The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has called on the services of Fijian and Tongan naval personnel to form the Te Taua Moana rugby squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Navy Rugby Cup (CNRC) tournament in the United Kingdom.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the triennial tournament which was first played in 1997 and is traditionally competed for between the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Five Fijian and three Tongan navy personnel are joining Te Taua Moana, ‘Warriors of the sea’, and Contingent Commander Captain Richard Walker says the participation of our Pacific partners will enrich the tournament.
“The Pacific is our front yard and a significant percentage of our operational deployments occur in the region, so this is a great opportunity to re-enforce the existing strong ties between our partner navies and bring our sailors together through their love of rugby to form a joint Te Taua Moana team,” said Captain Walker.
The team will assemble at Devonport Naval Base and train in the first week of September before flying out to compete in the tournament, which will be held in Plymouth, Devon.
“We’ve also brought back Buck,” he said.
“As the Patron of Navy Rugby, Sir Wayne Shelford was really keen to get involved.”
The team will train on Thursday at Ngataringa Sportsfield, Jim Titchener Drive, Devonport Naval Base, Auckland from 11am to 1pm.