German supermodel Heidi Klum is expected to make a special appearance to support the Auckland Warriors at the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines tournament on January 31.

The Project Runway presenter is coming to Auckland in the New Year to launch her new Bendon Intimates range. She will be a special guest of Warriors co-owner Eric Watson, whose company Cullen Investments is the main shareholder of Bendon.

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But she won't be staying at Watson's palatial Karaka estate, his rep said. Klum will be holed up in a penthouse suite in the inner-city. Watson and his family, including his former model wife and four sons, are planning a Kiwi summer based at the South Auckland property.


Klum has signed a new deal with Bendon, replacing Elle Macpherson after 25 years. The collection will now be called Heidi Klum Intimates. She will launch the range here and across the Tasman.

Quite what she'll make of our league boys in their short shorts and muscle-baring jerseys, is unclear.

Next year, in a first for the tournament, women will take to the field. There will be three test matches between the New Zealand and Australian women's nines teams, which will be played in between the main games.

A host of big-name footy stars are expected to play in the tournament, although organisers are reluctant to divulge names.

The two-day format, featuring 16 NRL clubs, will likely be played to a capacity crowd of 90,000. Two-thirds of the tickets have been pre-sold. Telstra Corporation, Australia's largest telco and media company, is one of many big Aussie firms to have snapped up pricey corporate boxes. League legends Wendell Sailor, Gorden Tallis, Andrew Johns and Beau Ryan are flying in too.

Johnathan Thurston from North Queensland Cowboys, who won the inaugural event last year, will be in Auckland on Friday to promote the tournament, which will be held on January 31 and February 1. A prize pool of more than $2.6 million will be up for grabs.

The sons of guns

• His dad was lambasted for an inappropriate joke about an escaped killer yesterday, but First Son Max Key proved a good sense of humour can work with a onesie, a preppy haircut and gangsta gestures in the mean streets of Parnell.

• Reuben Holmes turned 23 on Friday and looks like a chip off the old block. His dear departed dad would be proud. Big sis Millie shared this snap with her online followers - Reubs and his mum, Hine, taking time out for a celebratory hug.


Shorty's ambo officer becomes a real-life medical ambassador

Cameron Jones, 24, who plays ambo officer Dallas Adams on Shortland Street, is a new ambassador for Diabetes New Zealand, which launched Diabetes Awareness Week yesterday.

He has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 16, and tells The Diary he "lives with the condition the best way I know how - to the fullest".

"Originally, I thought it was going to be something that would hold me back and impact on my life in huge ways, but I've learned that with careful management and by leading a healthy lifestyle, diabetes does not have to control your life."

Jones, a keen surfer, says living with diabetes isn't a life sentence. His Type 1 is not preventable, but Type 2 diabetes (the most common) can be delayed or avoided.

"If I can make others aware that all types of people from all walks of life go through this - and that life can still be whatever you want it to be - then I will feel like I am doing a little bit to change the perception of the condition," Jones said.