'Nude Blacks' entertain Dunedin rugby fans
15 Jun 2009
Excited rugby fans in Dunedin on Saturday (13.06.09) got the ‘full monty’ - a bonus match featuring the ‘Nude Blacks’ - as well as the much anticipated first rugby test between New Zealand - France.
Not to be out done by their heroes the All Blacks, 14 hardy Dunedin students stripped off in cool winter temperatures to impress the crowds with their own sporting prowess.
Body paint distinguished the two teams - the ‘Nude Blacks’ and an international guest team in South African colours - in the necessarily brisk seven-aside touch rugby match that’s become an annual Dunedin event.
Saturday’s match began with the traditional haka, and included the obligatory streaker who was fully clothed for this event.
The naked players competed in front of a well-wrapped but appreciative crowd at Logan Park, a more public venue than previous matches at nearby St Kilda beach.
Dunedin City Council events manager Marilyn Anderson was not concerned about the more public location.
"It’s always been considered a bit of fun. Besides, it’s going to be so cold, no-one is going to get offended," Anderson laughed.
International rugby kick-off
While the All Blacks lost 27 - 22 to France, Dunedin was in festive mode for the weekend that kicked-off New Zealand’s 2009 international rugby season.
Visitors flooded into the city, and the buzz was particularly high around ‘The Octagon Village’ - a tent village of bars in central Dunedin that reported a bumper night.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said "millions of dollars" would have been spent in the city, benefiting in particular the hospitality sector.
All Black Adam Thomson describes Dunedin as "a rugby-mad city".
"It’s electric down here. When a [rugby] test is on, Dunedin really gets behind it ... the atmosphere really builds as you get closer to the test," Thomson said.
It was the first time France had played at Dunedin’s Carisbrook Stadium, and there was a full house of 28,500.
Carisbrook, known locally as ‘The House of Pain’, is set to be replaced by a new 35,000-seat covered stadium in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The new stadium will host three World Cup pool matches involving England, Scotland, Ireland and Italy.
Nude Rugby International
The Nude Rugby International started as a celebration of New Zealand’s national nude day.
The event is organised by Bottom Bus, a New Zealand tour company that specialises in South Island and rugby tours.
Nude day was the brain child of a Dunedin local, ex-All Black turned television presenter Marc Ellis. National nude day is now celebrated internationally on different days of the year.
- Dunedin, in New Zealand’s southern South Island, has New Zealand’s first and largest university - the University of Otago.
- Dunedin has much of the southern hemisphere’s best preserved Edwardian and Victorian architecture.
- Otago Peninsula has the world’s only mainland albatross breeding colony, the world’s rarest penguin - the yellow eyed penguin, New Zealand fur seals, sea lions and little blue penguins.
- Recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, Dunedin has the world’s steepest street - Baldwin Street - which hosts an annual ‘Gutbuster’ challenge’ and a race featuring 30,000 Jaffas (round sweets) as part of the annual Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival.
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