Ambassador’s Shield Rugby Festival
The Ambassador’s Shield Rugby Festival on Sunday, 11 November 2012, showcased a series of rugby matches at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC and closed with the main event, a match between the New Zealand Ambassador’s XV and the US Military Combined Services teams.
The annual rugby event, in its 16th year, promotes New Zealand’s culture in the Washington area through the popular sport and brings together Kiwi expat players from all over the country to play against select local teams.
The main event featured the New Zealand Ambassador’s XV vs. the US Military Combined Services teams with the New Zealand team winning 41-18. Prior to the main match, 16 other teams also competed and included youth teams, old boys and an all deaf team from around the Washington, DC area.
Rt Hon Mike Moore, Ambassador to the United States, said that the rugby event served multiple purposes. “This is not just another rugby match in the US, but this is actually an opportunity for us to share New Zealand culture with our American and international friends. From the New Zealand players performing the haka before and after the game, to the food, wine and beer served at the reception, every aspect of the game represents a part of our culture,” said Ambassador Moore. “I’m proud that we have a 16th year to do this again with our friends in the US military and various other sectors.”
After the match, players, rugby enthusiasts and sponsors came back to the New Zealand Embassy for a reception, where event sponsor, Lockheed Martin’s representative Susan Maraghy, presented the Perry Street Prep’s Pride Rugby team with a $10,000 check.