Patrick Gower, former All Blacks take to field for Pack the Park rugby match

Former rugby stars and brave celebrities took to the rugby field in Invercargill on Saturday for a game that was described as "ugly".

But it was for a good cause, the Southland Charity Hospital. It was the dream of Blair Vining, and it was on his bucket list.

On Saturday, 10,000 Southland fans were thrilled to gather and watch former All Black greats and other stars who descended on Invercargill for the big match.

"Cheap entertainment really when you see a bunch of has-beens running around trying to smash each other," former All Black Mils Muliaina said.

"Not feeling that great actually, to be honest, I'd much rather be on the other side of the camera doing what I normally do," said Blair Vining team captain Patrick Gower.

"Just really grateful that they've asked me to come along. Don't know how I'm going to go, it's been a long time between drinks," Piri Weepu added.

They're here for a cause as important as any cup. After the late Blair Vining was diagnosed with cancer, he fought for better healthcare for his community and the country.

It's the last-ever Pack the Park to thank everyone who supported Vining's dream of establishing the Southland Charity Hospital, which is about to open.

"Now it's finally at a stage where it's done and this Pack the Park is to celebrate it all coming to an end!" said Vining's daughter Lilly.

TV3's Patrick Gower captained the Blair Vining team. And he was kicking goals both on and off the field.

"Cancer is something that takes a lot away from people, so it's awesome to give something back and be part of this Southland miracle," Gower said.

"What Missy and the Southland community have done is absolutely incredible," invitational team captain Matt Watson added.

After a match where commentators wondered if both sides had paid off the ref, the Vining side took the win.

"Beautiful Southland day and all these amazing former All Blacks and locals taking to the park for the final time. Blair would just be out of his skin with today," his widow and health advocate Missy Vining said.

As the commentators said, it was a good result for Blair looking down on his team - and soon on the hospital he dreamed of.