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Politicians want All Blacks with red fern


The All Blacks could swap their iconic silver fern for a red fern at Rugby World Cup matches.

NZPA and NBR staff
Tue, 22 Mar 2011

The All Blacks could swap their iconic silver fern for a red fern at Rugby World Cup matches in a symbolic gesture to quake-hit Christchurch, if political party leaders have their way.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff have both thrown their support behind the idea, which comes after last week's announcement that Christchurch would no longer host two quarterfinals and five pool matches.

But Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully today said the final decision lay with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

"I think that there's a process that the union will want to engage in and I don't want to cramp their style at this stage," he said.

Mr Key said the red fern would be "a nice touch".

"It's not unusual for the All Blacks to slightly change their uniform to reflect a major event, and the country can see from the memorial service on Friday it's totally unified behind the people of Christchurch," he said.

"We want to show their support. We know that they're missing out on the World Cup which is something that they value dearly, and frankly I think the All Blacks thought it'd be a nice touch."

Mr Goff said it was "a great idea".

"I think it would be a really lovely gesture for the All Blacks to wear a red fern during the World Cup matches or some of those matches or in a special match that is played to raise funds for Christchurch," he said.

Mr McCully said he was aware of the proposal and a number of others, including a commemorative match against Japan, which had also suffered a devastating quake.

"I encourage the fact that people are thinking about ways in which we can commemorate what's happened, and also the fact that Japan is in the frame in some of those suggestions," he said.

However, Mr McCully said he would not support any one proposal in particular.

NZPA and NBR staff
Tue, 22 Mar 2011
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Politicians want All Blacks with red fern
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