Blues hooker James Parsons has welcomed a gorgeous baby girl into the world.
Parsons and his wife, advertising executive Samantha, tell Spy that their daughter Madeline had FOMO and decided to join them a little earlier than expected last Wednesday, June 24.
"Thankfully we had most things sorted before her arrival. I was full of gratitude and joy, as they were both safe and healthy," says Parsons.
The couple took Madeline home last weekend and say although the hospital staff were so helpful, it is amazing to have her settled into the comforts of home.
James and Samantha met at school and say they have been great mates from the beginning. They have enjoyed many years together with just the two of them and their dog, Teddy, but are very excited to now become a family of three.
They married eight years ago and have been driven to succeed in their chosen careers, before the addition of their first child. Samantha has taken maternity leave from her job in client services at True, a creative agency in Grey Lynn.
Parsons, 33, has also been an All Black and is in an elite club at the Blues. In 2016 he was awarded Blues Player of the Year and last year became a centurion at the club - only three players have achieved that feat. His ultimate achievement would be for him to claim a championship title, which would make him the only Blues player to have achieved all three. With the current playing form of the team, it could happen.
"I'm an extremely proud Blues man and proud to be on the 100 Honours Board alongside some of NZ's rugby greats. It's a jersey I have dedicated so much of my life to," he says.
The strong start to the season and seeing the sea of blue back at Eden Park has brought him and the whole club immense happiness, he says.
"As a group we are driven to get blue everywhere, not just at games but within our community too."
"This year has been a great start but there is plenty more work to be done in the coming weeks, months, and the years ahead. I'm grateful and excited to be playing a part in it."
So when will Samantha take his own tiny talisman to a game?
"If not the last Blues' home games against the Crusaders, they will be there at my Harbour home games for sure."