Dean Richards leads Ratana Tauhou XV

Dean Richards will take charge of the Ratana Tauhou XV tonight as they go head-to-head with Sussex Blue Light Barbarians at St Francis RFC in Crawley (kick-off 7.30pm). 

Entry to the match is free, with spectators having the opportunity to donate to the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation on the night. 

Matt, a former rugby coach and dedicated mentor to many young people, was tragically killed whilst on duty in his role as a Met Police custody sergeant on Friday 25 September 2020.   

Serving with New Zealand Police, Matt joined the British High Commission Wing in 2003 – working in the Auckland City and Counties Manukau districts, before returning to the UK in 2008. 

Aside from his distinguished police service, Matt also worked tirelessly as a rugby coach and dedicated mentor to many young people. He spoke passionately to the teams he led on the importance of ‘Whānau’, the sacred Māori concept of family and community. 

“I have been deeply moved by the work that has been undertaken within the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation, and I am proud to support the organisation,” said Richards. 

“I’m very much looking forward to the event.”   

Richards was a police officer himself before moving into full-time rugby back in the 1990s. He also joined the resilience unit of the Northumbria Police during the 2020 lockdown to assist in the preparation of hundreds of pieces of personal protective equipment for use by front-line officers

The Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation works to build a legacy worthy of the inspirational leader, teacher and friend that Matt was. 

Building on their five pillars – wellbeing and inclusivity, respect for people and culture, a team sport to be enjoyed, discipline and fairness and sporting values, the Matt Ratana Rugby Foundation creates opportunities, provides guidance and inspires change for young people through rugby.  

The Players Platform sends its best wishes to all involved tomorrow evening.