All Black stars prove big hit with school kids (+ video)

By Teuila Fuatai

Hundreds of school pupils and aspiring rugby players finished yesterday on a high when All Blacks and dynamic Chiefs duo Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui visited Manurewa High School.

The two rugby players were at the school to promote this year's club rugby season and encourage young players to register with local clubs.

Players and rugby enthusiasts of all ages, including some as young as three years, packed the school gym to hear their World Cup heroes speak.

Kahui and Williams shared their early memories of the game, Kahui revealing that he and Williams first met as opponents on the field when they were 12 years old.

Students were particularly impressed when the two players quipped about the type of hair products they use, Williams admitting he borrowed Kahui's "VO5 hair gel this morning."

One young player, five-year-old Amelia Te Tamaki of Ardmore Marist Rugby Club, was presented with a Rugby World Cup Champions Medal by Williams to wear for the afternoon.

Her mother, Jenn Jury, was delighted with her daughter's moment in the limelight, saying "it was very exciting, especially for me!"

The young fans were also treated to two games of ripper rugby with Williams taking on players from Manurewa High School's first XV.

Seventeen-year-old vice-captain Raymond Fuilala thoroughly enjoyed his time playing alongside the Chiefs midfielder, joking that "Sonny wanted me on his team".

Counties Manukau RU development officer Jeremy Wara said he hoped the visit would increase the registrations for the region's clubs. "We are hoping for at least 7500 players this year, which means around 4500 juniors."

Ask Kamo: Former All Blacks Ian Jones answers your questions on the state of rugby in Friday's SuperSport.

- NZ Herald

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