Auckland Blues players warmed up with Waiheke fans in an open training session at Onetangi Sports Park on Saturday.
Hundreds of people turned out for the Blues Kids Day Out, with skills and drills for younger players, autograph and selfie sessions, a bouncy castle, face-painting and food trucks
The Blues were there in force, including CEO Andrew Hore who came along with his own young son.
“Waiheke really turned on a warm welcome for the boys right down to the stunning weather,” he said. “I am not sure who was smiling more, our Blues players or their young fans.
“The team went through their paces and then practiced some skills and drills with over 150 of their eager young supporters before signing autographs.”
The open session, the first in a string of community focused events, kicks off 2021 for the Blues.
Waiheke Rugby Club committee member Duana Upchurch said the session gave young players good exposure to the Blues as they prepare to get back into training.
“They were really excited about getting back into rugby, especially considering we missed out on last year’s season,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to 2021, we’re hoping to do more with the Blues, they love Waiheke and they are hoping to do more here.”
Registration for Waiheke Island Rugby Club is now open for 2021. •