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NZ Defence Force Rugby Team Embark On Their Own Quest

8 September 2011

NZ Defence Force Rugby Team Embark On Their Quest To Win The Inaugural International Defence Forces Rugby Competition 2011

The inaugural International Defence Rugby Force Competition (IDRC) is the initiative of the Australian Services Rugby Union and becomes reality from 1 – 24 October as the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) jointly host the IDRC.

The IDRC compliments the festival of rugby being celebrated in NZ during RWC 2011. Initially hosted by the ADF, twelve defence/police force rugby teams from nine rugby playing nations will assemble in Sydney and Canberra, Australia to play the pool games over the period 1 – 14 October. The teams include New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, France, China, Samoa, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea.

The top four teams will then fly to New Zealand 15 – 22 October where they will be hosted by the NZDF and play the semi-finals and finals on the 18th and 22 October respectively in Auckland. This will concide with the RWC Finals being played that week.

Vice Chief of Defence Forces, Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the competition has our full support. "The IDRC is a fantastic ADF initiative to bring together international rugby playing defence forces. The NZ Defence Force welcomes to opportunity to host the semi-finals and finals in Auckland later next month. For the players and management of all teams it’s a tremendous opportunity to represent their nations in an international sports competition. Team work is one of the corner stones of any defence force and team sports such as rugby enhance that foundation skill. I wish all the teams the best in the competition.

The NZDF team was selected from serving Navy, Army and Air Force players. Buck Shelford, former All Black captain and ex Royal NZ Navy member is the patron of NZDF rugby and fully backs the NZDF team in their quest.

Staff Sergeant Pita Lloyd will coach the team leading into the IDRC. Given this is the first tournament of its kind there is no historical information on team strengths or weaknesses. The NZDF has Papua New Guinea and the Royal Air Force in their pool matches. “We have to take each game seriously and hunger for the battle. We know teams like the ADF and British Army are strong and there are a lot of unknowns but we have to play one game at a time. We are really excited to be part of it.” he said.

The NZDF team also has the backing of current All Black Captain Richie McCaw. “Its pretty exciting first make the (NZDF) team and representing NZ is pretty cool and if you can get to that final four, its two games and you can win. I wish the NZDF team all the best of luck and have fun. If we can win both (tournaments) in that week it would be pretty cool”


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