Horowhenua-Kapiti to host Hurricanes open training


Horowhenua-Kapiti will host the Hurricanes in the New Year with the Investec Super Rugby squad announcing an open training session at Levin Domain on Wednesday, January 17.

The public event will provide a chance for Hurricanes fans on the Kapiti Coast to get up close and personal with players, coaches and staff from 2.30pm with a signing session to follow training.

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles, who grew up on the Kapiti Coast, said the players always looked forward to the chance to meet their fans in the regions.

"The support we get from the regions is massive, so the chance to get out of Wellington and meet the fans means a lot," Coles said. "Growing up on the Kapiti Coast I was always a massive Hurricanes fan, so I know how valuable it is for the kids to get the chance to get up close to their heroes and just say hi."

Horowhenua-Kapiti Rugby Union chief executive Corey Kennett said the open training was an exciting event for the region.

"The Hurricanes are hugely popular in our region and I'm sure it will be a great day for our rugby community. The Horowhenua-Kapiti union are very proud to hold a financial stake in the Hurricanes and to have the opportunity to host the team is a great way to promote the game in Horowhenua-Kapiti."

The open training in Levin comes at a crucial point in the Hurricanes pre-season campaign, just over a month before their first match against the Bulls in South Africa on February 25.

The Hurricanes pre-season schedule will see the team play the Crusaders in Greymouth on February 2, before heading to the Brisbane Global Tens (February 9-10), then finishing with a match against the Blues in Auckland on Thursday, February 15.

The Hurricanes reluctantly opted to play the Blues preseason fixture in Auckland rather than as a home match in Mangatainoka in order to give the team two extra days preparation for their season opener in Johannesburg.

However, Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee stressed that the schedule was not a sign of things to come.

"Absolutely not. We place a high value on the opportunity to play our preseason matches in the regions and in fact this means that in 2019 we will be playing two preseason matches within our region including a return to Mangatainoka."

From Pretoria, the Hurricanes head to Buenos Aires to play the Jaguares, before hosting the 2016 Investec Super Rugby champion Crusaders at Westpac Stadium on March 10.