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New Zealand Kiwis News
The New Zealand national Rigby League team, known across the globe as the New Zealand Kiwis, are one of the most successful international test sides in the sport.

Governed by NZRL, the Kiwis are one of the most historic nations in the world having played their first ever match against Wales in 1908.

If you are a fan of Kiwis or are just looking to keep u to date with the star-studded Kiwis side, you can do that right here at 13v13 as we bring you all of the latest New Zealand Kiwis news headlines from across the globe.

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Although the Kiwis don’t have a designated national Rugby League stadium, the majority of their matches to take place in New Zealand are played at the Mount Smart Stadium in the capital city of Auckland.

The gourd is a modern 30,000 capacity stadium that features 2 huge stands down either side of the pitch.

When full, as it often is for Kiwis home games, it is offers a fantastic spectacle and creates a great atmosphere.


New Zealand is located in the southern Pacific Ocean to the south-east of Australia, which places them in the Asia-Pacific Confederation.


The Kiwis were a trailblazer of Rugby League at the international stage as they are not just one of the oldest countries to play a test match, but they were the first from the southern hemisphere to tour the northern hemisphere and as the All Golds, they were the first to professionalise international test series.

The country made history in 2008 when they not only ended Australia’s decades long reign as World Champions, but they defeated the Kangaroos in the final in Australia.


The sport of Rugby Union was introduced to New Zealand in around 1870 and by the early 1900’s, they had developed to the level where they sent a touring side to Great Britain.

On their first tour in 1905, the players and officials witness the Northern Union (Rugby League) code for the first time and to no one’s surprise, they were impressed.

Upon their return, the AL Blacks star George William and an Australian entrepreneur JJ Gitinan explored bringing the sport to Australasia.

Around the same time, another New Zealand union player, Albert Baskerville started to recruit players to head to Great Britian to play the League code.

He got the permission of the NZRU (Rugby Union authorities) and when Baskerville return to New Zealand from Australia, the 2 grouped together to send a team to London.

With the RU team known as the All Blacks, the ‘professionals’ Northern Union team was given the name of the All Golds by a local paper and it stuck.

The countries first match was an unofficial one against a group of ‘rebels’ from New South Wales who were attempting to break away from RU themselves to start up a Rugby League competition.

New Zealand then set sail for England and played their first ever tests in 1907 but with the players not knowing he Northern Union rules, it was not surprise that they lost all matches with a squad featuring Australian star Dally Messenger.

The Kiwis first official match came in Aberdare against Wales where they pushed their hosts all of the way with a 9-8 loss.

Unfortunately, the success of the tour led to NZRU to change tact and applied pressure on the players to not play or to face sanctions and even got politicians to try and scupper the tour, to little avail.

On their return to the southern hemisphere, the All Gold’s stopped off in Australia and discovered that the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) competition had started up, so they stayed to play 10 matches against NSWRFL clubs in a move that not only boosted the finances for all involved but showcased the sport to Australians.

That led to growing attendance sin Australia and it is thought those matches really helped to establish Rugby League as the main code in the country.

The first ever home match for the Kiwis came in 1910 when a Lion tours headed to New Zealand and Australia, unfortunately for the hosts, the Lions came out on top.

By the 1920’s, the sport was starting to grow in New Zealand and that led to the Rugby Union authorities starting legal action over numerous aspects including the use of the All Blacks name.

By that time, the country had stopped using the name anyway and had started to be known as the Kiwis due to it already appearing in their badge and the name has stuck ever since.

In 1938, they adopted the name official with the test side becoming known as the New Zealand Kiwis, that tour also was the first to feature they predominately black playing strip with a white v (or chevron) on it.

During the countries first tour of GB after World War 2, the Kiwis helped to attract a northern hemisphere record attendance of 42,680 to see there match at Odsal Stadium in Bradford.

The Kiwis took part in the first ever Rugby League World Cup, the first of either code, but they would lose all of their matches to finish in last place.

In the 1957 competition, they picked up their first ever RLWC victory against France.

The 1960’s saw the country become the number 1 team in the world thanks to some dominant tours during that era including beating Great Britian 2-0, winning 7 out of 10 tests in the early part of the decade and also enjoying a record breaking 19-0 win over the Lions.

The 1970’s and 80’s weren’t quite as successful for the Kiwis which was evident at the 1972 RLWC, when they failed to win a game once again.

There return to the top of the international game arguably started in 1987 when they faced Australia at last minute after France failed to show and they pulled off a shock 13-6 win.

In the final test of the 1988 Lions tour, the Kiwis defeated Great Britain 12-10 in Christchurch.

In the final of that tour, New Zealand hosted Australia where a huge crowd of 47,363 watched them play in Auckland but in a losing effort.

In 1998, the Kiwis win a 3 match test series against Great Britian and then handed England their biggest ever loss at the RLWC 2000.

In 2003, the country played their 100th international and in 2005, they picked up their first piece of silverware by winning the Tri-Nations.

In that tournament, they defeated the Kangaroos for the first time for over 50 years in Sydney and they kept GB scoreless for the first time with a 0-24 at Elland Road.

In 2007, the Kiwis toured Britian but it turned out to be a disastrous toured ‘highlighted’ by a record 44-0 loss.

That led to a lot of criticism for the players and coaching staff and that led to change at the top with Stephen Kearney taking over.

That seemed to have almost instant impact as in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, the country not only had a successful event but they when ton to pull of arguably the biggest shock in international Rugby League when they defeat Australia in the final held in Brisbane.

The next few years continued to be decent for the country and by 2015, they would be the number 1 ranked country in the world for only the second time in history.

In 2013 they set a record attendance of 74,468 in a losing effort to Australia in the World Cup Final.

The 2017 RLWC campaign proved to be a struggle as despite finishing runners up in 2013, there 2017 campaign started with many key players opting to play for Tonga.

After starting well, they would lose to Tonga to become the first tier 1 nation to lose to a tier 2 nation in a World Cup game and then they would lose to Fiji to exit at the quarter-final stage.

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