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Pack The Park Players Teased

Rugby fans in the south are buzzing: and now the Southland Charity Hospital has launched a campaign to tease the big names set to take to the paddock for its Pack the Park event.

To pay tribute to everybody who has supported its cause – and to mark the first anniversary of the death of cancer care advocate, Blair Vining – the Southland Charity Hospital will bring the ‘Pack the Park’ event to Rugby Park in Invercargill on 17 October. The game will see the Blair Vining Invitational XV will take on the ITM Invitational XV.

Already some star names have been announced. Rugby World Cup-winning former All Blacks coach, Sir Graham Henry, will helm the Blair Vining Invitational XV (alongside Blair’s great friend, Chris Cairns). Meanwhile, champion heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker and former All Blacks star Israel ‘Izzy’ Dagg will lead the ITM Invitational XV. The Blair Vining Invitational XV will be captained by radio personality and New Zealander of the Year nominee, The Rock Morning Rumble’s Bryce Casey, while captain for the ITM Invitational XV is set to be popular television host Matt Watson, from The ITM Fishing Show. The public has been having fun guessing the rugby players who will also take part.

The Southland Charity Hospital promises the line-up won’t disappoint. It’s ‘Guess Who’ social media campaign has started to drop hints about some of the legends rugby fans can expect to see on the day. Three clues will be released about a selected player throughout the week, with the big reveal set to happen on the Southland Charity Hospital’s Facebook page every Thursday night. The Guess Who campaign will also act as a competition for fans, with everybody who correctly guesses each week’s chosen player going in the draw to win a jersey signed by members of both squads.

“A couple of the boys, who were great friends of Blair’s, have really taken it upon themselves to wrangle some fantastic players for us,” charity hospital board member Melissa Vining, wife of Blair, says. “I still can’t get over how many of them are so willing to give their time and energy to come out of retirement, lace up the boots and put their bodies on the line for the Southland Charity Hospital’s cause. I’m so grateful that so many people want to be part of saying thank you to the community of the deep south, for all of their incredible support.

“We’ve got an amazing mix of fan favourites taking part, and I hope people love following along and guessing who is set to play,” she says.

Those who correctly guess each player in the comments section go in the draw to win a jersey signed by the players taking part in Pack the Park.

The Pack the Park game at Rugby Park on October 17 will be followed by gala dinner The Aftermatch at the spectacular Bill Richardson Transport World. Hosted by TW Events & Incentives, the gala dinner will see master of ceremonies, television personality Scotty ‘Sumo’ Stevenson, preside over a sold-out crowd of almost 700 people. The event sold-out mere hours after tickets went on sale.

Pack the Park will be the curtain-raiser to the Mitre 10 Cup fixture that will see Southland take on Taranaki. General admission to the terraces is free. GA and grandstand tickets are now available at ILT Stadium Southland or Ticketek.co.nz. Meanwhile, sales will also be available on the day. However, the charity hospital is expecting a capacity crowd.

To find out more about the Pack the Park event – and to follow the Guess Who campaign – visit the Southland Charity Hospital on Facebook.

© Scoop Media

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