New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, are the current world champions of Rugby Union.
Which is not surprising when you consider that rugby union, simply referred to as ‘rugby‘ in New Zealand, is regarded as the country’s national sport.
Why the New Zealand All Blacks are the current world champions of Rugby
As of September 17, 2016, the New Zealand All Blacks have won a record 44 consecutive tests at home. Their last defeat on home soil was against South Africa in Hamilton 2009 when the Springboks won 32-29.
By comparison, South Africa have lost eight times, England 13 defeats and Australia 15 on home soil during this same period.
The All Blacks longest winning streak is 18 test victories, which was achieved between 1965 and 1970 and again between 2013 and 2014, and most recently 2015 and 2016. They jointly hold the record for the most consecutive test match wins for a tier one ranked nation.
What is even more impressive is that during 2013 the All Blacks won every test played that year. Awesome!
The New Zealand All Blacks have won three Rugby World Cups – 2015, 2011 and the inaugural tournament in 1987. The first nation in history to become World Champions three times and the first to win it back-to-back!
They have a 77% winning record – the All Blacks have won 426 of their 552 test matches, drawing 19 and have only lost 37 times at home. (last update 27 April 2017)
They are the only international team to have a winning record against every nation they have played.
The All Blacks have been the most consistently ranked #1 team since the introduction of World Rugby Rankings (formerly the IRB World Rankings), having held the number one ranking for more than 80 percent of the time during this period. South Africa and England make up the remainder.
The All Blacks regularly compete with Los Pumas (Argentina), Wallabies (Australia) and Springboks (South Africa) in the Southern Hemisphere international rugby union competition known as The Rugby Championship (which was previously known as the Tri Nations prior to Argentina joining the competition in 2012).
The All Blacks have won The Rugby Championship trophy thirteen times in the competition’s nineteen-year history.
As of the 2015 Rugby Championship, the All Blacks have won a record 38 consecutive tests at home.
The All Blacks have achieved a Grand Slam (defeating England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in one tour) four times – 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010.
During the 2000 to 2009 seasons, New Zealand won 100 tests (82% winning percentage).
They have also been named the World Rugby Team of the Year ten times – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016
Coaches Graham Henry, (5) and Steve Hansen (4) have been awarded World Rugby Coach of the Year 9 times since these awards began in 2001.
Five All Blacks have won the World Rugby Player of the Year award:
- Beauden Barrett 2016
- Brodie Retallick 2014
- Kieran Read 2013
- Richie McCaw 2006, 2009 & 2010
- Dan Carter 2005, 2012 & 2015
Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. Created in New Zealand in 1997 the (IRHOF) accepted new inductees every two years until 2007. Then in 2014 it was integrated into IRB Hall of Fame.
- Sir Fred Allen
- Don Clarke
- Sean Fitzpatrick
- Grant Fox
- Dave Gallaher
- Michael Jones
- Ian Kirkpatrick
- Sir John Kirwan
- Sir Brian Lochore
- Jonah Lomu
- Sir Colin Meads
- Graham Mourie
- George Nepia
- Joe Warbrick
- Sir Wilson Whineray
The All Blacks first international game was 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. 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.
The All Blacks Jersey – black with a silver fern
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.
== > Read more about the men in black jerseys here…
Haka – Ka Mate
The All Blacks performance of a haka – a Māori challenge – before each match can be a very powerful performance. The haka performed has traditionally been Te Rauparaha’s Ka Mate, however since 2005 Kapa o Pango is sometimes performed.
== > Read more about the haka here …