It’s only a charity game of touch footy, but Danny Buderus is buzzing at the prospect of teaming up with old Newcastle Knights teammate Andrew Johns in an Australia versus New Zealand media match in Auckland this Sunday.
As part of the extravaganza that is the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, Buderus will line-up alongside the likes of Johns, Gordon Tallis, Brett Finch and members of the media in a nine-a-side Touch Football match against a New Zealand side to raise funds for NZ charity, 'The Rising Foundation'.
The match will be played over two nine-minute halves in front of a crowd of more than 46,000 people.
Home appliance brand, Beko, will sponsor the media match with the aim of trying to raise $20,000 for, The Rising Foundation - a charity established by a group of former South Auckland children with an aim to assisting at-risk-youth to develop their potential.
Beko will donate $2000 to the Rising Foundation for each try scored in the game.
Buderus can't wait to play in this weekend's match - his first charity contest since retiring at the end of last season.
"I’m really excited about being a part of it," Buderus says.
"It’s also a good fundraising charity day as well.
"I think every try that’s scored $2000 goes to a charity, so it’s awesome.
"I’m sure it will stay touch, but with some old footy players there it might get a little bit more physical.
"I know New Zealand has got Stacey Jones playing and Monty Betham and those guys, so it will be a heap of fun.
"It will also be great playing with Joey again.”
The nine-a-side Touch Football charity game will be played before Sunday's NRL Auckland Nines final at Eden Park, which is set to kick-off at 7.30pm (AEST).
Australian team (not in playing numbers)
1. Andrew Johns, Captain, (Rugby League Week ‘Immortal’)
2. Gorden Tallis (Qld Origin, Australia)
3. Brett Finch (NSW Origin)
4. Danny Buderus (NSW Origin, Australia)
5. Steve Turner (ex Melbourne/Bulldogs premiership winning winger)
6. Brent Read (reporter, The Australian)
7. Michael Chammas (reporter, Sydney Morning Herald)
8. Josh Massoud (reporter, The Daily Telegraph)
9. David Riccio (reporter, The Daily Telegraph)
10. Pat Molihan (reporter, Channel 7)
11. Shannon Byrne (reporter, ABC Radio)
12. Steve Hart (reporter, Fox Sports News)
13. Tony Adams (reporter, RLW’s ‘The Mole’)
NZ Team List (not in playing numbers)
1. Stacey Jones, Captain, (Sky Sport, ex NZ Test player)
2. Sam Ackerman (reporter, TV 3 News)
3. Richie Barnett (reporter, NZ Herald/SKY TV, ex NZ Test player)
4. Jenny May Coffin (reporter, TV 1 News, ex Silver Fern netball player)
5. Monty Betham (SKY Sport, ex NZ Test player)
6. Wairangi Koopu (Sky Sport/Maori TV, ex NZ Test player)
7. Karl Te Nana (reporter, SKY TV/ Maori TV, ex NZ Sevens player)
8. Sam Ackerman (reporter, TV 3 News)
9. Nickson Clark (Mai FM breakfast host)
10. Sam Wallace (TV 1 Breakfast)
11. James McConie (Prime TV)
12. Bryce Casey (The Rock Breakfast host)
13. Dominic Harvey (The Edge Breakfast host)
Referee: Stephen Killgallon (Fairfax Media, ex Test international referee)
Photo courtesy of photosport.co.nz.
The Newcastle Knights Auckland Nines jersey is available now online, CLICK HERE to purchase.