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Tuesday 29 October 2019

Head to Auckland for the ultimate sporting weekend

It is being billed as the ultimate sporting weekend. 

The Auckland Blues rugby union team and the Auckland Warriors rugby league team will host a double-header at Mount Smart Stadium early next year. 

The two Auckland-based clubs held a joint press conference today to confirm that on March 21 the Warriors will take on the 2019 grand finalist Canberra Raiders in a National Rugby League game, followed by the Blues taking on the ACT Brumbies in the Super Rugby competition. 

It will be a unique cross code experience for fans of the Blues and Warriors and further confirms the solid relationship between the city's rugby and league clubs. 

The Warriors v Raiders game will be played first, with a kick off time of 5pm, followed by the Blues v Brumbies game at 7.35pm. 

Given the kick off times really keen sports fans could spend the day sailing on Auckland Harbour before the two game of rival codes of rugby. 

"The Blues are certainly delighted to be a part of this unique event," Blues chairman Don Mackinnon said at the launch.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald said he felt the days when people had to choose whether they liked league or rugby had gone.

"You were either a league man or a rugby man, but now we appreciate all sports," MacDonald said.

"I watch a lot of different sports and this is a great opportunity for sports lovers to come along and witness two quality games.

"Especially so because of the calibre of the games, the Raiders were fantastic finalists and people will be able to watch the Brumbies who'll be really strong, too.

"Those walls have been broken down and now people can just come along and enjoy sport."

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney agreed with MacDonald's comments.

"The times are different now," Kearney said.

"It's a great opportunity for supporters of the city and even regional supporters of our club, to come to Auckland and support us in the first game and then support the Blues."

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