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MPs, Diplomats Match To Raise Funds; Promote Rugby World Cup

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MPs, Diplomats Match To Raise Funds; Promote Rugby World Cup

Tomorrow evening the Parliamentary rugby team will play an invitational diplomatic team from Embassies across Wellington.

Spanish Ambassador Marcos Gomez, who issued a challenge to the Parliamentary side from the Diplomatic community, said 13 Embassies would be represented in the diplomatic team.

"Our side is a real league of nations. We're excited to be playing against the New Zealand Parliamentarians, and see this as the start of an annual fixture aimed at building cross-government relationships," said Ambassador Gomez, who played rugby for his Spanish University for a number of years. Parliamentarians' Chris Tremain said the match would also provide an opportunity to promote the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

"Clearly we're keen to get as many visitors to New Zealand as possible for the Rugby World Cup.

"Having the Embassies on board is a step in the right direction in this regard. To this end there will be representatives from RWC2011 at the game and after match they will outline the progress in World Cup preparations."

"True to form the game will also have a charitable purpose," added Damien O'Connor.

"In this instance Ambassador Gomez suggested we raise money for post tsunami relief, given that most of the Embassies involved also look after Samoa.

"I understand that the Ambassador has organised jerseys to be donated by the NZRFU. Each jersey will then be purchased by the embassies involved, and the proceeds donated to Samoa."

This year the Parliamentary rugby team has played five games around New Zealand, and one in Rarotonga, helping to raise over $35,000 for a range of charities from Diabetes New Zealand to the Riversdale Beach Surf Club.

The match will kick off at 6.30pm, at the Prince of Wales II Park, Mt Cook, Wellington. It will commence with a minute's silence for victims of the Samoan disaster and also in remembrance of Dutch Ambassador Annelies Bogaert, who died in Wellington recently.

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