Hundreds turn out for Dr Ashley Bloomfield's rugby match

Dr Ashley Bloomfield swapped his day job for one on the rugby field on Saturday, taking part in Wellington's 25th annual Parliamentary rugby match.

It was the first time Dr Bloomfield had played a game in 35 years, with hundreds turning out in support.

It doesn't get more Kiwi than this: Game-day kicking off with a friendly hongi involving Dr Bloomfield. 

The parliamentary football game getting underway against the Centurions, who introduced their guest player: Director-General of Health Dr Bloomfield.

"[I am] pretty nervous, actually, about this, but I am looking forward to it. It is just a real privilege to be playing with some of these guys," he said.

There were stern words for anyone thinking they might try to tackle Dr Bloomfield from Trevor Mallard, who swapped his role as Speaker of the House to team manager.

"Anyone who hurts Ashley Bloomfield is in real trouble," he said.

But, there was nothing to worry about. Kick-off began without a hitch. The Director-General of Health even scored the first try.

The annual game is in its 25th year and this year drew a crowd of hundreds 

The teams were made up of familiar faces including politicians and former All Blacks, but many turned out to see the one and only Dr Ashley Bloomfield

"He is a very humble man. He's really looked after us," said one spectator.

"Ashley Bloomfield, he is the man. I love that guy," said another.

"Ashley's the man. He is amazing," said a pair.

"I am going to support Ashley Bloomfield," said one young fan.

The end result is one he can be proud of, helping his team the Centaurians take home the win, beating the parliamentary team 19-10.

"It is just great played in the spirit it is supposed to be played. Good fun," Dr Bloomfield said.

Putting politics aside for the day. Even parliamentary team captain Mark Mitchell was impressed with the game.

"See how popular it was when he scored that try down in the corner."

From the podium to the pitch, wherever Ashley is, he seems to be a crowd favourite.