Apiata guest of Kiwis

By Lynley Bilby

Willie Apiata
Willie Apiata

War hero Willie Apiata has got his call-up to battle this Anzac Day.

Apiata, VC, will share a last supper with the national rugby league team before they take to the field for Friday's Anzac test in Canberra.

New Zealand's only living Victoria Cross holder will be honoured at a pre-match ceremony alongside five Australian soldiers who hold the George Cross or the Victoria Cross.

But before that Apiata will join the Kiwis for their meal on Thursday night - a pre-match ritual that is usually closed to everyone but players and management.

Said assistant coach Tony Iro: "Willie Apiata will be a guest of the team at the final dinner."

The publicity-shy Apiata will also attend a formal reception with the team and management the same evening hosted by the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra.

The High Commissioner is former New Zealand Joint Forces Commander Major General Martyn Dunne.

New Zealand Rugby League chairman Scott Carter said having Apiata alongside the team would make the international clash memorable.

The test was a celebration of the Anzac spirit.

- Herald on Sunday

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