The letterbox is the first clue that there's no grey area when it comes to the rugby team Shayne Dickson and Jane Burrows support.

It's black and white. Hawke's Bay Magpie colours.

Inside their Taradale home, there's black and white decor.

Outside, in what used to be a single garage, is a homely bar decked out in black and white - a shrine to the mighty Magpies.

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Shayne and Jane also have a cat called Izzy (named after All Black and Magpies star Israel Dagg).

And if this wasn't enough evidence that they may well be the team's biggest fans, they each sport a Magpies tattoo. Jane's even got the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union's logo inked on her leg.

Shayne Dickson and Jane Burrows' shrine to the Magpies and rugby.
Shayne Dickson and Jane Burrows' shrine to the Magpies and rugby.

The passionate couple has barely missed a game at McLean Park in the past decade.

"I look at it as 'black - white, come on the Bay'. It's about uniting, no matter who they are, you know? All supporters coming together and supporting our team,'' Jane says.

It's more than just a game of rugby for Jane.

''It's about passion.''

The couple not only love supporting the Magpies, but they also enjoy making sure visiting fans have a great time.

"We've met some good fans, like ourselves,'' says Shayne.

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''We bumped into a lovely couple from Whangarei a few years ago, they (Northland) had come through to have a crack at the [Ranfurly] Shield. We treat them like we would want to be treated, we try and be good hosts and they came and spent the evening with us.''

The pair love the All Black history associated with the proud Hawke's Bay province, and Jane holds the Ranfurly Shield victories dear to her heart.

"When we won the Shield (in 2013) that was just brilliant ... but every single game is special."

The 2013 victory over Otago was celebrated long into the night - and the week. Somehow the Magpies mascot Hawkeye ended up parked in the couple's street.

"It was a Sunday night, it carried on all week actually - the big bird (Hawkeye) was brought round," says Shayne.

Jane Burrows' tattoos reflect her
Jane Burrows' tattoos reflect her "passion for the home province, our team and our love for the game".

Ask about their Magpie tattoos and the P-word comes up again.

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"It's about our passion for the home province, our team and our love for the game,'' says Jane.

Favourite players? Shayne is firm on his choices.

"Mine, growing up, would have been ol' Jarrod Cunningham (JC), and in later years, Brendon O'Connor ... Mike Coman. They got the team gelling there though those Shield days. Richard Buckman is a favourite, but you can't go past Izz. (Israel Dagg).

"We named the cat Izzy, after Izz, and he's from my club, Pirates.''

After a runners-up slot in 2019, Shayne is hoping the team can go one further in 2020.

"I think this season the team is going to hopefully go the full distance.''

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Shayne Dickson and Jane Burrows have barely missed a Magpies home game in the past decade.
Shayne Dickson and Jane Burrows have barely missed a Magpies home game in the past decade.

He agrees that the Covid-19 lockdown adds "a bit of spice".

"These players are going to be fizzing to get out there. We'll talk about a warm-up game against Southland and then 'bring on the big guns, mate' and I hope they (Canterbury - September 26) load their team up (with All Blacks).

"We're going to see a few (ABs) for us too ... I don't know, I've still got a dream that we might be able to snare (All Black) Brodie Retallick off the farm for the odd game.''

Come September 20, when the Magpies face Counties-Manukau in the first home game of the season, the pair will be nestled in their favourite spot they call the Magpies' Nest, under the new scoreboard at McLean Park. They have a simple message for the team.

"They have got this, just do what they do best. Ash (Dixon) lead from the front, as he does, and yeah, we'll be there in voice .... and you boys will hear us, as you always do. "