Top Referee heads to Australia  as nations Battle for Defence Force Rugby Supremacy

Grant Day, TF referee

Grant Day in action during the Pacific Nations Military Cup game between New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea in 2010.

20 September 2011

The Rugby World Cup isn’t the only international rugby competition being played in the southern hemisphere at the moment. Twelve Defence/Police Force teams from nine rugby playing nations will do battle to find the best Service rugby team in the world.  

Silver Ferns Farms Ltd (Pareora) export plant manager and Territorial Army Officer Grant Day has been selected as the only Kiwi tournament referee during the pool matches in Australia.

A former Shirley Boys High School student and long time Timaru resident, Grant has been involved in rugby for most of his life. He has represented Canterbury (U18) and Marlborough provinces in rugby before turning his hand at refereeing in 2002. He has refereed several first class matches since 2007 and also taken part in the Pacific Nations Military Cup Tournament twice. Last year he toured with the NZ Army team to Australia.

Grant leads a very busy lifestyle trying to balance referee duties with managing the Pareora meat works plant with 730 employees and his NZDF commitments with the NZ Army, but its worth the effort. “This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a touring team at a major international tournament. I’m excited about being part of the touring group and I’m looking forward to refereeing some top quality matches in Australia” said Grant.

The International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC) 2011 is the inaugural defence forces rugby competition aimed at bringing international rugby playing defence forces together through rugby. The pool matches will be hosted by the Australian Defence force in Sydney  and Canberra from 1–15 Oct. The top four teams will then fly to NZ to be hosted by the NZ Defence Force in Auckland for the Semi Finals and the Finals on the 18 & 22 Oct.

For further information please contact Squadron Leader Kavae Tamariki, NZDF IDRC Communications Manager, on 04 496 0294 or 021 420 899.

Background Notes

The NZDF rugby team will assemble at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland 24 September for a training camp prior to departing to Australia 27 September. Members of the Highlanders coaching staff including ex All Black Simon Culhane will provide technical assistance during the camp.

Support the NZDF Rugby team in their quest for international defence force rugby supremacy on their Facebook page 'NZDF Rugby – International Defence Force Competition' and at

It is hoped the tournament will continue every four years hosted by a different nation, along side the Rugby World Cup tournaments.

IDRC Programme in NZ 15 – 24 Oct 2011

15 Oct: Top four teams arrive Whenuapai Air Force Base

17 Oct: Powhiri Welcome at the Navy Marae, Devonport Naval Base. Media will be invited to attend.

18 Oct:  Semis Finals North Shore RFC
1300 – 1430hrs Semi Final One
1500 – 1630hrs Semi Final Two
22 Oct:    Finals at Auckland University RFC
1300 – 1430hrs Bronze Final
1500 – 1630hrs IDRC Final
1730hrs Presentations

24 Oct: Teams depart Whenuapai for Australia and then to their respective countries.

This page was last reviewed on 20 September 2011.