Colin Meads To Champion Sell-Out Crowd
Otago Rugby Football Union Media Release
Monday 26th May 2008
Colin Meads To Champion Sell-Out Crowd at Carisbrook New Zealand's rugby icon Colin Meads is putting his weight behind Otago Rugby's promotion to fill Carisbrook for the July 12 Philips Tri Nations Test Match between The ALL BLACKS and South Africa.
Meads believes the country would be the poorer if Dunedin were to be lost as a venue for test match rugby so has agreed, on 3 June, to share his own birthday with the people of Dunedin when he launches the public ticket sales for the game that will mark 100 years of test match rugby at Carisbrook.
Meads says, "I'm an old traditionalist, Carisbrook is part of a great rugby tradition and we want to keep Dunedin in the loop for test match rugby. If I can help make that happen with a sell out crowd I'm happy to."
"The professional era has changed the face of rugby. Carisbrook has a great place in history. Traditionally it would have a test match with touring teams. I still think it is important for everyone especially the young to experience all that a test match is and at Carisbrook it's always been the way rugby should be. Great times and great people."
Marc Ellis, who will join Meads at the launch, says there is nothing quite like a test match at the 'Brook'.
"The whole city gets in behind a big test at Carisbrook so the atmosphere for those lucky enough to get into the ground is something that you will never forget. It's not just the game, there is so much more to soak up."
The young will be a focus at the 12:30 pm launch in the Octagon when two rippa rugby teams from Tahuna Intermediate face each other. Marc Ellis will provide a running commentary and 'Pinetree' will bring on the oranges at half time. Chris Laidlaw and Kevin Skinner will also be among other former Otago All Blacks rallying to honour Carisbrook's place in history. A massive birthday cake will be delivered to Colin, and shared with everyone at the lunchtime event. At night they'll join rugby 'train spotters' in an all out rugby quiz night at Carisbrook.
Colin Meads, who will turn 72 on 3 June, is expecting a good turn out from his longstanding support base in Dunedin. He says there's a group of supporters in Dunedin who never let his birthday pass without notice. "I've got a bit of a fan club down there. It started in the 70's and they celebrate my birthday every year usually ringing me up at midnight. This time they don't need to wake me up; they can come and join me."
In a New Zealand first, from the 3rd of June until the 16th of June, sales will be limited to the public south of the Waitaki.
Ticket sales will then be opened to the wider public on 16 June through the Carisbrook office, 0800 CARISBROOK, ticketdirect outlets and www.ticketdirect.co.nz. However people can register their interest in tickets prior to that date via the website www.ticketdirect.co.nz The site also has a link to the DCC's Vistitors' Centre for accommodation enquiries.