no way to exaggerate how big rugby is here. the national team is the all blacks and they are currently in france in prep for the rugby world cup that starts in 3 days, 43 minutes and 51 seconds – but you knew that, right? non-stop coverage of the team’s every move and we’re still days away from the first match.
in addition to the national team (the all blacks), you also have the superrugby league (wellington’s team is the lions), the mitre 10 cup (a round robin tournament with the superrugby teams) and the heartland championship the heartland championship with smaller regional teams – and that is just rugby union. rugby league is a variation with a whole different set of teams. one of the big rugby leagues is “national rugby league“, composed mostly of australian teams. the nz team is the warriors and they play other teams like the south sidney rabbitohs and the sidney roosters. so no shortage of rugby on the telly.
one of the traditions of the all blacks is to perform the haka – a mãori traditional dance – before each international match.
see it in action here.
mastercard is currently running an ad that plays on the national loyalty to the all blacks.