Junior All Blacks
Unlike the New Zealand Under 23 Junior sides of previous years, the Junior All Blacks are not an age grade side. It is in fact the second national team behind the All Blacks. Since a New Zealand Junior side was sent to Japan in 1958, they have played against a host of international sides including the British & Irish Lions, Australia, England, South Africa, Fiji and Tonga.
Many players in previous New Zealand Juniors sides have also gone on to play for the All Blacks. Among them are Colin Meads, Kel Tremain, Graham Mourie, Ian Kirkpatrick and Grant Fox.
Junior All Blacks co-coach Colin Cooper played for the 1982 side on their Internal Tour - the team won all four matches.
The Junior All Blacks have won the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Pacific Nations Cup.
For the Junior All Blacks news and team information click here.
New Zealand Under 20 is New Zealand's newest national team, and was selected for the first time in 2008. It provides development opportunities and acts as a testing ground for New Zealand's young, talented players.
The New Zealand Under 20 team was established in 2007 following the International Rugby Board's restructuring of international age-grade rugby and replaces the New Zealand Under 21 and Under 19 sides.
Previous New Zealand's age-grade sides have enjoyed great success on the world stage.
New Zealand Under 21 (formerly known as the Colts) was first selected in 1955 and played annually until 2007. New Zealand Under 21 won world titles in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.
New Zealand Under 19 was selected for the first time in 1990 and won IRB Under 19 Junior World Championship titles in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and the last ever tournament in 2007.
In 2008 the New Zealand Under 20 side competed at the inaugural IRB World Junior Championship, and won. They are still the current IRB Junior World Champions having beaten England in the final, in Japan in 2009.
For the U20 news and team information click here.
New Zealand Maori
The New Zealand Maori has a proud history both on and off the rugby field. The team has lost only four of its 26 games played between 1994 and 2004, including beating England, Argentina, Scotland, Fiji. The New Zealand Maori team continued its winning form in 2004 beating England in extra time in the final of the Churchill Cup in Canada. In 2005, the New Zealand Maori team beat the touring British & Irish Lions 19-13. Maori rugby traces its origins back to the inaugural world tour in 1888-89 by a team that became known as the New Zealand Natives. The team played an incredible 107 games across Britain, Australia and New Zealand during a journey that lasted 14 months. Since first getting official status in 1910, the New Zealand Maori side has produced some of world rugby's most outstanding athletes, including fullback George Nepia who played 46 games for the All Blacks from 1924-1930, halfback Sid Going who played 86 matches for his country and former All Black captain and former NZRU President Tane Norton, who represented New Zealand in 61 games, including 27 Tests.
For the New Zealand Maori news and team information click here.
The Black Ferns became an official NZRU national side in 1992 after paying their own way to the 1991 Women's Rugby World Cup in Wales. Their IRB Women's Rugby World Cup titles in 1998, 2002 and again in 2006 underline New Zealand's dominance in international women's rugby and reflect the burgeoning provincial, club and school scene. In addition to three world titles, the Black Ferns also won the 2004 Churchill Cup tournament in Edmonton by beating England in the final. They followed that up with a win over Canada in the final of the 2005 Canada Cup. In 2007, the Black Ferns beat Australia's Wallaroos 2-0 in a two-match Test series to retain the Laurie O'Reilly Memorial Trophy. The Black Ferns also undertook a two-Test tour of Australia in 2008, winning both matches.
The Black Ferns will undertake a 3-match tour to England in November 2009, including 2 Tests against the host country.
For Black Ferns news and information click here.
New Zealand Sevens was born in 1983 when the first full international side was sent to the famous Hong Kong tournament. New Zealand won its first Hong Kong title in 1986 and went on to win the inaugural IRB World Sevens Series in 2000 and in each of the next five years. In addition, the New Zealand Sevens side won gold medals at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 2005, the team also won its sixth IRB Sevens title in a row and won a seventh title in 2007.
For Sevens news and information click here.
The New Zealand Heartland XV, formerly known as the New Zealand Divisional XV, was established in 1988 to expose players from Divisions Two and Three in the Air New Zealand NPC to rugby at a higher level. In 2006, Heartland Championship replaced the former Air New Zealand NPC Divisions Two and Three, and the competition has given more players the chance to push for national honours. The first New Zealand Heartland XV side toured the Pacific Islands in 2005 and they played six games (which they won), including matches against Tonga and Fiji. Since then the team has toured Argentina in 2006 and the United States in 2008, beating the Pacific Coast Grizzlies and a USA Select XV.
The team has been the launching pad of many All Blacks' careers including Carlos Spencer and Justin Marshall. Other players who made appearances for the New Zealand Heartland XV early in their careers include Jeff Wilson, Todd Blackadder, Norm Hewitt, Simon Culhane and Matthew Cooper.
For Heartland XV news and information click here.
Many All Blacks made their mark in the New Zealand Schools side, most notably Doug Howlett, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman and Andrew Hore, all of whom played in the 1996 side that beat Australia 31-22. Hore was the captain back then. And over the years, many more future All Blacks impressed at New Zealand Schools level - Aaron Mauger, Malili (Mils) Muliaina and Jerry Collins were just three who made the 1998 squad. In recent years, Joe Rokocoko (2000-2002), Sam Tuitupou (2000), Ben Atiga (2000-2002), Jamie Mackintosh (2002-2003) and Liam Messam (2001-2002) came to the fore. Mackintosh went on to captain the New Zealand Under 19 side to World Cup victory in South Africa in 2004 while Messam led the New Zealand Sevens team to its fifth IRB World Series title in the same year. New Zealand Schools has lost only three of their last 27 games, against France Under 19 in Paris in 2002, Australia Schools A in Sydney in 2005 and Australia Under 19 in New Plymouth in 2008.
The 2009 New Zealand Schools team will tour Australia in October and will play games against Australia Schools A and a one-off international against Australia Schools.
For Schools news and information click here.