In 1907 a New Zealand team launched international rugby league by touring Australia, Britain, and Australia (again) against a backdrop of life bans from an outraged rugby union and the tragic death of its young organiser. Since then the Kiwis have played more than 100 test matches each against traditional rivals Australia and Great Britain, have had a 50-year rivalry with France, and competed in World Cup tournaments since 1954. There have been disastrous tours, such as that in 1926-27 when seven forwards went on strike in England and were banned for life, and triumphant ones, such as when the 1971 Grand Slam Kiwis beat Australia, Britain, and France all in one year. Similarly, there have been many momentous matches at home against the Kangaroos, Lions, and French touring teams. Most of the stories have never been told before. For example, the 1912 New Zealand team refused to come home from Australia until it was given time for an end-of-tour party! For 90 of those years the Kiwis were amateurs battling against overseas professionals.
The book being prepared to coincide with the centenary in 2007 will include an introduction, 10 sections covering each of the 10 decades, extensive statistics, and many illustrations.