5 Sep 2011

Waitangi welcome for Canadian rugby team

6:40 am on 5 September 2011

The Canadian rugby team and the Rugby World Cup referees are in for a classic Waitangi welcome on Monday.

A powhiri and capping ceremony for the Canadians takes place on Monday morning in the whare runanga - the carved meeting house on the Treaty Grounds.

And the referees, headed by Paddy O'Brien, were to be welcomed on Monday afternoon, with a waka trip out on the bay to follow.

The Waitangi manager Jeanette Richardson, says the welcome for an overseas sports team is a first for the Treaty Grounds, and it'll be a big day for Northland.

The Canadian rugby team will be based at the Waitangi Copthorne and will train on the Bledisloe sports fields opposite the hotel.