ARU and NZR unite for Anzac Day

by staff

The Australian Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby will join forces this ANZAC Day as Rugby Remembers 100 years of service and sacrifice of those who have served Australia and New Zealand during periods of war and peace.

During the ANZAC Super Rugby Round, Australian and New Zealand teams will unite as one, with an ANZAC remembrance that includes The Ode, Last Post, The Silence and The Reveille, and the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand at all matches - A first in the expanded competition’s history.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said the weekend of Asteron Life Super Rugby matches on both sides of the Tasman provided a timely opportunity to pay tribute to the unique period of history both nations shared.

“ARU and NZR, along with SANZAR have worked closely to ensure that we're united in recognising ANZAC Day and we encourage fans to turn out with their poppies in great numbers for what will be a very special weekend of Super Rugby.

“We are fierce foes on the Rugby field when our national or Super Rugby clubs face each other, but we have a strong history of supporting each other in service and on the battle field, and together we will celebrate that bond on the ANZAC weekend."

Greg Peters, SANZAR CEO said the significance of the weekend to New Zealand and Australia was considered when the Super Rugby draw was made, providing the opportunity for Super Rugby to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landing.

“We’re pleased we’ve been able to match the significance of the weekend in Australia and New Zealand with a full round of trans-Tasman or local derbies which will serve as a tremendous occasion for fans to gather and celebrate the significance of the weekend both on and beyond the Rugby field."

Australian Rugby’s tribute to the 100 year landing in Gallipoli will continue throughout the year, with an ANZAC exhibition set to be unveiled at The Rugby Club in Sydney later this month, alongside fan activations during the Bledisloe Cup Festival and Rugby Championship.

The Australian teams will start the Super Rugby ANZAC Round in New Zealand, with the Western Force playing the Chiefs in Hamilton, followed by the Brumbies who host the Highlanders in Canberra.

On ANZAC Day, the NSW Waratahs will take on the RaboDirect Rebels at ANZ Stadium for the Weary Dunlop Shield, with the St George Queensland Reds and Hurricanes fixture wrapping up the Anzac weekend commemorations on Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.

The Aquis Brumbies v Highlanders and NSW Waratahs v RaboDirect Rebels matches on April 24 and 25 will now each kick off 15 minutes later than originally scheduled. The new time for both matches will be 19:55 local time (21:55 NZDT, 11:55 SAST, 9:55 GMT). The St George Queensland Reds v Hurricanes match on 26 April will kick off according to the original schedule.