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Defence Forces Who Work Together Play Together

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

22 October 2008

Pacific Defence Forces Who Work Together Play Together

Wellington will host 180 Defence Force rugby players from across the Pacific next week when they take part in the Pacific Nations Military Rugby Tournament (PNMRT).

Rugby teams from the Australia Defence Force (ADF), French Armed Forces New Caledonia (FANC), New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), Tonga Defence Services (TDS) and a NZDF Academy Team will compete for the Pacific Nations Military Rugby Tournament Cup in a tournament which will run from 28 October to 1 November.

“The aim of the tournament is to foster healthy competition and greater understanding between Pacific Nation Defence Forces through rugby – the language of the Pacific,” said the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae.

“We are looking forward to hosting the teams as well as representatives from all the countries involved in the tournament,” LT GEN Mateparae said. “We regularly work alongside many of the Defence Forces in the Pacific region and hope to enhance our working relationships via the sports field.

“The test series is open to the public and will provide a great opportunity to see Pacific Nation Defence Force teams in action in what should be a highly competitive but good spirited event,” said LT GEN Mateparae.

All games in the competition, which is hosted by the NZDF, will be held at Maidstone Park in Upper Hutt. The teams are divided into two pools with round robin matches played from 28 -30 October, culminating with three final games on Saturday 1 November starting at 11.00am.

The NZDF Academy team will have coaching provided by former All Black captain Buck Shelford who will also present the player of the tournament prize at the closing function on 1 November.

The inaugural Pacific Nations Military Rugby Cup in 2006 was hosted by the ADF. After the tournament the participating nations’ Defence Force Chiefs decided to hold a similar tournament biennially, with New Zealand and Australia hosting the tournament alternately.

Further information about the tournament is available at www.nzdf.mil.nz

ENDS


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