Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes hit Whanganui on Thursday ... and the crowd went wild.

The Hurricanes take on the Crusaders at Waverley's Dallison Park on Friday evening in the franchise's first official match in the Wanganui Rugby Union's jurisdiction.

And on Thursday they got down to business for their final pre-season match with a training session at Cooks Gardens.

That was the cue for the local fans to get up close and personal with their heroes, including World Cup winners Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, TJ Perenara and Nehe Milner-Skudder.

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At 5pm they will kick-off against a Crusaders team with the likes of Sam Whitelock, Israel Dagg and Owen Franks in front of a sellout 4500 crowd at the Border Rugby Club.

The gates will open at 3.30pm for what promises to be a memorable rugby feast for the region.