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All Blacks XV set to take on Barbarians as part of four-game end-of-year tour

By Sam Smith
(Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

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New Zealand Rugby have announced that the second-string national side, dubbed the All Blacks XV, will take part in a four-game tour of the Northern Hemisphere throughout October and November.

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The All Blacks XV was first unveiled in 2020 as a long-awaited replacement for the former Junior All Blacks and New Zealand A sides and were set to play three matches during that year’s November window but with Covid curtailing the season and also complicating last year’s proceedings, the team was put back on ice – until now.

Two matches have already been confirmed for later this year, with the All Blacks XV set to take on the Canada national side on October 29 and the Barbarians at Tottenham Stadium in London two weeks later.

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Maori All Blacks post-match press conference
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Maori All Blacks post-match press conference

Two additional fixtures – against a national team from a developing rugby nation and a second XV team from a tier-one nation – are set to be added to the schedule and announced in the coming weeks.

No coach has been announced for the team.

NZR general manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said the All Blacks XV was a positive development for players and fans in New Zealand and around the world.

“The schedule announced today is an exciting addition to the international calendar and we can’t wait to see the team representing New Zealand in what promises to be a series of entertaining, competitive, and high-quality matches.

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“As the next senior national representative side behind the All Blacks, the All Blacks XV will have the same high expectations as our other ‘Teams in Black’. Canada, the Barbarians and the exciting prospect of two additional opponents to come will provide a tough first tour for this team.”

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NZR head of high performance Mike Anthony said the team would provide additional opportunity for professional players in New Zealand to display their skills on a global stage.

“This will be a high-performance team which will be representing New Zealand overseas and is a hugely exciting opportunity for our players and coaches. We believe the environment and schedule will help develop our next tier of talent. Importantly it will expose players to different playing styles, structures and systems, which can only benefit the development of our players and coaches.

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“For our future professional players, it will provide an aspirational goal, and for current players, it is a chance to prove themselves on the international stage and push their case for All Blacks selection, or in some cases for a recall.”

– with New Zealand Rugby

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