Lions series volunteers got the surprise of their life when All Blacks' players popped in for morning tea.
Luke Romano, Brodie Retallick and Waisake Naholo arrived unannounced at a morning tea at Eden Rugby Club today, to thank Auckland-based volunteers for their hard work during the British and Irish Lions tour.
Retallick, who used to volunteer as a kid at the motorcross track in Christchurch, said volunteers put in a lot of work behind the scenes, to make the games a good experience for everyone.
"People like these volunteers that are here today, make the game happen. Without them it wouldn't make the experience as good. So, they are a key part to making the whole picture work."
Lions volunteers are among the 1.2 million Kiwis giving up their time for the community, being recognised this week as part of National Volunteer Week.
Lions volunteer and US visitor Jenn Fisher said it has been cool watching the tour and hanging out with fans.
"I didn't know much about rugby before I came to New Zealand. I feel like I've learnt more just by going to these games."
Meanwhile, about 25 talented school kids were treated to breakfast with former All Blacks Keven Mealamu and Justin Marshall and ex Lions players Will Greenwood and Doddie Weir.
The breakfast was part of the ASB Young Leaders Rugby Experience for students who show promise on the rugby field and leadership potential within their schools.
Vulangi Olosoni, captain of Rosehill College's first XV, was one of two students nominated by his school to take part in the experience. He has been playing rugby since he was five and wants to be an All Black one day.
"I was quite happy and surprised because there are a lot of talented boys out here who could have been picked for it but, I guess I'm the lucky one," said Olosoni.
The 18-year-old said his All Blacks hero is Kieran Reid because he is an ex Rosehill College student.
"He didn't have to go to one of those big schools to be the top player. He started from just an ordinary school and made a big name for us. I want to do that for my school too because it doesn't matter where you come from, it's what you put out there."
Centre for Rosehill College girl's first XV team, Utumalama Atonio joined Olosoni at the experience.
Atonio has represented the Counties Manukau Women's Sevens team and was recently selected for the New Zealand Sevens Development Squad.
Her rugby goals are to make the New Zealand Sevens team one day.
Rosehill College first XV manager James Fraser, who coached Kieran Reid when he attended the Papakura school in the early 2000s, said the experience was a wonderful opportunity for the students.
"The biggest thing they get out of it is confidence. It gives them a lift and shows them what they are doing is something special and, if they keep working hard, they are going to turn around and do really well."
The students are set to attend the All Blacks captain's run at Eden Park this afternoon, before tomorrow night's first test match against the Lions.