FEILDING’S hottest rugby ticket, Aaron Smith, is to be welcomed home this Friday, July 13.
And even though the date may sound ominous, it is unlikely that the 23 year-old All Black halfback will enjoy nothing but a warm, generous and enthusiastic homecoming.
Smith, whose rugby skills were developed at Feilding High School and Feilding Yellows, will undertake a series of appearances throughout the day ranging from a Farmers’ Market luncheon to signing balls and posters.
The Manawatu District Council and Manawatu Rugby Union joined forces in arranging the visit with the support of Feilding Promotion, Sport Manawatu, Feilding Saturday Morning Rugby and Powa Products.
Manawatu District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis was delighted that Smith, still in camp with the Dunedin-based Highlanders’ Super Rugby team, was able to make the lightning return to his hometown.
“We want to acknowledge his wonderful achievements this season and give the youngsters from our district and outlying regions a chance to get up close and personnel with an All Black,” she said.
After a welcome from Mrs Kouvelis at a morning tea at council, Smith will go to Manchester Square where he will sign posters and balls and take part in specialist caterer Hester Guy’s tasting session showcasing the produce from the nationally recognised Feilding Farmers’ Market.
Some of the autographed balls will be auctioned and the funds raised returned to the community.
Smith’s colleagues from the Manawatu Turbos will be with him during the day.