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All Blacks versus the kids at city park

Jul 14th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Sport

DREAMS became a reality as aspiring Wellington junior rugby players got the chance to train with the All Black superstars at Waitangi Park this week.

The All Blacks like to get amongst the fans and the support they have received this year would rank alongside some the best in his career, said All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.

“The kids love it,” he told NewsWire. “It’s the school holidays and [there are] plenty of parents around.

“I think the support this year has been the best I’ve experienced over the eight or nine years I have been involved, so it’s an easy thing to do for us.”

McCaw 2The under-10 juniors from rugby clubs across the region were star-struck, as their heroes climbed off the team bus at the park on Wellington’s waterfront.

The 10 or so All Blacks got involved (left) in a series of “ripper rugby” games being played between the clubs, acting as coaches joining in on the fun.

Ripper rugby is like touch rugby, but players have bands around their waists with Velcro tags that are ripped off by opposing players.

The All Blacks still bear the physical effects of their win over the Springboks on Saturday.  Some hobbled and others had bruises, while some just signed autographs or posed for pictures with the youngsters.

Richie McCaw said the electric atmosphere and the huge support they can generate when they play in Wellington make beating them a difficult task for any opposing team when Westpac Stadium is at full capacity.

“I enjoy playing here,” he said. “We get a full stadium [and] it’s always a pretty good atmosphere. So hopefully it will be sold out and it’ll be good.”

He expects another major clash to be on the cards because the Springboks are more dangerous to play when they have suffered a defeat.

“The first thing is to get your feet back on the ground. You had to enjoy the other night, but you have to realise you’re going to be in for a bigger test, because they’re hurting. They’re going to come back and bite us.”


WALKING TALL: Halfback Jimmie Cowan with some aspiring fans from Rimutaka.

Marist Under 10's

UP-AND-COMING: The Wellington Marist Under 10 team.

Rimitaka Under 10's

KEEN AUDIENCE: The Rimutaka Under 10s watch their AB heroes.

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is a journalist in the making, with the aim to become a sports journalist. He enjoys all sports especially rugby league.
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