The euphoria felt by New Zealanders when the All Blacks won the World Cup is set to continue next year after it was announced that another pre-season Super Rugby game will take place at Mangatainoka.
The Hurricanes and the Crusaders will meet in a pre-season game on Saturday, February 11 - the third successive year that a big game will be staged in a small town.
The game follows the success of two previous pre-season games involving the Hurricanes, which sold out two weeks before kick off and attracted around 8,000 spectators each year.
Held on Neil Symonds's farm the games showcased grassroots rugby at its best with passionate fans adorned in their regional colours and visibly enjoying the unique setting.
It also received the highest praise from some of New Zealand's greats - including Brian Lochore, Colin Meads and Keith Quinn.
Crusaders head coach and former All Blacks captain Todd Blackadder is already looking forward to the pre-season game.
"It's going to be a fantastic contest going up against the Hurricanes and a great opportunity for our new look side to have a solid hit out and trial some new combinations," said Blackadder.
"But I am most excited about taking the game to the people. I heard the last two pre-season games held at Mangatainoka were sold out before kick-off and that just proves to me how important it is to take top level players back to the heartland."
Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst, who scored one of his team's tries against the Chiefs this year, can't wait to hit the ground running.
"We loved going to Mangatainoka last year. The fans were awesome and the try I scored even made it into a Tui ad. I can't wait to head back and play the Crusaders there next year," he said.
Like previous games, February's game is expected to go down in grass roots rugby folklore. It will be played on Neil Symonds' farm, which is currently a bare paddock, and see the community rally together to host a predicted 8,000 visitors.
There will be enough temporary seating to accommodate all ticket-holders; pre- and post-game entertainment as well as an array of guest speakers.
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