Sport | ANZAC

Warriors teaming up with Defence Force for Anzac game

Before the One New Zealand Warriors face the Gold Coast Titans this Thursday, rugby league fans will get to see some Anzac Day pageantry from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The collaboration will see the Warriors wearing special Anzac jerseys they revealed last week and NZDF military hardware on the ground and in the air, plus an appearance from some canine personnel at Go Media Stadium.

This game will be the second time Aotearoa has hosted the Anzac Day fixture, the last one in 2015 which marked the 100-year anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaign.

One New Zealand Warriors chief executive Cameron George said he felt honoured to host the Anzac Day game.

“From our viewpoint, it’s appropriate that the NRL should commemorate such an important day for our two nations.

“We’re extremely grateful to the New Zealand Defence Force for lending such valuable support to ensure we are able to mark the day in a dignified and respectful way,” George said in a statement.

Defence public affairs director Lieutenant Colonel Tony Sumner said the commemorations was one of the most important national occasions on both sides of the Tasman.

“While Anzac had its origins on the beaches and hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula over a century ago, this day continues to symbolise the very close bonds we have with our Australian friends.

“To be able to commemorate those who have served, fought and fallen on such a large sporting stage is a particular honour.”

Warriors aren’t the only team playing on Thursday, with the NZDF’s women’s rugby league team vs their New Zealand Police counterparts before the game.

Across the ditch, the NZDF men’s team will be going against the Australian Defence Force’s rugby league team at Accor Stadium in Sydney before the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons clash.

Since 1998, One New Zealand Warriors and the Gold Coast Titans have played 32 times. Warriors have won 20 of those games.

The match starts at 4pm on Thursday at Go Media Stadium.