The Mate Ma’a Tonga team are inviting their fans to attend the Auckland fan day (full details below) on Monday 17 June at Mt Smart Stadium for a chance to meet the team ahead of the Oceania Cup Test against the Kiwis on 22 June.
With the non-Auckland based members of the Mate Ma’a Tonga squad travelling to the city on different flights, the Monday is the first time the full squad will have assembled and gives the team the perfect chance to meet their fans.
The event, starting at 3.30pm, will feature a DJ, junior performances and signing and selfie stations.
To avoid disappointment, fans are advised not to go to Auckland Airport over the weekend as even the small groups of the team arriving in New Zealand will not come through arrivals at the airport.
Tonga coach Kristian Woolf said: “Our fans have been crucial to our success in recent years, they’ve been with us every step of the way and so we look forward to seeing a sea of red at Mt Smart when we face the Kiwis on 22 June.”
“Before that, the fan day on Monday 17 June will be a great start to Test week for us, giving us the chance to meet all our supporters, who we’ll be playing for when they face the Kiwis on 22 June.”
“So please come along, this will be a great chance to get photos, autographs and meet the squad before our preparations for the Test really ramp up.”
Steve Armitage, General Manager – Destination at Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), says that hosting a fan day at Mt Smart Stadium is a great chance for local and visiting fans to meet the Mate Ma’a Tonga team.
“There is no doubt that Mate Ma’a Tonga has an incredible fan-base here in Auckland, and beyond” says Armitage.
“Establishing an official welcome for the team at a crowd-friendly location provides fans with the perfect opportunity to meet their heroes, and to minimise crowds in and around New Zealand’s busiest airport.”
RLIF Southern Hemisphere General Manager Jeremy Edwards said: “Fans in New Zealand of all teams have played a huge role in revitalising International Rugby League in recent years and we know how passionate they are about their teams.”
“We know that’s particularly true for the Tongan fans and so it was essential there was an opportunity for the team’s fans to meet the players, ahead of their match on June 22.”