Silver ferns over All Blacks' hearts will be joined by poppies on their sleeves as the world champions pay respect to those who have served in New Zealand's armed forces.

Tomorrow is Armistice day, the day of remembrance that marks the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918.

Thirteen All Blacks died in the conflict, including the first All Black captain, Dave Gallaher.

The All Blacks are in Rome preparing for their match against Italy on Sunday morning (NZT) and have joined with the New Zealand Returned and Services' Association to encourage Kiwis to join in the international recognition of Armistice Day.


The team recorded special messages of support for those who have served New Zealand in conflict and operations over the past century. All Blacks also died in later wars, including at the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino, near Rome.

They will wear embroidered poppies on their sleeves this weekend.

On this side of the planet, wreath-laying ceremonies will take place around the country, during which two minutes of silence will be marked at 11am.

This was the time the armistice went into effect, ending hostilities.

Ceremonies will begin at the National War Memorial, in Wellington's Buckle St, and at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, at the Auckland Domain, at 10.30am.

Information on ceremonies in other parts of the country can be found here

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All Blacks' coach Steve Hansen said the team wanted to acknowledge the sacrifice of Kiwis who gave their lives in war, or served at home or overseas.

"It's our little way of saying, 'hey, we thank you for that, and we remember you'."

All Blacks captain Kieran Read encouraged Kiwis to take a moment to remember those who lost loved ones, and the families who carried on.

"It's a privilege to carry a poppy on our jersey and in some small way play a part in remembering them."