The Aussies have got their first taste of the New Zealand Rugby Union’s new era, with all of the players and officials getting on the pitch and being part of the inaugural ceremony.
With the players still recovering from their hamstring injuries, the Aussians will kick off the season with a friendly against Tonga in Brisbane on September 12, with the match also being broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Rugby World Cup 2018: New Zealand v Tonga previewRuger New Zealand head coach and CEO Peter Horne said the players were thrilled to be part of what he said would be a great season for the team.
“The players are absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity, the fans are going to be delighted to see this,” Horne told reporters at a press conference ahead of the opening game.
“It’s great to be here with the players, it’s been a great journey and hopefully this is the start of something really special.”
We’ve just got to take it day by day and see how we can do it, but it’s an amazing feeling.
“I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’s going to give us a really good start to the season.”
“It’ll be the first time in a long time that we’ll be able to take the field against Tongas, we’ll have a lot of rugby to learn and the rugby will be there to do it.”
“We’ll have to be patient with the Tongans and give them a fair go and they’ll be very, very good in the heat of the moment.”
New Zealand are already in the thick of the rugby world cup, having qualified for the final stage of the competition with a narrow win over Samoa in Auckland in November.”
Hopefully we can take a step forward in the coming months and maybe even come out on top of it.”
New Zealand are already in the thick of the rugby world cup, having qualified for the final stage of the competition with a narrow win over Samoa in Auckland in November.
Tonga were eliminated in the semi-finals with a scoreline of 27-14 in their final group game against Samoa in Sydney.
“They’ve got a very strong side, they’ve got two very good teams, but we know we have to take our foot off the gas and be aggressive and be ready to play,” Horng said.
“If we can get that, I’m sure we can go out and get a big result and win the game.”
But we’re in good shape, we’re feeling good, we have the right mix of players, we’ve brought a lot in and we’ll keep working hard.””
It’s going be very exciting for the players.”
“But we’re in good shape, we’re feeling good, we have the right mix of players, we’ve brought a lot in and we’ll keep working hard.”
Tonga are a very well-prepared team, we know they have some really good players.
“We’re going to have to keep working and get to grips with them and see where they are and where they need to be.”
“There’s no better place than to win against Tongahas.
We know they’ve been very good this season.”
The first team players will be on the field on September 13 in a friendly match, with a rematch between Tonga and Samoa set for October.