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Greytown to welcome the All Blacks

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Excitement building around the country as All Blacks to the Nation winners announced

  • All Blacks to visit 10 communities throughout New Zealand on 3 September
  • Close to 200 entries to host the All Blacks received following nationwide competition  
  • Visits to provide the team a special opportunity to thank their team-mates

Excitement is growing throughout New Zealand as winners of All Blacks to the Nation, the nationwide competition which called on the country’s most passionate supporters to host the team, prepare for the arrival of the 2015 Rugby World Cup All Blacks.

All Blacks fans responded in force to the call, with a number of individuals, groups, schools and communities sending in outstanding entries in a bid to win a visit from their All Blacks team-mates.

With this year’s event taking place days before the team flies to the Rugby World Cup, it looks set to be as popular as ever.

The All Blacks have flown around the country for the hugely-popular All Blacks to the Nation event every year since 2011, thanks to the support of longstanding sponsor of the team, Air New Zealand.

This year players will travel from Wellington to Long Bay & Papakura (Auckland),  New Plymouth, Greytown, Whakatane (Tauranga), Gisborne, Westport (Hokitika), Stoke (Nelson), Dunedin and Mataura (Invercargill).

The winners include a nine-year-old fan from New Plymouth, a retirement home in Dunedin, six schools and a number of enthusiastic communities. They will all be visited by groups of All Blacks on Thursday 3 September.

The competition attracted such a high quality of entries that the team will visit 10 locations from across the country – two more than initially planned.

“The team is always excited about All Blacks to the Nation because the players get to go to some places they have never been before and meet fans from a diverse range of communities,” All Blacks Manager Darren Shand said.

“It’s one of the highlights of the All Blacks calendar for fans and is a chance for players to thank them for all their passionate support before we head off to the Rugby World Cup.”

Air New Zealand Manager Sponsorship and Communities Meghan Blair said Air New Zealand was proud to support All Blacks to the Nation.

“We are Crazy about Rugby, so it’s only fitting that as New Zealand’s national carrier and longstanding sponsor of the All Blacks, we help take the All Blacks to communities across the country where passionate supporters are ready to host them and be part of the team for the day.”

New Zealand Rugby staff and All Blacks management, together with several All Blacks players, faced a tough challenge selecting the winning ten entries.

In the end, it was those such as Long Bay Primary’s customised cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, a poem written and performed by residents of Radius Fulton Care talking to the history of the team, the passion displayed by nine-year-old Jake McLean – both in his room and by his knowledge of the game, and seeing entire communities such as Greytown and Whakatāne banding together to make their plea, that won the judges over.

There will be opportunities throughout the day at a number of Air New Zealand ports around the country for the fans to interact with their All Blacks team-mates while they make their way to the winners’ locations.

“Team Greytown” Community   Click here

To view all the entries, visit www.allblacks.com/ABs2N

 

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