New Zealand Rugby launches a new 'All Blacks XV' team to tour in 2020

‘We believe that there is great value in making this a regular national team.’

NEW ZEALAND RUGBY has announced it is forming a new ‘All Blacks XV’ team to undertake a mini-tour in the Northern Hemisphere this year, playing two matches in late October and one in November against as-yet-unannounced opposition.

NZR plan for the All Blacks XV to become a regular national team in the years to come.

The All Blacks XV has been described as “our second-tier team below the All Blacks and made up of New Zealand’s ‘next best’ players” by NZR chief rugby officer, Nigel Cass. 

all-blacks-haka-with-rieko-iaone-and-aaron-smith New Zealand has a new representative national team.

The new side is intended to fill the gap that teams like New Zealand A team and the Junior All Blacks have done previously.

The formation of the All Blacks XV is not thought to put the future of the Māori All Blacks – a New Zealand representative team made up of player who have Māori roots or ancestry – in doubt.

New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association’s CEO, Rob Nichol, said the formation of the team had been welcomed by Kiwi rugby players.

Details of the first All Blacks XV match are due to be announced in North America today, with two other fixtures for this year to be confirmed in due course.

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“The All Blacks XV will be our second-tier team below the All Blacks and made up New Zealand’s ‘next best’ players,” said NXR’s Cass.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for those players to experience a national team environment and prove themselves on the international stage, or for those who have already worn the All Blacks jersey to get more game time at this level and potentially earn a recall to the team.

“The high-performance benefits of this team will be significant. It will help to develop the next group of players, many of whom will likely become our future All Blacks, as well as give further opportunities for our coaches and other team personnel.

“We also believe that this will aid with retention of players and personnel in New Zealand, which will benefit our Super Rugby clubs and provincial unions as well as the All Blacks.

“Teams such as the New Zealand A team and the Junior All Blacks who last played in the Pacific Nations Cup in 2009 have filled a similar high-performance role and have done so effectively, with a very high percentage going on to play for the All Blacks.

“These teams have been sporadic in the past, and we believe that there is great value in making this a regular national team going forward.

“Beyond its high-performance role, this new team also has real commercial value for NZR.  It will play offshore in growing rugby markets that are of strategic and commercial importance, allowing us to showcase and grow New Zealand’s brand of rugby in many more parts of the world.” 

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Murray Kinsella

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