The 16th Annual Ambassador's Shield rugby match is slated for Sunday, November 11 at Fort McNair in Washington DC.
The game is hosted by New Zealand Ambassador to the USA, Rt Hon. Mike Moore. This year’s featured match is the US Military Combined Services against the New Zealand Ambassador's XV.
The New Zealand embassy is excited about some of the youthful additions to its squad of Kiwis and expats. Morgan Findlay (Auckland, NZ) and JD Stephenson (Canberra, AU) will be joining the squad from Lindenwood University in St. Louis, Mo. Findlay is a fullback with the rugby team and Stephenson is a graduate assistant and coach.
The Combined Services squad faces its usual daunting challenge of assembling a team of players from across the services and across the globe. The squad also has some youthful additions of its own with Will Holder, Andrew Locke and Eric Duechle. Holder was capped for the first time this past summer, and is currently a cadet at West Point. Locke is a West Point alum and former USA U19 player and collegiate All American. He has just returned from deployment. Duechle got his introduction to at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., near DC, was a standout for the Air Force Academy and helped Belmont Shore to a 15s and 7s national title this year.
In addition to the main event, the day will also feature a host of golden oldies and youth rugby. New Zealander Jason Frost, who has been the event organizer since its inception 17 years ago said: “Through our partnership with the US Combined Services, Ft. McNair became an option as a host site … Ft. McNair is a beautiful setting with increased field space and accommodations.”
As in years past, the embassy and the event still continue to support the Perry Street Preparatory Public Charter School rugby program (formerly Hyde Rugby, now known has Pride Rugby).
Additionally, Lockheed Martin has stepped in as the event title sponsor and has generously stepped forward to support the efforts of the Pride Rugby program.
10am Pride Rugby 7’s/Virginia HS Allstars * French International School/Virginia HS Allstars
10:45 All Deaf RFC/US Combined Services Veterans * Washington Poltroons/ Alexandria Roosters
12pm Virginia Cardinals/US Combined Services Veterans * Rugby Academy/EPRU Allstars
1:30 Pride Rugby 7’s/Virginia HS All Stars * Alexandria Youth/ MD Exiles (Tag)
2pm New Zealand Ambassador’s XV vs US Military Combined Services