One of the sports I used to post about on my long-lost NYU website was rugby. Though I rarely see rugby matches on TV nowadays, I do like watching the sport, and especially would enjoy seeing New Zealand's All Blacks, which is that small island nation's premiere national squad, play live. (I'd never really had any burning desire to visit New Zealand until I saw Once Were Warrior and these saw some of these players.) The All Blacks, who aren't really "all black" but do perform the Maori Haka before each match, are favorites to win the next international rugby World Cup, which rolls around in a few years (2007?).
From what I've gleaned from various sites, they've had an amazing year so far, defeating Wales, Ireland, South Africa (whom they also lost to), Fiji, Australia (twice), England, and the British and Irish Lions this year, adding a win just last week over Scotland, in Edinburgh. Their former star, Jonah Lomu, is no longer playing with the squad, but dredlocked, longtime captain Tana Umaga, is still hammering opponents. Here are a few of my favorite recent All Blacks shots (most are from AllBlacks.com); I'll post more down the road. If you get Once Were Warriors flashbacks, that's not a bad thing! Enjoy!
Keven Mealamu and Rodney So'oialo
Sitiveni Sivivatu, Maa Allan Nonu, Mils Mulaina, Mose Tuiali'i, and Sione Lauaki
Tana Umaga, All Blacks Captain and hard-tackling star
Josevata Rokocoko (or Rokothoko)
(L to R) Getting ready for the scrum machine, Sione Lauaki, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu, and Neemia Tialata
Jonah Lomu, one of the best ever, in his prime (he starred from 1994-2002)