Reference to the "New Zealand War Cry" was included on a programme for a 1916 New Zealand Army match against Wales, showing it had established a presence.
The question of how the All Blacks got their name has been a subject of debate for years.
For a long time the English media was credited for coining the title during the 1905 rugby tour with a typing error that turned the phrase ‘All Backs’ (referring to their playing style) into ‘All Blacks’. Around the turn of the century there was a trend for rugby teams to be identified by their kit colour.
They became known as the New Zealand Natives - even though a couple of the players were not New Zealand-born.
By the end of their tour the ' Natives' had completed 107 rugby matches - winning 78 - in New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain.
However, only the All Black team has continued the tradition into modern rugby.
Until the 1970s, the haka was mostly performed when New Zealand teams were playing overseas but it is now a fixture of any All Black match.Under Buck Shelford’s captaincy (1987 - 1990), the All Blacks never lost a game.Shelford is also credited with taking the haka to a new level by transforming it into the awesome spectacle that modern audiences expect.Various types of war cry were performed by touring New Zealand teams as far back as 1884, but the All Blacks 1905 / 1906 British tour is mostly credited with popularising the haka.The famous haka was probably first performed by the All Blacks in 1906.References to the ‘all blacks’ have been found as far back as 1893, though it seems the name was popularised as a nickname on the 1905 tour.