Head Coach: Stephen Kearney
Captain: Benji Marshall
Previous Four Nations Played (3): 2009, 2010 (Winners), 2011
The sport of Rugby League sprung to life in New Zealand through the years of 1906 and 1907.
After breaking away from the control of New Zealand Rugby Union, one of the most famous names in Rugby League history, the great Albert Baskerville, organised the very first Rugby League tour in history, where his New Zealand side travelled to Great Britain to play against the Northern Union in 1907.
That New Zealand side, which also included Australian legend Dally Messenger, played their first ever International Test match against Wales while on tour. Wales proved victorious in a nail biting 9-8 victory against the Kiwi side of the time, who have gone down in history as the ‘All Golds’.
After their defeat to Wales, New Zealand went on to play a three-test series against a Northern Union representative side and won the series 2-1, with Messenger scoring vital points in their two victorious tests. The ‘All Golds’ also played a Test series in Australia on their return home, again winning 2-1 despite the fact that Messenger elected to play for the Australian side in all three games.
The ‘All Golds’ tour is regarded by many as being one of the key factors in helping aid the growth and popularity of Rugby League during those fledgling years both in Britain and Australia and played a large role in the sport being as strong as it is today.
New Zealand took part in all four of the Tri-Nations tournaments held between 1999 and 2006 and were victors on one occasion. They defeated Australia 24-0 in the 2005 final. They consigned Australia to their first defeat international test series defeat in 27 years.
During the 2010 final the Four Nations Trophy was practically in Australian hands when an inspired run and move from Benji Marshall led to a Nathan Fien try in the final minutes which once again tipped the balance of power into Kiwi hands.