The DHL Stormers have settled in well at their base in Auckland, after arriving from South Africa earlier today (Sunday afternoon – SA time; late Sunday evening – NZ time).
The tour squad – made up of 26 players and 11 management members – touched down in Auckland after a tough trip which saw them fly from Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Sydney and then, finally, on to Auckland.
Speaking on Monday morning (NZ time), DHL Stormers manager Chippie Solomon said: “It hasn’t stopped raining since we arrived here, but, really; the travel was hassle-free and enjoyable which augurs well for the next four weeks. I must thank the SAA staff for making the entire trip an absolute pleasure for everyone!
“The players will have a light session this morning, some swimming and stretching, we will then have a team meeting and then the guys will hit the training ground later this afternoon.”
Solomon also revealed that about 10-15 supporters welcomed the team at the airport in Auckland on Sunday night.
“It’s a few expats living here,” explained the Stormers manager, “the same guys support us when we play over here and it’s really heartening to know that we’ve got some great fans standing behind us.”
The Stormers will be based in Auckland for the next two weeks and will travel to Palmerston North on Thursday ahead of this Friday’s clash against the Hurricanes at the FMG Stadium (kick-off 19h35 NZ time; 09h35 SA time). They will return to Auckland on Saturday morning.
The squad will move on to Sydney after their second tour match, against the Blues in Albany (on Friday, May 3), where they will also be based for a fortnight for games against the Waratahs and the Rebels.