Next week will be a walk down memory lane for New Zealand Warriors forward Adam Blair.
Along with the rest of the team, Blair will spend a few days before the Warriors' preseason clash with the West Tigers on March 2, visiting his old schools and community to drum up support for the game held at Northland Events Centre.
"We know we have a really passionate and strong fan base in Whangārei and the Far North, so spending some time up that way in the local community is going to be awesome,'' Blair said.
"Being a Northland boy myself, I'm personally looking forward to getting back to my old primary school and giving back to the community that supported me throughout my youth."
Blair will visit two of his former schools while in Northland, his primary school Te Kura o Ōtangarei and Whangārei Boys' High School.
Over the three days before the game, the Warriors will visit 13 schools to raise the profile of rugby league in Northland, including Morningside School, Maunu Primary School, Glenbervie Primary School, Tikipunga High School, Whangārei Intermediate School, Ruakakā Primary School, Manaia View School, One Tree Point School, Whangārei Primary School, Tauraroa School and Hikurangi School.
Hundreds of kids from Northland rugby league clubs would be attending the Club Cluster event featuring skills and drills sessions with the entire Warriors squad at Northland events Centre on Thursday. At the end of the session, there will be a barbecue hosted by the team at MITRE 10 Whangārei where each child will be given boot laces and a mouth guard for the upcoming season.
The Warriors will be hosting an open captain's run at the Northland Events Centre on Friday, March 1, from 10am to 12pm. Players will also be available to fans straight after the main game on the field on game day.
On Wednesday, a number of players spent the day in Kaikohe where hundreds of young rugby league fans took part in drills run by Warriors players and staff. Blair, who was unable to attend the Kaikohe event, hoped the community would turn out once again on March 2.
"The boys are really pumped for the match against the Tigers so we'd really love the Northland community to come along and support us, and help spread the message to others," Blair said.
The game kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, March 2 at the Northland Events Centre.
The Northern Advocate has two double passes in the grandstand for the Warriors V Tigers game to give away to any rugby league fan keen to watch this blockbuster game live.
All you have to do is email your name and contact phone details to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "Warriors" in the subject line, by Wednesday, February 27. Two names will be drawn out of a hat and the lucky winners will be contacted.
If you don't manage to win, tickets are also available from www.ticketrocket.co.nz and Forum North Box Office, Rust Avenue, Whangārei.
Ticket prices are Grandstand Adult $30 (16 years and over), Child $15 (4-15 years old) and general admission Terraces/ Embankment Adult $15, Child $10. Ticket fees apply.
Three years and under are free if they are sitting on an adult's lap and not taking up a seat.