All Blacks part rain clouds for triumphant reception

The All Blacks flew back in to Auckland this morning, freshly scrubbed up and patched up after a bruising few months in the UK. They went on to take out the big one by thumping Australia in the final on Sunday to become the Rugby World Cup 2015 champions.

They arrived to an Auckland looking fittingly black with torrential rain, but with everything going the way of the back-to-back world champions at the moment, the clouds parted and out came the spring sunshine in time for their arrival at Victoria Park.

Our kids were given a free pass from school for a few hours so we joined the huge crowds for our chance to welcome the world champions back with lots of cheering and yelling. When we arrived Ladi6 was warming up the crowd nicely with her hip hop and the All Blacks were taking their time to sign everything thrust in front of them and of course posing for the ubiquitous selfie shot with fans. Tenors Sole Mio stepped on stage to keep everything bubbling away and ended with their operatic tribute to the All Blacks while the team made their way on stage with the mayor.

I got the sketch I was after despite being constantly jostled by the crowd and with a 9 year old sitting on my shoulders, so quite a physical workout, but well worth it. Appreciation goes out to our own Urban Sketchers Aotearoa sketcher Eric Ngan, event organiser extraordinaire, who was instrumental in running the event!