Watch the All Blacks, Black Ferns new LGBT video campaign, supporting rainbow community's battle against discrimination

New Zealand's top rugby teams have made a strong statement on where they stand on diversity and the inclusion of the LGBT community thanks to a new campaign they've launched called 'Diversity is Strength'.

The All Blacks and Black Ferns have teamed up with major sponsor AIG for the campaign, releasing a two-minute video on the teams' values and the challenges they face.

The teams are shown in the clip entering a stadium in Osaka, Japan and preparing for a game, however a narrator says it's no typical rugby match.

"The next battle is different," he says.

"The next enemy is truly formidable and deeply devious.

"It is discrimination - an enemy that cannot be fought alone and must be defeated together.

"It will take more than 15 - it will take thousands - millions"

The two teams are then shown lining up together on the field to present a "united black" with a rainbow, a common symbol used to represent the LGBT community, appearing on their jerseys.

The video comes in the wake of comments made by Wallabies player Israel Folau last month, when he said gay people would go to "hell, unless they repent of their sins and turn to God."

'I was proud of him' - Steve Hansen backs TJ Perenara's stance on Folau's anti-gay comments

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says he is proud of TJ Perenara for condemning the comments of Wallabies star Israel Folau, who wrote that all homosexuals go to hell.

Hansen commended Perenara for sending a strong message to young people who may be struggling with their identities in a series of tweets last week.

“In TJ’s case, I was really proud of him, I thought what he did tweet was on the money, that it’s okay to be who you are,” Hansen said when asked about Perenara at the All Blacks’ North Island foundation day.

“You’re a good human being regardless of whether you’re a gay person, a straight person.”

“His words were good, he gave a strong message to those young people in the circumstances that they could be fighting and worrying about their own identities.”

Hansen said Perenara’s tweets were in keeping with the All Blacks’ guidelines for social media use, where respectfulness is important.

“There’s no way we can still people using it (social media) and nor do we want to, we want them to be respectful and not only have opinions, but makes those opinions ones that don’t cause harm to other people.”

Folau has received major backlash after his anti-gay remarks on social media last month. Source: 1 NEWS

The 1 NEWS Sports reporter says NZ Rugby is leading the way. Source: Breakfast

"People who engage with rugby in whatever manner deserve to be treated with respect and dignity," said NZRPA's CEO Rob Nichol. Source: 1 NEWS

The Breakfast presenter is calling "bull" on Folau's use of freedom of speech. Source: Breakfast

Louisa Wall is concerned about the influence the sporting couple could have with their stance on the LGBT community. Source: Breakfast

“The All Blacks are about being respectful and it’s a privilege to be a part of the All Blacks so you don’t want to go spoiling that by coming across in a way that doesn’t reflect that.”

The All Blacks coach says he is proud of his halfback for condemning the comments of Wallabies star Folau, who wrote that homosexuals go to hell. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: 'It's a lot easier to say triple-T!' Steve Hansen praises form of Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was full of praise for Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, but wasn’t attempting to pronounce the youngster’s name.

Hansen cut short a question about including Tahuriorangi in the All Blacks’ North Island foundation day today.

“It’s a lot easier to say triple-T,” a chuckling Hansen said.

While the All Blacks coach wasn’t keen to pronounce Tahuriorangi’s name, he certainly gushed about the man and his playing style.

“Well, he’s playing well, he’s a lovely passer of the ball, he’s got a running game, we just felt we would like to see a little bit more of him,”

The Chiefs halfback was given the warmest of welcomes by his Hurricanes counterpart as he arrived for the All Blacks’ North Island foundation day. Source: 1 NEWS

"The Chiefs have got the bye so Coops (Chiefs coach Colin Cooper) was happy enough for us to bring him down and we took the opportunity to do that and he’s a nice young man.”

The All Blacks coach was full of praise for the young Chiefs halfback, but didn’t attempt to pronounce his name. Source: 1 NEWS