All Blacks Team Naming

1 Aug

You could sense the excitement in the air at Te Awamutu Sports on Sunday night as coach Ian Foster brought the All Blacks’ first squad naming of the year to his former rugby club. Foster said that they want the All Blacks to have a link with grassroots rugby and they realise how important club rugby is. “Often when we name the All Blacks it’s been done in studios or in bigger cities.

I really felt that it’s important for this All Black team to connect to the communities throughout the wider area of New Zealand,” he said. “I thought the club was phenomenal with how they managed the evening and the support we had, it’s a credit to the club, they had a lot of sponsors come along and a lot of supporters. “That’s the very reason why we wanted to do a naming out in the provinces, it was a chance to link in with the support that there is, and sometimes perhaps that support doesn’t get heard all the time, but it is very much there for this All Black team. I felt it needed to be repaid.”

The clubrooms were packed with locals, players and club sponsors grasping the opportunity to see the bigwigs of New Zealand rugby — Foster, Jason Ryan, Joe Schmidt and Sam Cane — up close. Local MC and The Crowd Goes Wild reporter James McOnie did his best to control the excitement of the crowd and keep them quiet for the cameras. “It was just fantastic for the club and town, to have something like that brought into your town live on TV — it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we’ll have,” said Te Awamutu Sports president Mark McNaughten.

“With Fozzie, having the thoughts to bring it back to his home club where he’s played so much rugby and supported over the years, it was awesome. “Ian’s always been a great supporter of the club, even while he’s been under All Black duties and coaching. He’s always called me, he’s been there and watched games, he’s come to training and he spoke at our last sponsors’ night.”

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