- Plethora of talent lining up on December 3
- I urge rugby fans to buy a ticket – Mehrtens
Photo: Getty Images
Three generations of All Black rugby talent, representing the past, the present and the future of New Zealand rugby will form part of a Southern Hemisphere squad that will take the field for the ‘Heroes Rugby Challenge’ at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday December 3.
The match, which kicks off at 1630, aims to raise a substantial sum of money for Help for Heroes, the charity which provides practical support for wounded service men and women.
Rugby World Cup 2011 winner Adam Thomson, All Black rugby legends Andrew Mehrtens and Justin Marshall, New Zealand Maori Jackson Willison and All Black Under-21 Jeremy Thrush will all line up for a Southern Hemisphere XV set to play against a Northern Hemisphere XV.
The two teams will comprise of players selected from the northern and southern hemisphere professional game and the best players from the Armed Forces. The five kiwis join up with current All Black backs coach Wayne Smith who will be coaching the Southern Hemisphere XV.
Andrew Mehrtens, who was capped 70 times for the All Blacks at fly half, said: “I can’t wait to be back at Twickenham. It’s a very special place to play rugby and I look forward to lining up with young kiwi talent like Jeremy Thrush and Jackson Willison.
"I’ve played some significant matches at Twickenham over the years but this one is right up there. I’m very proud to be supporting the Heroes Rugby Challenge is and I urge rugby fans to do the same by buying a ticket and helping us pack out Twickenham on December 3”
Props lining up
Photo: Getty Images
In the scrum for the Northern Hemisphere team, Tom Smith (former British/Irish Lion & Scotland) is set to start at tighthead while Akvsenti Giorgadze (Castres & Georgia) will pack down at loosehead, while former England prop Duncan Bell starts on the bench.
For the Southern Hemisphere XV, Jo Tuala (New Zealand Navy) will start at tighthead and Sona Taumalolo (Hawke’s Bay & Tonga) will play at loosehead.
The players join two squads selected from the northern and southern hemisphere professional game, the best players from the Armed Forces and a number of former greats of the international game including, Danny Grewcock (England), Will Greenwood (England) Serge Betsen (France) Alan Quinlan (Ireland), AJ Venter (South Africa) Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand) and Justin Marshall (New Zealand).
This year’s fixture, which will mark the tenth anniversary of Britain’s Armed Forces Operations in Afghanistan, promises to be an even bigger attraction than the first Help for Heroes match in 2008 when over 52,000 spectators helped raise £1.46m for Help for Heroes.
Heroes Rugby Challenge supported by J.P. Morgan, Saturday 3 December 2011 at Twickenham Stadium, kicks off at 1630. Ticket prices start at £15 for adults, £10 for under 16’s, and are available through Ticketmaster. For more information please visit: www.heroesrugby.org.uk.