All Blacks spread cheer
While the rest of the region crossed their fingers for the Tasman Makos, a group of Nelson pupils and rugby fanatics met with their sporting idols.
All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Wyatt Crockett visited a collection of the keenest rugby fans in Nelson yesterday, for a community event at Broadgreen Intermediate.
Pupils and rugby players came from Broadgreen, Tahunanui School, Enner Glynn School, Takaka Primary School, Nayland Primary School, Stoke School, and Nayland College.
Poor weather in Wellington kept their team-mates Brodie Retallick and Tawera Kerr-Barlow from joining them, but the pair still entertained the pupils, some of whom were keen rugby players themselves.
The players were welcomed with a haka from the school's pupils, before sitting down for a question and answer session with the passionate rugby fans. They then signed autographs for the young fans.
Barrett said it was always great to see the kids come out for such events, and there was a great buzz in the town ahead of the Makos game last night.
The strong interest in rugby was probably partially because of the team's success, he said.
"Rugby is in pretty good hands in Tasman, there's plenty of young promising kids here carrying rugby balls around."
Crockett, a former Nelson College student, said it was great to come back to the region and see the passionate rugby fans. He was disappointed he could not go along to the Makos game as well.
Broadgreen Intermediate student Joey Scott, also a member of the Stoke Rugby Club, said he looked up to Barrett as a player, and just seeing them in the flesh was amazing.
Fellow Broadgreen student Baydn Walker, 12, said meeting the two players felt cool, as he watched the All Blacks on television all the time.
They were among his favourite All Blacks, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News