New Zealand can lay claim to many of the greatest rugby players in the world. Names that reverberate across the rugby globe including Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kerwin, Jock Hobbs, Fred Allen, Grant Fox and Brian Lahore. Here are just a small selection who helped shape our New Zealand rugby history.
Regarded by many as not only the greatest player of his era but by many as the greatest of all time.
He played all 32 matches for the famous 1924–25 ‘Invincibles’. Nepia had natural speed and an impressive physique. With a powerful kick, fierce defence an fearless tackling abilities he was a force in the invincibles tour.
A sinewy and raw-boned man who was an excellent jumper in the lineouts as well as a skillful in open play.
Meads was known as the Enforcer and once played on against South Africa with a broken arm.
Also known as "Pinetree" this epitomised his presence in the teams he represented.
Named "Player of the Century" by the NZRFU he is considered by many as the greatest rugby player to have taken the field.
Possessing a unique visionary style of leadership meant Wilson captained 30 of his 32 All Blacks Tests.
Whilst followed by some great All Black's captains it is believed Wilson is the most influential and greated as it was Whineray who set the standards of preparation, motivation and commitment others have sought to emulate.
From the back of the lineout or side of the scrum, Waka had great speed and terrorised the opposition inside backs.
Waka can lay the claim to be unbeaten in a New Zealand jersey.
Waka was sometimes referred to as "the Black Panther" and described by the legendary Colin Meads as "that most virile runner with the ball in hand, great at exerting pressure close to the forwards."
Known as Super Sid by his fans, he played 86 matches, including 29 Tests for the All Blacks.
Considered one of the greatest running halfbacks, Sid scored 10 tries in test matches and 23 tries in All Black games.
Awarded the Tom French Cup for Maori player of the year six times and awarded an MBE in 1978 for his contributions to rugby.
Under Buck's captaincy from 1987 to 1990 the All Blacks never lost a game. Famous for both taking the haka to a new level and for playing on after his scrotum was ripped open during a test match, all rugby fans would be familiar with the "Bring Back Buck" slogan that dominated the fields after Buck was dropped from the All Blacks in 1990.
Jonah's size was one of his greatest assets. With the ability to be able to literally run over defenders, combined with his impressive speed and skills made Jonah a force to be reckoned with during his rugby career.
At his peak ot could take up to four or more players to bring Jonah down!
Known for having his playing number (No 11) shaved into his eyebrow he also has it tatooed on his chest.
With 63 caps as an All Black Jonah is regarded as the first true global superstar of rugby.Not only impressive in size Jonah has been recorded as running 100 metres in under 11 seconds not only allowing him to "run over" his opponents but then proceed to outrun them.
Known as "The Boot" for his phenomenal kicking ability, and stabbing toe-kick style, Don Clarke played 89 matches as a New Zealand International between 1956 to 1964. Holding the record for kicking points at 781 for 24 years this was only broken by Grant Fox in 1988.
No player was bigger in the public's eye during the late 1950's and early 1960's.
No doubt there are many others who rank high in the list of the greatest All Blacks and the current squad continue to produce great All Blacks who will go down in the history books.