The New Zealand national rugby union team, also known as the All Blacks, is one of the world’s most successful sides, having won the Rugby World Cup on three occasions – in 1987, 2011, and 2015.
The All Blacks are a national institution in New Zealand and a source of great pride for the country. Known for their aggressive style of play and distinctive black shirts, they are a team that all rugby fans love to watch.
In this article, we look at the All Blacks’ history, upcoming matches in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and their current squad.
World Cup Fixtures
The New Zealand national rugby union team have been drawn in Pool A for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and will face Italy, Uruguay, Namibia, and the host nation France. The winner of Pool A will face the runner-up of Pool B in the quarter finals, likely to be South Africa or Ireland.
- September 8 – New Zealand vs France (Stade de France, Saint-Denis)
- September 15 – New Zealand vs Namibia (Stade de Toulouse, Toulouse)
- September 29 – New Zealand vs Italy (OL Stadium, Lyon)
- October 5 – New Zealand vs Uruguay (OL Stadium, Lyon)
World Cup Performance
New Zealand National Rugby Union Team History
The New Zealand national rugby union Team, commonly known as the All Blacks, has a rich history in rugby union and is known as one of the sport’s pioneers.
The team were founded in 1892, making them one of the oldest national rugby teams, and their first-ever international test match came against Australia in 1903, with the All Blacks winning 22-3.
This match marked the beginning of a legacy that would shape the sport of rugby union and was also the birth of a fierce rivalry between the Wallabies and All Blacks that continues today.
So, it was fitting that New Zealand was chosen to host the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, and as one of the favourites, the All Blacks dominated the tournament, defeating France 29-9 in the final at Eden Park in Auckland.
Since that victory, New Zealand have been a continued force in rugby union, but they had to wait until 2011 to lift the Rugby World Cup again. Again, it was on home soil at Eden Park as they faced France again, with the hosts edging out Les Bleus 8-7 in a nerve-jangling final.
And four years later, the New Zealand national rugby union team were the first nation to defend the William Webb Ellis trophy when they defeated their trans-Tasman rivals Australia 34-17 at Twickenham.
2023 will see the All Blacks head into the Rugby World Cup as one of the favourites again to lift the trophy. However, they face a strong France team in the tournament’s opening game, and the winner of that clash will see an easier potential route to the final.
With their three tournament wins, the New Zealand national rugby union team share the most Rugby World Cup wins with South Africa, and the All Blacks will be going all out this year to land a record-breaking fourth title.
New Zealand Rugby Players
As a pre-cursor to the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the New Zealand National Rugby Union team will first participate in the annual Rugby Championship in July, taking on Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.
They will also take on South Africa at Twickenham in August as a warm-up match for the Rugby World Cup. Any player selected for the New Zealand National Rugby Union team must play their domestic rugby in New Zealand, with the main focus being Super Rugby Pacific.
Below is the likely All Blacks squad of professional players to compete in the Rugby Championship, which will form the basis of their World Cup squad.
Hooker – Dane Coles
Hooker – Samisoni Taukei’aho
Hooker – Codie Taylor
Tighthead prop – Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Tighthead prop Nepo Laulala
Tighthead prop Karl Tu’inukuafe
Loosehead prop – George Bower
Loosehead prop – Ethan de Groot
Loosehead prop – Fletcher Newell
Lock – Brodie Retallick
Lock – Scott Barrett
Lock – Sam Whitelock
Lock – Tupou Vaa’i
Lock – Akira Ioane
Flanker – Dalton Papalii
Flanker – Ardie Savea
Flanker – Ethan Blackadder
Flanker – Shannon Frizell
Flanker – Luke Jacobson
Number 8 – Sam Cane (c)
Number 8 – Pita Gus Sowakula
Number 8 – Hoskins Sotutu
Scrum-half – Aaron Smith
Scrum-half – Finlay Christie
Scrum-half – Folau Fakatava
Fly-half – Beauden Barrett
Fly-half – Richie Mo’unga
Centre – Rieko Ioane
Centre – Quinn Tupaea
Centre – David Havili
Centre – Braydon Ennor
Wing – Sevu Reece
Wing – Caleb Clarke
Wing – Will Jordan
Wing – Jordie Barrett
Fullback – Jordie Barrett
Fullback – Damian McKenzie