Ōtaki Domain is likely to be packed out for Sam’s Day on September 5 when the Manawatū Turbos play the Wellington Lions in a Mitre 10 Cup pre-season rugby game and Horowhenua Kapiti play Wairarapa Bush as a fundraiser for Ōtaki’s Sam Doyle.
Sam is in hospital battling leukaemia.
The double-header means three of the four teams will be those in which Sam has played – Horowhenua-Kāpiti, Manawatū and Wellington. He has also played for the Hurricanes as their 11th named player in 1996, and for the Māori All Blacks.
Perhaps most importantly, he also played for the local Rāhui club’s premier team in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2012. He has been Rāhui’s senior coach for the past two years, interrupted only when his illness took hold earlier this year.
The initiative for the day came from the Horowhenua-Kāpiti Rugby Football Union. Chief executive Corey Kennett says he is proud to help Sam and organising a day involving all three provincial unions Sam represented was a great way of showing the rugby world’s support.
“It made perfect sense to have the day at Ōtaki Domain, his home ground,” Corey says. “Sam has been a huge part of our rugby community for a number of years and we’re really looking forward to a great day in Ōtaki.”
With Sam playing for Manawatū, Wellington and Horowhenua-Kapiti among many other teams, this will be a special day for Sam, his whānau, and the Ōtaki community.
• Wellington Lions v Manawatū Turbos, kick-off 1pm, Saturday September 5; Horowhenua-Kāpiti v Wairarapa Bush for the PGG Wrightson Cup, kick-off 3pm.