The budding rugby stars representing their provinces are in the capital for the annual Rippa Rugby Championship at Wakefield Park.
Following the first day of scheduled games, the 20 teams came together for some planned informal games only to be surprised to find 20 All Blacks join them to take part in a variety of activities including a Rippa kids against the All Blacks one-off game.
All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw said spending time with more than 200 Rippa Rugby boys and girls was great.
“The kids taking part in the Rippa Championship have worked really hard to make it to the finals. You can see they really love their footie and there was awesome skill on show as we worked through some skills and drills with them. Rippa is a great introduction to more physical rugby and a perfect sport for both boys and girls.”
Last year’s National Champions Roscommon School representing Counties Manukau again look like the team to beat, going through to the final day's action unbeaten, while Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Waikato and Tasman are all looking strong.
Rippa Rugby is a popular, safe, non-contact form of rugby aimed at primary school aged children where instead of tackling, players rip velcro-fastened tags off each other's waists. The games are seven minutes each way.
The tournament is taking place with the support of New Zealand Community Trust, New Zealand Rugby’s Major Global Sponsor AIG and Principal Partner adidas.
The Rippa Rugby Championship is part of Bledisloe Cup Fever which will see more Rippa action on Parliament Grounds on Wednesday, 21 August between 3.30pm and 4.30pm as New Zealand Rugby takes on MPs and Wellington Rugby in a triangular tournament.
Rippa Rugby Championship details
Venue: Wakefield Park, Island Bay
Final: 1.15pm Tuesday 20 August
Full draw at www.smallblacks.com
Auckland Holy, Cross Catholic School
Bay of Plenty, Opotiki School
Canterbury, Elmwood School
Counties Manukau, Roscommon School
Hawke's Bay, Te Mata School
Horowhenua-Kapiti, Raumati Beach School
Manawatu Lytton, Street School
North Harbour, Whangaparaoa School
Northland, Tikipunga School
Otago, Arrowtown School
Poverty Bay, Te Hapara School
Southland, Waihopai School
South Canterbury, Gleniti School
Taranaki, Vogeltown School
Tasman, Richmond School
Thames Valley, Hikuai School
Waikato, Strathmore School
Wanganui, St Johns Hill School
Wellington, Tairangi School
West Coast, Paroa School