With only five sleeps until the big day, the Blues got into the Christmas spirit this afternoon with some community work in West Auckland.
“It's been great, getting amongst the community has been really good for the boys, especially around Christmas, the work leaves a bit to be desired, but that's all good,” says coach John Kirwan.
And the team hope the hard work won't just benefit the community.
“This sort of thing brings the team together, helps [us] learn about the new guys,” says loose forward Peter Saili. “Most guys are all farmers so us city boys are just learning from there, we'll just take them out later on.”
But two weeks into pre-season training, the players are keen to swap the garden for the rugby field.
“[The] first time we saw a rugby ball was yesterday, and it was good to feel it and pass it around, we saw it again today - hopefully tomorrow too,” says Saili.
The team will now be looking for more wins under the Christmas tree, and hoping that Santa’s red suit doesn't mean he’s a Crusaders fan.