Iron Maiden have been honoured by the New Zealand national men’s rugby union team, with frontman Bruce Dickinson being gifted an All Blacks jersey during the band’s two stops in New Zealand.
At their show in Christchurch on Friday, Dickinson did a bit of show and tell with the crowd, showing them an ABs replica shirt complete with his name on the back.
“A buddy of mine sent me this shirt from Auckland,” he began. “There’s a bunch of guys who play with a funny shaped ball…And one of the guys… you know they are a bit good, and seeing as though they are world champions, I guess they decided to send us this and said, if you could possibly wear it during the show it would be really cool.”
Dickinson then did as he was told, and put on the shirt, calling it a “fantasy moment”, before comparing rugby and metal (“rugby’s about the game, metal is about the music”) before shouting, in his own way of course, that the two communities are “Blood Brothers!!!!”, which served as a nice segue into the song of the same name.
According to Blabbermouth, Iron Maiden’s manager Rod Smallwood is a keen fan of the 15-man game, having attended both the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup finals – both of which New Zealand won, the latter of which was unfortunately against Australia. This, along with Dickinson professing his love of the game, explains why the band released an All Blacks-inspired tour top featuring the band’s mascot Eddie playing the game.
Iron Maiden played their second, and final, show in New Zealand in Auckland’s Vector Arena on Sunday night. On that occasion, Dickinson again donned the shirt during the performance of Number of the Beast. Dickinson also said some (unnamed) All Blacks and their assistant coach Wayne Smith, “a big Maiden fan” apparently, were invited backstage.
The Book of Souls tour is set to hit Australia soon with a five date whirlwind tour, starting in Brisbane on Wednesday 4 May. It’ll be interesting to see what Aussie jerseys, if any, will be given to Dickinson. As is usually the case with these things, the AFL awkwardly foists guernseys on visiting big international starsin a desperate bid for attention.
WATCH: Bruce Dickinson premiere his All Blacks jersey
Iron Maiden Australian Tour Dates
Wednesday, 4th May 2016
Brisbane Entertainment Center, Brisbane
Friday, 6th May 2016
Sydney Allphones Arena, Sydney
Monday, 9th May 2016
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Thursday, 12th May 2016
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Saturday, 14th May 2016
Perth Arena, Perth