Rugby family unites to support Christchurch

(RUGBYWORLDCUP.COM) Friday 25 February 2011
Rugby family unites to support Christchurch
A minute's silence is observed at the Chiefs and Highlanders match

The global Rugby family has united as one in a stand of solidarity and support for the people of Christchurch following the devastating earthquake which struck the city on Tuesday.

At matches all over the world this weekend respect will be marked for the victims, their families and indeed all New Zealanders who are coming to terms with the tragedy.

With Rugby at the core of the community in Christchurch, the disaster has shocked the global Rugby family.

A minute's silence will be observed prior to this weekend’s RBS Six Nations matches in Rome, London and Edinburgh, while throughout Super Rugby red and black armbands will be worn as a sign of support and sympathy for the Canterbury Crusaders franchise, who are at the heart of the community in Christchurch.

The Crusaders have elected not to play their Super Rugby match at the Hurricanes, but the show of support at other matches will also see flags flown at half-mast and collections taken or details given in coverage of how people in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand can donate to the Red Cross appeal.

Meanwhile, the Japan Cup final between Suntory and Sanyo in Tokyo on Sunday will also have a minute’s silence prior to kick-off with the Japan Rugby Football Union to make a donation to the relief fund at half-time with fans also invited to make their own donations.

Former All Black John Kirwan, now coaching the Japanese national team, is expected to address the crowd at half time.

“There are so many New Zealanders involved in all levels of Rugby in Japan and this is a significant factor in huge empathy between Japan and New Zealand Rugby,” said Kirwan.

“With Rugby World Cup being held in New Zealand this year and here in Japan in 2019, it’s times like these which shows the World is in Union through Rugby.”