Defence team to take on New Zealand in ANZAC Test curtain raiser

Published on Defence (author), CPL Shannon McCarthy (photographer)

Able Seaman Keven Allsopp, recently selected to represent the Defence Team, breaks away during the Inter-Service Rugby League competition, between Navy and Air Force.  (photo: CPL Shannon McCarthy)
Able Seaman Keven Allsopp, recently selected to represent the Defence Team, breaks away during the Inter-Service Rugby League competition, between Navy and Air Force.

The Australian Combined Armed Services and New Zealand Defence Force will meet as part of the curtain raiser to the 2015 ANZAC Test next month.

It will be the first time these two sides have met since the 2013 Defence Force World Cup final.

The Australians took out the World Cup title 32–22 and will have six members of that victorious side once again coming up against the Kiwis, who have eight returning players.

The match will be one of three fixtures at Suncorp Stadium on 1 May. Following the defence force clash, the Australian Jillaroos will play the Kiwi Ferns, before the Kangaroos play the Kiwis in the 2015 Anzac Test.

National Rugby League Head of Football, Todd Greenberg, said it was only fitting to host a match between the defence forces of both nations as part of the 100 year Anzac commemorations.

“With the 100-year Anzac anniversary upon us this year it’s fantastic to see the defence forces coming together to mark this occasion on the football field,” he said.

“No doubt there will be sense of pride out there between both teams.

“The 2015 test will be a great day out for Rugby League fans with three exciting games of footy and additional on field entertainment across the afternoon and evening.”

Both sides were selected based on individual performances at their respective defence force tri-series tournaments.  The New Zealand squad was selected in September 2014 and they have since had two training camps.

Navy will be represented by Able Seamen Keven Allsop, Ricky Farr, James Ryan and Phillip Samuelu.

Teams will go into training camp at RAAF Base Amberley, just outside Ipswich, before Anzac Day. They will visit local schools and take part in the Anzac Centenary commemorations together in the local area.