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NZRL signs new sponsor for World Cup defence

The Health Promotion Agency has agreed a deal with New Zealand Rugby League for its Smokefree NZ brand to serve as the official sleeve sponsor of the national team for its 2013 World Cup campaign.

Under the deal, the Smokefree NZ logo will appear on the sleeves of New Zealand players’ jerseys throughout the duration of the tournament.

Nicknamed the Kiwis, the New Zealand rugby league team first wore the newly-branded jerseys during a World Cup warm-up match against the Cook Islands, a game the Kiwis won 50-0.

“These games will reach a large viewing audience here, which will enable us to spread our message widely,” HPA’s general manager, Tane Cassidy, said. “The Kiwis are role models to many young New Zealanders, and we hope that when they see the Kiwis are proudly Smokefree, they will choose to be as well.”

This year’s World Cup will take place in England, Wales and France from October 26 until November 30. Reigning champion New Zealand will begin the defence of its title against Samoa on October 27.