All Blacks

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New Zealand
Union New Zealand Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s) All Blacks
Emblem(s) the Silver fern
Coach Flag of New Zealand Graham Henry
Captain Richie McCaw
Most caps Sean Fitzpatrick (92)
Top scorer Andrew Mehrtens (967)
Most tries Doug Howlett (49)
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Change colours
First international
Flag of Australia  Australia 3 - 22 New Zealand Flag of New Zealand
( 15 August 1903)
Largest win
Flag of New Zealand New Zealand 145 - 17 Japan Flag of Japan
( 4 June 1995)
Worst defeat
Flag of Australia  Australia 28 - 7 New Zealand Flag of New Zealand
( 28 August 1999)
World Cup
Appearances 6 (First in 1987)
Best result Champions, 1987

The All Blacks are New Zealand's national team in rugby union, which is the country's national sport. The All Blacks are a formidable force in international rugby and have a winning record against every international rugby team, including the British and Irish Lions and the World XV. The All Blacks compete annually with the Australian rugby team (the Wallabies), and the South African rugby team (the Springboks), in the Tri-Nations Series, in which they also contest the Bledisloe Cup with Australia. The All Blacks have been Tri-Nations champions eight times in the tournament's eleven-year history, and twice completed a Grand Slam (in 1978 and in 2005), and currently hold the Bledisloe Cup. According to the official IRB World Rankings, the All Blacks are ranked second in the world behind current world champions South Africa. The All Blacks were also named the 2006 International Rugby Board (IRB) Team of the Year. Fourteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, and one has been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

The team first competed internationally in 1884 against Cumberland County, New South Wales, and played their first Test match in 1903, a victory against Australia. This was soon followed by a tour of the northern hemisphere in 1905, during which the team's only loss was to Wales in Cardiff.

The All Blacks completed their first series win over arch-rivals South Africa ("The Springboks") in New Zealand in 1956. A decade later, they achieved their longest winning streak by winning seventeen Tests between 1965 and 1970. The British and Irish Lions achieved their only series victory over the All Blacks in 1971, but seven years later the All Blacks completed their first Grand Slam (wins over England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales on the same tour).

The 1981 Springbok tour to New Zealand caused large-scale civil unrest due to protests over South Africa's apartheid policy. In 1987 New Zealand hosted and won the inaugural Rugby World Cup. New Zealand toured post-apartheid South Africa in 1996, and achieved their first series win on South African soil.

Early New Zealand national rugby uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour the All Blacks were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time. The All Blacks traditionally perform a haka (Māori posture dance) before each match. Traditionally, the haka performed is Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate, though since 2005, Kapa o Pango, a modified version of the 1924 All Blacks haka, Kia Whaka-ngawari, has occasionally been performed.


Introduction of rugby to New Zealand

The team which toured New South Wales, Australia in 1884.
The team which toured New South Wales, Australia in 1884.

Rugby Football was introduced to New Zealand by Charles Monro in the late 1860s; Monro discovered the sport while completing his studies at Christ's College Finchley, England. The first game in New Zealand took place in May 1870 in Nelson between the Nelson club and Nelson College. The first union, Canterbury, was formed in 1879. In 1882, New Zealand's first internationals were played when the Southern Rugby Union (later the New South Wales Rugby Union) toured the country. The tourists played Auckland provincial clubs twice, Wellington twice and once each against Canterbury, Otago and West Coast, North Island, winning four games and losing three. Two years later the first New Zealand team to go overseas toured New South Wales; New Zealand played and won eight games.

The first tour by a British team took place in 1888 when a British Isles team toured Australia and New Zealand, although no Test matches were played. The players were drawn mainly from England and the Scottish Borders, although there were representatives from all four home unions.

International competition begins

The 1905 Original All Blacks.
The 1905 Original All Blacks.

The year 1892 saw the formation of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) representing seven unions not including Canterbury, Otago and Southland. The first sanctioned New Zealand side toured New South Wales in 1894 and the following year New Zealand played its first home "international" game, losing 8-6 to New South Wales. The team's first true international Test match was against Australia on 15 August, 1903 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, resulting in a 22-3 win.

A representative New Zealand team first toured Britain in 1905 (since referred to as the Originals). Reference to the team by the name "All Blacks" first appeared 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". Wallace claimed that due to a typographical error, subsequent references were to "All Blacks". This is likely myth however, as the name also describes their playing uniform of black shirts, shorts and socks.

The Originals' only loss on tour was 3-0 to Wales at Cardiff. The match has entered into the folklore of both countries because of controversy over whether All Black Bob Deans scored a disallowed try (which would have earned the team a 3-3 draw). A team representing the British Isles — known as the Anglo-Welsh since they consisted only of English and Welsh players — undertook a return tour to New Zealand in 1908 and were defeated in the test series 2-0 by the All Blacks.

Development of a legacy

New Zealand's rivalry with South Africa began in 1921, when the Springboks (as the South African team is known) toured New Zealand for a Test series that finished all square. The All Blacks went on to later tour South Africa for the first time in 1928; this series also ended in a draw.

The 1924 All Black tourists to the United Kingdom (UK) were eventually dubbed the Invincibles because they had won every game. However, the team were deprived of the chance to complete a grand slam when Scotland refused to play them because of an argument over expenses. The first truly representative British Isles (now known as British and Irish Lions) side 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. New Zealand toured the UK again in 1935–36, losing only three games (including two Tests) during a 30-match tour. In one of these losses, Prince Obolensky famously scored two tries to help England to a 13-0 win, their first over the All Blacks.

In 1937, South Africa won a series against the All Blacks when they toured New Zealand, and this 1937 South African team has subsequently been described as the best team ever to leave New Zealand. It wasn't until 1949, after the end of the Second World War, that the All Blacks next played the Springboks when they visited South Africa with Fred Allen as captain. The tour witnessed an infamous All Blacks record — the loss of two Test matches on the same day. This was made possible because Australia were touring New Zealand at the same time. On the afternoon of September 3 (New Zealand time), the All Black team captained by J. B. (Johnny) Smith was beaten 11-6 by Australia in Wellington. That same afternoon in South Africa (South Africa time), the All Blacks captained by Ron Elvidge (Allen was injured) lost 9-3 to the Springboks in Durban. The All Blacks in New Zealand also lost their second Test, 16-9, which gave Australia the Bledisloe Cup for the first time. Although each Test was very close, the All Blacks lost the series 4-0.

The two series losses to South Africa made their 1956 tour of New Zealand highly anticipated. The All Blacks were captained by Bob Duff and coached by Bob Stuart, and their 3-1 series win was their first ever over the Springboks as well as being the Springboks' first ever series loss against any opponent. During the series, the All Blacks had introduced Don Clarke and brought back Kevin Skinner in the last two Tests to help secure the win. Skinner was brought back after injuries to props Mark Irwin and Frank McAtamney and in the third test having to "sort out" both the South African props whilst Don Clarke would subsequently become known as "The Boot" for his goal kicking.

The All Blacks' 3-1 series win over the Lions in 1959 proved to be the start of a dominant period in All Blacks rugby. This was followed by the 1963–64 tour to the UK, led by Wilson Whineray, in which the All Blacks came very close to achieving a Grand Slam but were deprived by a scoreless draw with Scotland. The only loss on this tour was to Newport RFC who defeated the All Blacks 3-0 at Rodney Parade, Newport on October 30, 1963. Later, the 1967 side won three Tests, but was unable to play Ireland because of a foot-and-mouth scare. This tour formed part of The All Blacks longest ever winning streak between 1965 and 1970, during which they recorded 17 Test victories. 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 the All Blacks in a Test series which remains the Lions' only series victory in New Zealand to date.

The 1972–3 tourists narrowly missed a Grand Slam with a draw against Ireland. The tour was also 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.

In 1978, Graham Mourie captained the All Blacks to their first Grand Slam which was completed with a 13-12 victory over Wales. That game generated great controversy after the All Blacks 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; however the penalty awarded by referee Roger Quittenton was actually against Welsh lock Geoff Wheel for jumping off the shoulder of Frank Oliver. The All Blacks' only loss on the tour was the famous 12-0 defeat by Irish province Munster at Thomond Park. Later a play which focused on the loss was written by the John Breen called Alone it Stands.

Controversial tours

The 1976 All Blacks tour of South Africa generated much controversy and led to the boycott of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal by thirty-three African nations. The All Blacks again failed to win the Test series in South Africa (they would 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.

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. The NZRU had invited the Springboks to tour as the Muldoon government refused to involve politics in sport. Although the All Blacks won the Test series, two of the tour's provincial games were cancelled and the whole tour was marred by violence and protest. During the tour the country experienced unrest, and the tour had a significant impact on New Zealand society.

The 1985 All Blacks tour to South Africa was cancelled after legal action argued it would breach the NZRU's constitution. In 1986, a rebel tour to South Africa took place which had not been authorised by the NZRU and the team, named the Cavaliers, featured many All Blacks of the time. Those that participated in the tour received a ban from the NZRU when they returned to New Zealand.

Early World Cups

The inaugural World Cup in 1987 was co-hosted and won by New Zealand, who beat 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, having swept aside the challenges of Italy, Fiji, Argentina, Scotland, Wales and France.

By the 1991 World Cup, the All Blacks were an aging side, co-coached by Alex Wyllie and John Hart. They struggled during pool matches against the United States and Italy, but won their quarter-final against Canada. 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.

Laurie Mains replaced Wyllie in 1992, and was given the job of preparing the side for the 1995 event in South Africa. The All Blacks were again favourites to take the championship. Their favouritism was confirmed when a young Jonah Lomu scored four tries against England in the All Blacks' 45-29 semi-final win. However, the New Zealand team supposedly suffered an outbreak of food poisoning before the final (this is heavily debated though). Despite this, they took hosts South Africa to extra time, before losing to Joel Stransky's drop goal.

Professional era

The professional era in rugby union began in 1995, marked by creation of the SANZAR group (a combination of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia) which was formed with the purpose of selling TV rights for two new competitions, the domestic Super 12 competition and the Tri-Nations. The first Tri-Nations was contested in 1996, with the All Blacks winning all four of their Tests to take the trophy.

The 1996 Tri-Nations match in South Africa between the All Blacks and Springboks was also the first in a historic series. Under new coach John Hart and the captaincy of Sean Fitzpatrick, the All Blacks won a Test series in South Africa for the first time. Fitzpatrick even rated the series win higher than the 1987 World Cup victory in which he had participated.

The next two seasons saw mixed results for the All Blacks, who won the 1997 Tri-Nations before losing it for the first time in 1998. The All Blacks won all their Tri-Nations Tests in 1997. However, in 1998, the All Blacks lost all four of their Tests, the first time they had lost four in succession since 1949. The following year, they suffered their worst ever Test loss, a 28-7 loss to Australia in Sydney.

The All Blacks rebounded in the 1999 World Cup and 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. The All Blacks finished the first half ahead 17-10. France then produced a famous half of rugby to which the All Blacks had no answer, eventually winning 43-31. Hart subsequently resigned as coach and was replaced by co-coaches Wayne Smith and Tony Gilbert.

The All Blacks line up before a game at Chichibunomiya, Tokyo, November 2000
The All Blacks line up before a game at Chichibunomiya, Tokyo, November 2000

Under Smith and Gilbert, the All Blacks came second in the 2000 and 2001 Tri-Nations. Both coaches were replaced by John Mitchell on 3rd October 2001 who went on to coach the All Blacks to victory in both the 2002 and 2003 Tri-Nations, as well as regaining the Bledisloe Cup (which had been held by Australia since 1998) in 2003. After winning the 2003 Tri-Nations, they 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. They defeated South Africa, a team they had never beaten at the World Cup, 29-9, but lost again to Australia 22-10 in the semi-final in Sydney. Afterwards, Mitchell was fired by the NZRU and replaced by Graham Henry.

The All Blacks playing England at Twickenham in 2006.
The All Blacks playing England at Twickenham in 2006.

Henry's tenure began with a double victory over reigning World Champions England in 2004. The two games had an aggregate score of 72-15, with the All Blacks keeping England try-less. 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 the All Blacks finished last. The 2004 season finished on a high however, with the All Blacks winning in Europe, including a record 45-6 victory over France.

In 2005, the All Blacks whitewashed the touring British and Irish Lions 3-0 in the Test series, won the Tri-Nations, and achieved a second Grand Slam over the Home Nations. They went on to sweep the major International Rugby Board year-end awards in which the All Blacks were named Team of the Year, Henry was named Coach of the Year, and fly-half (first five) Daniel Carter was Player of the Year. The All Blacks were nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Team of the Year in 2006 for their 2005 performance.

In 2006, they again took the Tri Nations Series by winning their first five matches, (three against Australia and two against South Africa). However, 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. The All Blacks 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.

The 2007 season started off with two mid-year Tests against France. The All Blacks won the Tests; 42 - 11 at Eden Park, and 61 - 10 at Westpac Stadium. A third game between Canada and the All Blacks resulted in a 64-13 scoreline, although the game was more competitive than the scoreline indicated.

The All Blacks' first Tri-Nations game of 2007 was against the Springboks in Durban, South Africa. The All Blacks scored two tries in the final ten minutes of the game to win 26-21. The following week against the Wallabies at the MCG in Melbourne the Wallabies upset the All Blacks to win 20-15; the All Blacks first loss to Australia since 2004. The All Blacks won both following home games to successfully defend the Tri-Nations Series for 2007.

The All Blacks entered the 2007 Rugby World Cup as favourites, and trumped their pool beating all their challengers, Scotland, Italy, Romania and Portugal by 40 points or more. However, they then suffered a defeat to hosts France in the first knockout game, the quarterfinals.


The current All Blacks jersey.
The current All Blacks jersey.

The current All Black jersey is entirely black, with the Adidas logo and the NZRU silver fern on the front. The 1884 New Zealand tour to Australia was the first overseas New Zealand rugby tour, and featured clothing far different from today's jersey. Back then, the team donned a dark blue jersey, with gold fern on the left of the jumper. In 1893 the NZRU stipulated at its annual general meeting that the uniform would be black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. 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.

The All Blacks jersey is today considered the most recognisable rugby jersey. Recently it has become traditional for the All Blacks to wear an embroidered poppy on their jersey sleeve when playing France during the end of year tours. 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.".

Adidas currently pays the NZRFU $200 Million over 9 years, expecting the All Blacks to win around 75% of their matches. Nike also looked at sponsoring the All Blacks in 1996, but went with Tiger Woods instead.


A haka is performed before a match against France in 2006.
A haka is performed before a match against France in 2006.

The All Blacks perform a haka (Māori dance) before each international match. The haka has been closely associated with New Zealand rugby ever since a tour of New South Wales in 1884. The New Zealand native team that toured Britain in 1889/89 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 and by 1914 this was firmly established as part of New Zealand rugby. The 1924 All Blacks used a specially composed haka Kia Whaka-ngawari, but later All Blacks reverted back to Ka Mate.

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

In November 2006, at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, the All Blacks 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.



The All Blacks' only annual tournament is the Tri-Nations played against Australia and South Africa. The All Blacks' record of eight tournament wins (the most recent in 2007) and 35 match wins is well ahead of the other teams' records. The Bledisloe Cup is also contested between New Zealand and Australia as part of the Tri-Nations.

Nation Games Points Bonus
played won drawn lost for against difference
Flag of New Zealand New Zealand 50 35 0 15 1364 983 +381 23 163 8
Flag of Australia  Australia 50 20 1 29 1055 1140 -95 25 107 2
Flag of South Africa  South Africa 50 19 1 30 1006 1292 -286 17 95 2

Updated 21 July 2007

World Cup

The All Blacks have won the World Cup once in the 1987 inaugural competition held in New Zealand and Australia. In 1991, they lost their semi-final to Australia before winning the playoff for third. In 1995, they improved by reaching 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 the All Blacks 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 of France; until this they were the only team to have reached the semifinals of every tournament.

The All Blacks hold several World Cup records: most points in one match (145 versus Japan in 1995), most cumulative points over all World Cups (1,711), most tries overall (232), and most conversions (173). Several individual players also hold World Cup records; Jonah Lomu for most World Cup tries (15 over two World Cups), most appearances held by Sean Fitzpatrick (17 from 1987 to 1995), 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).


IRB World Ranking Leaders

The All Blacks have a positive win record against every nation they have played. They have won 318 of the 429 matches played, a win percentage of 74.13% (see table). By this measure, the All Blacks are the most successful international rugby union team in history. When World Rankings were introduced by the IRB in October 2003, the All Blacks were ranked second. In November 2003 they briefly occupied first and then third before moving back into second by December that year. Between June 2004 and October 2007, the All Blacks were ranked number one in the world.

Their Test match record against all nations (listed in order of total matches), updated to 4 November 2007, is as follows:

Against Played Won Lost Drawn % Won
Australia 128 85 38 5 66.4%
South Africa 72 40 29 3 55.6%
France 46 34 11 1 73.9%
British & Irish Lions 34 26 6 2 76.5%
England 29 22 6 1 75.7%
Scotland 26 24 0 2 92.3%
Wales 23 20 3 0 87%
Ireland 20 19 0 1 95%
Argentina 13 12 0 1 92.3%
Italy 9 9 0 0 100%
Samoa 4 4 0 0 100%
Fiji 4 4 0 0 100%
Canada 4 4 0 0 100%
Tonga 3 3 0 0 100%
Anglo-Welsh 3 2 0 1 66.7%
World XV 3 2 1 0 66.7%
Romania 2 2 0 0 100%
USA 2 2 0 0 100%
Great Britain 1 1 0 0 100%
Japan 1 1 0 0 100%
Pacific Islanders 1 1 0 0 100%
Portugal 1 1 0 0 100%
Total 429 318 94 17 74.1%


Current squad

The squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup:

Position Province

Daniel Carter

First Five-Eighth Canterbury
Nick Evans First Five-Eighth, Fullback Otago
Andrew Ellis+ Half-back Canterbury
Doug Howlett Wing Auckland
Byron Kelleher Half-back Waikato
Brendon Leonard Half-back Waikato
Leon MacDonald Fullback Canterbury
Luke McAlister Second Five-Eighth, First Five-Eighth North Harbour
Aaron Mauger Second Five-Eighth Canterbury
Mils Muliaina Fullback, Centre, Wing Waikato
Conrad Smith Centre Wellington
Joe Rokocoko Wing Auckland
Sitiveni Sivivatu Wing Waikato
Isaia Toeava Centre, Wing Auckland
Position Province
Jerry Collins Flanker Wellington
Carl Hayman Prop Otago
Andrew Hore Hooker Taranaki
Chris Jack Lock Tasman
Sione Lauaki+ Number eight, Flanker Waikato
Chris Masoe Flanker, Number eight Wellington
Richie McCaw (Captain) Flanker Canterbury
Keven Mealamu Hooker Auckland
Anton Oliver Hooker Otago
Keith Robinson Lock Waikato
Greg Somerville+ Prop Canterbury
Rodney So'oialo Number eight Wellington
Reuben Thorne Flanker, Lock Canterbury
Neemia Tialata Prop Wellington
Ali Williams Lock Auckland
Tony Woodcock Prop North Harbour

+ Did not participate in the 2007 Tri-Nations

Notable players

Fourteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; Fred Allen, Don Clarke, Sean Fitzpatrick, Grant Fox, Dave Gallaher, Michael Jones, Ian Kirkpatrick, John Kirwan, Sir Brian Lochore, Jonah Lomu, Colin Meads, Graham Mourie, George Nepia and Wilson Whineray. One of them, Whineray, has been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

Dave Gallaher played in the All Blacks' first ever Test match in 1903 and also captained the 1905 Originals. Along with Billy Stead, Gallaher authored the famous rugby book The Complete Rugby Footballer. At the age of only 19, George Nepia played in all 30 matches on the Invincibles tour of 1924–25. Nepia played 37 All Blacks games; his last was against the British Isles in 1930.

Fred Allen captained all of his 21 matches for the All Blacks, including six Tests, between 1946 and 1949. He eventually moved onto coaching the All Blacks between 1966 and 1968. The All Blacks won all 14 of their Test matches with Allen as coach.

Five Hall of Fame inductees, including the first New Zealander named to the IRB 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. Clarke famously scored six penalties in one match — a record at the time — to give the All Blacks an 18-17 victory over the British Isles. Sir Wilson Whineray played 32 Tests, captaining the All Blacks in 30 of them. He played prop and also number 8 between 1957 and 1965. The All Blacks lost only four of their 30 Tests with Whineray as captain. On October 21, 2007, Whineray became the first New Zealander to earn induction to the IRB Hall of Fame. In 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." Meads, nicknamed Pinetree, played 133 games for the All Blacks, including 55 Tests. In 1999 the New Zealand Rugby Monthly magazine named Meads the New Zealand player of the century. Ian Kirkpatrick played 39 Tests, including 9 as captain, between 1967 and 1977. He scored 16 tries in his Test career, a record at the time.

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.

The 1987 World Cup champions were coached by Sir Brian Lochore who had represented the All Blacks in 25 Tests between 1964 and 1971, including 17 as captain. Lochore was knighted in 1999 for his lifetime services to rugby. Four of the 1987 World Cup squad that he had coached are also inductees in the Hall of Fame. John Kirwan played a total of 63 Tests between 1984 and 1994, scoring 35 tries, an All Blacks record at the time. In the 1987 World Cup opener against Italy, Kirwan raced 90 meters to score one of the tries of the tournament. An All Black from 1984 to 1993, Grant Fox was one of the All Blacks' greatest point-scorers with 1067 points, including 645 Test points. 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. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Jones first played international rugby for Samoa, then for the All Blacks, playing 55 Tests between 1987 and 1998. 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.

The most capped Test All Black is Sean Fitzpatrick with 92 appearances. Fitzpatrick played in the 1987 World Cup after an injury to incumbent Andy Dalton and was appointed All Blacks captain in 1992, continuing in the role until his retirement in 1997. He played a total of 346 first class rugby matches, including 92 Tests.

Jonah Lomu is generally regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby union. 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 (6'5") and weighed 119 kg (262 lb), making him both the tallest and heaviest back ever to play for the All Blacks, 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 the All Blacks' 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.

Individual records

The record for most All Black Test points is held by Andrew Mehrtens with 967 points from 70 Tests, and the All Black's greatest Test try scorer is Doug Howlett with 49 tries, who overtook Christian Cullen's 46 during the 2007 World Cup. 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. In Test matches, the most capped All Black is Sean Fitzpatrick with 92 appearances, a record 51 of which were as captain. 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.


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.

Name Years Tests Won Drew Lost Win percentage
Alex McDonald 1949 4 0 0 4 0%
Tom Morrison 1950, 5, 55–56 12 8 1 3 66.7%
Len Clode 1951 3 3 0 0 100%
Arthur Marslin 1953–1954 5 3 0 2 60%
Dick Everest 1957 2 2 0 0 100%
Jack Sullivan 1958–1960 11 6 1 4 54.5%
Neil McPhail 1961–1965 20 16 2 2 80%
Ron Bush 1962 2 2 0 0 100%
Fred Allen 1966–1968 14 14 0 0 100%
Ivan Vodanovich 1969–1971 10 4 1 5 40%
Bob Duff 1972–1973 8 6 1 1 75%
John Stewart 1974–1976 11 6 1 4 54.5%
Jack Gleeson 1977–1978 13 10 0 3 76.9%
Eric Watson 1979–1980 9 5 0 4 55.5%
Peter Burke 1981–1982 11 9 0 2 81.8%
Bryce Rope 1983–1984 12 9 1 2 75%
Sir Brian Lochore 1985–1987 18 14 1 3 77.7%
Alex Wyllie 1988–1991 29 25 1 3 86.2%
Laurie Mains 1992–1995 34 23 1 10 67.6%
John Hart 1996–1999 41 31 1 9 75.6%
Wayne Smith 2000–2001 17 12 0 5 70.5%
John Mitchell 2002–2003 28 23 1 4 82.1%
Graham Henry 2004– 48 42 0 6 87.5%

Home grounds

AMI Stadium
Westpac Stadium
Waikato Stadium
Eden Park ⊗ North Harbour Stadium

Like the other two countries in the Tri Nations, 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. In 2005 and 2006 the All Blacks played matches at: Eden Park, Auckland; North Harbour Stadium, Albany; Westpac Stadium, Wellington; AMI Stadium (formerly called Lancaster Park and Jade Stadium), Christchurch; Waikato Stadium, Hamilton; and Carisbrook, Dunedin.

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. The first home Test match played outside the main centres of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin or Wellington was in 1996 at McLean Park in Napier. The 1987 Rugby World Cup final was played at Eden Park.

Eden Park and AMI Stadium are being upgraded in preparation for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In 2006, the New Zealand Government 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. The NZRU no longer considers Carisbrook as a suitable Test venue; a covered sports stadium has been proposed as a replacement.

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