New Zealand national rugby union team
The New Zealand national rugby union team, commonly called the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in men’s rugby union, which is regarded as the country’s national sport. The side has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015, as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987. They have a 77% winning record in test match rugby, and are the only international side with a winning record against every opponent. Since their international debut in 1903, they have lost to only six of the 19 nations they have played in test matches. Since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined. The All Blacks are statistically the best side to have played the game, and hold the record for the most consecutive test match wins for a tier one ranked nation.
New Zealand competes with Argentina, Australia and South Africa in The Rugby Championship. The All Blacks have won the trophy fourteen times in the competition’s twenty-one-year history. As of the end of 2016 competition, they hold the Bledisloe Cup, which is contested annually with Australia, and the Freedom Cup, contested annually with South Africa. New Zealand have achieved a Grand Slam (defeating England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in one tour) four times – 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Kieran Read (c)