Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
1 June 2015
Ever wondered just many many - or how few - All Blacks have been our record test try-scorers? You might be surprised. In 112 years of the All Black story there have only been seven test try-scoring record holders. And one old star held the record for 63 years! And can you recall who's the current scorer of most All Black test tries? Check the keithquinnrugby.com records here.
THE PROGRESSION/EVOLUTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL ALL BLACK TEST TRY SCORING RECORD HOLDERS;
For the purpose of setting this record straight, we will go back to test records being kept accurately from the first test match played by a fully selected New Zealand team (v Australia at Sydney in 1903)
In the first game New Zealand beat Australia by 22-3 and Opai Asher, Robert 'Dick' McGregor and George 'Bubs' Tyler all scored a try each. Therefore it could be said they were the first 'record try-scorers for the All Blacks.' But Duncan McGregor soon took over. With two tries in the 1904 test against Great Britain in 1904 in Wellington, and then four tries in the 1905-06 tour game in UK against England it was Duncan McGregor (no relation to the earlier Dick McGregor) who established an early clear record-setting total with six test tries.
From that point the progression of the eight All Black test try-scoring record holders is thus:
Name Tries From tests
Duncan McGregor (1903-06) 6 4
(McGregor's final tally of six tries stood as the record-holder for two years until 1908 when Frank Mitchinson passed McGregor's six test tries in the All Blacks v Anglo-Welsh (3rd test) at Auckland.)
Frank Mitchinson (1907-1913) 10 11
(Mitchinson's final tally of 10 test tries was reached in 1910 (though he played on for New Zealand til 1913) Therefore he stood as the record-holder for 63 years until 1973 when Ian Kirkpatrick passed Mitchinson's 10 test tries in the All Blacks v England game in London.)
Ian Kirkpatrick (1967-77) 16 39
(Kirkpatrick's final tally of 16 test tries stood as the record-holder from 1977 for six years until 1983 when Stu Wilson passed Kirkpatrick's 16 test tries in the All Blacks v British Isles (4th test) in Auckland.)
Stu Wilson (1977-83) 19 34
(Wilson's final tally of 19 test tries stood as the record-holder from 1983 for five years until 1988 when John Kirwan passed Wilson's 19 test tries in the All Blacks v Australia (1st test) in Sydney.)
John Kirwan (1984-94) 35 63
(Kirwan's final tally of 35 test tries stood as the record-holder from 1994 for five years until 1999 when Jeff Wilson passed Kirwan's 35 test tries in the All Blacks v Italy (Rugby World Cup match) in Huddersfield.)
Jeff Wilson (1993-2001) 44 60
(Wilson's final tally of 44 test tries stood as the record-holder for three years until 2002 when Christian Cullen passed Wilson's 44 test tries in the All Blacks v Fiji match at Wellington.)
Christian Cullen (1996-2002) 46 58
(Cullen's final tally of 46 test tries stood as the record-holder for five years until 2007 when Doug Howlett passed Cullen's 46 test tries in the All Blacks v Scotland (Rugby World Cup match) in Edinburgh.)
Doug Howlett (2000-07) 49 62
(As of the 2015 season no current All Black was challenging Doug Howlett's record total of 49 test tries. Howlett's All Black try-scoring record, as of 2015, has now stood for eight years.)
Below; Leading All Black test try-scorers active in 2014's test matches
Julian Savea 30 tries
Daniel Carter 29 tries
Ma'a Nonu 26tries
Richie McCaw 25 tries
Conrad Smith 25 tries
20 year old Richie McCaw was the new kid in the team as NZ beat Ireland in Dublin by 40-29
1 test for Fiji 1939
A distinguished player and official with Fijian rugby, George Cakobau began his playing career in the years prior to World War II. He toured New Zealand as captain and an outstanding five-eighths with the famous unbeaten Fiji team of 1939. (Another member of that team was Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, who became Governor-General of his country and who played a major part in the negotiations following the military coup in 1987.)
Ratu Sir George Cakobau’s prominence in the administration of Fijian rugby marks him as one of the fathers of the game in that country. He was the Fiji Government’s representative on several tours in the 1950s. He was also a Fijian team coach and manager of various Fijian touring teams from 1951 until 1969.
A grandson of the last king of Fiji, he was a long-serving politician, rising to the rank of cabinet minister. In 1972 he was appointed Governor-General of his country.
Cakobau (pronounced Thakombow) was also a Fijian cricketer.
Who was the New Zealand test cricketer who played one rugby test for England?