One of the largest-ever New Zealand television audiences tuned into the opening night of Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) on Friday and RNZ 2011 has confirmed that ticket sales are running at about NZD1 million (AUD784,000) a day as the Tournament gets underway.
New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup fiesta has a great deal of other entertainment running alongside it – like nude rugby, for instance.
An enthusiastic crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered in Dunedin’s Kettle Park on Saturday to watch the so-called Nude Blacks – a rugby team that plays naked. The Nude Blacks, whose name is a tribute to the All Blacks, held an unofficial warm-up match before the official match between Argentina and England.
The Nude Blacks comprises New Zealand amateur players. The team started in 2002 as a joke among backpackers and has remained a joke ever since. Much much fun is had by all.
In its latest match at the weekend, the Nude Blacks played an International Nude rugby game against Los Conquistadors, an all-female Spanish team from Barcelona.
The Spanish team kept its clothes on but wasn’t afraid to make “hairy tackles”, the Christchurch Press reported. In an unusual variation, Los Conquistadors’ players agreed to remove an item of clothing for each try their team scored. That may have contributed to their victory.
It was the second game of the season for the Nude Blacks. Their previous match was against a team from Fiji playing in grass skirts.
Saturday’s match started with the home team performing a traditional haka, which is particularly frightening when performed naked. Los Conquistadors responded to the challenge by cooling themselves with traditional Spanish fans, AFP said.
Members of the crowd “probably got closer to the action than they would like”, the Press reported. No-one quite remembered the final score.
Diehard rugby fans wishing to view a nude haka, performed on the field in Dunedin before a naked rugby match, can do so by clicking here.
Written by Peter Needham