Rugby Union In New Zealand
Rugby union is the unofficial national sport of New Zealand. Rugby, as it is generally referred to by New Zealanders, is an integral part of New Zealand culture. The national team, the All Blacks, rank as the top international team in the world. The sport was known in New Zealand from 1870, and the game now holds close ties with the culture of the country. The top domestic competitions are the professional ITM Cup and amateur Heartland Championship, and above them Super Rugby, in which New Zealand has five franchises. The country hosted and won the first ever men's World Cup final in 1987, and hosted and won the men's 2011 tournament. They are the current world champions for both men and women.
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