National Teams

Junior All Blacks | New Zealand Under 20 | New Zealand Schools | Black Ferns | Maori All Blacks   | New Zealand Heartland XV | All Blacks Sevens


Junior All Blacks

The Junior All Blacks is New Zealand’s second national side after the All Blacks. Introduced in 2005, the Junior All Blacks team plays a crucial role in the growth and development of New Zealand’s international-quality player pool. The Junior All Blacks provide an opportunity for professional players in the prime of their careers to claim a black jersey and maintain their playing condition. The team last assembled in 2009 and claimed the IRB Pacific Nations Cup.

An earlier New Zealand Juniors team was first selected in 1958 and last played in 1984. Unlike the current Junior All Blacks, the earlier team was an under-23 age-grade selection.

Click here to visit the official Junior All Blacks page on


New Zealand Under 20

New Zealand Under 20 is an age-grade side that provides development opportunities and acts as a testing ground for New Zealand’s young, talented players. A particular player’s progress is monitored and managed in the best interests of the player’s own development. The New Zealand Under 20 team replaced the Under 21 and Under 19 teams in 2008, following the IRB's move to a single-tier international age-grade structure.

New Zealand Under 21 won the IRB Under 21 World Championship in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. New Zealand Under 21 (formerly known as the Colts) was selected for the first time in 1955 and annually since 1978.

New Zealand Under 19 won the IRB Under 19 World Championship in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2007. New Zealand Under 19 was first selected in 1990.

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New Zealand Schools

New Zealand Schools represents the first rung on the high performance ladder of New Zealand rugby, introducing young players to the culture and environment of New Zealand’s national teams. While the team is recognised by the NZRU, New Zealand Schools is not technically an NZRU team: the team is selected and managed by the New Zealand Schools Rugby Council (an associate member organisation), which is substantially funded by the NZRU and provides regional and national secondary school-level rugby coaching and tournaments.

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Black Ferns

The Black Ferns are New Zealand’s senior women’s rugby team, representing the seven percent of New Zealand’s players who are female. The Black Ferns are clearly the dominant team in women’s rugby worldwide, with Women’s Rugby World Cup titles in 1998, 2002 2006 and in 2010 and just three losses in international play since 1989.

A New Zealand women’s selection first took the field in 1989 and competed at the 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup. The team was officially recognised by the NZRU in 1992.

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Maori All Blacks

The Maori All Blacks team is a selection of the best of New Zealand’s Maori rugby players. All contracted players are able to nominate themselves as eligible for the Maori All Blacks and, in the event a player is considered for selection, the team’s kaumatua (cultural advisor) will trace the player’s whakapapa (genealogy) to confirm his heritage and eligibility. The primary objective of this team is to provide an aspirational pathway for young Maori rugby players.

The first Maori All Blacks were officially selected in 1910. However, the 1888 New Zealand Natives team, one of the first of New Zealand’s national rugby teams, was originally conceived as an all-Maori selection and ultimately included just five non-Maori players in its ranks.

Click here to visit the official Maori All Blacks page on


New Zealand Heartland XV

The New Zealand Heartland XV is selected following the domestic rugby season from players in the Heartland Championship. For many amateur and semi-professional players in New Zealand’s towns and rural areas, the New Zealand Heartland XV provides an aspirational pathway and opportunity to represent the country.

The New Zealand Heartland XV was first selected in 2006 and was preceded by the New Zealand Divisional XV, which was first selected in 1988.

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All Blacks Sevens

All Blacks Sevens represents New Zealand at sevens rugby, the abbreviated version of the full 15-man game. The All Blacks Sevens team competes regularly in the IRB World Sevens Series, which it has won eight times. The team also won the Rugby World Cup Sevens title in 2001 and Commonwealth Games gold medals in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

The All Blacks Sevens team was first selected in 1973 and attended a major international tournament for the first time in 1983 - the famous Hong Kong Sevens.

Click here to visit the official All Blacks Sevens page on