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Firm fan favourite and Vodafone Warrior #99 Lance Hohaia will be the club's special guest for Sunday's first home game of the season against Melbourne at Mount Smart Stadium (4.05pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Vodafone).

Now living in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the United States, Hohaia is home for two weeks with wife Marisa and their sons Tyler and Riley to visit his family in Huntly and to make a nostalgic return to his long-time club.

The Hohaias dropped in at Mount Smart Stadium briefly on Thursday, the 185-game 2002-2011 utility enjoying a quick catch-up with former club and Kiwi team-mates like Stacey Jones, Manu Vatuvei, Simon Mannering, Ali Lauitiiti, Jacob Lillyman, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke.

On Sunday he'll make guest appearances in the Corporate Lounge and the Mad Butcher's Club in the Stacey Jones Lounge in the West Stand. As well as being interviewed in both lounges, he's also catching up with Tony Veitch on his 'Veitch on Sport' show which will be broadcast live from the lounge on NewstalkZB and RadioSport. In the build-up to the NRL clash (4.00pm kick-off) Veitch will have additional interviews with Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle, assistant coach Justin Morgan and recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.

Hohaia will make an on-field appearance in the build-up to the feature match, filling the role as the first celebrity drummer to kick-start a newly-created game day ritual. While on the field he'll also be interviewed and presented with his trophy after being included in the club's People's Choice 20th Anniversary Team.

He is the only player to have appeared for the Vodafone Warriors in each of their two NRL grand finals in 2002 and 2011 while he was also in the Kiwis' title-winning teams at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and the 2010 Four Nations.

Of his 185 NRL appearances, 20 were against Melbourne coinciding with many of the club's most notable wins, not least in the finals in 2008 and 2011. In all he was part of 10 victoeries against the Storm plus a 14-14 draw in 2009; five of his Melbourne winning experiences were at Mount Smart Stadium.

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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