Ava (aged 11) from Kildare, who lives with multiple medical conditions wished to meet Beauden Barrett and the All Blacks Team. She practices kicking in her back garden and thinks that Beauden Barrett is the ‘main man’. With the help of our friends in Make-A-Wish New Zealand and IrishRugby, we set about granting this wish.

The All Blacks contacted us during the week of the big game and invited Ava and her mum Laura to the Captain’s Run at the Aviva Stadium on Friday afternoon. Ava was thrilled, letting out yelps of excitement at the sight of the team running out onto the pitch!

They sat close to the 22, and when a ball bounced into the stand, Ava threw it back to Jordi Barrett and waved at him. Later when she met him, he thanked her for throwing the ball – she was in awe.

They met most of the back line, got photographs with them and those she liked, she invited them all back to her house for a pyjama party and a hot chocolate! The players signed her rugby ball and listened to her teddy bear which chanted the Haka.

Both Barrett boys (Jordi and Beauden) signed a miniature All Blacks ball and she christened it the ‘Barrett Ball’ immediately! They posed for photographs and answered her questions. All of the players were wonderful and genuinely looked pleased to meet her.

Just when it was time to go, an IRFU representative said the Head Groundsman from the Aviva Stadium wanted to invite Ava onto the pitch... to pose under the goalposts and Ava happily walked out and posed for the camera!

A huge thanks to All Blacks who went above and beyond to put the smile on Ava’s face. #MagicalMonday

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