Old New Zealand

...All Blacks...

The first international rugby games were played when a team from New South Wales visited in 1882 and played against Auckland (twice), Wellington (twice), Canterbury, Otago and West Coast, and North Island, winning four games and losing three. Two years later the first New Zealand team to go overseas toured New South Wales winning all eight games.

In 1888 a British Isles team toured Australia and New Zealand, although no Test matches were played. Later that year the NZ "natives" mostly comprised of Maori players toured Britain with considerable success. (NZ Natives tour of 1888/89). The first full international match didn't come until 1903 when New Zealand played Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground running out winners by 22-3. A year later a British and Irish Lions side came to New Zealand losing the match played at Athletic Park Wellington by 9-3. The All Blacks beat Australia again in 1905 in Dunedin by 14-3. Later that year the All Blacks embarked on a mammoth tour of the British Isles, France and North America winning 34 of their 35 matches only losing to Wales in Cardiff. (1905-06 Tour of British Isles, France and North America)

The 1924 side that toured the British Isles, France and Canada without losing a single match came to be known as "The Invincibles". They were captained by Cliff Porter and included the legendary George Nepia and the Brownlie brothers, Cyril and Maurice.

George Nepia

Left: George Nepia

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