Rugby fever is at an all-time high in the city, with the All Blacks due to hit town this weekend following the Crusaders Super Rugby win.
Tickets for the game – which will see the All Blacks take on the Cantabrians and Otago at AMI Stadium in a Game of Three Halves on Friday 10 August – have almost sold out. The game is the only concrete opportunity locals will have to see the All Blacks play in Christchurch for at least the next two years.
Canterbury Rugby Union Acting Chief Executive Tony Smail says the response from the community for the event had been fantastic.
“There’s been a lot of good rugby played in the city in recent weeks and the Game of Three Halves looks set to continue this trend. There are less than 700 tickets available – so people will have to be in quick if they haven’t had a chance to buy theirs as this promises to be a fantastic event for the city and rugby fans in Canterbury.”
The All Blacks, Otago and Cantabrian teams will remain on the pitch after the Game of Three Halves to sign autographs and take photos with supporters.
Canterbury Head Coach Joe Maddock says the event is a great training opportunity for the Cantabrian team ahead of the Mitre 10 Cup.
“We’ll have some of the best club players, who have been turning up week in and week out, marking the world’s best. If a young player gets the opportunity to mark a 50 cap All Black and holds their own, they could take a huge amount of confidence from that. This game could be the launching pad of many successful careers, which is an exciting prospect for us as coaches.”
This is the first time the popular event, which is used to prepare the All Blacks for the Investec Rugby Championship, has come to the Mainland and ticket prices have been kept low for families to take advantage of. Canterbury Rugby Football Union, ChristchurchNZ, V-Base and the Christchurch Stadium Trust worked together to secure it for Christchurch.
"What a great chance for kids to meet their rugby heroes in person and get a pic – and you don’t get an opportunity like that at a test match," - ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination and Attraction Loren Heaphy.
ChristchurchNZ General Manager Destination and Attraction Loren Heaphy says the game’s early start time and the reasonable ticket prices make it a great night out for families.
“All three teams will meet with fans for autographs and photos for 30 minutes after the final whistle behind the West Stand. What a great chance for kids to meet their rugby heroes in person and get a pic – and you don’t get an opportunity like that at a test match.
“The game will not be televised, so to see it – you must be there in person,” Heaphy says.
Tickets for the game are $5 for children and $20 for adults and available at www.ticketdirect.co.nz