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Wild weather, warm fans greet All Blacks

Sep 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Picture story, Sport

THE All Blacks arrived at Wellington airport to a warm welcome on a wet Sunday afternoon. Newswire’s GARETH WALLACE was there:

 You could hear the anticipation as fans waited eagerly for their heroes to arrive at Wellington Airport yesterday.

Kids asking how much longer after arriving early to ensure a front row spot, getting reassurances from parents, “Well, it’s twenty past three, so they’ll be here soon.”

An awkward scene awaited normal passengers walking down from gates, with many wondering why such a crowd had turned out just to see them.

Getting cheers from the other side of the rope barrier made for either a joke or practice didn’t help the confusion.

None of them matched the noise made when the team finally emerged from gate 10 shortly after half past, escorted by World Cup staff and airport security.

Fans wasted no time in asking for autographs, with as many as possible happily granted in the limited time allowed.

Younger fans shared walkway space with elderly women, although whether the latter were getting signatures for their grandchildren or themselves is an unsolved mystery.

An impressive kapa haka performance awaited the ABs in the terminal proper, which was well enjoyed, judging by Richie McCaw absent-mindedly signing autographs while watching.

Even Graham “Ted” Henry was asked to sign a few balls and papers, scrawling his name down with his teams’.

Airport security did their best to keep it all under control, however one guard did agree that “it’s like herding cats.”

One All Black was overheard to have left his bag on the plane, so obviously not everything went according to plan.

Typical wet Wellington weather did not dampen enthusiasm, with many gathering outside to wave as the official bus pulled away.

TEMPORARY TATTO: Not everyone had a notebook or ball to sign.

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