Vodafone Warriors players and staff have been in Mangakino since yesterday trying to lift spirits in the local rugby league community after what has been a challenging year.

After training yesterday, a contingent boarded a bus headed for the dam town on the Waikato River south-west of Tokoroa.

The locals were hit when a fire destroyed training gear and equipment at the Mangakino Hawks Rugby League Club in late August.

After receiving an approach from the Hawks through Vodafone Warriors 19th man Sir Peter Leitch, the Vodafone Warriors were keen to provide support through the club’s Harvey Norman Community Warriors arm by visiting the town.

The players and staff stayed on a marae last night and joined the Hawks and locals for a fundraising dinner and quiz night.

The Vodafone Warriors were on the go from early this morning providing some cheer by joining local kids at a community carnival and also helping to build a BMX track before heading back to Auckland.