ANZAC Tour: Army Rugby Team Departs For Uk
ANZAC Tour: Army Rugby Teams Depart For Uk This Weekend
To commemorate the honour and success of the renowned WWII Army rugby team, the New Zealand Army is sending its top representative men's and women's rugby teams on a 60th Anniversary tour to the United Kingdom. The tour coincides with Anzac Day and the 90th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
The teams depart for the United Kingdom from Auckland International Airport on Saturday, 16 April 2005. Celebrated Army and rugby veterans, Fred Allen and Tiny Hill are also travel to the United Kingdom for the commemoration tour and depart Auckland on Monday, 18 April 2005.
The 1945 Kiwis tour of Great Britain and France was an outstandingly successful and unique tour and is still considered by many to be instrumental to the successful development of New Zealand rugby and in regenerating an interest in the game in the United Kingdom after the war.
Consisting exclusively of New Zealand soldiers fresh from the battlefields of Europe the team won 29 of the 33 games it played. Games included tests against England, Wales, Scotland and France. Five games were also quickly arranged in New Zealand as locals demanded to see their heroes play at home.
The Kiwis set an example worthy to be followed and were a definitive example of the quintessential essence of teamwork. Everyone loved them and 16 of the 31 team-members went on to All Black status.
The tour has the endorsement of the New Zealand Rugby Union and is particularly special for the surviving 1945 Kiwis as it is likely to be the last time they will bear witness to a tour that commemorates them and is in their honour.