Welcome to New Zealand






New Zealand Sports


New Zealand Sports

New Zealand Sports

New Zealand Sports mostly reflects its colonial heritage from Britain. Many of New Zealand’s most popular sports, specifically rugby, netball, and cricket, are chiefly played in countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. Sports are big in New Zealand and in spite of the country’s small size, it has basked in great success in several sports namely the country’s national sport (Rugby Union), as well as the Rugby League, Americas Cup Sailing, Cricket, Netball, motor sports and several other sports. The most popular sport in New Zealand is the rugby union, which is also its national sport. Other popular sports are cricket, which is regarded as the national sport during summer, soccer rugby league, and netball, which is the top rating female sport by involvement.


Golf, rowing, tennis, and several other water sports, especially sailing are very popular. Winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing are also big.

Across all sectors of New Zealand society the Rugby union is popular and many Kiwis relate it with their national identity and consider it as their national sport. It has the biggest crowd following of all New Zealand sports.


The All Blacks, the national rugby team of New Zealand, has the best record of wins any national team globally, and is presently ranked number 2 in the world.


The NZ All Blacks won the very first Rugby World Cup and it will host the World Cup in 2011. Traditionally, the All Blacks perform a haka or Maori challenge at the beginning of international competitions. This exercise has been copied by many other national squads, namely the basketball teams and the national rugby league team.
In Australia the rugby league is the prevailing rugby code while in New Zealand it is the rugby union which is more popular. The domestic league of New Zealand is semi-professional and is not high profile. Nevertheless, the Australian NRL (National Rugby League), wherein the NZ Warriors play, is quite popular. Since 1954, the national side of New Zealand has contended in the Rugby League World Cup. They are presently the World Champions and had won their first World Cup on November 22, 2008 in Brisbane at Lang Park.


New Zealand’s national summer sport is cricket, and this country is one of 10 that participate in cricket Test matches. The competitions in the provincial regions are not nearly as popular as is the situation with rugby, but global matches are followed with much interest by a big percentage of the population. This is the same as the international situation of cricket, whereupon the global game is followed more widely than the national game in all major countries with cricket.

Historically speaking, the NZ national cricket team has not been as popular as the NZ national rugby team. In 1930, New Zealand played its first test match but it took 26 years for it to win its first match. The NZ national team started to reap more success in the 70s and 80s. It was in this era that Richard Hadlee, the first one to take four hundred wickets and the most famous cricket player of New Zealand, played.



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