Touring New Zealand and following the British and Irish Lions is on every rugby fans bucket list; to fund the trip, many fans are taking shelter by camping in generous Kiwi supporters houses, as fans across the country are offering their rooms to touring Northern Hemisphere fans.
However, one supporter has gone a step further as Alex Edwards has recently been housed by All Blacks players, Rieko and Akira Ioane.
Edwards is touring New Zealand in his camper van, when the mother of the Ioane boys spotted him and asked if he would like to stay in the house.
Speaking to the BBC, Edwards said he was not aware who the players were when they first met in the house:
“I didn’t actually recognise them at first – I was sitting with a cup of tea with the dad when the lads came in and their mum introduced the boys,
“They were great, really great. Everyone talks about Kiwi hospitality and that’s really true in this case.”
— Alex Edwards, speaking to the BBC
The humbleness and how grounded the players are shows by the fact they still live with their parents; still live as brothers despite their celebrity status in New Zealand.
Winger, Rieko, is one player who in particular is shaping up to be one of the greatest All Blacks prospects. The No.11’s two tries in New Zealand’s fist test victory over the Lions highlighted his pace and awareness despite his age at just 20.
And, regardless of celebrity status and competitive nature between the two sides, this is exactly the sort of story which encapsulates the sport of rugby.