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X factor week ahead as Waikato builds for Test

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allblacks.com     30 Aug 2013     Getty Images

This year's New Zealand X Factor winner Jackie Thomas and finalists Moorhouse headline the pre-match entertainment at next Saturday's Investec Rugby Championship Test between the All Blacks and Argentina.

Their performance caps off a week of fun activity for Waikato fans in the build-up to the Test where fewer than 3,000 tickets remain. Most are in the Green Zone which are priced at just $37.50.

Fans are being urged are secure their seats now if they want to be ringside next weekend as tickets are selling fast.

"We're really looking forward to coming back to Hamilton," said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew. “Waikato Stadium is one of the best rugby grounds in New Zealand and creates a fantastic atmosphere. We expect it to be packed and Argentina to be really fired up as we saw last week against South Africa."

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said being able to host the All Blacks was fantastic for the city.

“Hamilton is right behind the boys in black and the whole city will be out to support them in our world class stadium. The city is already buzzing with excitement and it is going to be a huge weekend for our accommodation, retail and hospitality sectors and for the city as a whole.”

Fans are also urged to get to Waikato Stadium early to catch the special performance by the X Factor finalists.

Boy band Moorhouse will take to field at approximately 6.50pm and Jackie Thomas will be part of the pre-match entertainment finale at 7.10pm.

"I'm really thrilled to attend my first All Blacks Test and to perform before our world champs take to the field," said Thomas.

Moorhouse recalled their last time at an All Blacks Test was to educate Melanie Blatt, their X Factor judge.

"We can't wait to be part of the entertainment before watching from the stands," said Rory McKenna.

The week’s activities begin on Monday with a “Ruck and Row” at Garden Place where All Blacks, Black Ferns and local rowers are combined into teams for a mighty row-off. All Blacks will also take on a Rippa Rugby team, visit a Pak n Save and make a surprise visit to the winner of the Paint it Black competition.

See full details of the week’s activities below.

Buy tickets now - Tickets to the All Blacks versus Argentina Investec Rugby Championship match are still available. Head to ticketdirect. Tickets prices start from just $37.50.

Pre-Test activities

Monday 2 September
3.30-5.30pm
Fred Jones Park
Rippa Rugby tournament
Six Rippa Rugby teams coached by an All Black go head to head
4.45pm: The winning team gets a chance to take on an All Blacks Rippa team
4-5pm PUBLIC EVENT
Garden Place
Ruck and Row
All Blacks, Black Ferns and rowers from the Gallagher Great Race and schools take part in skills and drills and tango dancing, culminating in a row-off at 4.45pm with each team featuring an All Black, Black Fern and rower. Trophies including World Cups will also be on display.

Tuesday 3 September
4.30pm - Rexona store visit.
All Blacks visit Pak n Save, Mill Street

Friday 6 September
11am - Paint it Black winners - All Blacks pay surprise visit the winning entry in the Paint it Black competition. Winner drawn Wednesday

4-5pm PUBLIC EVENT - Argentinian BBQ - Mill Street Field outside Waikato Stadium - Celebrate Argentinian culture with music, dance and a free BBQ stacked with 400kg of meat.

Saturday 7 September Match Day
6pm: Free shuttle buses to Waikato Stadium every 10 minutes from Hood St

5pm: Pre-match entertainment Willoughby Park next to stadium with free face painting, tango dancing and much more

5.30pm Stadium opens

6.50pm Moorhouse performs

7.10pm Jackie Thomas performs

7.35pm Kickoff All Blacks v Argentina