England invasion of South gathering momentum

England supporter Adam Morton sen, of Dunedin, shakes hands with England captain Chris Robshaw at...
England supporter Adam Morton sen, of Dunedin, shakes hands with England captain Chris Robshaw at Dunedin International Airport last night. Photo by Craig Baxter.

The England rugby team arrived in Dunedin last night and most of its visiting supporters are set to converge on Dunedin today.

About 100 people, including the King's and Queen's High Schools' kapa haka groups, welcomed the England squad at Dunedin International Airport last night.

Relaxed players took photos of the spirited haka and handed out wrist bands and badges of the English rose to the pupils.

In the terminal, England supporter Adam Morton sen, of Dunedin, played UB40's Swing Low Sweet Chariot on his portable stereo and assured the squad it had the speed and skills to beat the All Blacks tomorrow.

Most English supporters were arriving in Dunedin today, i-Site spokesman Peter Campbell said.

The foreign visitors calling at the centre to book accommodation in Dunedin for this weekend were all English and were staying tonight and tomorrow, he said.

''For a short time and a good time.''

Octagon bar owner Grant Ellis said work on building Octagon Village would start at 6am today and would be ready for customers from noon.

The village included three bars - Ratbags, Craft Bar and The Terrace - and could hold up to 2500 people, he said.

He had employed 35 security staff for tomorrow but was expecting a well-behaved crowd, he said.

''We had the English for three games at the Rugby World Cup and not one incident.''

The Nude Blacks play England at 2pm tomorrow at the University Oval.

Organisers of the polar plunge at St Clair Beach at noon on Sunday encouraged bathers to dress in black or Union Jack colours.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

 

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