GOLDEN OLDIES RUGBY PRESIDENTS DIVISION
Rugby teams from all around the world will have the opportunity to do battle for the inaugural Sir Graham Henry Trophy at next April’s Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival to be held in Christchurch as part of the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018.
Event organiser, Peter McDermott, said next year’s rugby festival will feature the inclusion of a President’s Grade Division for the first time and it is appropriate that one of New Zealand’s legendary rugby names will be on the trophy awarded to the winner of the new division. “Rugby was the first ever Golden Oldies sport dating back to 1979 and we are excited to be able to now cater for players who want to add a competitive element on-field while still enjoying the off-field social aspect which is what Golden Oldies sport is all about. Putting the Sir Graham Henry Trophy up for grabs will add some real spice to what will undoubtedly be a very competitive division.”
Henry said Golden Oldies rugby has a long tradition of bringing like-minded sports people together to share the sense of camaraderie with fellow rugby players from around the world. “I am really honoured to have my name etched on a trophy which represents those old traditions and also breaks new ground as recognition for rugby players who want to combine a competitive element with the fun, friendship and fraternity that is the hallmark of Golden Oldies rugby. For me personally it is also an honour to have the trophy awarded for the first time in my hometown where my rugby playing days began as a school boy.”
The new Golden Oldies Rugby President’s Grade will play under the full World Rugby Laws and is expected to attract a new group of players to the hugely popular and well-established Golden Oldies rugby programme.
Rugby is expected to be the largest sport at the April 2017 Golden Oldies Sports Celebration and to date more than 110 teams have entered from countries as far afield as Russia, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, England, Canada and the United States along with teams from closer to home including Australia, Japan, the Cook Islands and New Zealand.
The Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival will be played from 22 to 29 April, 2018 at Hagley Park. It is one of 10 sports – hockey, netball, football, softball, basketball, cricket, golf, lawn bowls, squash and rugby – which make up the month-long Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 and which aims to attract a total of 10,000 sports people and their supporters and officials.
The Sir Graham Henry Trophy
The Sir Graham Henry Trophy will be awarded to the Winning Men’s Team in the Presidents Division – We are delighted to have the support of such an internationally renowned rugby personality. Sir Graham has coached the Auckland Blues to a Super Rugby Championship, he was the All Blacks Coach between 2004-2011 a tenure which saw the All Blacks win the 2011 Rugby World Cup for the second time. Prior to this he coached Wales through a very successful period and was appointed to the role of coaching the British/Irish Lions for their thrilling tour of Australia in 2001. Sir Graham continues to be sought after in World Rugby as a rugby mentor and consultant. In his role as Rugby Ambassador for this Festival – Sir Graham will be present through-out the week and will be presenting the Sir Graham Henry Trophy to our Presidents Division winners.
WOMENS DIVISION: We have had two teams indicate their intention to play in Christchurch and we are now actively pursuing other women’s teams who wish to play and compete in a similar Division and format.
This Division as always will provide competitive, honest rugby – played in the best Golden Oldies sporting spirit. Which means after that final whistle the traditional ‘other side of the game’ comes out to play. Combatants become comrades, shake hands and eat and drink together and turn those little 3-meter dabs slowly into 30-meter line-breaks by the end of the night.
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