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All Blacks to mark Armistice Day in Italy

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/11/2016

The All Blacks will wear an embroidered poppy on their jersey in this weekend's Test against Italy. © Phil Walter/Getty Images The All Blacks will wear an embroidered poppy on their jersey in this weekend's Test against Italy. The All Blacks have joined forces with New Zealand's RSA to commemorate Armistice Day on Friday.

In Italy preparing for their match against Gli Azzurri on Sunday morning (NZT), the All Blacks have recorded special messages of support for the occasion.

The New Zealanders will also wear an embroidered poppy on the sleeve of their jersey as a mark of respect.

The All Blacks and the RSA are calling on New Zealanders to take a moment this Friday to pause and remember the service and sacrifice of New Zealand service men and women.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read says the connection that comes with playing in places such as Italy and France where New Zealanders fought and died is strong.

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

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Armistice Day is a day New Zealanders should never forget.

"The significance of what our young men and women have done and are doing to this day is not lost on the All Blacks," he said.

The All Blacks' Test against Italy in Rome is not far from Monte Cassino, where New Zealand forces played a prominent role during World War 2.

All Black Jack Hardy was killed there in May 1944, while fellow All Black George Hart lost his life at Sora in June the same year and is buried at Cassino.

They were among 2100 New Zealanders killed in operations in Italy from 1943 to 1945.

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