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New Zealand Rugby
Rugby union is so popular in New Zealand that it’s the country’s unofficial national sport. In fact, New Zealand is home to over 500 clubs, 140,000 registered players and 2,300 referees.
Rugby union has been played in New Zealand since the 1870s, but various early versions of the sport were also played by the country’s Māori population prior to the arrival of European settlers who spread the love of the game throughout the country. By 1889, the New Zealand national rugby union team had already shown that it could compete with other established rugby-playing nations. A few years later, in the early 1900s, the team almost completed a clean sweep of victories on their tour of Britain.
Fast forward to the present day and New Zealand rugby teams are recognised as the world standard. The men’s New Zealand national rugby union team is known as the All Blacks and they’re the most successful team in the history of international rugby. They’re the only team to have never lost a World Cup pool game, they’ve won the World Cup three times and they have a positive winning record against every international side they’ve ever faced. In addition, the New Zealand rugby team has dominated the Rugby Championship (previously the Tri Nations). They’ve won the tournament 17 times since 1996.
Due to the success of the New Zealand rugby team, New Zealand rugby players have received a number of individual awards. All Blacks players have been voted as the World Rugby Player of the Year 10 times since 2001 and 15 former New Zealand rugby players have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
In the women’s game, the New Zealand national rugby union team is just as dominant as the men’s team. They’re called the Black Ferns and they’ve won five of the past six Women's Rugby World Cups. Like the men, they’re also the only women’s international side with a winning record against every opponent.
Read on to see all the latest New Zealand rugby news. You can discover more about your favourite New Zealand rugby players, learn more about the New Zealand rugby team and even see the latest New Zealand rugby results.
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