|All Black Captain, Richie McCaw.|
I had mistakenly thought that this was one of those lunches where the team sits at the front, a little like a wedding party, and we admire from a safe distance. We realised as soon as we entered the ballroom, that it was a small gathering where each table had several All Blacks seated with them. How excited were we? The All Blacks are New Zealand royalty!
Please excuse the embarrassing photos of me - when did I get so old? I would have applied a
Never have I been so lost for words as when I met this man. I was ridiculous and embarrassing, and that is my description not my husband's! I hugged him, kissed him, giggled and said "have fun". They have the biggest event in rugby coming up and I say "have fun". Pathetic, I know...
I was seated next to Cory Jane - what a nice man. I wondered what on earth I was going to talk about, but he was so nice and so down to earth. He talked so kindly and honestly about his wife and kids. Probably wise after he saw me trip over myself with Sony Bill Williams.
And can I say that the lovely Dan Carter was at the next table. I did get my photo taken with him but won't post it as it is amazing how much taller I am than him. Such a fib - I look dreadful and I draw the line at that one. Photo with Dan Carter and I muck it up!
The girls had a blast. After a few shy moments, they took did their mother proud!
|Arabella and Sonny Bill Williams|
Sonny Bill Williams was so lovely with the kids. Lily had drawn a picture of the World Cup and SBW signed it and made such a fuss of her.
Ali Williams - how tall is this man?! I had to grab Lily to get her in shot!
These guys are on the PR bandwagon - they came from training to lunch, and then were off to a ceremony at Aotea Square, and yet they could not have been friendlier and more willing to stand for photos and sign autographs.
|Captain Richie McCaw|
They had spent the previous day at various small towns across NZ promoting the Rugby World Cup. They said the support in these towns is incredible. They were so aware of the fact that these small towns play rugby, support rugby, love rugby, but will most likely not see any of the Cup games live. They seemed to have genuinely enjoyed spending their time 'at the grass roots of the game'.
Most Kiwi boys grow up dreaming of being an All Black and these guys really seemed to understand that on Saturday, and treated every child in that room with kindness.
And a few mums...
All images my own. Some by a very embarrassed husband.