Waipukurau's Central Hawke's Bay Rugby and Sports Club plan to make a fuss of their first All Black, Brodie Retallick, at club day tomorrow.
"Brodie might have Bay of Plenty beside his name on the official All Blacks list but Hawke's Bay is the last union he played for and we're still his club," Central club stalwart and former Hawke's Bay union president Peter Fleming said yesterday.
"We're putting up a big screen at the club so we can watch Brodie and the other three Magpies in action," Fleming said as he pondered the Bay's contribution to the All Blacks side which will take on Ireland at Auckland's Eden Park tomorrow night.
Fleming pointed out Retallick, who won Hawke's Bay's 2012 Junior Sportsperson of the Year award and Central Hawke's Bay's 2011 Senior Sportsperson of the Year award, got in touch with him this week to have a Central jersey sent to him so he could wear it on occasions when the All Blacks wear their club jerseys.
A nephew of Takapau-based former All Blacks prop John Ashworth, Retallick, will become the second youngest lock in All Blacks history, just two days older than Mark Cooksley who was 21-years and seven days when he made his All Blacks debut in 1992. One of the stars of Super Rugby leaders Chiefs' season to date, Retallick, played two games for the Magpies in 2010 and 10 last year but will play his ITM Cup rugby for Bay of Plenty this year.
Retallick is joined in the ABs starting XV by fellow 2011 Magpies, fullback Israel Dagg and winger Zac Guildford, and Magpies hooker Hika Elliot is expected to get game time off the bench.