Kick-off for the Vodafone Warriors’ first-ever Anzac Day match at Mount Smart Stadium next Saturday (April 25) has been brought forward to 1.45pm.
The game against Gold Coast launches an epic programme of five NRL matches in five different cities as New Zealanders and Australians unite to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
After the first match in Auckland, the schedule continues with the Knights playing the Cowboys in Newcastle (4.00pm NZT), the Roosters hosting the Dragons in Sydney (6.00pm), the Storm taking on the Sea Eagles in Melbourne (8.00pm) and the Broncos meeting the Eels in Brisbane (10.00pm).
Each match will be preceded by an official Anzac Day ceremony including the Last Post, a moment’s silence, the Ode of Remembrance and both national anthems. The Royal New Zealand Navy Band will also perform.
“It’s such a significant occasion in the club’s history to be able to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli in a year which also coincides with our own 20th anniversary season,” said Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle.
“New Zealanders and Australians will be out in huge numbers at dawn services around the country and other services later in the morning.
“They can then come along to Mount Smart Stadium when we will also honour and salute all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The Vodafone Warriors’ eighth-round match against Gold Coast caps another Mount Smart Stadium tripleheader which kicks off at 9.40am with the Vodafone Junior Warriors facing the Titans in their NYC game, followed by the club’s New South Wales Cup side taking on Newtown at 11.40am.
The Anzac Day ceremony is scheduled to start at 1.35pm with both teams brought onto the field followed by the game kicking off at 1.45pm.
The Vodafone Warriors will wear their Te Maumaharatanga (The Memorial) strip, specially designed by Canterbury of New Zealand with the country’s servicemen and women, members, fans, club and Anzac heritage in mind.
A donation from the sale of each jersey in both New Zealand and Australia will go to the Fields of Remembrance Trust ($10 for an adult jersey, $5 for a child’s jersey), as a mark of respect to past and current serving armed forces personnel.
The Returned Services Association will have collectors at Mount Smart Stadium during the game.
The Vodafone Warriors have provided the New Zealand Defence Force with more than 600 complimentary tickets for staff to attend sitting in a dedicated bay in the West Stand.
ANZAC DAY | VODAFONE WARRIORS v GOLD COAST
Date | Saturday, April 25
Gates Open | 9.30am
NYC | Vodafone Junior Warriors v Gold Coast Titans, 9.40am
New South Wales Cup | 11.40am
Anzac Day Ceremony | 1.35pm
NRL | Vodafone Warriors v Gold Coast Titans, 1.45pm