All Blacks the ultimate breed?

2011-10-20 11:20

Wellington - Rugby World Cup favourites New Zealand are evolving into a team of "robo-players", taller, leaner and more muscular than their predecessors, a study has revealed.

Researchers at Massey University compared the physiques of the 2005 All Blacks side to the "The Originals" of 1905, the first New Zealand team to tour Europe and the first to adopt the All Blacks moniker.

It found the average 2005 All Black was 187 centimetres (just over six foot one inch) tall and weighed 102.5 kilograms (226 pounds), compared to 175 cm and 81kg a century earlier.

That means the smallest member of the current All Black team set to face France in the Rugby World Cup final here Sunday - fly-half Aaron Cruden (178cm, 79kg) - is still taller and heavier than the average 1905 player.

Massey researcher Jeremy Hapeta said the typical All Black physique was also becoming more uniform across the team, nominating Sonny Bill Williams (191cm, 110kg) as the modern prototype "robo-player".

"Traditionally, if you were short you were put in the backs and if you had a puku (belly) you were put in the forwards, but that was the amateur game," he said.

"Now they want a prototype robo rugby player. Guys like Sonny Bill Williams are evening things up again."

Hapeta said improved nutrition and fewer childhood illnesses partly accounted for the increased size of the All Blacks in the past century, but also cited the rise of professionalism in rugby union in the 1990s as a factor.

"They (modern players) are paid to train and, perhaps more importantly, paid to rest," he said. "Without the competing demands of secondary employment, they train hard and recover well.

"They bulk up at the gym and the best of sports science and nutritional knowledge is applied to making them bigger, faster and stronger."

Hapeta said the statistical trend indicated that even today's hulking behemoths had the potential to be superseded by bigger players in the future.

"We are not going to see the growth spurts at the level we have seen from 1905 to 2005 - 12cm and 7.5kg - we will not see those sorts of leaps," he said.

"But we could see them growing by 1-2cm average height and 2-3kg average weight. You can lay odds that the All Blacks jerseys of the future will come in yet larger sizes."


  • Gillbert - 2011-10-20 11:25

    yes because david pockock, spies, olivier, habana, phillips doesnt look fit or bigger than past players... maybe its because god wants the all black to win

      Rory - 2011-10-20 11:28

      god or bryce or Paddy??

      Johan - 2011-10-20 13:31

      ...the All Blacks are "winners" because their players and coaches are selected on MERIT only..!!. ......look and learn Proteas......

  • Phillip De Waal - 2011-10-20 11:32

    Uhm, maybe that is because the entire human race tends to be taller and bigger than compared to 100 years ago? This little thing called evolution... Just a thought...

      Kosie - 2011-10-20 12:22

      eaxctly ,and gym doesn't make you taller. and jdv is also 191 and he is also a centre.

      Riaan - 2011-10-20 14:00

      Phillip you really believe you great, great, great by the power of a billion is a rock??? Let’s see it rained on a rock and then you were born??? Are you really that gullible??? ROFLMAO Any way this ulimate AB's team needs a rigged comp to even get close to the trophee... These losers can't compete with a club team if the rules are blown as they are written... YOU @#!!##!!

      Klark - 2011-10-20 21:07

      Alias Clark Kent Phillip You missed the Key point he said fitter, faster cant say that about the proteas

      Thomas - 2011-10-20 21:18

      They lost their last two games in the Tri Nations with down the middle refs!!! There was no way in hell Paddy O Cheat and Lawrence were going to let any true contenders at them!!! I never dreamed the day would come where match fixing would come to rugby (at least not at this level and this blatant) but worst of all it was done by the officials. This brought match fixing to a new low!!!!!!!

      tim.hickson1 - 2011-10-20 22:13

      @Thomas. With B teams as well but guess you Saffas are yet to learn you can't play a B team in knockout rugby ae? Bismark best hooker in world rugby absolute specimen

      gordon.trevorrow - 2011-10-21 05:26

      " Bismark best hooker in world rugby absolute specimen" Tim, have you seen Schalk Brits play ? & this one ( all one game ) : I think he is even better than B

  • Frik - 2011-10-20 11:38

    ya if only these players were actually new zealanders, a third of their team weren't even born in new zealand, same with the Aussies, at least south Africa only have the beast

      John - 2011-10-20 13:54

      ...and which third is that?

      Frik - 2011-10-20 15:59

      O let me google that for you lazy John: Mils Muliaina (Salelesi, Samoa), Ben Franks (Frankston, Australia), Jerome Kaino (Tutuila, Samoa), Isaia Toeava (Moto'otua, Samoa)

      Wayne - 2011-10-20 15:59

      Shame - ignorance is bliss. have a look at this and you may change your mind...

      Frik - 2011-10-20 16:49

      @Wayne shows you that even All Black supporters dont even know their own team, how would they ever admit that the IRB rigged the tournament for the All Blacks to win, just as they contravened their own laws by making a NZ ref officiate our game whose winner will play his home team in the semi's, i still think the IRB owes SA an apology for screwing up their RWC and tell us who the responsible person in the IRB was that made the decision that was against their own rules.

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 20:31

      the top third John, the bottom 2/3rds are NZers

      Klark - 2011-10-20 21:10

      Wrong again Frik NZ exported more players to other World Cup teams than any other country. Please get your facts right before you comment otherwise it looks like sour grapes or plain dumb. Is this an Afrikaans trait?

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 22:10

      @Superboy, NZ's only export

      James - 2011-10-20 22:53

      Ah Frik.... that must be short for Frikn what if 1/3 team is not born in NZ better than inbred boks....

      Frik - 2011-10-21 12:33

      @ Thick James, we were not talking about exporters but IMPORTERS, slight differnce "genius", then also having a whole all black Samoan team in the RWC that were out to take our players out with their filthy tactics and the IRB appologised about just shows you how rigged this RWC really is, If they have so many exporters why dont they use them than to import a third of their team "genius"? Are all you Allblack supporters so retarded?

      Frik - 2011-10-21 13:40

      @ klark all black po3pol, we're talking importers not exporters idiot, maybe go learn to read first

      Jonnie - 2011-11-02 06:53

      4 players, nice "third" mate, is that South African mathematics is it?

  • Jako - 2011-10-20 11:44

    stop the presses. this just in. proffesional players of one of the biggest sports in the world have been found to be bigger than 100 years ago when 17 or 18 men actually played the game.

  • Keith - 2011-10-20 11:48

    haha what a crock of shi.... Everyone in the world is getting bigger and faster through training and supplements and the all balcks also benefit from a great islander feeder programme, without which they'd be as good as Wales year in and year out.

  • Inhlanzi - 2011-10-20 11:51

    "fly-half Aaron Cruden (178cm, 79kg) - is still taller and heavier than the average 1905 player" "compared to 175 cm and 81kg a century earlier" Uhmm...since when is 79kg heavier than 81kg?

  • Derrick - 2011-10-20 11:53

    This is the worst article I have ever read. N24 you have outdone yourselves on this one.

  • thys.schoeman - 2011-10-20 11:59

    Crap Article !!!

  • Barry - 2011-10-20 12:07

    Thee AB, the ultimate Inbreed. Go France !!

      Klark - 2011-10-20 21:11

      Barry the ultimate queer

      Barry - 2011-10-20 21:26

      Typical insult from you. Who you sleeping with tonight Mom ? Dad ? Sis ? Daughter ? Auntie Jane ? Uncle Richie ?

  • Terence - 2011-10-20 12:09

    What a load of cod`s wallop!! The NZ`ers are starting to believe their own adverts. IF they win the final they will probably add a Superman logo onto their jerseys and change their black shorts to tights.!!

  • Shawn - 2011-10-20 12:10

    there should be another article heading: BOKS THE DUMB BREED!!!

      Johan - 2011-10-20 13:36

      ...and coached by PDV....!! ........he he he he he ..!!!

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 20:35

      thats why you only have 32 friends on FB & like escort agencies (because u r a loser & can't find a chick), ROFLUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • george.viljoen - 2011-10-20 12:11

    What a load of Crap !!!!!

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 20:28

      Agee, yawn....

  • Robs - 2011-10-20 12:17

    Quess what! At 178cm and a mass of 110kg I'm also bigger and heavier than the average 1905 All Black. Hell I could've given them a go.

  • Hugo - 2011-10-20 12:47

    Yeah HGH has come a long way. I just laugh when I see how many pro sportsmen which are in their 20s but have a receeding hairline... I wonder why hahaha

  • Kevin - 2011-10-20 13:11

    Called choking cheaters-Go France

  • Johan - 2011-10-20 13:23

    And still they could only score one try against the Wannabees!

      Inhlanzi - 2011-10-20 13:26

      They did score a try, you missed a good game

      Johan - 2011-10-20 13:30

      Can you read, Inhlanzi?

      Fatu - 2011-10-21 08:57

      That's one try more than the boks could score.

  • Zion - 2011-10-20 13:55

    Jealousy makes you nasty you bunch of kortgat goblins. Cast your eyes to the AB's and see Manne.

      Kosie - 2011-10-20 16:28

      south africans are actually bigger, do yourself a favour go research everyones size

      Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 20:25

      Zion, what is it with you, at your age you should be settling down retiring, but no, you are on a mission, a mission to discredit, insult & berate your own countries team & its supporters, Im sorry but you are pathetic.

      Frik - 2011-10-21 12:44

      @Kosie you're right thats also why they used a NZ ref to blow us out of the RWC because they were so scared of our big guys and morne's boot that is still the top scorer of the RWC and will be after its finished as well..Allblacks new motto:"if you cant make it fake it"

  • Graham Meadon - 2011-10-20 14:07

    Hahaha... April fools day in October?! Get a life mate!!!

  • Lean - 2011-10-20 14:26

    Grats? Lol these people got nothing to write about, and are just as bored as I am with the Worst World Cup EVER!!!!!

  • Jean - 2011-10-20 14:48

    Jeesh....why not just give the All Blacks a bit of credit...most comments here smells of jealousy and sour grapes

      Phil - 2011-10-20 16:00

      At the end of the day Jean ...the All Blacks are in the final and the Springboks are sat at home watching it. It obviously doesn't go down to well with some of these okes who need a winning sports team to make them feel good about their lives.

      Barry - 2011-10-20 19:07

      It is quite simple most South Africans have a great dislike for the AB and New Zealanders in general. This article is a perfect example of why. We know our RWC is finished this year. No need to dwell on it. Go France !!

  • Smell - 2011-10-20 15:55

    Not just the ABs, but the answer is simple - steroids.

  • Theprodigy - 2011-10-20 20:18

    40 % of the Brats are descendants of Pacific Island countries, take them away & what do you have, the whimpy NZers...the only large true NZer is Brad Thorn, body 110kg, brain 0.1kg.

  • Brainbow - 2011-10-21 19:05

    Island cannibals that have been carefully selected by pirates and slave traders over millenia. The scrap were dumped in Australia. South Africans simply travelled the world and chose the best place to live in!

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