All Blacks to honour fallen soldiers

Wellington - The All Blacks will wear an embroidered poppy on a sleeve of their rugby jerseys when they play France next month to honour New Zealand soldiers who gave their lives in wars in the last century.

The poppy is the symbol of remembrance for those killed in combat, particularly in the two world wars.

The first Test against France is in Lyon on Armistice Day, November 11, and the second is in Paris a week later.

"We want to honour the overseas service of New Zealanders. It is an important part of our history as a country and a team," All Black captain Richie McCaw said in a statement on Tuesday.

The All Blacks have used the valour of New Zealand servicemen as a motivational factor for previous Tests in France.

On the 2004 tour, hooker Anton Oliver gave a poignant pre-match talk on the feats of legendary 1905 All Blacks captain Dave Gallaher, who was killed in World War I and is buried in a Belgian cemetery.

The team then went out and thrashed France 45-6. - Sapa-AFP

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