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All You Want To Know About Rugby Union In New Zealand


Rugby Union is not just a sport in New Zealand, it is a part of New Zealand culture and it is unofficially the national game of New Zealand. The game was incarnated in the year 1870 means it has a rich history of more than 140 years. The New Zealand national rugby union team is known as All Blacks and it is one of the best and top ranked rugby union team of the world. Their top domestic competitions are so competitive that it is almost at the level of international rugby union. The New Zealand Rugby held the first ever Rugby Union World Cup in the year 1987 and won it. They are the current world champions of both men’s and women’s rugby world cup.

Brief Information about the structure of New Zealand Rugby Union:

Governing Body: The New Zealand Rugby Union

National Team: All Blacks (New Zealand)

First played in: 1870 at Nelson

Total Registered players till April 2014: 146, 893

Total registered clubs with New Zealand Rugby Union: 600

International Competitions Participated:

  • IRB Rugby World Cup
  • The Rugby Championship
  • Pacific Nations Cup
  • Rugby World Cup Sevens
  • IRB Sevens World Series

Domestic Championships

  • Super Rugby
  • ITM Cup
  • Heartland Championship
  • Ranfurly Shield
  • Hanan Shield

National Rugby Teams:

  • All Blacks
  • Junior All Blacks
  • Maori All Blacks
  • Heartland XV
  • Black Ferns
  • Sevens
  • Under 21s
  • Under 20s
  • Under 19s
  • Schoolboys

Domestic Competitions:

  • Super Rugby: Played between domestic teams of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa which is governed by SANZAR. It was formed in 1996 as ‘Super 12’ and then in 2006 it was named ‘Super 14’. Finally, in 2011 one more team was added and now total 15 teams participate in Super Rugby.
  • ITM Cup: It is the premier domestic rugby competition of New Zealand with 14 provincial teams participating and 10 teams play in the main draw they are….
    • Auckland
    • Bay of Plenty
    • Canterbury
    • North Harbour
    • Northland
    • Otago
    • Southland
    • Taranaki
    • Waikato
    • Wellington
    • Counties Manuka (2nd Division)
    • Manawatu (2nd Division)
    • Hawke’s Bay (2nd Division)
    • Tasman (2nd Division)
  • Heartland Championship: It is a domestic competition for the armatures and being contested among 12 teams.
    • Buller
    • East Coast
    • Horowhenua-Kapiti
    • King Country
    • Mid Canterbury
    • North Otago
    • Poverty Bay
    • South Canterbury
    • Thames Vally
    • Wairarapa Bush
    • Wanganui
    • West Coast
  • Ranfurly Shield
  • Club 


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David Whisler, the maestro of editing at Sportycious, brings a touch of panache to the world of sports journalism. With an eagle eye for detail and a flair for enthralling storytelling, David ensures Sportycious remains the go-to destination for readers seeking an exhilarating and enlightening experience. When not juggling commas and semicolons, you'll find David enthusiastically supporting his favourite teams and indulging in his own sporting escapades.

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