A must-win match against the Gold Coast Titans will be front and centre while a host of old boys will also be acknowledged when the Vodafone Warriors stage their final game of the NRL season at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday (match day sponsor: Vodafone).
The football action focuses on a tripleheader with each of the Vodafone Warriors’ three teams seeking to stay in the mix for finals football in September.
It starts with the New South Wales Cup encounter against North Sydney (11.40am kick-off), followed by the Vodafone Junior Warriors facing the Titans in the NYC (1.45pm) and then the NRL fixture between the two clubs (4.00pm).
Among a number of special features will be a draw to win the Suzuki Swift ‘Road Warrior’ and the first major public airing of the club’s new Vodafone-produced song for 2015. The 100-strong Crescendo Trust will perform ‘One Team, One Dream’ on the field at halftime.
Central to the fabric of the day, though, will be the now-established tradition of bringing old boys together for the last home game of the season.
In town this week has been original Warrior Hitro Okesene (#10), the man who made the flying mullet famous. He and his family were hosted in the Stacey Jones Lounge by Sir Peter Leitch for yesterday's match against the Sydney Roosters; Okesene also made an appearance in the Corporate Lounge yesterday but he and his family fly back to England before the clash against the Titans.
Also making a guest appearance in the Corporate Lounge was former fullback Brent Webb (#97), who was at last able to be presented with his Vodafone Warriors 100-game ring. It’s hoped he’ll be back to join his fellow old boys this Sunday.
Players registered to be involved in the old boys’ activities include eight 1995 originals and an array of others, most of them regular attendees for what has become a special weekend for them. Also joining them is Vodafone Warriors ambassador Sir Peter Leitch.
While many have pre-registered the club is keen for as many old boys as possible be involved.
A special new polo has been struck by Canterbury of New Zealand bearing the player’s official club number.
The old boys’ weekend begins with a Sir Peter Leitch-hosted lunch on Saturday when they’ll join the Vodafone Warriors and staff after their final training run ahead of the Gold Coast game.
Later in the day the club’s foundation captain Dean Bell (#1) will host a function at SKYCITY.
On Sunday the old boys will be hosted in the Legends of League Lounge in the East Stand. They’ll be given a tour of the Vodafone Warriors’ facilities and will also be recognised on-field before to NRL game. Later they’ll be involving in farewelling outgoing players at end of the match and will also join the team after the match; they’ve also been invited to attend the Vodafone Warriors’ ‘Meet the Team’ event at the Atrium Sports Bar at SKYCITY due to start at 7.30pm.
Old boys registered so far are (club number in brackets): Dean Bell (1), Whetu Taewa (5), Gavin Hill (8), Duane Mann (9), Antonio (Tony) Tuimavave (13), Joe Vagana (18), Stacey Jones (24), Frano Botica (27), Mark Horo (30), Awen Guttenbeil (33), Jerry Seuseu (50), Monty Betham (61), Boycie Nelson (70), Jason Temu (89), Jerome Ropati (108), Shannon Stowers (116), Steve Price (121) and Ruben Wiki (123) along with Sir Peter Leitch.
It’s not too late for old boys to be involved. Any wishing to attend please email email@example.com
- Plans are already advanced for a special 20th anniversary reunion next season. All former players are invited to register their details in the club’s database for old boys. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org