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Halcombe 4ths Win a Priceless® Experience

Halcombe 4ths Win a Priceless® Experience with MasterCard and the All Blacks

Auckland, 3rd June 2005 – A small rural Manawatu rugby team is packing its boots just in case the All Blacks need some assistance at the Probables vs Possibles match in Napier today (3rd June).

Thanks to MasterCard, the Halcombe 4ths – the sole team in the Halcombe (pop.400) rugby club -is travelling to Napier to watch some of the game’s leading exponents battle it out for a place in the All Blacks squad.

Team captain Jeremy Pickford nominated the team in a Radio Sport competition to find the most deserving players to attend the match because he thought they fitted the picture as underdogs who never give up.

“We generally lose our games, one year we lost every single game. We’ve had a few 50-plus whippings, our biggest defeat was against the Feilding Yellows with 83-0,” he said.

“But we’ve never defaulted a game in the club’s history and the local community is behind us all the way. The Halcombe pub’s pretty empty when we play a home game,” he said.

Bob Whiddon, Senior Vice President and Country Manager, New Zealand, MasterCard International, says he is thrilled that the Halcombe 4ths have won this priceless experience. “It’s a great opportunity for some team building and they might even pick up a few tips to improve their performance.

“As the official sponsor of the All Blacks, MasterCard already supports New Zealand rugby in a big way but this competition has meant we can give something back to provincial New Zealand rugby,” he said.

The prize includes 15 tickets to Friday night’s game, all accommodation and transport to and from Napier.

The Halcombe 4ths’ commitment is uncontested. They even declined the offer of a second night away in Napier as they had to get back to play rugby in Palmerston North on Saturday.

Jeremy Pickford says the team –whose players range in age from 17 to 47 - is rapt about winning. “Obviously it’s very exciting to go along to a trial match. Only one guy in the team has ever been to an All Blacks game before. We’ll take our boots so we can step in if any of them get injured,” he said.

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About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard, Maestroand Cirrusand serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Pricelessadvertising campaign is now seen in 96 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to www.mastercardinternational.com or refer to our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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