All Black Ma’a Nonu and Winston Reid
And while West Ham United may be treated like royalty while they are in New Zealand for the Football United Tour, West Ham’s Kiwi-born defender Winston Reid, manager Sam Allardyce and club owner David Gold were treated to a visit from New Zealand sporting royalty during a training session at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on Friday 25 th July 2014.
New Zealand All Blacks Victor Vito, Julian Savea and Conrad Smith spent some time chatting to Reid, Allardyce and Gold on the field of Westpac Stadium, Wellington’s waterfront home of the Wellington Phoenix and setting for the final games of the Football United Tour 2014 (26.07.14).
Perhaps Reid was swapping tips with the 2011 Rugby World Cup winning All Blacks after West Ham failed to get the better of the Wellington Phoenix with a 2-1 loss to the A-League team at Auckland’s Eden Park on Wednesday?
This is the second time in a week that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has met with rugby royalty. Allardyce also spent 15 minutes chatting to Blues manager and former All Black John Kirwan at Eden Park before Wednesday’s game.
Although Reid has been plying his trade in the Premier League with West Ham since signing for the Premier League side in 2010, the footballer is still an avid All Blacks fan, tweeting after the meeting: “Thx to @maavelous @Juliansavea @VictorVito1103 & Conrad smith for coming out and seeing the boys looking forward to catch up later!”
And it seems, despite being a Wellington local, All Black Ma’a Nonu has been converted into a West Ham fan – for tomorrow’s game at least. With the All Blacks stalwart replying: “@whufc_official @WinstonReid2 @WestpacStadium absolute pleasure guys. ‘Goodluck 4 2moro’ all the best [email protected]”
The North Island city of Wellington is set for a football feast on Saturday when it plays host to the historic Football United Tour. West Ham United will face A-League side Sydney FC while fellow Premier League team Newcastle United – also in town – will face the Wellington Phoenix.
Both teams leave New Zealand on Sunday after a week of adventures including visits to Auckland’s premier tourist attraction the Sky Tower – where two West Ham players, Sam Howes and Danny Whitehead, braved the Sky Walk.
While in Wellington Newcastle United have been treated to a private tour of Sir Peter Jackson’s WETAWorkshop and Park Road Post Studios in the Wellington suburb of Miramar where they met two-time Oscar winner Michael Hedges.