The All Blacks will be doing their part for National Volunteer Week in the build-up to the third and final Steinlager Series Test against France at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
As rugby fans start to paint Dunedin black ahead of Saturday night’s Test, All Blacks Richie Mo’unga, Matt Todd and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi will be doing some painting of their own at the Pirates Rugby Club this evening.
Across town at Forsyth Barr Stadium, local hero Ben Smith and All Blacks teammates Codie Taylor and Ofa Tuungafasi will be helping Volunteering Otago recognise the valuable efforts of 100 local volunteers.
The All Blacks activities are part of National Volunteer Week, which runs from 17 – 23 June, and includes a ‘Heart of Rugby’ campaign which recognises the 20,000 rugby volunteers across New Zealand including coaches, club staff, physios, referees and scoreboard keepers.
Mo’unga, Todd and Tahuriorangi will join Pirates Rugby Club volunteers and committee members in putting a fresh lick of paint on the club’s newly built Pirate Ship Stage.
President of the Junior Pirates Rugby Club, Tony Kramers, said it was fantastic that the All Blacks were giving back to community rugby and helping add the final touches to the Junior committee’s most recent project.
“Volunteers are the heart of all rugby clubs in New Zealand and Pirates are no different. To have the All Blacks come down and lend a hand and spend some time with our club members is a great way to recognise the effort they put in during the season.”
Smith, Taylor and Tuungafasi will be joining volunteers for a question and answer session and a special screening of the first episode of the recently released Amazon documentary All Blacks: All or Nothing.
“It’s a great opportunity to recognise the invaluable work our rugby volunteers put in every weekend to keep our game going across New Zealand,” Smith said. “Pitching in, helping out and giving back to the game is what rugby’s all about.”
Volunteering Otago Manager, Graham Copson said it was great to be able to acknowledge the work of local volunteers who play a vital role in the community.
“Without the people who give up their time to help a lot of community groups, sporting organisations and charities wouldn’t be able to function, so it’s really important we recognise these leaders in our community.
“Having a chance to mix and mingle with the All Blacks is a great way to reward some of the many volunteers who make Otago such a wonderful region to live in.”
Tickets still available
Tickets are still available to attend the third and final Test match of the Steinlager Series this weekend in Dunedin. With 24,600 tickets already sold to the capacity 28,000 seat Forsyth Barr Stadium, fans will need to get in quick to avoid missing out.
Fans are also reminded to only purchase tickets through the official ticketing agency, Ticketek. All ticketing details can be found at www.allblacks.com