New Zealand Rugby
Welcome dear students
This website is designed for students who want to know more about the rugby culture in New Zealand. This website contains lots of useful information including culture, original culture and the country itself. Enjoy your visit at my website.

The country

New Zealand comprises the North and the South Island. The North Island, whit the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, is warmer than the South Island. Nature is less erratic. The highlights of this area are The Bay of Islands, with its beautiful white sand beaches and rain forests inland, and Rotorua, which its famous for its geysers and volcanic landscapes and the charming capital city Wellington. The South Island has beautiful natural areas in the north, including the Marlborough Sounds and the Abel Tasman National Park. This area is a home to many dolphins and whales. On the west coast, about halfway through the South Island, are the glaciers Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. A unique glacier area in whole New Zealand ! In the south are the beautiful fjords of New Zealand, including the Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound !


Before Europeans arrived in New Zealand, the Maori were playing a ball game called ki-o-rahi which greatly resembled Australian Rules Football and rugby football. It has been suggested that this may have influenced New Zealand playing styles, especially amongst the indigenous population. Various codes of football were played in New Zealand in the years following white settlement. Christchurch Football Club, which is now the oldest rugby club in the country, was founded in 1863. It played by its own rules for many years. Rugby football was first introduced to New Zealand in 1870 by Charles John Monro, son of the then-Speaker of the House of Representatives, David Monro. He encountered the game while studying at Christ's College Finchley, in East Finchley, London, England, and on his return introduced the game to Nelson College, who played the first rugby union match against Nelson football club on 14 May. A visit to Wellington by Munro later that same year resulted in an organised match between Nelson and Wellington. By the following year, the game had been formalised in Wellington, and subsequently rugby was taken up in Wanganui and Auckland in 1873 and Hamilton in 1874. In 1875 the first representative team was formed, being a combined-clubs Auckland team which toured the South. It is thought that by the mid-1870s, the game had been taken up by the majority of the colony.

The latter stages of the 1870s saw the emergence of a more formal structure, with Unions being formed in both Canterbury and Wellington during 1879. In 1882, the first international rugby side toured New Zealand, a New South Wales side that visited both islands during the latter part of the year. Two years later, a New Zealand team visited New South Wales, wearing blue jerseys with a golden fern. The team won all their games. In 1888, the first ever British Isles rugby team tour took place, visiting New Zealand and Australia. The visitors won all their New Zealand games except for one, losing to Auckland. During 1888-89, the New Zealand Native team became the first from a colony to visit Britain. In 1892 the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU) was established, to act as the national governing body of the sport. Following the establishment of the national governing body, the first NZRFU national sanctioned tour was undertaken in 1893, when a ten game tour of Australia was played. The team was captained by Thomas Ellison.In 1902, the governor of New Zealand, the fifth Earl of Ranfurly presented a trophy shield to the Auckland side, who were undefeated in provincial competition that year. The shield became known as the Ranfurly Shield. Three years later, a 1905 New Zealand team, who became known as the "Originals", toured the British Isles and France winning all of their games apart from controversially losing the test against Wales. As the team swept through Britain, some of the players took note of how rugby (league) was being played in the North of England. One player, Aucklander George Smith met with Sydney entrepreneur James J. Giltinan on his way home, and discussed the opportunities of such a game. Meanwhile, New Zealander Albert Henry Baskervill had contacted the Northern Union to arrange a New Zealand tour, as he had just read about the game in an English magazine. The NZRU discouraged any involvement from its players and officials, nonetheless, a team departed a travelled to Sydney first, and were there labelled the All Golds, a play on All Blacks in reference to the player payments. The team went on to tour England. They played an import role in rugby league.

The 1930s saw a period of skill development for rugby in New Zealand. The 1940 All Black tour of South Africa was one of the first sporting events cancelled due to the Second World War. Rugby was however played in services sport, with games being played with South African allies during the North African desert campaign, also, most domestic competitions were suspended during this time. In 1976, the first ever season of the National Provincial Championship (succeeded in 2006 by the Air New Zealand Cup and Heartland Championship) went underway. In its inaugural format, Division One was made up of seven North Island teams and four South Island. The remaining provinces contested a split second division, though South and North teams did not meet each other, instead played their respective Island clubs. There was a separate relegation system in place for each the North and South, ensuring the number of teams from each island. The 1981 Springbok Tour, or The Tour, went down as one of the most controversial rugby tours ever. From July to September, the Springboks toured New Zealand. Rugby fans filled the stadiums, yet equal numbers of fans protested the games outside the stadiums. Police were divided into Red and Blue riot squads for the tour, and in preparation for possible trouble, all spectators were told to assemble in sports grounds at least an hour before kickoff. At a game at Rugby Park in Hamilton, around 350 protesters pulled down a fence and invaded the pitch. Police, already very worried, pulled the match when they found out a light plane piloted by a protester was headed to fly around the stadium. A protest turned violent in Wellington the following week, escalating the situation. During the final test match at Eden Park, a low flying plane dropped flour bombs over the pitch. These images were beamed around the world, and looked as though a civil crisis had engulfed New Zealand. A subsequent 1985 All Black tour was prevented by the High Court, but an unofficial tour took place the following year.

In 1987, the NZRFU wrote to the International Rugby Football Board, now known as the International Rugby Board (IRB), requesting the possibility of hosting an inaugural Rugby World Cup. The 1987 World Cup was eventually given to both New Zealand and Australia. The All Blacks made it to the final, where they would meet France. The All Blacks won and were crowned the first ever World Champions. In the 1980s, New Zealand provincial sides participated in the South Pacific Championship, along with teams from Australia and Fiji. In 1992 this type of competition was relaunched as the Super Sixes, and was expanded to the Super 10 later. As rugby entered the professional era in the mid 1990s, along with South Africa and Australia, New Zealand formed SANZAR, which would see them start a provincial rugby competition, the Super 12. The 1996 Super 12 season saw the Auckland Blues finish in second place, whilst the Waikato Chiefs 6th, the Otago Highlanders 8th, the Wellington Hurricanes 9th, and the Canterbury Crusaders 12th. The SANZAR agreement also saw the formation of the Tri Nations Series, a contest between the respective national sides, the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies. The All Blacks won the first series. Beginning in 2012 the series will be Joined with the Argentina Pumas to create The Rugby Championship. New Zealand was supposed to jointly host the 2003 World Cup with Australia, but a disagreement with the IRB saw the tournament given to Australia in its entirety. In 2006, New Zealand won the right to host the 2011 World Cup.

In New Zealand there are 520 clubs, 141,726 registered players and 2309 referees. In colonial New Zealand, rugby football served to hold loyalty to the Crown within the emigrant population, whilst introducing British culture to the Maori population. It was the New Zealand Natives' Rugby Tour of 1888/89 showed that New Zealand could compete with other nations, something they had trouble doing in another traditional sport, cricket. Similarly, the 1905-06 tour, in which the All Blacks went very close to a clean sweep tour (one loss against Wales), helped to create a sense of national pride around the All Blacks, as they appeared physically superior and pulled off an admirable performance on their British tour. It is also thought that this saw the emergence of the Kiwi as a national symbol. Rugby is considered to be a part of New Zealand life - dominating the sports media. Before they starts the game, they’re dancing the Haka. The Haka is actually the name of an group of ceremonial dances of the Maori from New Zealand. With this dance, they try to invoke the gods. The New Zealand Rugby team doing this dance before each match, to frighten and impress the opponents. The dance itself consists of an series of gestures, often starting from a spread position in the knees. The rugby player spans his muscles and then save it (for example from another arm on the chest). He also tries to pull down the power of the gods from the sky down. Furthermore, they can still vary in expression, such to show the whites of the eyes and an long tongue. During the dance, the players yell the following text:

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!

This death! This death! This life! This life!

Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!

This death! This death! This life! This life!

Tenei to tangata puhuru Huru

Behold! There is an hairy man

Nana nei i tiki mai

That brought the sunshine

Whakawhiti to ra

And let her shine

A upa ... ne! ka upa ... ne!

A step forward! Another step forward!

A upane kaupane whiti to ra!

One step forward, one .. The sun shines!