Iron Maiden release All Blacks themed T-shirt

Ahead of their New Zealand tour which kicks off in Christchurch on Friday night, Iron Maiden have paid tribute to the All Blacks by releasing a T-shirt in honour of the Rugby World Cup champions.

The T-shirt features Maiden's mascot Eddie sporting a black rugby kit with ball in hand while running to the try line. Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood is a big Rugby fan, and attended both the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup finals.

Smallwood explained to Fairfax Media "So the idea for the shirt for this tour is based on admiration and respect for an incredible sporting organisation."

This marks the second time that Iron Maiden have released an All Black themed T-shirt, following the release of 2011 shirt which featured Eddie wearing an All Black top while carrying a sheep and running towards Pine Tree Farm in tribute to Colin "Pinetree" Meads.

"[It] went down so well with the rugby fraternity there ... that [then ABs assistant] coach Wayne Smith, a mate for many years and big Maiden fan along with some other current ABs, asked to use this art on some special tees he was going to use as prizes for the players for outstanding defensive performances in each game of last year's World Cup."

Iron Maiden with special guests The Raven Age

Friday April 29th: Horncastle Arena, Christchurch - Tickets via Ticketek

Sunday May 1st: Vector Arena, Auckland - Tickets via