IRB boss Brett Gosper 'All Blacks are terrific brand, not thugs'

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James Mortimer     23 Apr 2013     Getty Images

Throughout the All Blacks proud history they have often been tagged as the bully boys of world rugby, more indicative of their physical style and winning record, and this was something that the former Australian Rugby age grade representative was part of the game.

Speaking to TV3 news, Mr Gosper said that despire some headline grabbing incidents at times, the All Blacks were subject to the same rugby laws as everyone else.

"I don't think they're are thugs at all," the IRB CEO said of the World Champions.

"This is an aggressive game; it's a combative sport."

"You can have some hot head moments but they need to be punished when they happen and all teams are subject to that".

He said the All Blacks were a leading part of the game throughout the world.

"I think the All Blacks are a terrific advertisement for the game worldwide," he said.

"It's one of the reasons why we've become an Olympic sport and why we sit so well with the values that they try to communicate.

"It's in a very good place now and it's why we are very strict".

"It's (New Zealand Rugby) an extraordinary organisation, and brand."

"They're a great bunch of kids who are a credit to the sport and of course they're a credit to New Zealand so I don't think they're thugs at all".