All Blacks to consider adopting a red fern - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Blacks to consider adopting a red fern

22/03/2011 09:25:01 PM Comments (0)

All Blacks manager Darren Shand says the team will consider swapping their iconic silver fern for a red fern at rugby World Cup matches in a symbolic gesture to quake-hit Christchurch.

Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff have both thrown their support behind the idea, which comes after last week's announcement that Christchurch would no longer host two quarterfinals and five pool matches.

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said the final decision lay with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

"I think that there's a process that the union will want to engage in and I don't want to cramp their style at this stage," he said.

Shand said they had received several "great" ideas from members of the public of ways they could honour Christchurch and all would be considered.

"The team, together with the NZRU, will look to pay tribute to those who lost their lives as well as the wider Christchurch community in the most appropriate way," he said.

Mr Key said the red fern would be "a nice touch".

"It's not unusual for the All Blacks to slightly change their uniform to reflect a major event, and the country can see from the memorial service on Friday it's totally unified behind the people of Christchurch," he said.

"We want to show their support. We know that they're missing out on the World Cup which is something that they value dearly, and, frankly, I think the All Blacks thought it'd be a nice touch."

Mr Goff said it was "a great idea".

"I think it would be a really lovely gesture for the All Blacks to wear a red fern during the World Cup matches or some of those matches or in a special match that is played to raise funds for Christchurch," he said.

Mr McCully said he was aware of the proposal and a number of others, including a commemorative match against Japan, which had also suffered a devastating quake.

"I encourage the fact that people are thinking about ways in which we can commemorate what's happened, and also thefact that Japan is in the frame in some of those suggestions," he said.

However, Mr McCully said he would not support any one proposal in particular.

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