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6 Reasons the All Blacks are the best at Rugby

by Centurion Sales Team

England rugby union head coach, Stuart Lancaster, recently said the All Blacks were currently the best team in world sport. But is Lancaster right? Below are some of the reasons why we think the All Blacks are currently the best at rugby.

An early start

The Kiwis introduce children to the game from a very young age. The game of Rippa Rugby is huge in New Zealand, a non-contact, small-sided version of the rugby game that can be played anywhere by kids as young as three. Every primary school in New Zealand has a grass playing field, a Rippa Rugby kit and an instruction DVD, which helps to make the game as easy to play and fun as possible. 

Steeped in history

Rugby has always dominated  Kiwi culture in a way that is unmatched by any other country in the world (except possibly Wales). In 1905, when Britain dominated politics, the Kiwis used rugby to promote the benefits of their country's lifestyle. Since then, Rugby has continued to enjoy incredible success in New Zealand. In England, Scotland, Ireland and many other countries, rugby is a product of social background, with the game made more accessible to those who are privately educated. 

Progression is gentle

Progression in rugby for Kiwi children is fast. If they show interest, children follow a carefully designed series of programmes beginning from the age of 5 with the 'Small Blacks'. The game from age 5-7 doesn't include set pieces, tackling or kicking and it is not until the age of 8 that defence skills are introduced. In this way, children are given a 'gentle' introduction to the game, and can build on their skills so that by the time they reach the age of 11, and begin to take part in 15-a-side games, they are ready to handle them. 

A universal approach

Rugby is taught in both private and state schools in New Zealand and the quality of coaching in both schools is impressive, but it is not just prevalent in schools. For example, the prestigious High School Old Boys Club in Christchurch has produced 30 All Blacks in its 110 year history to include key players such as Justin Marshall and Dan Carter. Standards at the clubs are very high and this promotes high competition amongst the regions which helps to develop strong, focussed players.

Reaffirmation of culture

Rugby reaffirms New Zealand's national identity. Sport is an area where New Zealand excels and in doing so it has given the Kiwis a higher level of publicity across the world. To be a successful rugby player in New Zealand is one of the best things you can be and it is this aspiration that drives many of the players on to become some of the best players in the world. 

Climate and ancestry

Rugby is an outdoor sport and the climate and landscape in New Zealand is ideal for children to be able to further develop their skills. Every town and village has open green fields where children can run and throw a ball around. Furthermore, the genetic mix of the Kiwis is highly conducive to the game of rugby. The size of the Maoris together with the speed and power of the Polynesian islanders both contribute towards the formidable force of the All Blacks.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to leave a comment below.