Well there’s more than one way to welcome a rugby team.
Piri Cribb, Master of Ceremonies during the USA’s welcome in Whanganui got off a couple of memorable lines during the festivities.
With the Maori women dancers looking fetching in their traditional garb, the Eagles couldn’t help but notice, and Cribb couldn’t help but notice that.
“That’s enough flirting from you lot - away with you,” he said to the dancers. And then to the players: “You’re now a part of us. That isn’t our way of saying we’re going to marry you off, but if you’re up for it let us know.”
There was also some concern about security for the USA team. Cribb had another comment for that:
“Let me reassure you that half of New Zealand doesn’t know where Whanganui is, so you’re safe from a terrorist attack.“
Mayor of Whanganui, Annette Main, said her town was now pulling for the Eagles.
“You’re a part of our community now, and many of us now have an obligation to support you, even though in the back of our minds we’re thinking, 'All Blacks, All Blacks, All Blacks'.”