Hopes that calls for funding won't fall on deaf ears

By Ruth Smith

The Deaf Blacks have convened for their season's biggest test series to be played out in Auckland in the next couple of weeks despite funding woes.  Our National team will be taking on the Argentinian national side in a three test series.  Sports reporter, Ruth Smith, caught up with them at their training.

He may suffer from hearing loss, but it hasn't stopped him from Petaera Meihana from representing his country.

Deaf Blacks back, Meihana and his team mates are putting it all on the line to have the opportunity to play Argentina despite the lack of financial support.

Petaera Meihana - Poumuri, Kapa Ōpango Turi
"I ngā rangi tata nei ka puta ko te hīkaka o taku nei wairua. Taku nei mōhio, te uaua te mārō hoki o Argentina nā te mea he kapa hou te haramai, he pakanga te haramai."

For many years players have been out of pocket due to the lack of funding.

Tony Kukulinski - NZ Deaf Federation Union, President
Something about funding

Bensley says that we can learn a lot from England's funded programme.  He explains that technology advances would enhance the playing experience.

Ashley Bensley
"England has 

Even given this the Deaf Black camaraderie is clear and they are proud to wear the Fern and represent their country at the highest level.

Ashley Bensley
"It's an amazing team, as you can see they've worked really hard to be here. I'm really looking forward to the test, to play Argentina.  These are my brothers."

The Deaf Blacks first test match against Argentina kicks off on Sunday at the Waitemata Rugby Football Club.