Video: Hurricanes wow local fans with visit to Hawke's Bay
The Hurricanes Super Rugby Pacifica team wowed fans, young and old, at a public training session at Park Island today during a pre-season visit to Hawke’s Bay.
Hundreds of local fans flocked to the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union’s Community Training Centre’s MacRae Field at the eastern end of Park Island today to see the Wellington-based team training ahead of Super Rugby Pacifica 2024.
The Hurricanes squad contains a number of local Hawke’s Bay players. Hawke’s Bay is one of the provincial catchment areas for the Hurricanes. A visiting Chilian boys’ rugby team, which is being billeted in Hawke’s Bay, also attended the session.
Hurricane’s head coach Clark Laidlaw told Hawke’s Bay App today that the training session formed part of the second block of pre-season training for his team.
“And then really, next week's the start of the last three weeks of pre-season where we finish, I guess with some live rugby against the Highlanders and Moana Pacifica. Today's great to see some people down watching the training.”
Laidlaw said that since his team would not be playing any matches at McLean Park this season, they felt it was important to come here during pre-season training.
“We're not able to bring a game up here this year, so we felt it's important as we connect, as a group and understand who we're representing. Coming to Hawke's Bay was a big part of that.”
He said the team had spent some time in the community, helping a marae doing clean-up work after Cyclone Gabrielle.
“It's a day working and helping, it's not a lot, but it certainly feels like it's brought the group together and it's been part of a full week where connection's been the theme.”
“Yeah, it's been great. Yesterday, the day was a cool day. We went for dinner last night and mixed and mingled.”
Hurricanes loose forward and former Hastings Boy’s High School first XV player, Devan Flanders, said it was important for the team to come back and “show some love” to Hawke’s Bay.
“Now we've come to MacRae Field to just show our love and support for Hawke's Bay and get around the community and just help out where we can.”
“They've been through a bit of a tough time last year. And Hawke's Bay is part of the Hurricanes region, so there's a few of us boys in the team now and it's just, we're just showing our love for Hawke's Bay.”
Flanders thanks the fans for their support.
“We really appreciate the support and yeah, can't wait to get into the season.”