Maori community backing Kiwis in Rugby League World Cup 9s

Maori community backing Kiwis in Rugby League World Cup 9s

With not long until the inaugural Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s (RLWC 9s) kicks off at Bankwest Stadium, the Maori community in Australia is coming together to back their Kiwis from October 18-19, 2019.

With 28 matches over two-days, the Downer RLWC 9s will see stars from 12 nations including Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, France, England, Wales, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, PNG and USA go head-to-head in the fast-paced, action packed short form of rugby league.

The new format features nine players a side, and is fast paced and free-flowing with nine minute halves, unlimited interchanges and a bonus try zone.

A historic Community Ambassador Program engaging 10 Maori Community leaders in Sydney have been appointed to help promote the New Zealand matches and the competition as a whole.

Maori Elder and Chairman of the Maori Wardens Australia Rawiri Iti threw his support behind the World Cup.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our Maori community and culture in Sydney and from around the world as we celebrate the Rugby League World Cup 9s in this new format,” he said.

Mark Horo, Chairman of NSW Maori Rugby League and a former New Zealand International representative, said he is extremely excited to see the community come together for the event.

“We are proud to be a part of this historic Community Ambassador Program and we recognise the importance of making sure the Maori community is aware and engaged and come out in full force to celebrate the New Zealand players,” he explained.

As we’d say Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. Engari, he toa takitini - which means our strength is not the strength of one. It is the strength of many.

Chairperson of the NSW Council for Pacific Communities Malaemie Fruean highlighted the significance of the New Zealand women’s team competing in the World Cup 9s.

“As leaders of the Pasifika community we are all proud to embrace the spirit of the World Cup 9s in the new format for both the men and women. Let’s all support the World Cup,” she said.

“We encourage everyone to get behind our women.”

The Downer RLWC 9s was launched at Bankwest Stadium last year by NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall, Downer Group Head of Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations Michael Sharp, and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.

“The best players in the world will be on show in this completely unique concept over the course of two days at the brand new Western Sydney Stadium,” Greenberg said.

The whole week will be a celebration of rugby league in Western Sydney, with a number of community initiatives planned.

During the launch, Australia Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga also said the World Cup 9s will be an important concept to grow the game globally.

The Downer RLWC 9s will be the Rugby League International Federation’s marquee tournament in 2019 and will be shown live on Channel Nine and around the world.

New Zealand Draw:
Oct 18 8:35pm – New Zealand v Australia (Women’s)
Oct 18 9:00pm – New Zealand v Australia (Men’s)
Oct 19 11:30am – New Zealand v PNG (Women’s)
Oct 19 1:45pm – New Zealand v PNG (Men’s)
Oct 19 4:50pm – New Zealand v USA (Men’s)
Oct 19 6:05pm – New Zealand v England (Women’s)

WHEN: October 18-19, 2019
WHERE: Bankwest Stadium
Tickets available here:
Enter password NZ11 to support the community ambassador program.

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]