The next six weeks will see many New Zealanders glued to their screens, with hopes pinned on another All Blacks World Cup victory. The 'national game' has had a long-standing TV presence, but it hasn't all been about match coverage. We've had documentaries that have delved into the history of the sport, while other shows have captured candid moments from some of our most famous players.
The Game of Our Lives
Made in 1996, The Game of Our Lives traces our rugby history from the formation of the first club in 1870, via the1905 Originals' tour, to the 1995 World Cup. Along the way, the social impact of the sport is examined. As the narrator reflects: "Maybe it's just a game, but it's the game of our lives."
Through Scrummage, Three Quarters and All
From the National Film Unit in 1966, Through Scrummage, Three Quarters and All provides a snapshot of 1960s rugby, moving from school games to the Ranfurly Shield, and on to the All Blacks. Former fullback Bob Scott talks about the need for 'four stone bantams' to enjoy the game, while fellow AB Don 'The Boot' Clarke discusses problems for country players.
Blood, Sweat and Touring
1990 documentary Blood, Sweat and Touring sees John Kirwan narrate an insider's guide to the All Blacks' tour to France. Highlights include Michael Jones negotiating a haircut ("how do you say 'square top' in French?") and 19-year-old Simon Mannix leading a Ten Guitars singalong.
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The Wyllie Bunch
Kirwan also provides the commentary in The Wyllie Bunch, following the All Blacks' path to the 1991 World Cup in England. Along the way, JK ponders why coach Alex Wyllie is nicknamed 'Grizz,' and the Finn brothers provide rugby themed versions of their hits (including I See Black.)
Colin Meads on Extraordinary Kiwis
The Extraordinary Kiwis series has profiled two legendary All Blacks in very different surroundings. Colin 'Pinetree' Meads - NZ rugby's Player of the Century - is interviewed at 71, drenching sheep on the King Country farm he has worked all his adult life. Later, carving a roast, he muses on the current state of the game and its provincial origins.
Dan Carter on Extraordinary Kiwis
Current All Black Dan Carter is interviewed for Extraordinary Kiwis against the backdrop of a glitzy Auckland shopping district. He talks about his life outside of rugby (underwear commercials, a men's fashion chain), and is seen being made up with fake sweat for a photo shoot. But it's not all glamour - there's footage of his impressive training regime, and a demonstration of the goal kicking technique that has made him the All Blacks' leading points scorer.
• You can see a more comprehensive selection of rugby titles in NZ On Screen's Rugby collection.