The All Blacks are dropping into the Top of the South tomorrow as part of their annual All Blacks to the nation campaign ahead of their first ever test match in Nelson next week.
The All Blacks have been split up into mini-teams and will be taking part in community events in four different areas of Nelson and Tasman - Brightwater, Richmond, Riwaka and Stoke this Sunday. They will also be heading to Blenheim, Invercargill, Drury and New Plymouth.
The regional events will see players take part in various activities with fans including question and answer sessions, Rippa Rugby and skills and drills sessions.
All Blacks Captain Kieran Read said the players were looking forward to the visits.
"It’s always great to get out into the communities, especially to places that we haven’t been before, and meet the locals.
"It never fails to amaze us how awesome our fans are wherever we go, so we’re looking forward to getting around the country before we assemble in Nelson to prepare to play Argentina.”
The All Blacks have been visiting different regions during the hugely popular All Blacks to the Nation event every year since 2011, with the support of longstanding sponsor Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand is proud to fly the All Blacks to different parts of the country where they might not usually be seen and creating memorable moments for lots of All Black fans.
Fewer than 1000 tickets remain for next weekend’s Investec Rugby Championship match against Argentina. Children’s tickets for those 15 and under are available for $60. Purchase tickets from allblacks.com.
The event schedules are as follows:
Richmond 1.20pm – 2.50pm: Jackson Hemopo, Damian McKenzie and Kieran Read will visit the Waimea Old Boys Rugby Club for skills and drills followed by a group photo. Public are welcome to attend as spectators.
Riwaka 12pm – 1.10pm: Sam Cane, Nathan Harris, Ngani Laumape and Anton Lienert-Brown will visit the Riwaka Rugby Club and surrounding clubs by invitation for Rippa Rugby, skills and drills and group photos. Public are welcome to attend as spectators.
Stoke 3pm - 4.45pm: Liam Coltman, Brodie Retallick and Aaron Smith will visit Stoke Rugby Club for Rippa Rugby followed by Q&A. Public are welcome to attend as spectators.
Brightwater - Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith, Liam Squire will visit the Wanderers Rugby Club for skills and drills followed by a BBQ cooked by the All Blacks. This is a private event and is for invited guests only.
Blenheim – 9.45am – 11.15am: Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Tim Perry, Codie Taylor and Sam Whitelock will visit Renwick Rugby Club for Q&A followed by some Rippa Rugby with club players. Public are welcome to attend as spectators.