An advance party of experienced first-graders Nathan Friend, Jacob Lillyman and Elijah Taylor plus former Vodafone Junior Warrior Charlie Gubb travelled to Hamilton to support sponsors Vodafone and Canterbury of New Zealand at in-store appearances at Te Awa, The Base Shopping Centre in Te Rapa.
Vodafone Warriors members and fans flocked in to meet the players, get autographs and pose for photographs.
The visit was the forerunner to more activity later next week leading up to the Vodafone Warriors first game in Hamilton since their 2009 trial against Melbourne (with the Vodafone Junior Warriors playing a Waicoa Bay Selection in the curtain raiser).
School visits, a Hamilton City Council event and in-store promotions with sponsors dtr and Canterbury of New Zealand will feature when another group of Vodafone Warriors travels to Hamilton early next Friday morning (February 15).
The playing squad for the match against the Panthers is due to arrive in Hamilton at 12.30pm the same day before having a final team run at Waikato Stadium at 4.00pm.
The Road Warrior, the Vodafone Warriors modified Suzuki Swift, will arrive in Hamilton early on Saturday morning ahead of a match day breakfast being put on by NewstalkZB. The radio station will broadcast its regular Saturday morning sports show live from the breakfast, devoting its 8.00-9.00 hour to the Vodafone Warriors visit. Head coach Matthew Elliott, Ruben Wiki and two Vodafone Warriors players will be there to mix with breakfast guests and to be interviewed about the trial.
After breakfast Vodafone Warriors players will be involved in a Community Roots Carnival at Waikato Stadium before gates open for the trial matches.
GO TO WWW.TICKETEK.CO.NZ TO BUY TICKETS FOR THE HAMILTON TRIAL
Thursday, February 8
6.00pm-8.30pm: Meet the Vodafone Warriors:
Nathan Friend, Jacob Lillyman, Elijah Taylor, Charlie Gubb
Canterbury of New Zealand/Vodafone, Te Awa, The Base Shopping Centre, Maahanga Drive, Te Rapa
Friday, February 15
9.00am11.45am: Hamilton area school visits
12.00pm1.15 pm: Hamilton City Council event, The Gardens
1.30pm2.45pm: Hamilton school visits
4.00pm5.00pm: dtr in-store appearance, 421 Victoria Street, Hamilton
5.30pm6.30pm: Canterbury of New Zealand in-store appearance, Sports Safari, 757A Te Rapa Road, Te Rapa
Saturday, February 16
8.00am-9.00am: NewstalkZB game day breakfast
Matthew Elliott, Ruben Wiki and two Vodafone Warriors
10.00am1.00pm: Community Roots Carnival, Waikato Stadium
1.30pm: Gates Open
1.45pm: Vodafone Junior Warriors v Waicoa Bay Selection
4.00pm: Vodafone Warriors v Penrith Panthers