Anzac Day anthems banned by Super Rugby bosses
April 17, 2014
The Brumbies launch their special Anzac Day strip © Twitter
Super Rugby officials have banned national anthems being played before the Anzac Day clash between the Brumbies and New Zealand's Chiefs, saying it would breach the tournament rules.
The Brumbies had asked for the anthems of Australia and New Zealand to be played before the match. The club have been heavily promoting the game and are pressing SANZAR to make an Anzac Day match in Canberra a regular part of the schedule, following a successful tradition established in rugby league.
A SANZAR spokesperson said anthems were reserved for international matches and rules prevented them being played before any Super Rugby games, even finals. Anthems are played in the NRL.
The game will still mark the occasion fittingly. The Last Post will be played and Corporal Mark Donaldson, one of four Victoria Cross recipients attending the Brumbies match, will read The Ode.
"They refused it [the anthems], it's a blanket rule and they said if you do it once you've got to do it for every game," Brumbies chief executive Doug Edwards told the Sydney Morning Herald. "So we move on, it's no big deal for us. I think it will be pretty special with the Last Post and all that we've got planned."
Brumbies and Australian Wallabies scrum-half Nic White said he hoped the anthems could become a feature in the future if the tradition of Anzac Day match continued.
"I'm sure they'd be able to change it if they made it an annual Anzac Day fixture,'' he said. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind turning a blind-eye maybe for one day a year. Maybe if they knew how much it meant to everyone then maybe they might let it happen."
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