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New Zealand rugby team to play exhibition match at Niagara University

by jmaloni

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Fri, Jul 4th 2014 07:00 am

The St. Peter's College rugby team of New Zealand will take on the RugbyNY Western Boys All-Stars in an exhibition match scheduled for July 8 at Niagara University.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on the university's varsity soccer field behind the Kiernan Center.

St. Peter's College is a Christian institution based in Auckland, New Zealand. It was established in 1969 by the Institute of Charity (the Rosminian Order) and the Sisters of Mercy as the first co-educational Catholic school in Australia and New Zealand. The match with RugbyNY is part of the team's first-ever tour of North America, which also includes stops in Toronto, Canada and New York City.

The RugbyNY Western Boys All-Star team is comprised of players from the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse-area clubs that compete in RugbyNY's Upstate Division. The team recently competed in the Pittsburgh Challenge Cup Regional All-Star Tournament against other teams from across the country, including Indiana, Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey.

The match with St. Peter's marks the first time a team from New Zealand has played in Western New York and follows last year's successful hosting of the Windsor School for Boys from London.

"Playing matches against teams from traditional rugby countries like England and New Zealand is a great opportunity for our guys and raises awareness of the sport here in the states," said RugbyNY head coach Mike Hodgins.

The event on July 8 also marks the return of RugbyNY to the campus of Niagara University, which previously hosted the 2011 RugbyNY State Championships.

"Niagara University has been a great host to RugbyNY in the past and we are excited to be back for this special event," said RugbyNY assistant coach Fred Bressette.

RugbyNY is a USA Rugby-recognized, state-based organization that is responsible for administering youth and high school rugby in the state of New York. It is responsible for staging the annual NY State High School Championships and providing resources and programming for players, coaches, referees, educators and parents.

For more information, contact John Spanbauer, NU's director of recreation, intramurals and club sports, at 716-286-8055 or[email protected].

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