The All Blacks, the national rugby union team of New Zealand, have participated in 56 matches throughout nine Rugby World Cup tournaments between 1987 and 2019, with one canceled and one unplayed. They won the tournaments in 1987, 2011, and 2015. They are the only team that has never dropped a pool match and has always qualified in the first position after every match. Their worst performance came in 2007, when they fell to France in the quarterfinals. At all previous tournaments, they have advanced to the semi-finals or better.
With Australia serving as a co-host, New Zealand hosted the inaugural tournament. For the 2011 tournament, New Zealand served as the only host nation.
- RWC debut: 22 May, 1987 – v Italy at Eden Park, Auckland
- RWC appearances: Played 56 – Won 49 Drawn 0 Lost 7 – Points for 2,552 Points against 753 – Win ratio 88 percent
- Most RWC appearances: Richie McCaw, 22
- Most RWC tries: Jonah Lomu, 15
- Best finish: Champions, 1987, 2011, 2015
- Qualification for RWC 2023: Bronze medallists at RWC 2019
Most Famous Victory
While New Zealand has the record for the most significant victory (145-17 against Japan) in Rugby World Cup tournament history, the semi-final match against England in 1995, when Jonah Lomu was at his most destructive, stands out above all others. Despite scoring four tries, England fell 45-29 because they had no response for the raging winger.
Most Memorable Moment
The inaugural Rugby World Cup match in 1987 included a try by John Kirwan that survived the test of time. From deep inside his own 22, the winger launched a slaloming move that allowed him to outrun nine Italian defenders and cross the goal line. It provided the young tournament with the perfect launchpad to win over the public’s interest.
New Zealand lost a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match to France 20-18 after blowing a 13-3 halftime lead for the first and only time in their history. There were calls for coach Graham Henry to be fired, but he showed his appreciation for the New Zealand Rugby Union’s confidence in him by leading the All Blacks to their first championship in 24 years in 2011.
Related: New Zealand Schedule
Despite all the health issues that ultimately came to light, Jonah Lomu made a monumental entrance on the scene in 1995 and hasn’t looked back since. Lomu’s sheer stature and speed made him an unbeatable force; England captain Will Carling called him “a freak” in the most flattering ways. He set a record by scoring 15 tries over the 1995 and 1999 tournaments; Bryan Habana eventually matched it in 2015.
Top Record Breaker
Richie McCaw is the only person to have won the Webb Ellis Cup twice, in 2011 and 2015, and he captained his nation a record 13 times in Rugby World Cups.
South Africa Tentative Squad
Codie Taylor, Dane Coles, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tamaiti Williams*, Tyrel Lomax, Brodie Retallick, Josh Lord, Samuel Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papali’i, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane, Samipeni Finau*, Shannon Frizell
Aaron Smith, Finlay Christie, Cam Roigard*, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod*, Caleb Clarke, Emoni Narawa*, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Mark Telea, Will Jordan.