Real men wear pink


These normally rugged blokes from the Wakatipu Premiers rugby side don’t half look the part in their eye-catching new strips. 

The team will wear bright pink this season to raise money for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. 

And the rugby tough-nuts will show off their spiffing new outfits for the first time on Saturday in the curtain-raiser to the Highlanders v Western Force Super 14 clash at the Events Centre. 

“The idea came from Jeremy Drake, one of our club players, and we thought it was fantastic,” Premiers’ president Damien O’Connell says. 

“It’s a cause that’s really close to our hearts because a lot of us have had friends or family with breast cancer and real men shouldn’t be afraid to wear hot pink as a way of making a statement.” 

Other ‘pink’ fundraising initiatives the Premiers will undertake include:
? A $1-a-point sponsor board throughout the season
? A public collection at the bar and through the crowd this Saturday
? Auctioning a pink jersey signed by the 2010 All Blacks squad
? Auctioning signed team jerseys at the annual rugby/netball end-of-season awards 

Grant ‘Spud’ Murphy, coach of Wakatipu B team The Wanderers, supports the initiative but says his team is happy to sport its traditional blue stripe. 

“We try to stay away from the man-hugs stuff,” he jokes. “We’ll just stick with traditional things like handshakes.”
Meanwhile, the Central Otago competition’s defending champions Arrowtown has retained most of its victorious 2009 squad, but is bolstered by new additions. Senior player Simon Spark says former Southland development squad player Ben Chisholm will be number eight, and ex-Canterbury B prop Matt Cruickshank joins the scrum. 

Arrowtown, which beat Waiau Star, Wyndham and Mataura in pre-season games, puts the White Horse Cup – the competition’s Ranfurly Shield – on the line this Saturday.