand were again one of the favourites to take the championship. Their status as favourites was enhanced when a young Jonah Lomu scored four tries against England in the 45–29 semi-final win.[79][80] They managed to take hosts South Africa to extra time in the final, before losing 15-12 to Joel Stransky's drop goal.[81][82]

By the 1991 World Cup New Zealand were an ageing side,[76] co-coached by Alex Wyllie and John Hart. After beating hosts England in the tournament opener, they struggled during pool matches against the United States and Italy, and won their quarter-final against Canada.[77] They were then knocked out by eventual winners Australia 16–6 in their semi-final at Lansdowne Road. In the wake of the tournament, there were many retirements, including coach Wyllie, who had enjoyed an 86% win rate during 29 tests in charge.[78]

New Zealand hosted and won the inaugural World Cup in 1987 beating France 29–9 in the final at Eden Park, Auckland. New Zealand conceded only 52 points and scored 43 tries in six games en route to the title, beating Italy, Fiji, Argentina, Scotland, Wales and France.[75]

Early World Cups

The 1985 All Blacks tour to South Africa was cancelled after legal action on the grounds that it would breach the NZRU's constitution.[71] In 1986, a rebel tour to South Africa took place that had not been authorised by the NZRU and the team, named the Cavaliers, included many All Blacks.[72][73] Those that participated in the tour received a ban for two tests from the NZRU when they returned to New Zealand. Allegations that players received payment for the tour were never proved.[74]

The 1981 South African tour to New Zealand sparked protests against South Africa's apartheid policy the likes of which had not been seen in New Zealand since the 1951 waterfront dispute.[67][68] The NZRU had invited the Springboks to tour as the Muldoon government refused to involve politics in sport.[69] Although New Zealand won the test series, two of the tour's provincial games were cancelled and the whole tour was marred by violence and protest.[70] The third and final test match of the tour is sometimes known as the Flour Bomb Test, as an anti-apartheid activist in a Cessna light aircraft dropped leaflets, flares, a parachute-supported banner reading "Biko" and flour bombs into Auckland's Eden Park throughout the match, felling a New Zealand player. During the tour the country experienced unrest, and the tour had a significant impact on New Zealand society.[67][70][71]

The 1976 All Blacks tour of apartheid South Africa generated much controversy, and led to the boycott of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal by 28 African nations after the IOC refused to ban the team.[64][65] New Zealand again failed to win the test series in South Africa: they did not do so until 1996, after the fall of apartheid. The 1976 Tour contributed to the Gleneagles Agreement being adopted by the Commonwealth Heads of State in 1977.[66]

Police outside Eden Park before an All Blacks' match during the 1981 Springbok tour

Controversial tours

In 1978, Graham Mourie captained New Zealand to their first Grand Slam, including a 13–12 victory over Wales. That game generated controversy after New Zealand won as the result of a late penalty. Lock Andy Haden had dived out of a line-out in an attempt to earn a penalty, but referee Roger Quittenden insisted the penalty was against Welsh lock Geoff Wheel for jumping off the shoulder of Frank Oliver.[61] New Zealand's only loss on the tour was the famous 12–0 defeat by Irish province Munster at Thomond Park.[62] Later a play which focused on the loss was written by John Breen, called Alone it Stands.[63]

The 1972–3 tourists narrowly missed a Grand Slam with a draw against Ireland.[56] The tour was notable for the sending home of prop Keith Murdoch, who was alleged to have been involved in a brawl in a Cardiff hotel while celebrating the defeat of Wales.[60]

New Zealand's 3–1 series win over the Lions in 1959 proved to be the start of a dominant period in All Black rugby.[55] This was followed by the 1963–64 tour to Britain and Ireland, led by Wilson Whineray, in which New Zealand were deprived of a Grand Slam by a scoreless draw with Scotland.[56] The only loss on this tour was to Newport RFC, who won 3–0 at Rodney Parade, Newport on 30 October 1963.[57] The 1967 side won three tests against the home nations, but was unable to play Ireland because of a foot-and-mouth scare.[56] This tour formed part of New Zealand's longest winning streak, between 1965 and 1970, of 17 test victories.[58] This was also the longest test winning streak by any nation at the time; it would be equalled by the Springboks in 1998, and surpassed by Lithuania in 2010.[59][9] Although the 1966 Lions were defeated 0–4 in their New Zealand tour, there was a reversal of fortune five years later when the 1971 Lions, under the captaincy of Welshman John Dawes, beat New Zealand in a test series, which remains the Lions' only series victory in New Zealand.

The two consecutive series losses to South Africa made their 1956 tour of New Zealand highly anticipated. New Zealand were captained by Bob Duff and coached by Bob Stuart, and their 3–1 series win was their first over the Springboks and the Springboks' first series loss that century.[51] During the series, New Zealand introduced Don Clarke, and brought prop Kevin Skinner out of retirement to help secure the win.[52] Skinner, a former New Zealand boxing champion, had retired from international rugby, but was convinced to return for the third and fourth tests.[53] One reason for Skinner's selection was to "sort out" the South African props, while Clarke become known as "The Boot" for his goal kicking.[54]

At the same time as an All Black team was touring South Africa, Australia were touring New Zealand.[46] The two tours coincided because Māori players were not able to go to South Africa at the time, meaning the Australians, played against a New Zealand team made up of the best Māori and the reserve non-Māori players, while the South Africans encountered the best pākehā (non-Māori) players.[47][8] On the afternoon of 3 September New Zealand, captained by Johnny Smith, were beaten 11–6 by Australia in Wellington.[49] New Zealand then lost their second test 16–9, which gave Australia a Bledisloe Cup series win in New Zealand for the first time.[46][47] 1949 was an annus horribilis for the All Blacks as they lost all six of their test matches, and the experience of playing two test series simultaneously has not been repeated.[46][50]

In 1937, South Africa toured New Zealand and decisively won the test series despite losing the first Test; this 1937 South African team has been described as the best team ever to leave New Zealand.[39][40] It was not until 1949 that New Zealand next played the Springboks when they toured South Africa with Fred Allen as captain.[41][42] Although each test against South Africa was very close, New Zealand lost the series 4–0.[43] As part of the tour, a contingent of 26 All Blacks travelled to Rhodesia for two non-test exhibition matches. The Rhodesia side beat the All Blacks 10–8 in Bulawayo, and then drew 3–3 in the follow up match in Salisbury.[44][45]

The All Blacks at the climax of their haka before a 1932 test against Australia.

[38] famously scored two tries to help England to a 13–0 win; their first over New Zealand.Prince Obolensky In one of these losses, [37] New Zealand toured the British Isles again in 1935–36, losing only three games – including two tests – during a 30-match tour.[36] The first British Isles side since 1908 toured New Zealand in 1930. Although the Lions won the first Test, the home side regrouped and went on to win the series 3–1.[35][34]

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