Matatu to play in Invercargill

Matatu to play in Invercargill

Matatū are excited to announce that Invercargill will play host to Round 1 of the defending champions’ Super Rugby Aupiki season, one of three homes games in 2024.

Our team, representing all of Te Waipounamu, will face the Blues at Rugby Park on Saturday2 March, kick off 4.35pm. It’s the first time Matatū will play in Southland, a region we’re proud to represent.

“It’s such an exciting opportunity to take a game to Invercargill as part of our season this year,” said Sarah Munro, Matatū General Manager.

“It’s so important to all of us at Matatū that we have the chance to play in front of all our South Island fans and we can’t wait to face the Blues in front of a passionate Southland crowd at Rugby Park.

Matatū are seeking to defend their 2023 title and build off the performance and culture developed within the team since Aupiki’s inaugural season in 2022.

Matatū lock and proud Southlander Emma Dermody, who was named Matatū Rookie of the Year in2023, said she was “ecstatic about Matatū’s upcoming game in Invercargill”.

“Returning to my home province holds special significance as it provides a unique opportunity to showcase to young girls the pathways available to them,” Dermody said.

Capped Black Ferns and foundational Matatū players Amy Rule and Amy du Plessis are both from Southland and expressed excitement about the team heading south for the first time.

Many thanks must be given to Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT), Community Trust South(CTS) and Rugby Southland for their contributions and effort in making this special occasion happen.

Steve Mitchell, Rugby Southland CEO, said they were “extremely pleased to be able to deliver a top quality women’s game at Rugby Park”.

Together with a curtain raiser of local senior women’s players, Mitchell said the 2 March event “will be the best showcase of female rugby ever seen in Invercargill”.

“Our staff, board and members are excited by this opportunity and acknowledge the support of the ILT and CTS in securing this event for Invercargill.

“We also acknowledge the excitement, collaboration and positive partnership developing between ourselves and Matatū as we work towards hosting this great event.”

Jackie Flutey, CTS CEO, said they were honoured to contribute to “the historic milestone”.

“This investment is not just in a game, but in the empowerment of our Matatū warriors who represent Murihiku and all of the South Island, but in the growth of womensrugby in Southland,” Flutey said.

Angee Shand, ILT Marketing and Innovation Executive, said women’s rugby and the associated opportunities is “a huge positive for the sport and the region”.

“We are pleased to support Rugby Southland’s ongoing efforts in this area, especially in bringing this elite competition to Invercargill for the first time,” Shand said.

“This match will showcase top level rugby, potentially inspiring local players and contributing to the ongoing growth of women's rugby in our community."

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