All Blacks' tribute to rock legend Bruce Dickinson

Heavy metal band Iron Maiden fly out of New Zealand today with a special parting gift for its rock star frontman - a named All Blacks jersey.

Lead singer Bruce Dickinson, who fronted the band before a packed Vector Arena in Auckland last night, said it was "a bit of a fantasy moment" to have received the jersey, which bore the name B Dickinson.

The band has posted on its official YouTube channel a video of Dickinson speaking about the gesture at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on Friday.

"There's a bunch of guys who play with a funny shaped ball..." he said.

"And one of the guys... you know they are a bit good, and seeing as though they are world champions, I guess they decided to send us this and said, if you could possibly wear it during the show it would be really cool."

In Auckland last night, Dickinson again pulled on the jersey before the band played its encore - which included the band's hit The Number of the Beast - drawing cheers from the crowd.

It came after Iron Maiden had already released its own official All Blacks jerseys, showing the band's mummy-like mascot Eddie the Head storming down a rugby field, ball in hand and wearing the black uniform.

READ MORE: Concert review: Iron Maiden, Vector Arena

Some players had also been invited backstage at last night's show, Dickinson said.

The singer, also well known for piloting large passenger planes - including the band's own Boeing 747 named Ed Force One - described himself as a rugby fan, saying the sport and heavy metal were "a little bit similar".

Bruce it was "a bit of a fantasy moment" to have received the jersey, which bore the name B Dickinson. Photo / Iron Maiden YouTube
Bruce it was "a bit of a fantasy moment" to have received the jersey, which bore the name B Dickinson. Photo / Iron Maiden YouTube

The band also watched the Blues' 36-30 win over the Melbourne Rebels at Eden Park on Saturday night.

He told the Auckland crowd their side was one that always seemed to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory".

Ed Force One is scheduled to depart Auckland International Airport for Brisbane at 2pm.

- NZ Herald

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