An exciting series of matches will be running in conjunction with the ANZAC Day AFL clash. The New Zealand Hawks will be taking on the South Pacific Nations.
The two match series will be the 2nd time the two teams have met, after a two match series last year that was won 2-0 by the New Zealand Hawks.
The South Pacific Nations will be looking to take revenge, and have a strong side capable of sparking an upset win.
The first match of the series will take place on the 25th of April, and will serve as the curtain-raiser to the St Kilda Saints vs Brisbane Lions match at Westpac Stadium. Gates will open at 4.45.
The 2nd match will take place at Hutt Park, on the 27th of April at 10.30am, and will run in conjunction with an AFL New Zealand Have a Go Day. Spectators and supporters are welcome to attend.
The South Pacific Nations team features St Kilda International Scholarship holder Joe Baker-Thomas, alongside some of the key players in New Zealand AFL, including Andrew Howison and Shane Leat.
A strong contingent of players from the Pacific Islands will be joining them. Ha’ele Finau and Fohe Latu from Tonga, Sam Bua from the Solomon Islands and Chris Cakabou from Fiji are all leading players from their respective islands.
An exciting crop of young players from New Zealand will bolster the South Pacific Nations. Levi Inglis, Kyle Smith, Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, James Little, Ben Miller and others have represented New Zealand at age group level with distinction.
For the New Zealand Hawks, their hopes will rest on a core of experienced stalwarts. Chris Mundell, Michael Gregson, Andrew Christensen, Jared Court and Stanley Chung have earned many New Zealand caps previously, and will be looking to use that experience to shut out the younger South Pacific Nations team.
New Zealand Hawks coach Justin Davies and South Pacific Coach Andrew Congalton will be watching all New Zealand players with great interest.
Performances in the series will be crucial for players wishing to represent New Zealand at the International Cup in August. Competition for places in the 2014 team will be fierce, as the tournament is the highlight of the International AFL calendar.
Game 1) New Zealand Hawks vs South Pacific Nations. April 25th, 5.00pm, Westpac Stadium. Curtain-raiser to St Kilda Saints vs Brisbane Lions.
Game2) New Zealand Hawks vs South Pacific Nations. April 27th, 10.30am, Hutt Park.