'Canes make parents smile at children's ward

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From left to right Jevada Kinnaird holding daughter Casey Louise Huwyler, Dane Coles, Te Toiroa holding Micheal Howes, Kylem O'Donell, Leni Apisai, mum Joyce Murphy William Howes, 2.

By James Baker

Four Hurricanes dropped by to Whanganui Hospital's children ward on Friday and although the children were too young to recognise the players, there were plenty of smiling dads.

And one was even a former team mate of Hurricanes captain Dane Coles.

Coles says the team like to to pop into hospitals and brighten the day for some of the children in the wards.

"Its good to put a smile on their face," he said

"They love it, we do the same thing in Wellington, if we can."

But today things didn't go quite according to plan. As Coles, Leni Apisai, Kylem O'Donnell and Tahuriorangi Te Toiroa made there way through the ward, the three infants there were a bit too young to recognise the players.

But that didn't stop them bringing joy and smiles to some of the dads in the room.

Coles said as a parent he can sympathise with what they are going through.

"I've got two kids myself so I can understand," said Coles.

Among the dads greeting the team was the captain's former team mate and Whanganui local Pehira Huwyler.

Mr Huwylers and the Hurricanes captain meet each other over 10 years ago when they began their rugby career together joining the Wellington Rugby Academy in 2004.

Mr Huwylers had brought his two year old daughter in after a touch of pneumonia;he was surprised to run into his former team mate and stoked to see the team.

"It was good to see Dane and the boys, haven't seen them for a while," said Mr Huwyler.

Hurricanes halfback Te Toiroa says the response the team has gotten from the local fans in Whanganui has been touching.

"Coming to places like this, you know that's what it's all about," he said.

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