New Zealand Rugby and the Investec Super Rugby clubs, the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders are encouraging fans, supporters and each other to learn the correct way to say people’s names.
With teams based in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan and matches being played across those five countries as well as Fiji and Singapore, and players hailing from a multitude of different backgrounds – Investec Super Rugby is one of the most diverse sports competitions in the world.
All five New Zealand teams are playing in New Zealand this week, and the clubs are leading the charge to help people feel brave – and safe enough – to have a go at pronouncing some of the more difficult names – and some of the most commonly mispronounced names – among the New Zealand teams.
New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said: “This week we’re taking a small step in celebrating how varied and different our back stories might be.
“All five Super Rugby teams are made up of players from a broad and rich range of backgrounds not just in terms of ethnic and cultural background. Each club has its own regional and fan community with distinct characteristics that set them apart from all other clubs.
“Players from each of the clubs have been sharing with us and their fans exactly how their names should be pronounced – and they’ve also shared some of the most common mistakes when people mispronounce.
“Players, and many of their families have told us, that it’s okay to get it wrong, but they applaud people for making a real effort to get it right,” he said.
Players are sharing some of the stories behind their names, as well as the correct pronounciations. Watch here for a compilation video featuring all five Super Rugby teams and some of the right and wrong ways to pronounce some names.
Teams will help fans get their tongues around their playing 23 this week, with various guides to help them get the names right.
Investec Super Rugby Round 16 (NZT)
Fri 1 Jun – Highlanders v Hurricanes, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin 7:35PM
Sat 2 Jun – Blues v Rebels Eden Park, Auckland 5:15PM
Sat 2 Jun- Chiefs v Crusaders FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton 7:35PM
Sat 2 Jun – Reds v Waratahs Brisbane 9:45PM
Sun 3 Jun – Brumbies v Sunwolves Canberra 6:05PM