Super Rugby Pacific will celebrate the many cultures that unify teams and fans across the Pacific region during Round 10 of the competition, kicking off on Friday 28 April.
All 12 Super Rugby clubs will showcase the cultures of their teams and rugby through dance, music, cultural jerseys and language. Fans are encouraged to embrace Culture Round in the stands, through cultural attire, a flag that represents them or by getting involved in the activities taking place at the games.
Super Rugby Pacific Tournament Director, Matt Barlow said: “Super Rugby Pacific is a competition filled with pride, both for those playing and those cheering. Culture Round is our opportunity to shine a light on the incredible diversity of cultures that come together in rugby. From the fans to the players and coaches, it’s a game that embraces people from every corner of the world and is all the richer for it.”
Of the six matches across Culture Round, the Waratahs, Rebels and Fijian Drua will take the field in specially designed cultural jerseys.
The Waratahs will face the Highlanders wearing a First Nations Jersey designed by winger Dylan Pietsch of the Wiradjuri nation, while the Rebels will don their Naarm Rebels Cultural Jersey recognising First Nations and Pasifika cultures.
The Fijian Drua will run out in kit featuring masi designs, wearing a jersey created by Fijian artist Anare Somumu for their first clash with the Blues in Lautoka.
In New Zealand (Aotearoa), fans will get the chance to celebrate the cultures at Moana Pasifika, Chiefs and Hurricanes home matches. Moana Pasifika will host a curtain raiser before their game against the Rebels, with Samoa’s women’s team Manusina XV playing Tonga Women’s A who compete for the first time in 2023 at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland at 2.05 PM NZST. Fans will also see cultural performances before and during the game.
Chiefs fans will be able to participate in face painting with Māori Ta Moko, Moko or Moko Kauae. In Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (Wellington) there will be lei, a poi making zone and moko stencils available for Hurricanes fans to wear as they cheer on their team against the Brumbies, along with cultural performances at halftime.
This year, Australian match officials will also join the celebrations as they unveil a First Nations jersey designed by Indigenous artist Kevin Maxwell Butler.
Culture Round kicks off on Friday 28 April as the Hurricanes host the Brumbies at Sky Stadium in Wellington, followed by the Waratahs clash with the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
Culture Round match schedule:
Friday 28 April:
Hurricanes v Brumbies, 7.05 PM (NZST), Sky Stadium WELLINGTON
Waratahs v Highlanders, 7.35 PM (AEST), Allianz Stadium, SYDNEY
Saturday 29 April:
Fijian Drua v Blues, 2.05 PM (FJDT) Churchill Park, LAUTOKA, FIJI
Moana Pasifika v Rebels, 4.35PM (NZST) Mt Smart Stadium, AUCKLAND
Chiefs v Crusaders, 7.05 PM (NZST), FMG Stadium, HAMILTON
Reds v Force, 7.35 PM (AEST) Suncorp Stadium, BRISBANE