The New Zealand All Blacks confirmed their status as the top rugby team in the world in a brilliant 2005, winning 11 of their 12 Test matches.
They won the Tri-Nations Championship against Australia and South Africa for the sixth time, had an emphatic 3-0 whitewash over the British and Irish Lions, and completed a historic touring Grand Slam by beating England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the autumn.
To complete their triumphant year, in the International Rugby Board Awards, the All Blacks were named Team of the Year, fly-half Dan Carter was named Player of the Year, Graham Henry was named Coach of the Year and Isaia Toeava was named Under 19 Player of the Year. To emphasise the in-depth quality of the team, four other players were nominated for awards - Richie McCaw, Tana Umaga, Victor Matfield and Brian Habana.
Carter was a crucial player for the All Blacks in 2005. He was the key to the Tri-Nations victory, scored well over half his team's points against Wales and was the fulcrum of New Zealand's victory over England. His record 33-point demolition of the British Lions in the Second Test was considered to be one of the best individual performance ever seen.