All Blacks – The New Zealand Rugby Union Team
Union: New Zealand Rugby Union
Nicknames: All Blacks or ABs
Emblem: Silver Fern
Current Coach: Steven Hansen
Current Captain: Richie McCaw
Most Caps: Richie McCaw
Top Scorer: Daniel Carter (1440)
Most Number of Tries: Doug Howlett (49)
First International Match: Vs Australia on 15th August 1903. Result: New Zealand won by 22-3
Largest Win: Vs Japan on 4th June 1995. All Blacks won by 145-14
Largest Defeat: Vs Australia on 28th August 1999. Australia won by 28-7.
World Cup Performances: 7 Appearances, Champions in 1987 and 2011
Official Website: allblacks.com
All Blacks Current Team Kit
The game of Rugby was introduced by Charles Monro in 1870. The first recorded rugby game in New Zealand was played in May 1970 in Nelson between the Nelson Club and the Nelson College. The first provincial union was formed in 1879 which was called the Canterbury Rugby Football Union. New Zealand started playing their first internationals in 1882. The first game was played between Southern Rugby Union, Australia (later called as New South Wales Rugby Union) and Auckland Provincial Club. Later they played against Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, the West Coast and North Island. In 1884 the first ever New Zealand team toured to New South Wales and won all of their eight games.
How they earned the ‘All Blacks’ name”
In 1892, the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) was formed and they officially toured New South Wales in 1893 and won all their eight games. Till 1905 the New Zealand Rugby Union team used to be called the Originals, but in 1905 when they first toured the British Isles they were called ‘All Backs’ by a London newspaper which was actually a typographical mistake later admitted by the newspaper as the reporter actually wanted to call them ‘All Blacks’ because they were wearing black playing strip on their dress. They earned the name ‘All Blacks’ but they were not recognized by that name instantly.
Although being the best and the oldest Rugby Union team in the world the All Blacks have traditional rivalries against most of the International Rugby Union teams, but their most intense rivalries are against the British Lions, the Willoughby’s (Australian Rugby Union Team) and the Springboks (The South African Rugby Union Team). Most recently their matches against Argentina too have generated great interest among the rugby fans.
The Maori traditional dance Haka is an integral part of New Zealand Rugby and it has become a tradition to perform a Haka before every game the All Blacks play. The Maoris do the Haka to intimidate their opposition, but All Blacks perform it just to keep the tradition going. The other Rugby playing teams too respect this tradition and they stand just opposite the All Blacks when they perform the Haka before an international game.