New Zealand rugby legacy showcased at the All Blacks Experience

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The All Blacks Experience, a joint project between New Zealand Rugby and Ngai Tahu, was a legacy attraction involving all who have worn the black jersey and laid bare in a 45-minute guided interactive tour.


In the development process, Jones said two things struck him in the wide-ranging interviews they had with former players.


One was the role of families in their success, especially among Maori and Pasifika players, and the other was the way the All Blacks' values continued into the lives beyond rugby.


That meant players like Sir Michael Jones and Sir Bryan Williams and others were not 'former All Blacks'. They were always All Blacks because they lived All Black values through their lives, he said.


Because of that Sir Bryan Williams could walk down Queen Street and be as recognisable as Beauden Barrett, he said.

The All Blacks Experience reflected the journey players went through to achieve that status from starting when their parents and coaches nurtured their love of the game.


Shaping the skills and passion required to become an All Black was another part of the experience. This involved developments as players progressed through the grades. That culminated in a sampling of what it was like to be an All Black.


Talking to host Ant Niterl on the All Blacks Podcast, Jones said it was an experience that was player-driven.

"For it to be player-driven, it had to be authentic. This is the All Black-way, all the values of the All Blacks: humility, unity, humbleness, hard work, and those values come through and the design team have done an incredible job of turning our words, and our thoughts, into a story which is the All Blacks experience," he said.


That included sitting in the dressing room in the final moments of preparation and then walking down the tunnel to the field.


Participants would also experience what it was like to face the haka.


"You get to face the All Blacks' haka which is just overwhelmingly emotional. We had All Blacks through there in the last couple of days, and it has taken these people back to that moment when the hairs are standing on the back of their neck.


"They are ready for action. They're ready for battle. They are representing New Zealand, and that's why it's so special.


"It's a legacy of all the people, not just the players, it's their families as well," he said.


Jones said the haka experience had created a lot of different reactions from people. Some challenged the haka while others were moved to tears.


Visit the All Blacks Experience website HERE.


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