Love New Zealand

Rugby Union

Copyright: Tourism New Zealand Copyright: Tourism New Zealand

Played in New Zealand as far back as 1870, Rubgy Union is popular across all ages, sectors and races. Generally referred to as simply "Rugby", Rugby Union is an important part of our culture. The top domestic competitions are Super Rugby, ITM Cup and the Heartland Championship.

New Zealand's national teams include:

  • All Blacks
  • Junior All Blacks
  • Māori All Blacks
  • Black Ferns
  • Sevens
  • Under 21s
  • Under 20s
  • Under 19s

Our provincial teams include:

  • Auckland
  • Wellington
  • Waikato
  • Taranaki
  • Southland
  • Otago
  • Northland
  • North Harbour
  • Canterbury
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Counties Manukau
  • Tasman
  • Manawatu
  • Hawke's Bay

Professional rugby union teams that represent various provincial teams include:

  • Blues
  • Chiefs
  • Hurricanes
  • Crusaders
  • Highlanders

All Blacks

The All Blacks are our national rugby team, and are one the best rugby teams in all of the world!

Up until 2016, Richie McCaw was the current captain of the All Blacks, and a legend in rugby. Now the All Blacks are captained by Kieran Read. Steve Hansen is the current head coach.

Tana Umaga, with his trademark dreadlocks featured in the image to the right, is one of many New Zealand Rugby legends. He had been described as one of the best All Black three-quarters either as a wing or a centre. Tana Umaga captained the All Blacks in 21 tests, played in 74, and scored 185 points. He hung up his boots after playing his 100th match for the Vodafone Wellington Lions against the Manawatu Turbos in the Air New Zealand Cup, August 2007.

The All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup, as well as the 2011 Rugby World Cup hosted in New Zealand.

The All Blacks traditionally perform a haka, a Maori challenge, at the start of international matches.

Follow the All Blacks on the official All Blacks website:

Super Rugby

Super Rugby is the largest and pre-eminent professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemisphere. The competition includes teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

New Zealand teams in the Super Rugby are:

  • Crusaders - Buller, Canterbury, Mid-Canterbury, South Canterbury, Tasman and West Coast
  • Blues - Auckland, North Harbour, and Northland
  • Highlanders - North Otago, Otago and Southland
  • Hurricanes - East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Manawatu, Poverty Bay, Wairarapa-Bush, Wanganui and Wellington
  • Chiefs - Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, Taranaki, King Country, Thames Valley and Waikato

New Zealand plays teams from Australia and South Africa:

  • Brumbies - Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Rebels - Victoria, Australia
  • Waratahs - New South Wales, Australia
  • Reds - Qeensland, Australia
  • Force - Western Australia, Australia
  • Bulls - Pretoria, South Africa
  • Cheetahs - Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Lions - Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Sharks - Durban, South Africa
  • Southern Kings - Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Stormers - Cape Town, South Africa


Copyright: Tourism New Zealand Copyright: Tourism New Zealand

The ITM Cup consists of 14 teams from regions throughout New Zealand.

Each team must have 26 players to compete with. Teams include:

  1. Auckland
  2. Bay of Plenty
  3. Canterbury
  4. Counties Manukau
  5. Hawke's Bay
  6. Manawatu
  7. North Harbour
  8. Northland
  9. Otago
  10. Southland
  11. Taranaki
  12. Tasman
  13. Waikato
  14. Wellington

For more information see

Heartland Championship

The Heartland Championship is a domestic rugby union competition in New Zealand, held annually and starting in August.

Rugby teams from 12 provincial unions compete.

For more information see