This weekend's test match between the All Blacks and Ireland will be of further interest to Feilding sports fans.
Feilding player Aaron Smith is playing his first game for the All Blacks as halfback.
All Black coach Steve Hanson said he values Smith's strong passing game and compared him to former All Black Graeme Bachop, who was famed for his wrist action when whipping away his trademark bullets.
"He [Smith] brings something we haven't had in a wee while," Hansen said.
The Feilding Yellows will also be celebrating Smith's presence on the field. He is their first All Black since
Kevin "Hayburner" Eveleigh donned the Black jersey in 1974.
The 23-year-old former apprentice hairdresser from Feilding has bounded up the rugby ladder in double-quick time after he was plucked out of Manawatu last year by Jamie Joseph to play for the Highlanders.
Smith did his time last year learning his craft behind All Black Jimmy Cowan but this year is the first-choice halfback at the southern franchise.
His slick passing and running abilities have been a hit with the Highlanders coaching staff.
"I was lucky growing up. My parents helped me with cricket and rugby, and dad [Wayne] would give me throw-downs for cricket and catch passes for me and kick balls back."
Plus, dad was smart enough to offer advice when it came to a youngster who was always a bit under-sized for such a physical game.
"My dad just told me, when I was a bit younger, you've got to have a good pass off both hands if you want to be a halfback."
His mother, Bridget Smith, has revealed how he picked up his nickname, Nugget. It was when he started playing for the Feilding Yellows and was wearing the yellow-and-black jersey.
"He was a gold nugget inside that, like a Crunchie bar," she said, laughing.
Smith is only the third All Black from Feilding Yellows, the eighth from Feilding High School and the 38th from Manawatu.
Even when he was playing junior rugby, his mother remembered then Manawatu All Black Christian Cullen presenting Smith with his first trophy. That inspired him.
"He wanted it badly; he wanted to be a Christian Cullen," she said.
A wheelie bin would be planted in the driveway and they'd ask Aaron to fire passes at the middle of the sticker on the bin.
Whe she heard the news, she said she did a jig around the backyard.
"Then I sat down and had a bit of a cry. We are lucky to see him living his dream. It's going to be magic."
A proud Wayne, a long-time social rugby player, sat down and had a few beers with his mates in Feilding to organise their big trips to the tests.
"How good it is for Feilding and Manawatu that you can come from Manawatu and still play for the All Blacks," he said.
He recalled how he sat up and took notice when Aaron was at intermediate school and was throwing cut-out passes.
"He was a down-to-earth, full-on sort of kid who wanted to go all the time, was always competitive and hated losing. He was up in the morning and never sat still for 30 minutes." He was a natural sportsman and attained a brown belt in karate when young.
There's also a certain symbolism to his arrival in the All Blacks where he rejoins former Feilding High School first XV team-mate Sam Whitelock.
"It's pretty cool to be able to play with him now at this level," said Aaron.
- © Fairfax NZ News