Jordie Barrett, Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Jack Goodhue are greeted by the Rolleston College Kapa Haka group

All Blacks visit college

by Mike Isle

They came, they saw, and they were conquered; four of the current All Blacks received a rapturous and at times thunderous welcome when they visited Rolleston College recently.

Joe Moody, Jordie Barrett, Codie Taylor and Jack Goodhue made a flying visit to the college a day after being named in 2019 World Cup Squad.

It was all part of an annual tradition of the All Blacks heading to the provinces before embarking on an overseas tour.

The All Blacks were welcomed to the college by a rousing haka from the school’s kapa haka group and even these seasoned All Blacks, who have performed the haka many times themselves, seemed overwhelmed by the performance.

They reciprocated by freely giving autographs, taking part in a Q&A and even venturing out on to the sports fields to toss the ball around and to give out coaching tips.

There was no shortage of photos taken on the day.

Rolleston College principal Steve Saville said, “The fact that these high profile, professional sportsmen were so down to earth and approachable meant that our learners saw first-hand how top performers conduct themselves with humility and dignity.”

Luca Bollea, the captain of the school’s Under 15s Rugby team at Rolleston, said: “It was fun doing the haka. It shows a good insight of what we are in the school and how we work together.

“We earned our place to sit with the All Blacks by playing for the school and representing the school spirit.”

The All Blacks now leave for the World Cup in Japan where they will compete in their first match on Saturday, September 21.