26 Nov 2008

1888-89 NZ rugby team to be inducted into IRB hall of fame

5:42 pm on 26 November 2008

New Zealand's first touring rugby team to Britain, called the New Zealand Natives, will be inducted into the International Rugby Union's Hall of Fame this week.

Waatea News reports the New Zealand Natives had a mammoth 14-month tour of Britain from 1888-89, winning 78 of their 107 games.

Their tour was nearly two decades before the 1905 "Originals".

Former New Zealand Maori coach Matt Te Pou says the New Zealand Natives were the beginning of the Maori All Blacks and instilled the desire to win which has existed in New Zealand rugby since.

Mr Te Pou says they deserve greater recognition in New Zealand.