NZ Falcons Chairperson, Grant Joyes, fills YOUR EX in on the significance of the big win, as the team celebrates their 10-year anniversary.
Tell us about the experience of playing in the Purchas Cup in Perth?
There is nothing quite like playing in a tournament where the players build you up as much as they want to tear you apart. International Gay Rugby (IGR)’s inclusive approach to rugby creates a unique opportunity and experience for all (regardless of what part of the rainbow you are). From the water boy in knee-high-high-heeled boots to the other team cheering you on as you run against them. Just being there was to be celebrated. Purchas was a weekend where you see such genuine excitement for each other when we play and when people do good things. Cultivating relationships and friendships with other inclusive teams, knowing that there are more queer-friendly teams out there playing rugby makes it special.
What was the result for The Falcons?
The NZ Falcons played in the tier two competition against Perth, Adelaide and Sydney B. We won all three games which meant we came back to NZ with the Purchas shield.
What did it mean to win?
It meant a lot to win. The Falcon’s mission is to provide a safe and inclusive place for members of the rainbow community to play sport, so seeing players that prior to 2023 had never touched a rugby ball, want to give it a go, pick it up, and play in a tournament months later and win some silverware is pretty special.
Why was the win significant?
Everyone knows New Zealand is a rugby nation, so the win was significant because being a gay & inclusive rugby team in NZ, we’re representing the momentum behind inclusive rugby at a grassroots level, internationally. It’s also great for the Falcons brand, to show the rainbow community in New Zealand a team living inclusivity in NZ, and what’s possible if someone decides to join us and give rugby a go!
What’s next for The Falcons?
This year The NZ Falcons celebrated our 10-year anniversary, so next for the Falcons is another 10 years of inclusive rugby in NZ. We really want to build our Falcons Whanau and keep improving year after year. Next year in May is the Bingham Cup, a worldwide international gay rugby tournament that sees 60 teams competing from 20+ countries, so it would be great if we could get some players to Rome for that!
If you are interested in playing for the NZ Falcons or coming along and supporting their games, you can find on more info at nzfalcons.org.nz, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @nzfalcons on social media.