NEW ZEALAND INTRODUCTION
New Zealand need no introduction. The three-time winners of the Webb Ellis Cup (1987, 2011, 2015) will once again be among the favourites at Rugby World Cup 2023.
The most dominant team in the history of world rugby, New Zealand have forged much of their glorious reputation at Rugby World Cup. They are known the world over for their haka and, of course, their legendary players: Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens, Tana Umaga, Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and the unstoppable Jonah Lomu, the joint top try scorer (15) in Rugby World Cup history, to name just a few.
During Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, New Zealand finished an eventual third with a changing of the guard, with Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick forming the spine of a new-look squad. In the land of the long white cloud, all eyes are now on the next edition, where New Zealand will face Italy, hosts France and the Americas 1 and Africa 1 qualifiers.
"Having France in our pool is going to be special," said head coach Ian Foster after the draw. Will the All Blacks, who have never lost a pool match, continue their impressive streak in 2023?