Rugby to celebrate Olympic success at Dunedin Test     13 Sep 2012    

- Olympic successes inspire rugby's quest for gold at Rio 2016

Fans will get a chance to toast the achievements of our athletes at the 2012 London Olympics during the half time break at this weekend's Investec Rugby Championship Test between the All Blacks and South Africa.

Ten Olympians, including gold medal winning rowers Mahe Drysdale, Hamish Bond and Joseph Sullivan, will be welcomed on to the field of play in a special acknowledgement of their achievements at one of New Zealand's most successful Olympic campaigns.

The Olympians are:
• Hamish Bond
• Peter Burling
• Mahe Drysdale
• Juliette Haigh
• Rebecca Scown
• Alison Shanks
• Joseph Sullivan
• Peter Taylor
• Storm Uru
• Sarah Walker

"Our Olympic and Paralympic athletes have succeeded on sport's greatest stage and all of New Zealand should be proud of their achievements so we're really pleased to provide this opportunity for Otago sports fans to celebrate their success," said New Zealand Rugby Union Chief Executive Steve Tew.

New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General Kereyn Smith said: "Our athletes made us all proud at London 2012 and we're delighted so many New Zealanders can share in their success. I know the Olympians are looking forward to being welcomed onto the field at half-time this weekend and are proud to be part of an exciting night in Otago."

"In four years' time the All Blacks Sevens and women's Sevens team will be at the next Olympics in Rio De Janeiro competing for gold for the first time," said Steve Tew. "We are incredibly excited about this opportunity and we are determined to be on that podium.

"There's no doubt New Zealand's successes in London will inspire our players. Our planning is already well underway, but I am sure there is much we can learn from the performance of our Olympians in London and we will be working closely with the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Sport New Zealand to ensure we send the best prepared teams to Rio."