For many All Blacks fans, 2018 was a slight disappointment - with a historic loss to the Springboks in Wellington in September, and November's humbling defeat to Joe Schmidt's Ireland in Dublin.

Judging by some of the star players' social media posts last night, they, too, couldn't quite wait for 2019 to finally roll around - what with the All Blacks attempting a World Cup three-peat in Japan later this year.

While some players chose to spend New Year's Eve with family, friends and pets, others partied up a storm.

Midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown shared a pic of him with girlfriend Isabella Stone and what may or may not be All Blacks teammate Damien McKenzie at the Rhythm and Alps music festival in the South Island's Cardrona Valley near Wanaka.

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Midfield colleague Ngani Laumape, who had some smashing moments with the Hurricanes in Super Rugby but was unable to establish himself with the All Black selectors last year, posted a simple New Year's Eve message along with a pic of his family.

Another All Black who fell out of favour with the national selectors this season, Waisake Naholo, thanked fans for their "love and support" while having a dip with his pet bulldogs.

After the season he's had, it's no wonder superstar winger Rieko Ioane and partner Dione Cook took it easy on New Year's Eve.

In a relatively quiet year compared to his 2017 breakout season, Ioane still scored the most tries of any test player in 2018, dotting down on 11 occasions in 11 matches for the All Blacks.

He also scored his first test hat-trick with three against France in Dunedin and is arguably the best winger in world rugby.

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Happy New Year ❤️

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Beauden Barrett and fiancé Hannah Laity were celebrating after what the first-five earlier admitted was one of his toughest seasons to date.

Criticised for his erratic goalkicking, not taking that droppie against the Boks, and being pipped to a third-straight World Rugby Player of the Year award by Irish counterpart Johnny Sexton, Barrett singled out his engagement to long-time partner Laity as one of his 2018 highlights.

The couple got engaged while on holiday in Fiji last January and celebrated with a lavish engagement party in March.


TJ Perenara and Richie Mo'unga also popped the question this year and reminded followers of it with their New Year's Instagram posts.

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2018 • One for the books 📖 •

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Bucking the wedding bells trend, was Dan Carter.

Though no longer part of the All Blacks, the former test first-five still had a productive year, leaving French club Racing 92 for the Kobe Kobelco Steelers in Japan - and being named MVP en route to leading his new team to the Top Leauge title.

Carter posted a short video of him pouring some bubbly, and a series of pics labeled his #topnine.