Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU will acknowledge Australia’s servicemen and women in this weekend’s Anzac Round, as the game remembers those who have served and recognises those who are on active duty.
All five Australian teams will unite with their counterparts in New Zealand in a social media campaign as well as pre-match activity at HBF Park in Perth and Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.
Both games will feature the Ode, playing of the Last Post, a moment’s silence and The Reveille as well as the National Anthems of Australia and New Zealand amongst other pre-match activity.
Wiradjuri woman Olivia Fox will perform Advance Australia Fair in the Dharug language at Bankwest Stadium ahead of the NSW Waratahs clash with the Melbourne Rebels.
The Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU action kicks off on Friday night, when the Western Force host the Queensland Reds, as they look to secure their place in the Qualifying Final.
The Force will wear a specially designed jersey featuring a silhouette of Australian solders, the commemorative poppy and the Legacy WA logo. The inaugural Hughes Dreibergs Cup between the Australian Defence Force and WA Police Service will be played as a curtain raiser from 3.25pm AWST at HBF Park.
Then, on Saturday night the Melbourne Rebels will face off against the NSW Waratahs at Bankwest Stadium for the Weary Dunlop Shield.
Colonel Sir Ernest Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop AC CMG OBE was an Australian surgeon, renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner during World War II. Dunlop was also the first Victorian to play for the Wallabies, after the backrower capped a rapid rise through grade Rugby in Melbourne.
All teams have worked in consultation with Legacy Australia to raise funds over the weekend.
RUGBY.com.au will this week also host a content series profiling some Australian Rugby legends who also served in the Australian Defence Force.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “Anzac Day has a special significance for all Australians and we’re incredibly proud to acknowledge and recognise our servicemen and women during Anzac Round of Super Rugby AU.
“In the past twelve months, the Australia Defence Force has mobilised and helped our community during fires, floods, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’ve turned Rugby clubs into shelters, evacuated members of our Rugby community from floods and fire, and even assisted in quarantining our inbound teams for last year’s Rugby Championship.
“This weekend’s Anzac Round not only pays tribute to those who have served, but also to those who are currently serving. On behalf of Australian Rugby, we thank them all for their service and sacrifice,” Marinos said.