Former ABs part of 10s fun

Getting ready for the Spartans 10s tournament at Miller Park this weekend are (from left) Shane...
Getting ready for the Spartans 10s tournament at Miller Park this weekend are (from left) Shane Waldron, Aaron Mauger, Hayden Finch and Kees Meeuws. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
Some former All Blacks will walk down memory lane tomorrow - all for a good cause, of course.

John Timu, Aaron Mauger and Corey Flynn will show their skills as the Spartans 10s tournament takes place at Miller Park, coming back on to the radar after a hiatus last year.

Some players have come out of the retirement while those of the younger ilk are looking to get a bit of pre-season training under their belt in the way of a 10s tournament.

It has attracted 24 teams, split into an open grade and a masters grade, consisting of players aged over 35.

The Spartans, who have been dominant in the masters grade at the tournament, will front again tomorrow but may not have it all their own way.

The Spartans will have former internationals Kees Meeuws, Paul Miller, Pita Alatini, Riki Flutey and Flynn lining up for them along with the likes of Willie Walker and Scott Cowan. Shortland St star Pua Magasiva will also line up for the team.

The tournament has always been a fundraiser and this year's is no exception. All funds will go to youngster Harry Finch, who is seeking to have an operation in the United States later this year.

Harry (3), a twin, was born prematurely at 29 weeks and has cerebral palsy spastic diplegia in the muscles in his legs, making walking difficult. He is not yet able to stand or walk independently.

There is hope, however. He has been accepted for surgery at St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri in the United States.

The surgery will give Harry a better chance of walking independently. The surgery and physiotherapy is not funded in New Zealand and will cost $NZ150,000.

Tournament co-organiser Shane Waldron said support for the tournament had been great and many players and sponsors were keen to be involved.

Harry's Heroes had come into the masters grade and looks - on paper - to be a competitive unit.

Andrew and Charlie Hore, Kelvin Middleton, Matt Carrington, Tom Donnelly, Highlanders coach Mauger and Timu have been named to play, though the substitution bench is bound to get a good work-out.

A women's game and an under-11 game will also feature and plenty of teams are lining up for the open grade.

Taieri won the tournament a couple of years ago and is back again as are Harbour, Green Island, Alhambra-Union and Southern. There is also an Otago Boys' High School old boys team. A Vikings team which includes University speedsters Gavin Stark and Taylor Haugh is expected to be competitive.

Further afield, teams are coming from Old Boys in Oamaru, Arrowtown and a couple of teams from Southland.

A dinner will be held at the clubrooms tomorrow night and items for auction include a signed pair of Joseph Parker boxing gloves and a World Cup rugby ball, signed by Richie McCaw and Graham Henry.

The Ranfurly Shield will be on display from 11am-4pm.

The first game is set to kick off at 9am. The final match is scheduled for just after 5pm.

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