Dr Ashley Bloomfield to play flanker in annual Parliamentary rugby match

He's the man the Government tasked with eliminating COVID-19 and then keeping it out of New Zealand - but Dr Ashley Bloomfield faces perhaps his most demanding task of the year this weekend.

The Director-General of Health will don a mouthguard and stubbies as he takes to the field at Wainuiomata Rugby Club for the 25th annual Parliamentary rugby game this Saturday.

The clash will see MPs turn out for a New Zealand Parliamentary Team bolstered by Piri Weepu, against an invitational side that features former All Blacks Norm Hewitt and Rodney So'oialo, Wellington-based councillors and Dr Bloomfield.

But far from playing a bit-part role as a substitute, Dr Bloomfield has been named at flanker in the starting line-up, meaning he'll help pack his team's scrum.

He told reporters on Tuesday that he reckons he's been stitched up by the match's organiser.

"I think I've been set up by [rugby commentator] Ken Laban, because I said I'd have a short run on the wing and I've been listed at number seven," he said.

"I'm greatly privileged to be in a forward pack alongside Rodney So'oialo, Jason Eaton and Norm Hewitt, but I'm not sure how long I'll last on the field."

Dr Bloomfield said he hadn't yet come up with a catchy nickname for the game, but revealed his communications team were brainstorming some ideas and he'd have one by Thursday, "closer to matchday".

Asked whether he was worried about someone putting in a big tackle on the Director-General, Health Minister Chris Hipkins backed his colleague's rugby skills.

"I think he'll be able to look after himself," he said with a broad smile.

Alongside Dr Bloomfield, other well-known public servants to feature in the game include National MPs Mark Mitchell and Michael Woodhouse, Labour MP Damien O'Connor, while Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard will be there in a managerial capacity.

The game will kick-off at 2:30pm on Saturday.