The junior classes were the envy of the Otaki College seniors at a special assembly attended by four current All Blacks, Cory Jane, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea and Kapiti’s Dane Coles, a one time Rahui Rugby Club player.
“It gives me a huge honour to welcome you here,” Principal Andy Fraser, an avid rugby fan himself, following the powhiri welcoming them to the College. “This is the first time we have welcomed All Blacks to Otaki College. Thank you for being here. You are an inspiration (to our pupils).”
Following the powhiri visitors faced the students for a question and answer session, with a very wide variety of queries from the students – ‘What’s it like to put on a black jersey before every game and what’s it like to perform the haka?’ Awesome! ‘How does it feel to tackle an Aussie?’ Good to tackle anyone- came from Cory Jane. ‘What inspired you to become an All Black?’ The answers ranged from family, cousins and friends who had all played rugby, to a childhood yearning to be an AB and encouragement from teachers. There were other questions about how much training did they do, down to how many weetbix can they “do” – Cory and TJ topped the munch with 12 each, Dane generally has six while Julian takes just four!!
Top marks for the question ‘What makes Richie McCaw a great captain’ – “he’s an outstanding leader, he leads from up front, he’s fearless!”
And the last bit of advice from the AB’s “Whatever you want to be, never give up, work hard and know yourself.”
The AB’s presented a signed 2014 All Black jersey to college head of sport, Daniel Riggs, a gift to the college.
They then had a spell of signing autographs on posters, school bags, shirts and caps before heading down to visit other schools in Kapiti.