allblacks.com 13.Feb.2011Getty Images
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The NZRU is taking the trophies out of the trophy cabinet and taking them on a nationwide tour. The Webb Ellis Cup will also be at selected events (see dates marked with an asterisk below).
Unfortunately, due to prior bookings we cannot secure this for the entire tour but we will get the Webb Ellis Cup to all Provincial Unions over the next couple of months.
So grab your camera and get along to see the Bledisloe Cup, Investec Tri Nations Trophy, Hillary Shield, IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup and the IRB Junior World Championship Trophy up close.
Kids of all ages can meet Rugger and the Ruggerbees (William, Webb and Alice), jump on the Ruggerland bouncy castle and try a variety of rugby skills activities…can you kick a rugby ball into a barrel like Cory Jane or pass like Piri Weepu?
Check the list of dates and venues below and we’ll see you there!
Please note - all weekend events will be 10am - 4pm while week day events are from 4pm - 7pm unless stated otherwise below.
Change of finish time for weekday events: The finish time for weekday events will now be 7pm. The reason for this is to allow staff and volunteers time to pack up in daylight. It has been dark at 8pm when finishing the last few events. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Date Provincial Union
Sat 12 Feb - Tasman (Trafalgar Park, Nelson)*
Sun 13 Feb - Tasman (Lansdowne Park, Blenheim)*
Mon 14 Feb - Buller (Victoria Square, Westport)*
Tue 15 Feb - West Coast (Cass Square, Hokitika)*
Wed 16 Feb - Mid Canterbury (Ashburton Domain, Ashburton)*
Thu 17 Feb - South Canterbury (Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru)*
Sat 19 Feb - Canterbury (Rugby Park, Christchurch)*
Sun 20 Feb - Otago (Kensington Oval, Dunedin)*
Mon 21 Feb - North Otago (Whitestone Contracting Centenial Park, Oamaru)*
Tue 22 Feb - Central Otago (Wakatipu RFC, Queenstown Recreation Ground, Queenstown)*
Wed 23 Feb - Southland (Rugby Park, Invercargill)
Sun 27 Feb - Wellington (Hurricanes Training Base, Te Whaea Park, Newtown, Wellington 10am - 2pm)
Mon 28 Feb - Wanganui (Cooks Gardens, Wanganui)*
Tue 1 March - Horowhenua Kapiti (Levin Domain, Levin)*
Wed 2 March - Wairarapa Bush (Trust House Memorial Park, Masterton)
Thu 3 March - Manawatu (Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North)
Sat 5 March - Auckland (Eden Park, Auckland 10am - 2pm)
Sun 6 March - North Harbour (North Harbour Stadium, Albany)
Mon 7 March - Northland (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)*
Tue 8 March - Northland (Kerikeri Rugby Club, Kerikeri)*
Wed 9 March - Counties Manukau (Bayer Growers Stadium, Pukekohe)*
Thu 10 March - Thames Valley (The Paeroa Domain, Paeroa)*
Fri 11 March - King Country (Rugby Park, Te Kuiti)
Sat 12 March - Waikato (Willoughby Park, Hamilton)
Sun 13 March - Bay of Plenty (10am-4pm Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua )
Mon 14 March - Bay of Plenty (4pm - 8pm Bay Park Stadium, Tauranga)
Tue 15 March - East Coast (159 Waiomatatini Road Ruatoria (Centre of main street of Ruatoria. Entranceway next to Radio Ngati Porou)
Wed 16 March - Poverty Bay (Gisborne Boys High School Rectory fields, Stanley Rd, Gisborne)
Thu 17 March - Hawke's Bay (Park Island, Tremain field , Napier)
Fri 18 March - King Country (The Tongariro Domain, Taupo)
Sun 20 March - Taranaki (Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth 10am - 2pm)
TROPHY TOUR UPDATES - follow the reports below...
Provincial Union Support Manager
Check out all the photos at www.facebook.com/allblacks
We had our final day in New Plymouth yesterday on a stunning Taranaki day…we could even see the mountain! Ferdinand the Bull and the Ruggerbees were kept busy all day getting photos and signing autographs. We had a great bunch of Taranaki staff helping us and Wendy took heaps of photos that you can see on their Facebook site - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Taranaki-Rugby/262866414728. The Taranaki blow-up head gear was a huge hit with the kids and one current Taranaki player.
On the drive home last night we stopped in Levin and we passed Perry. This guy is running 1053km from Auckland to Christchurch to raise money for the NZ Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. He was enjoying a cold beer at the Levin railway station so we pulled over to get the trophies out for him and give him a few cokes, sprites and beers we had left over from the trip. Perry is running 70-80kms a day which is just mind-boggling. Check out his website at www.perrysrunforchristchurch.co.nz.
We’ve had a great time around New Zealand but it’s great to be home and the trophies are now back in the cabinet. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and Provincial Union staff who have helped us. In summary, the 12 NZRU staff drove 9312kms, visited 26 Provincial Unions, 38 towns and seven schools. Would we do it again? Most definitely!
Napier and Taupo
On Thursday night we were in Napier at Island Park. Carl, one of the Magpies fitness trainers had the kids racing through Ruggerland and timing them to look out for future Magpies stars. A big thanks to the volunteers in Napier.
Last night we were at Tongariro Domain, right in the middle of Taupo. We had a great turnout and even had a busload of kids come up from Turangi. Former All Black Frano Botica was there giving tips to the kids on the skills activities and the Ruggerbees were a hit, as usual. The bbq and chop suey went down well and there were plenty of kids signing up on the day to play rugby in 2011. Our two nights in King Country have gone really well and it was topped off with a Chiefs victory last night over the Sharks.
We’re on the road to New Plymouth today and it’s our last day tomorrow. So if you’re in New Plymouth, come down to Yarrow Stadium between 10am and 2pm. See you there!
Bay of Plenty
Our stint in the Bay of Plenty started in Rotorua on Sunday with another stunning day. We had a steady stream of people through the day and a great bunch of volunteers.
After a very hot pull down it was great lying on the grass at the Rotorua International Stadium enjoying a cold drink. Tiki and I had an early start on Monday at More FM Tauranga. We took the trophies in to the studio for local DJ Kirt to see. She was blown away by the size of the Bledisloe and the Hillary Shield.
After a quick interview Tiki and Quentin from Bay of Plenty took off to Whakatane to put the trophies on display at the local museum.
Last night everything was set up at Bay Park Stadium in Mt Maunganui. Steamie, the Bay of Plenty mascot, had some fun with the Ruggerbees, the kids were into the skills activities and Tiki was interviewed by Central TV from Matamata.
Pete and Tiki are currently on their way to Ruatoria where everything will be set up tonight. We’re on the home stretch now…only 6 days to go.
Counties Manukau, Thames Valley, King Country and Waikato
The past 4 days have been busy across Counties Manukau, Thames Valley, King Country and Waikato.
After a busy couple of days up north Wednesday started with a trip to New Lynn School in Auckland. The kids there got to see the trophies and meet Rugger. The kids and teachers all got their photos with the trophies and the excitement levels were high.
Then it was off to Pukekohe where there was an incredible turnout. The highlight was Alice breaking into a Macarena dance that suddenly had dozens of kids join in.
The next stop was the Paeroa Domain where the guys set up as the Thames Valley school athletic champs were on. So there was a great turnout of the kids coming to see the trophies as soon they were open.
Then it was on to Te Kuiti the next day where there was another great turnout.
Yesterday we were in Hamilton on a stunning Waikato day. The poor Ruggerbees were overheating as it obviously doesn’t get that hot in Ruggerland.
So all in all we’ve had a fantastic few days with a great turnout across the upper North Island. It’s another stunning day today in Rotorua so we’re hoping for good numbers here too. Right, better get back to work.
Pete and Skells had another busy day up north yesterday. The first stop was Kaikohe where hundreds of locals turned up to see the trophies. An unexpected highlight was former Black Ferns flanker Cheryl Waka turning up with her jersey and medals to show everyone. She was a real hit and we appreciate her doing this.
Then it was off to Kaitaia Rugby Club where there was another excellent turnout. The boys then stopped off for reputedly the best fish ‘n chips in New Zealand at Maunganui.
The final stop for the day was at Kerikeri where there were hundrds of people including whole rugby teams of kids coming down to see the trophies and test their skills. Thanks to Bruce Roberston and the Northland public for the fantastic support on this leg of the tour.
The tour is on the way to Pukekohe tonight where Bianca and Leanne will team up with the boys.
The North Harbour staff were brilliant yesterday morning but they had to be. Sheree, Pete and I were all a little slow yesterday morning after enjoying a couple of Steinlagers in Auckland on Saturday night.
Auckland City joined us again with their activities and we were lucky that the weather played it’s part for most of the day. Former All Blacks and North Harbour staff Mark Mayerhofler and Jeff Wilson were there throughout the day chasing balls and having fun with kids on the skills activities. Ian Jones also visited to film a piece for the Grassroots Rugby TV show.
We’ve now got ‘Bill’ (Webb Ellis Cup) back on tour with us. Pete and Skells will be on tour in Northland, Counties Manukau and Thames Valley over the next few days so come along if you’re in the area.
We had a rough day with the weather in Auckland yesterday but luckily the guys from Auckland rugby had a great wet-weather venue - the concourse of the new south stand at Eden Park.
Auckland City were there with a range of activities and most clubs were in attendance for the Milo Junior Registration Day.
Our RWC 2011 Rugby Legacy Ambassador Waka Nathan was there for a couple of hours and we also had Black Ferns Anna Richards and Emma Jenson stop by.
There was some intense competition in the skills activities, especially amongst the security guards at the start of the day. Unfortunately Pete’s first day on tour culminated in cleaning up Ruggerland. One kid got so excited we had a small accident.
We’re at the North Harbour Stadium outer oval on Sunday.
We started yesterday with a visit to Mt Biggs School. The kids got up close to the trophies and Rugger dished out high fives and hugs. Many of the kids had dressed up in rugby gear or as their favourite All Black. As per usual with these school visits, the teachers are just as excited as the kids and can't wait to get up close to the trophies.
We had a beautiful night last night in Palmerston North. We were set up early thanks to a fantastic bunch of volunteers. We even had time to give the trophies a good polish.
The Ruggerbees met Turbo Man, the mascot of the Manawatu Turbos and had a great time with him and the local kids. One kid twice nailed the backwards kick into the barrel, the same as Cory Jane on the SKY All Blacks ad. Former Black Fern Dr Farah Palmer brought her son Cory along to see the Women’s RWC she won three times in a row.
...Fantastic day as the Trophy Tour teamed up with the Rugby Discovery Day at the Hurricanes/Lions training base in Newtown. For the full four hours there were lines at almost every activity. The volunteers from Wellington clubs were brilliant - a big thanks to everyone involved. But I think we might have broken some of the volunteers in charge of all the skills activities!
Wellington Rugby had a lot of extra events including their own bouncy castles, a registration tent giving away over 1,200 goody bags to kids and the Norm Hewitt leadership course on the artificial turf at Te Whaea park next door.
The Hurricanes players signed autographs and posed for photos with kids of all ages. Piri Weepu, Hosea Gear and Jason Eaton even did a stint in the Tip Top trailer selling the new Tip Top All Blacks hokey pokey trumpet (very yummy) which is officially launched today.
The Ruggerbees met up with Captain Hurricane and posed for photos with Ma’a Nonu. Rugger was amazed that Ma’a looks very similar to the Hooded Knight off Rugger Tales on Small Blacks TV.
It was also great to see some fundraising activities yesterday for the people of Christchurch.
Buck and Skells come onto trophy tour duty– starting with Wanganui tonight and Levin tomorrow night where the Webb Ellis is back with the tour. So come along if you’re in the area.
Before reading on you must understand that I grew up in Invercargill so there may be a slight element of bias.
We started off this morning with a quick visit to Frankton Primary School with the trophies. They were a huge hit with the kids. Rugger was kept busy all morning with photo calls, high fives and hugs.
Then it was on to Invercargill and a quick stop to my old primary school, Salford, to show them the Bledisloe Cup. All the classes came through to see the cup, meet Rugger and ask me questions about the All Blacks.
After two nights of rain we were incredibly lucky to have a stunning calm evening in Invercargill. The Southland academy players were kept busy helping kids with the skills activities and we had a great group of volunteers from Southland Boys High School looking after the trophies.
The Ruggerbees made a new friend in Stevo the Stag and had a great time in the sun after a couple of wet nights.
We enjoyed a cold Steinlager at the end of the evening to celebrate the end of the South Island leg.
For those in the North Island, we’ll see you soon, starting with Wellington on Sunday.
We had a great start to the day in Central Otago with the trophies being displayed at the Alexandra Museum, Central Stories, in the morning. We had a great response from the local community with several school groups coming through and former Black Fern Fiona King bringing her baby in to see the Women's RWC that Fiona won in 1998 and 2002.
We then drove to Queenstown and for the second night in a row we got hit with rain. We also heard about the Christchurch earthquake when we got there.
People in Queenstown had felt the quake when it hit. There was a good crowd in Queenstown for the first two hours but then it really started pouring. Unfortunately we had to make the call at 6.45pm to pack up as we didn't want to risk the trophies in the conditions.
The volunteers and staff were also eager to contact friends in family in Christchurch. Apologies to anyone who turned up after this time but I'm sure you'll understand. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the earthquake
We had the first rain of the trophy tour last night in North Otago.
Unfortunately that meant we had to take down Ruggerland early. As soon as we had that packed up in the trailer the rain stopped! However, it didn't stop for long.
Little Ella, aged 7, was in brilliant form with the passing drills. She knocked off the middle ball (just like Piri Weepu) 2 times out of 3 straight away. To be honest that's the best we've seen on the whole tour.
We're in Alexandra now and we're displaying the trophies from 10am - 12pm at Central Stories in Pioneer Park.
It was a really challenging day in Dunedin yesterday. The wind keeps following us around New Zealand and unfortunately yesterday had the strongest wind yet.
The Otago staff and volunteers were there early to set up and we thought we were on track. Because the wind was so strong we left the tents and trophies until last. It usually takes 10 minutes to do this but yesterday we took 40 minutes as we had to keep trying to stop the tents from blowing away.
Once set up we had a quiet but steady stream of people throughout the day. It was great to have Black Fern Kelly Brazier and New Zealand U20s reps Liam Coltman and Tom Franklin there to share stories, answer questions and pose for photos with everyone. All in all we had a good day.
The tents are currently being repaired by the good folks at Covermarq in Dunedin. We really appreciate them doing this for us at such short notice.
Right, time to pack up the laptop and get on the road to Oamaru.
We had a great day today in Christchurch and we're now on our way to Dunedin. I'm typing this as Bull drives us into Temuka.
We had a great bunch of volunteers helping us at Rugby Park in Christchurch today from the Marist Albion Rugby Club. There were two undoubted highlights for everyone today. The first was a visit from World Cup winning Black Fern captain Melissa Ruscoe. She was an extremely popular addition to the tour with fans loving the chance to get their photo with a world champion and ask her all manner of questions. The second highlight was an impromptu visit from Sonny Bill Williams. All Blacks fans of all ages rushed for the chance of a photo or autograph. I have never seen the Ruggerbees so excited!
Bull and I are looking forward to a great day in Dunedin tomorrow especially after that great Highlanders win last night…yes, we're both from down south and it will be good to be home over the next few days.
Canterbury (Friday 18 Feb)
Well the guys from Canterbury looked after as well today. They took us to the best bakery in New Zealand followed by the second best bakery in New Zealand, the best borough school in New Zealand and the best little town in New Zealand…who said Cantabs were one-eyed?
We started off at Kaiapoi Borough School with the trophies and kids live on TV One's Breakfast. The highlight of the day had to be Eli kicking a ball off the tee and into the barrel live on national tv. Eat your heart out Cory Jane!
We then had a fantastic time in the sun at Rangiora High School, Darfield High School and the Lincoln Rugby club. It was great to get around the Canterbury sub-unions and display the trophies, even though it was a scheduled rest day.
Tomorrow at Rugby Park in Christchurch should be a great day when we set up the full trophy tour display, Ruggerland and skills activities.
Come down from 10am – 4pm if you’re in the area.
Timaru (Thursday 17 Feb)
Maybe it was an omen Buck wasn’t supposed to swap out today, but incoming team member Michael “Bull” Monaghan’s flight was cancelled, we struck traffic jams on the way to Timaru (unfortunate road accident, not peak hour), and when we got there very late, we struck the strongest winds to date making it a real challenge to try and get our banners up.
Still we got ourselves organised, and the kids turned out. They came, tried the ball - tricks and kids’ activities and they had their photo taken with the trophies.
Buck and Coops have gone home for a well-earned rest (we seem to have drawn the weekend shift ….) We’re up early tomorrow for a special appearance in Kaiapoi with Breakfast TV trying out our ball skills and promoting Canterbury’s turn to host the Trophy Tour at Rugby Park on Saturday.
If you’re in Christchurch, or have rellies there - get down to the roadshow on Saturday.
Ashburton (Wednesday 16 Feb)
Made it over Arthur's Pass. Stopped for brekkie – been a while since I’ve seen anyone tackle a cooked breakfast the way our Coops did this morning.
Stunner of a day in AshVegas. The local PU was in such fine form, their helpers were so fantastic, we set up almost an hour early. Just as well as it was clear people were making their way down to the park half an hour early.
Another fab day with kids and families turning the Trophy Tour into a picnic/day out for the family. Awesome to see all the generations represented.
Webb Ellis arrived late by special delivery (Nick G) who takes over the next few days. Been an amazing week – makes ya real proud to be a New Zealander, and really proud to be able to share these rugby treasures with all New Zealanders, but it's back to the real world for myself and young Nick (Coops) tomorrow.
Been lots of laughs, a few nervous moments, some dodgy driving, but what amazing Kiwi kids we have out there.
Nick G is going to take over the updates for the next few days. I bet his FB photos won’t be as high quality.
Hokitika (Tuesday 15 Feb)
Another stunning day on the West Coast - and another fantastic turn out of kids and parents.
The ball skills activities we borrowed from the All Blacks school of tricks were very popular. The kids loved having a go at doing it like Cory Jane and kicking the balls into the bins. Bit of a mission keeping Coops back so the kids could actually have a go!
We got a bonus visit from NZRU President and West Coast rugby stalwart John Sturgeon (Sturge). Check out the photo of Sturge with Eric Walker, from the Excelsior Club. Eric was an All Black triallist between in the early 1950s and he played against Fitzy’s (former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick) dad, the late Brian Fitzpatrick. We’re making our way towards Canterbury.
Next stop – AshVegas tomorrow.
Westport (Monday 14 Feb)
You won't believe it, but the unthinkable happened on our drive to the West Coast. We had stopped for a break at Murchison - and found we had driven the rear tyre on the trailer to smithereens – it was a miracle we hadn't lost the trailer with our Trophy Tour gear (the trophies ride with us)! You’ve got to see the photo to believe the damage we did to those tyres. I blame Lennox and the distraction of those fish n chips.
Fantastic young fella by the name of Ben from Murchison Mechanical fixed for it for us in no time - amazing this young man was so professional and helpful. We let him have his photo taken with the Webb Ellis. You can check out that photo too – and yes, that's my finger obscuring part of the photo.
We’re all set up now at Victoria Square in Westport, although the wind is blowing up a mini storm so we can't put all our banners up. Kids are already lining up for the Ruggerland castle (they sure do love the bouncy castle and it's not the tiny tots lining up either!) so hopefully Buller clubs will be signing up a few more players this season.
We're over to Hokitika tomorrow, Cass Square – tell any relatives or friends in the area to come down.
Blenhiem (Sunday 13 Feb)
Blenheim folk came out in force today. Beaut day and much like yesterday, plenty of kids mums and dads making the most of the rare chance to get up close with the trophies and have their photos taken. The Ruggerland castle was a huge hit – man, those kids have some energy! Good number of new kids to rugby signed up which is great.
All is going well big drive tomorrow through the Nelson lakes, Buller gorge and into Westport where I'm told by Lennox the best fish and chips in NZ are served. We’ll have to put that to the taste test – will report back.
Nelson (Saturday 12 Feb)
What a day! Scores of local families and rugby fans turned out at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park to visit the first leg of the NZRU’s Trophy Tour today. It’s the first stop of 31 towns, and our first live test of the operation for our team and the local RFU.
Whoever was in charge of weather must have been half on the job – we had a few light drops early in the day, but our biggest challenge was the strong wind. All of a sudden it looked like th outdoor thing might not be such a great idea. Nick had to race around to find extra pegs to secure our gazebos and banners, while Lennox and I held fort. All looked great in the end.
The Tasman guys (actually they were all gals!) looked the part in the Ruggerbees costumes, they helped set up the bouncy castle and ball skills games and just as we thought we had everything ready to go – the park sprinklers went off putting a dampener (Buck humour) on the start of the day for the guys from the six clubs there collecting registrations.
Had a steady stream of people all day. Fantastic day – mums and dads brought their kids down to have their photos taken with the Bled, the Women’s World Cup, Junior World Cup and the Webb Ellis.
Great to see everyone having a good time. Next stop Blenheim.