New Zealand National Rugby Union Team
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in what is regarded as its national sport. The All Blacks are the Rugby World Cup champions, the IRB's Team of the Year, the leading points scorers of all time and the only international rugby team with a winning record against every test nation they have ever played. The All Blacks have held the top ranking in the world for longer than all other countries combined and in over 100 years only five test rugby nations have ever beaten New Zealand.
Starting in 2012, New Zealand compete with Argentina, Australia and South Africa in The Rugby Championship, known as the Tri Nations before Argentina's entry in 2012. The All Blacks have won the trophy a record eleven times (in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012) in the competition's 16-year history. They are the current holders of the Rugby World Cup, The Rugby Championship trophy and the Bledisloe Cup; the latter competed for annually against Australia, with the All Blacks currently on the second-longest winning streak holding the Trans-Tasman trophy since 2003. They also hold the Freedom Cup; contested annually with South Africa and have completed a Grand Slam, defeating all four Home Nations during one tour, four times (in 1978, 2005, 2008 and 2010).
The All Blacks have won over a record 75% of all rugby matches they have played since 1903 (which is amongst the highest in all International sport) and they were named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Team of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and a record fifth time in 2011. Their captain, Richie McCaw, was the International Rugby Board Player of the Year for a record third time. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; three of these are also inductees of the IRB Hall of Fame, and another player is a member of the IRB Hall.
The team first competed in 1884 against Cumberland County, New South Wales, and played their first Test match in 1903, a victory over Australia. This was followed by a tour of the Northern Hemisphere in 1905.
The team's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour New Zealand were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time. New Zealand traditionally perform a haka (Māori challenge) before each match. Traditionally, the haka performed is Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate, though since 2005 Kapa o Pango, a modified version of the 1924 All Blacks haka, Kia Whaka-ngawari, has occasionally been performed.
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