The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ Auckland Nines squad wasted no time upon their arrival in New Zealand, with the players delighting over 500 people when they visited Junior Club the Glenfield Greyhounds in Auckland today (Thursday).
Despite being far from South Sydney heartland, there was red and green aplenty among the hundreds who attended to catch a glimpse of the Rabbitohs.
For Nines Captain, Ben Te’o – who addressed the faithful who turned out for the event –the visit was a home-coming of sorts – the Rabbitohs and Queensland star having played on the same ground as a seven-year old.
“I grew up about 20 minutes north of here,” said Te’o.
“This club (the Greyhounds) was actually in our comp and I remember I used to train here as a young fella and play a little bit of rep footy down here.
“I see a few familiar faces – some guys that I used to play footy with.”
In a bid to reminisce Te’o joined teammates Ben Lowe, Dylan Walker and Irae Simone in a game of footy with the kids that began as a nine a side affair, before swelling to an estimated 40-a-side after the Rabbitohs players got involved in proceedings – much to the delight of those in attendance.
South Sydney will begin their Nines campaign this Saturday with the side set to take on the Melbourne Storm, St George lllawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers in the Pool stage of the competition.