Four All Blacks to make flying Matamata visit
The All Blacks and the Waikato Rugby Union have revealed that four members of the Air New Zealand European Tour squad will visit fans in Matamata on Friday October 25.
As part of their annual All Blacks to the Nation visits to different parts of New Zealand, four All Blacks will call into Matamata for a flying visit to say thanks to fans for all their support this year ahead of the northern hemisphere tour.
The All Blacks squad for the Air New Zealand European Tour was announced this week.
Six other places are also fortunate to get an All Blacks visit. They are Pukekohe, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Nelson, Timaru and Queenstown.
The provincial visits have been a popular day with fans and the players since the first flying visits in 2011 before the Rugby World Cup.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said the players enjoyed the opportunity to visit cities and towns that don’t normally get to see the All Blacks up close.
The flying visits were a way to acknowledge support from fans young and old from all over New Zealand.
‘‘We know that we have huge support from all parts of the country and our fans are a big part of what makes this team special,’’ McCaw said.
‘‘The visits have become popular with the guys as really is a day for us to thank our supporters.’’
He said the flying visits were the ideal way to kick start their European tour.
Waikato Rugby Union chief executive Graham Bowen said they had been working hard on making the All Blacks visit to the Waikato a memorable one for fans and the players.
‘‘We only have the boys on the ground for a few hours but we’re determined to get them meeting as many people in the Matamata region as possible, particularly the young rugby players in the area.’’
While in town the players will take a tour of Hobbiton where they will interact with tourists and be part of the volunteer recognition awards.
They will then visit Matamata College and have a Q&A session with a senior leadership group and be involved in a skills and drills session with rugby-playing students at the college.
Their time in the town will then conclude with addressing intermediate/ primary school students at the United Matamata Sports Rugby Club at Bedford Park.
The players who will be allocated to each town will be announced later this week.
For more details visit allblacks.com/PublicAppearances.