With a full house guaranteed, Mount Smart Stadium will provide the ideal stage for Vodafone Warriors players, staff, families, sponsors and fans to pull down the curtain on the most tumultuous period in the club’s history on Saturday (game day sponsor: flava).
After spending three Covid-impacted seasons based in Australia, a packed house of 26,000-plus will out an end to the time exile in the fourth and final match of a Homecoming Series which has drawn a total of almost 90,000 fans.
Gates open at 2.15pm ahead of the 5.00pm kick-off against the Gold Coast Titans on a day which will start with the club’s best emerging talent in the curtain raiser (2.30pm kick-off) when the Sky Sport Future Warriors under-15s face an Auckland Invitational under-15 side.
Numerous activities and attractions plus food and beverage options will be studded around the stadium with the D Zone at the northern ground once again a hub.
Merchandise will be available from the SuperStore as well as other outlets around the stadium.
In one of the day’s features, Vodafone Warriors old boys will gather for the first time since 2019 with a special focus on the 2002 players celebrating the 20th anniversary of the club’s first grand final appearance. A big cast of the 2002 team will be present including some who are travelling from Australia.
There’ll be an on-field acknowledgement for the class of 2002 in the build-up to the main game.
Following the match the Zae Wallace Shield will be presented to the winning team.
The trophy honours promising Auckland player Zae Wallace, a former Gold Coast under-20 player, who died at the age of just 20 in 2019 from an infection caused by the flu. Family members will be on hand for the presentation.
There will then be a short break for a significant break with tradition when the club holds its annual awards on Mount Smart Stadium’s turf for the first time.
Fans will be invited onto the field to join Vodafone Warriors players, staff, family, friends and sponsors for the presentation of the club’s NRL awards.