11 September 2019
It’s not just the All Blacks who are playing in a rugby world cup this month.
Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Physical Training Instructor Hamish Pyne has arrived in Japan with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) team to play in the International Defence Rugby Competition, the military equivalent of the Rugby World Cup.
The NZDF team, known as the Defence Blacks, comprising servicemen from the RNZN, New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) plus one civilian, will play in the competition against military teams from Australia, United Kingdom, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Georgia, Japan and France.
Leading Physical Training Instructor Pyne, 25, joined the RNZN in 2013, initially as a Logistics Supply Specialist, after recruiters had visited Napier Boys’ High School.
He did the Navy Adventure Challenge soon after and wanted to join immediately.
“Getting paid straight out of school was good too,” he said.
Having always been into fitness and having played rugby since he was five, he has thrived since changing trade to Physical Training Instructor.
“Working in supply, I was behind a computer all day, doing paperwork,” he said. “But as a Physical Training Instructor it has been one challenge after the next. I’m loving it, because there’s constant variation in my role.”
Leading Physical Training Instructor Pyne, a halfback, will be playing in his second International Defence Rugby Competition.
“I was 10 kilograms lighter in 2015 and the games against the British Army and Fiji were more physical than I was used to,” he said.
“We’re a more experienced team now, and for me having that extra weight makes it easier around ruck time.”
After the competition, Leading Physical Training Instructor Pyne will head to Canada as the physical training instructor for the crew of HMNZS Te Kaha, who will bring the frigate back to New Zealand after its systems upgrade is completed.
The Defence Blacks flew to Japan on Tuesday, and will play Australia Defence Force in the first round on Sunday.
This will be the third International Defence Rugby Competition, with the British Army winning in 2011 and the Fijian Army winning in 2015.