Who is the leading All Black try scorer?

The All Blacks might be the most famous team in rugby history. They have developed this reputation through winning, which means they have scored a lot of tries. So who has scored the most tries in All Blacks history.

Who is the leading All Black try scorer? Doug Howlett is the All Blacks leading try scorer, with 49 tries in his professional career. He has three more than the three players currently in second place. Howlett played 63 games for New Zealand between 2000 and 2007.

Doug Howlett might have had a short international career, but he is still the leading try scorer in All Blacks history. Born in Auckland, Howlett went to the same grammar school as fellow All Blacks Akira and Rieko Ioane.

He was a sprinter as a youngster, which certainly helped in his rugby career. Having made his Blues debut in 1999, Howlett would play his first game for New Zealand in 2000. Over the next seven years, Howlett would become the team’s first choice winger, in part thanks to his incredible strike rate.

By the end of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he had racked up an astonishing 49 tries in just 63 games. It was a hat-trick against Italy that brought Howlett onto 46 tries, tying the record previously set by Christian Cullen. It took Howlett just 23 minutes in the next game to break the record, with his try against Scotland being his 47th.

What is most surprising about Howlett’s career is that not long after breaking the record, he would prematurely end his international career. It was announced that after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he would be making a monumental move to Europe, to play for Irish province Munster.

It was a monumental move, interestingly also a move taken by Christian Cullen who previously held the try scoring record. At the age of 30, Howlett would never play another game for New Zealand again, finishing his career with a successful five year stint in Ireland that included a Heineken Champions Cup trophy.

At the moment, it seems unlikely that the record will be broken. The only current player who is in the top ten is Beauden Barrett. At the time of writing, Barrett has a limited international career left, as he heads to Japan after the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Scoring nine tries before he retires from international rugby would be incredibly difficult for Barrett.

So for at least the time being, Doug Howlett’s record for try scoring will stay intact.

RankPlayerPositionCareer spanGamesTriesTries per-Game
1Doug HowlettWing2000–200762490.79
2Julian SaveaWing2012–201754460.85
Christian CullenFullback1996–200258460.79
Joe RokocokoWing2003–201068460.68
5Jeff WilsonWing1993–200160440.73
6Beauden BarrettFly-half2012–113420.37
7Ben SmithFullback2009–201984390.46
8Jonah LomuWing1994–200263370.59
9Tana UmagaCentre1997–200574360.49
10John KirwanWing1983–199463350.56

Top 10 All-Black try scorers

Who is the best All Black player ever?

Seeing as the New Zealand rugby team is the most prestigious and successful in the history of the sport, deciding on their best ever player is a difficult one. But there does tend to be two players who really stand out above the rest.

Dan Carter and Richie McCaw tend to be the two All Blacks players who stand above the rest when it comes to the best All Black players of all time. They are not only often called the best All Blacks of all-time, but also the best rugby player of all-time.

Carter made his All-Blacks debut in 2003 when he was just 21 years old. He played a limited role in that year’s world cup, but would develop into the starter. He played a crucial role to help New Zealand past the British and Irish Lions in 2005, including scoring 33 points on his own in one of the test games.

Partly for that performance, he was named IRB Player of the Year in 2005. While he was part of the team that disappointed in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, New Zealand fans would quickly forget that as Carter continued to put in world class performances. Sadly for Carter, he missed out on the 2011 Rugby World Cup winning campaign due to a groin injury.

But he was able to go to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final. Carter played a crucial role in New Zealand having the chance to repeat as world champions. His final international game was the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, where Carter scored 19 points to secure another World Cup for the All Blacks.

As the leading point scorer in international rugby as well as a three time World player of the year, you can understand why Carter is considered the best All Black in New Zealand history. But there is another man who played the majority of his career with Carter who some consider the best All Black of all time.

Richie McCaw is undoubtedly the greatest captain in international rugby career. In a career which stretched for 148 games, he was the captain in 110 of those. He was also the captain through the most successful period in All Blacks history.

McCaw was the man to lift the World Cup trophy in both 2011 and 2015, playing his final game in that second world cup campaign. It was not just his leadership which made McCaw such a special player. When it comes to the ruck, there is not a better player all time than Richie McCaw.

He was constantly able to spot opportunities and dive into rucks, always coming out with the ball. He was often seen as a master of the dark arts, able to win turnovers as close to legally as possible. In fact, quite often McCaw would win turnovers illegally, but was a master at not getting penalised for it.

A former World Rugby Player of the Year, McCaw was named as the World Rugby Player of the decade for 2010-2019 and for good reason. When he retired, McCaw had made more international appearances than any other player, although that record has now been overtaken by Welshman Alun Wyn Jones.

Both of these guys won every trophy they possibly could have. They were both the highest paid players while in New Zealand and for good reason. This debate is not only about who is the best All Blacks player of all time, but it likely also determines the best rugby player of all time.

While it is difficult to decide between the two of them, there is no doubt Richie McCaw and Dan Carter are the two greatest All Blacks ever.

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