Q&A with Ian Jones


Rugby Head

Our Q&A with Ian Jones

Ian Jones, All Black #902, who played 79 tests for the All Blacks has played an important role bringing the All Blacks Experience to life. We sat down with him to talk about the project and the significant role it plays in telling New Zealand's rugby story.

You were involved in the development of the All Blacks Experience, tell us a little bit about your role?

I am a member of the New Zealand Rugby player advisory panel. My role is to ensure that the All Blacks Experience remained authentic to all those who have worn the black jersey and was a true reflection of who we are, why we played and what we achieved. This goal has been truly realised.

What importance will the All Blacks Experience have for the rugby community?

Rugby is played across our country in small communities and large towns. The All Blacks Experience will strengthen the connection between the game, the people and the communities where it is played. The All Blacks Experience takes the time to acknowledge those people who have developed our players and allowed them to fall in love with the national game. It will also give all New Zealanders a unique insight into the standards and values of our teams.

The All Blacks story is well known in Aotearoa. How do you think the All Blacks Experience will help to tell the stories of our teams in Black to New Zealanders?

It provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with our teams and players. I want visitors to leave the All Blacks Experience feeling proud of the players who represent them and understanding the values we stand for. This is a genuine and authentic reflection of what it takes to stand up and to be an All Black or a Black Fern.

What parts of the experience are you personally most excited about?

The authenticity of the All Blacks Experience gives me flashbacks to some of my proudest life moments. Particularly the feeling of running out the tunnel just before kick-off when you know the haka is coming. This will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and facing the Haka will blow your mind. It’s very emotional.

Each of the zones gives an understanding of what it takes to play in black – the opportunity to test your own skills against an All Blacks or Black Ferns player and the chance to hear stories first hand from some of our these players.

Who should come to the All Blacks Experience?

Like the game itself, the All Blacks Experience has something for everyone. From personal insights into tactics and the mindset it takes to be an All Black or Black Fern through to testing your skills and game playing prowess, it’s all there. You don’t need to be a diehard fan to enjoy it. At the end of the experience, everyone will come away with a deeper understanding of what it means and what it takes to wear the black jersey.