Rugby union is the national sport in New Zealand, and is popular across all sections of New Zealand society, and many New Zealanders associate it with their national identity. It has the largest spectator following of all sports in New Zealand. New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, has the best winning record of any national team in the world, and is currently ranked first in the world. The All Blacks won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987, and again on home soil in 2011. The All Blacks traditionally perform a haka, a Māori challenge, at the start of international matches. This practice has been mimicked by several other national teams, notably the national rugby league team, and the basketball teams.
Outside Test matches, there are three widely followed competitions:
- Super Rugby (previously Super 6, Super 10, Super 12, and Super 14), the elite club competition in the southern hemisphere, involving teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
- ITM Cup (previously Air New Zealand Cup), created in 2006 as a successor to the National Provincial Championship (NPC), involves professional provincial New Zealand teams and is played mainly during the winter months.
- Heartland Championship, an amateur competition of lower-level New Zealand provincial teams, also created in 2006 as a successor to the NPC.
Other articles related to "rugby union, rugby, union, unions":
... Thomas Hughes 1857 novel Tom Brown's Schooldays, set at Rugby School, includes a rugby football match, also portrayed in the 1940s film of the same name ... of the Sussex Vampire, mentions that Dr Watson played rugby for Blackheath ... Henri Rousseau's 1908 work Joueurs de football shows two pairs of rugby players competing ...
... of the French horn (current residence, Germany) Born after 1950 Alan MacDonald (rugby union) (born 1985), Scottish rugby union player Andrew McDonald (water polo) (born 1955), American water polo player ...
... organized competitions were formed in 1883, when the Ontario Rugby Football Union and the Quebec Rugby Football Union were founded ... At the time the sport was generally called rugby union or rugby football because its rules were similar to rugby union's, although this would change drastically in the coming decades ... The following year, the two provincial unions would form the Canadian Rugby Football Union, with Montreal winning the first national championship later that year ...
Famous quotes containing the word union:
“The man whose whole activity is diverted to inner meditation becomes insensible to all his surroundings. If he loves, it is not to give himself, to blend in fecund union with another being, but to meditate on his love. His passions are mere appearances, being sterile. They are dissipated in futile imaginings, producing nothing external to themselves.”
—Emile Durkheim (18581917)