“An event like this is a great bonding experience for us as a team. We live all over the world and so having the chance to come together and root for our home country is special.”
The New Zealand Ambassador’s XV Rugby Team was on-hand at the semi-final matchup between Japan and their homeland to root the Black Sox to victory.
Team representative Cameron Gentles said, “It’s an honor to represent the nation. We hope the club represents well for New Zealand.”
The Ambassador’s are a Men’s Rugby 15s national traveling team. They are not the All Blacks but rather a group of New Zealanders living live around the globe. They come together once a year for tournaments across Europe competing against national teams from the Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands.
Their team is playing the Czech National Team in Prague Wednesday night RC Tatra Smichov park, 6pm time. Gentles’ said, “Last year we underestimated the competition and got beat. Rightfully so. We’re back to set things right.”
Until then Cameron says the team is here to build new and old relationships on their own team in a unique environment. “For a lot of the guys, including myself, this is their first experience with softball.”
With a goal of promoting and growing the sport they love, the Ambassadors are busy making friends across the Czech Republic this week. They’re hoping to make a few more tonight when they meet up with the national softball team after the game.
Many of their team members are current and former professional and national team rugby players in New Zealand. One of the coaches, Marty Berry, was an All Black on the ’86 and ’93 national teams. Hamish Northcott, Craig Clare and Isaac O’Connor respectively play for the Auckland Blues, Highlanders and Wellington Lions. Aaron Satchwell, who is a Kiwi by birth, also reached eligibility under the rules to represent the US Eagles in World Cup action.