In popular memory, rugby players during the Great War were heroes, athletes turned soldiers, making noble sacrifices for the “greater game” of war as they traded the cheers of spectators for the roar of artillery fire. This interactive, multimedia-based exhibition explores the impact that the harsh reality of war had on colonial sportsmen (and their loved ones) as they were transplanted from the rugby fields of home overseas to fight for the ‘mother country’. Developed and toured by the NZ Rugby Museum The exhibition has been made possible thanks to a host of funders and supporters that have come together from across New Zealand. Two years in the making, it opened in Palmerston North on 22 August 2015 and will tour the country until 2019. Visitors enter the intimate, self-contained c.120m2 gallery space through the ‘Home Ground’ Entrance – a stylised 1914 rugby changing room. Here they meet their on-screen guide for the exhibition, Anton Oliver, and the XV players and a coach whose life stories feature throughout. An immersive graphics-backed space, specially-created short films written by Ian Mune, and vintage soundtracks and archival material take the visitor on a hands-on and multimedia-based journey from the rugby field to the battlefield and back again.
Balls, Bullets and Boots: From Rugby Field to Battlefield
Wed 25 October 2017 - Sun 12 November 2017
10:00am - 4:00pm