What Countries Have Beaten New Zealand In Rugby?

Seven countries have beaten the All Blacks of New Zealand in an international test match.

Two touring teams that are made up of players from several countries have also beaten New Zealand.

One country that no longer exists beat New Zealand in 1947, although the match isn’t considered a full international test.

Let’s get into the details!

Countries Who Have Beaten New Zealand In Rugby

The seven countries who beat the All Blacks in a test match are:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • England
  • France
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Wales

Rhodesia beat New Zealand in a match below international status. The Barbarians and the British and Irish Lions also have wins.

To put this into context, this is a fraction of about 110 countries who play rugby union (check out our article on which countries play rugby).

All Blacks Loss To Rhodesia

The All Blacks toured South Africa in 1947. They had a dismal record on tour, losing to the host country in the four international tests.

South Africa had recently introduced Apartheid, and no Maori player toured with their country. The All Blacks refused to do the haka as a protest, although they’d have been better off simply by not touring.

Part of the tradition of international tours back then was to play provincial matches in the run-up to the full tests. Players from Rhodesia were qualified to pay for South Africa, and the country was considered a South African province in a rugby context.

New Zealand lost by eight points to ten when they played Rhodesia as a provincial match. That’s why I didn’t include it in the list of seven countries that have been the All Blacks.

Rhodesia no longer exists as a country. Most of the territory is now part of Zimbabwe.

British And Irish Lions Wins Against New Zealand

The British and Irish Lions are a touring team made up of players from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

They tour New Zealand every twelve years and have beaten the All Blacks in seven test matches since these tours started.

The Lions won the 1971 tour by beating New Zealand in two of the three test matches. This is the only tour they’ve won out of twelve since 1904.

Most recent Lions win versus the All Blacks

The Lions drew the most recent tour against the All Blacks in 2017 by winning the second test match by three points.

They had lost their opening match and the final match of the test series was a draw.

This resulted in a drawn series overall. Steve Hansen, the New Zealand coach, proclaimed that it was “like kissing your sister”. Apparently, the phrase refers to an outcome that is unsatisfactory for both sides!

This isn’t a phrase that’s well-known in Europe, and the Lions supporters were bemused. Their reaction was something like this:

Barbarians Beating The All Blacks

The Barbarians is an invitation touring team made up of players from any country. They have beaten New Zealand twice in their history.

The most famous occasion was in 1973 in a match that is considered one of the greatest of all time.

There’s a try scored by the BaaBaas from a breakout close to their own try line that is also considered one of the greatest tries of all time.

If you want to know more about this invitational team, check out our guide to the Barbarians.

The Barbarians won again in 2009 with a star-studded team. Legendary South African winger Bryan Habana scored three tries.

However, the All Blacks were at the tail end of a long autumn tour, and their coach put out a lot of second-stringers. In the first half, both teams looked like they’d just met in the car park. Of course, that’s understandable for the Barbarians!

But New Zealand were disappointing, and the match isn’t considered an all-time classic.

Who Has Beaten New Zealand In Rugby The Most Times?

Australia has by far the most successful rugby history over New Zealand, with almost double the wins as South Africa.

The Wallabies have beaten the All Blacks forty-five times since 1903.

Their most recent win was in a tight match in 2020 when they won by two points

Has Wales Ever Beaten The All Blacks?

Wales has beaten New Zealand in rugby three times since they first played in 1905.

That first-ever match was a 3-0 victory for Wales in Cardiff Arms Park. Thirty years later, Wales edged a win by one point in Cardiff. They won again in 1953 in their home city.

This means that Wales won three of the first four matches they ever played against the All Blacks. Unfortunately for the principality, that was the end of an excellent streak.

There was a very tight game in 2004 in which New Zealand shaded a scoreline of 25-26 to the visitors.

Wales kept the losing margin to a score in 2009 when they lost by seven points. Most of the other matches have seen a double-digit scoring difference.

Has Ireland Beaten The All Blacks?

For nearly a hundred years, Ireland’s record against the All Blacks was a single draw and no wins. The draw was in Lansdowne Road in 1973.

I’m Irish, but I was a nipper in 1973 and don’t remember what must have been a massive disappointment to the crowd. I can’t imagine any Irish fan saying it was like “kissing your sister!”

There were a few tight matches in the long history since 1905, but usually the All Blacks ran up a big score against the boys in green. That includes a sixty-nil hammering in 2012.

The tide turned a little in the match the following year in Lansdowne Road when Ireland were leading as the clock went into the read. I well remember watching a seemingly-inevitable outcome as New Zealand scored a last-ditch try to secure the win.

Historic wins

In 2016 in Chicago, the Ireland men’s team beat the All Blacks for the first time in a handsome scoreline of 40 points to 29.

I say “Ireland men’s team” because the women’s team had beaten the Black Ferns in the 2014 Women’s World Cup.

I must admit I was near to tears in the aftermath of the Chicago match. I had honestly thought I wouldn’t see this win in my lifetime.

New Zealand traveled to Dublin a fortnight after their historic loss and beat Ireland soundly in a very physical match. But Ireland took a narrow win a week later.

Ireland copped a big beating from the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter final of 2019. However, the next time they met in Dublin, Ireland turned the tables around and beat New Zealand for the third time in their history.