Saturday 19 August 2017

Irish boy (10) living the dream as an All Blacks apprentice this week

Colm picks up a few pointers from New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen
Colm picks up a few pointers from New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A young Irish rugby fan's expressive performance of the Haka helped him secure the call up of a lifetime to become an All-Blacks apprentice this week.

All Blacks "obsessed" Colm Moran (10) beat nearly 2,000 other hopefuls to be picked as one of two apprentices for the rugby legends ahead of their clash with Manu Samoa in Auckland tomorrow.

An extensive global search for the apprentices run by Air New Zealand and New Zealand Rugby appeared in international newspapers, on job seeker websites and on social media.

Colm's sister, who lives in Auckland, submitted a video of her energetic brother performing the traditional Mauri war cry to the competition, describing the Kildare boy as being "obsessed" with the Kiwi side.

Colm's New Zealand adventure is set to make his wildest dreams a reality.

“I’m so excited to visit New Zealand and see my sister,” a very excited Colm said before his trip.

"We’ll be staying at the team hotel and helping them prepare for the big game. I can’t wait to see the Haka performed live!”

Colm and the other apprentice, 13-year-old Brooklyn Logan from Nelson, New Zealand, had a busy day yesterday helping to prepare the squad for the game at Eden Park.

Not only did the lucky apprentices get to enjoy lunch with the All Blacks squad, they also assisted in setting up the Captain's Run for the match.

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Colm and Brooklyn with the New Zealand squad

The two apprentices even had the opportunity to participate in strategy training with Head Coach Steve Hansen.

They also attended an exclusive Q&A session with Hansen and All Blacks Ben Smith, TJ Perenara, Anton Lienert-Brown and Jordan Barrett.

Tomorrow, the pair will help set set up the All Blacks’ coaches box, side-line and bench, and will be overseeing the game from their own spot on the side-line.

One apprentice will also be lucky enough to run the ball onto the pitch for kick-off.

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Colm delighted after receiving a pair of Adidas boots

The match is part of the run up to the team's first clash with the Lions at Eden Park next Saturday, organised especially to fine tune their performance for the upcoming game.

It is set to be a spectacular display of New Zealand's best rugby as the team use the opportunity to warm up for the Lions game and Colm will be playing a key role in supporting his heroes in an unforgettable evening.

Interestingly, tonight will also be one to remember for the Barrett brothers Scott, Beauden and Jordan who will become the first trio of siblings to play for the All Blacks in the same test match.

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