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Classic All Blacks superstars announced for Queenstown
A stellar lineup of legendary rugby superstars will wing their way to Queenstown later this year for a ‘classic’ feature match that promises to ignite old rivalries.
The New Zealand resort town will celebrate the country’s rich rugby heritage with a feature match between the Classic All Blacks and the French Classics on 18 September at the Queenstown Recreation Ground.
Organisers today (9 June) announced a Classic All Blacks lineup starring Christian Cullen, widely regarded by his countrymen as being one of the best All Black fullbacks of all time and one of the greatest All Blacks of his generation, and Andrew Mehrtens, one of the top first five-eighths in the world since the advent of the sport's professional era in the mid-1990s.
Mehrtens retired from international play as the all-time leading point scorer for the All Blacks - a record only surpassed by Dan Carter.
Also in the lineup is Jeff “Goldie” Wilson, a New Zealand dual international representative in rugby and cricket. With 44 tries in 60 tests, Wilson is currently the 8th-highest try scorer in Rugby Union history.
Other well-known ‘names’ include Tony Brown, Charlie Hore, Rueben Thorne, Dion Muir, Kees Meeuws, Scott Robertson and Kelvin Middleton.
The event, part of the REAL New Zealand Festival, is being organised by Destination Queenstown in conjunction with Classic All Blacks convener Andy Haden and the Sevens with Altitude committee which runs Queenstown’s annual national sevens rugby tournament.
On game day the ‘curtain raisers’ will start at 11am and the Classics match will kick off at 3.00pm.
Destination Queenstown General Manager of Marketing Graham Budd said the match would be a fantastic drawcard for Queenstown and a great day out for locals and visitors.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to come to Queenstown, where we’ve got accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets, and stay on to enjoy all the activities for which we’re renowned worldwide.”
Classic All Blacks convener Andy Haden said the team was really looking forward to hosting the game in the resort.
“Queenstown’s an amazing place and the Recreation Ground has an intimate feel which will give it great crowd atmosphere,” he said.
“We’ve played matches in some great venues, including Bermuda every year for the past 25 years. We had a fantastic response from our players this time – as soon as they knew we were having a match in Queenstown they were in.”
The French Classics team lineup will be confirmed by 1 July and is expected to feature a number of players responsible for the All Blacks’ 1999 Rugby World Cup demise at Twickenham.
Both teams are being hosted by The Rees, a five star luxury apartment hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, which is a major supporter of the match.
• General Admission: $10 per person - 16 and under free
• Seated Area: $25 per person + booking fee
• Tickets: Seated Area tickets will go on sale on Monday 4 July and will be available from Ticketek. General Admission tickets will be sold at the gate on game day.
• Capacity of Recreation Ground: 7,000 people
For more information about the Classic All Blacks visit www.classicallblacks.com.
For more information about Queenstown visit www.queenstown-nz.co.nz.
Editor’s note: Queenstown will also be a RWC 2011 official team training venue for four teams - Ireland, England, Romania and Georgia.
1) Jeff Wilson
JPEG Image: 986 KB, 2.4 minutes @ 56kbps
2) Reuben Thorne
JPEG Image: 1004 KB, 2.4 minutes @ 56kbps
For more information please contact:
Phone: 03 441 0707
Classic All Blacks Convener
Phone: 09 378 9470 021 901 901
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