The stage is set for Kaikohe's first taste of Super Rugby with the clash between the Blues and Chiefs at Lindvart Park just eight days away.
The two sides kick off at 3pm on February 2 for what will be the Blues' first visit to the Kaikohe Rugby Club's central ground. The last time the Super Rugby side made the trip to the Far North was when the Blues played the Hurricanes in Kerikeri in 2011.
Northland rugby commercial manager Tony Molloy said tickets for the pre-season clash were selling at a steady rate, but he expected the game to be a sellout as next Saturday grew closer.
The Blues were set to arrive early next week and will be holding public trainings and events to interact with their northern fan base.
On Thursday, January 31, the team will have an open training at William Fraser Park from 10am to 11.30am. From there, they will be doing community engagement activities such as visiting Whangārei Hospital and voluntarily working at former All Black Eric Rush's Kaikohe supermarket.
On Friday, the team will have an open captain's run at 10.30am at Lindvart Park before splitting into three groups with one staying in Kaikohe and two travelling to Kerikeri and Kawakawa at 12.30pm as part of the Best Foot Forward initiative, which will distribute about 100 pairs of rugby boots to varying community groups.
The All Blacks from both sides will be travelling with their teams and will take part in community activities, but will not take the field next Saturday. Spectators should expect to see a well-contested pre-season game which will feature most of the players from the respective squads.
Gates open at 12pm to see pre-match entertainment, with the main match kicking off at 3pm. Tickets can be bought from www.taniwha.co.nz, Far North Council offices, Percy's Fish Shop in Kaikohe and the ground on the day.