Super Rugby Pacific players will be scoring tries for Tonga in the opening 10 rounds of the season to raise money for the Red Cross Pacific Tsunami Appeal.
Rugby Australia (RA) and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) are teaming up with their respective broadcast partners Stan Sport and Nine, and Sky to donate $500 per try for the Red Cross Tsunami appeal which will culminate in Round 10 when all 12 Super Rugby Pacific teams are scheduled to gather in Melbourne for a Super Round over ANZAC weekend.
RA Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “We’re pleased to be able to partner with New Zealand Rugby, Stan Sport and Nine, and Sky to bring this collaborative initiative to life.”
“The Hunga Tonga eruption and tsunami has had a devastating impact on the people of Tonga and the surrounding region. As a Rugby community, we felt it was important to bind together and contribute to the relief efforts, as the Tongan community play an important role in our Rugby ecosystem.”
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said there had been a shared desire across the rugby community to make a sustained contribution to the Tonga relief effort since the volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami devastated the Pacific nation last month.
“The Tongan people have contributed, and continue to contribute, so much to our game, so it is only right that rugby is there to support one of our closest Pacific neighbours in their time of need. We hope ‘Tries for Tonga’ can provide a meaningful a boost to the Red Cross’ ongoing relief efforts.
“Our joint venture partner Rugby Australia, our players on both sides of the Tasman, and our broadcast partner Sky didn’t hesitate to jump on board, and DHL’s generous up-front donation [of $20,000] has reinforced the values we are lucky to share with our new naming rights partner.”
Peter Harding Tonga Rugby Union CEO, said today, “Four weeks on from the volcanic event on Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai and the devastating Tsunami, the rugby world has rallied around Tonga and many donations both large and small have been received. These have assisted disaster agencies for immediate needs or targeted a combined effort between the Tonga Rugby Union and World Rugby to re-build recreation facilities to assist and maintain physical and mental health.”
“The ‘Tries for Tonga’ initiative from the Super Rugby Pacific tournament is a welcome addition to these efforts and the Tonga Rugby Union thanks everyone involved in this innovative fund raising idea.”
Sky Chief Executive Sophie Moloney said: “We’ve long supported many great initiatives in sport and culture in Aotearoa New Zealand and this new project is a perfect fit for Sky. Our Sky Sport for Good programme has already seen some action in 2022 with an incredible fundraising result in the recent Moana Pasifika and Gallagher Chiefs pre-season match.
“It’s important to our whānau that Sky makes a meaningful contribution to our wider community, and we’re delighted to be part of Tries for Tonga. It will give added impetus to each of the teams playing in Super Rugby Pacific, as well as Super Rugby Aupiki, and we’re hoping for a try scoring fest in both competitions for our customers and the Red Cross alike.”
Stan Director of Sport Ben Kimber said: “At Stan Sport we're delighted to be supporting the fantastic ‘Tries For Tonga’ initiative.
“It has been an incredibly challenging time for the Tongan community and we hope this will contribute much needed funds to help our friends across the Pacific. We're looking forward to the season kicking off next Friday and to see the tries start to stack up from some great Rugby.”
New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Sarah Stuart-Black said, “New Zealand Red Cross is overwhelmed with the way so many organisations within Aotearoa New Zealand and people internationally have rolled up their sleeves to raise funds to help us support the people of Tonga and those affected by the volcanic eruption and tsunami.
“This very generous initiative from New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and their partners, shows the true community spirit and sense of family/whanau and connectedness across the Pacific, linking support for those most in need through our shared love of rugby.”
As well as cheering on the players, fans can make their own contribution to Red Cross’ Pacific Tsunami Appeal by visiting the official website. Click HERE