There is no questioning the popularity of Manly player Lewis Brown in Christchurch.
The Manly utility has been the face of the promotional campaign in Christchurch for many months ahead of this Saturday's home clash against the Warriors at AMI Stadium.
The former New Zealand Test player, who played for the Riccarton Knights as a youngster, said it was a special feeling to be back in his hometown of Christchurch.
“I grew up in Belfast and my family are still there. To be able to come back and play in front of them is massive,’’Lewis Brown
"The last time I actually played at Rugby League Park (AMI Stadium) at Addington Showgrounds was for the Canterbury Bulls.
"To be able to play there this weekend in front of just my family, but the whole of Christchurch ... it is something you dream of, to play in the NRL but it is another dream to play in front of your family in your hometown."
The Sea Eagles players received a traditional welcome at the Nga Hau E Wha National Marae in Aranui in which Brown spoke on behalf of the team. It was then on to a coaching clinic at Haeata run by the local Canterbury Junior League where Brown received a huge cheer.
"It is big for us to get into the community. The boys are looking forward to mixing with the public and spreading the word about rugby league. Hopefully we will see a few Manly jerseys in the crowd on Saturday,'' Brown added.
"For me, it will be good to see my family again. It is just good to be home and breathing that fresh New Zealand air.
"To get a game like this and to showcase my team and what I do for a career on my own home turf is pretty amazing."
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