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A traditional Cook Islands welcome greeted the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in Otahuhu tonight.

The Sea Eagles were proud to be the guests of honour at the Otahuhu Leopards Rugby League Club as part of the NRL Club Visit ahead of the Auckland Nines at Eden Park this weekend.

And what a welcome it was from one of the most successful and proud clubs in the Auckland Rugby League competition. The Leopards have produced a staggering 49 New Zealand Test players since their foundation in 1911, including the likes of Mark Graham, Hugh McGahan, Richard Barnett and Ruben Wiki.

Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett, players and staff were met with a huge roar before being entertained by Cook Island dancers and musicians.

Five-eighth Isaac John and winger Halauafu Lavaka didn’t waste their opportunities, showing off their remarkable dance skills on stage much to the delight of the large crowd.

The players then spent time signing autographs, posing for photos, and helped in running some junior rugby league drills.

Following a great tug-of-war contest, naturally won by Manly, Barrett proudly accepted a centenary Leopards jersey from the Otahuhu Club before handing out signed footballs and tickets for the Nines to some lucky winners.

The Sea Eagles wish the Otahuhu Leopards all the very best for 2016 and thank them for their warm hospitality and welcome.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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