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More than a Tour – the 1905 All Blacks

Early in the morning of September 8, 1905 a ship containing the New Zealand rugby team sailed into Plymouth harbour.

New Zealand went on to play 32 matches in the British Isles and a further three on their way home.

Only one side, Wales, defeated them and 23 of their opponents failed to score a single point. The 1905 side scored more tries, more points and had fewer tries scored against them than any other touring New Zealand side since.

In one game, against the combined clubs of Hartlepool, they scored 15 tries. Incredibly, seven of those tries were scored directly from consecutive Hartlepool kick-offs.

The tour gave an unimaginable boost to the most distant colony of the British Empire and also laid the foundation stone of New Zealand’s proud rugby tradition, providing a defining kit, name, pre-match ritual and expectation of success. 

It was so much more than just a tour…

This exhibition was on display in the Museum of Rugby from September 6, 2005 to March 12, 2006.  

To find out more, please follow the link to the exhibition panels.