Lions supporter's All Black dream comes true

Lions supporter Alex Edwards is the toast of his fellow fans and a bit of a celebrity back home.

"I've had a lot of stick already and I imagine I'll get heavily fined when I get back to the UK," he says.

When the Brit was looking for a park for his campervan the night before the Lions played the Blues, Auckland's Ponsonby Rugby club was all but shut up.

"When he turned up we thought, 'are you by yourself you weirdo'," Sandra Ioane says.

Ioane was inside the clubrooms she helps run, and couldn't resist throwing out the welcome mat.

"I was talking to the girls and I said, 'nah I've got to take him home, I can't leave him here - what if something happens?'. But it was hard case [because] my girlfriend said I need to take a photo of him in case you don't come in in the morning," she says.

But first this mum to All Blacks rookie Rieko and his squad member brother Akira had to put in a call to her husband.

"I rang Ed and said 'I'm coming home with someone', he said 'who?', 'Oh I don't know a Lions supporter!'" she says.

"I just said to him, 'don't expect it to be flash it's just a house [but] it's comfy'."

And when the brothers came home,  Alex still had no idea his hosts were almost "rugby royalty".

"We just said, this is Akira this is Rieko, that's all he needs to know, and you could see his mind ticking over," Ms Ioane says.

The boys went off to their bedroom for the night, Alex couldn't believe his luck.

"Lovely people welcomed me into their house and said, 'help yourself to anything in the fridge, bathroom and what not'. Just really nice people," he said.

The family's down-to-earth hospitality comes as no surprise to Reiko and Akira's All Black teammates.

"His parents are pretty awesome, they've always been to all his games you always see them round the hotels so that was pretty awesome," teammate Charlie Faumuina said.

In fact, Alex was so at home he found himself part of the family debrief after the Blues game.

"The family ritual is we sit and watch the replay rewind, over and over slow motion, I don't think he wanted to watch it he had no choice his bed was right there!" Ms Ioane says.

But this Lions fan isn't complaining - he's converted. 

"To come to a country where all you guys speak about his rugby is like the land of milk and honey for me to be honest so I wouldn't mind coming back here to live," Mr Edwards says.

Newshub.

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