25 May 2017

All Blacks win top Spanish award

7:25 am on 25 May 2017

The All Blacks have won the 2017 edition of Spain's prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Sport.

The All Blacks perform the Haka in a Test against France in Paris.

The All Blacks perform the Haka in a Test against France in Paris. Photo: Photosport

The team won the award - one of the most eminent distinctions in the Spanish- speaking world - for having become a world-wide icon in rugby, according to the award's jury.

The jury highlighted the All Blacks' "extraordinary sporting achievements over the years," and their commitment to "such noble values as solidarity and sportsmanship."

"The New Zealand team is the most successful national team in rugby union history," it said in a statement.

The jury stressed the fact the team was considered "an example of racial and cultural integration that has contributed to the unity of New Zealanders of different origin, symbolised in the haka, a Maori tribal dance that provides a link to their roots and ancestral heritage".

The world champion All Blacks have a strong following beyond New Zealand shores, due to an attractive style of play and unparalleled international winning record.

They have won three out of the eight World Cup titles, including the last two.

The winners are traditionally presented with the award in October.