When English rugby player Piers Francis, 26, signed a fulltime contract with the Blues this week, his English-born girlfriend, journalist, Amanda McClatchie, 32, knew she could put down a few more roots in the city and country they have adopted and love.
Francis, who was born in Kent, has been back and forth to New Zealand playing for provincial sides since 2011 and was shoulder-tapped by his former Counties Manukau coach Tana Umaga to play for the Blues this year, fast becoming a fan favourite.
The couple met in 2014 when they were both living in Scotland. Francis was playing for Edinburgh and McClatchie was working as a trainee lawyer.
“My friend asked me to be her plus-one at a corporate rugby event and Piers had to go for work,” McClatchie said.
“I was actually meant to go on my first Tinder date that night but decided against it — and my friend also told me there would be free champagne! Just over a year later we moved to New Zealand together.”
McClatchie recently scored freelance work on the The Crowd Goes Wild. Last year she worked weekend shifts reporting for NewsTalk ZB.
The Crowd Goes Wild is a perfect fit for a girl who is known to catch the train to Counties Manukau to support her man.
Great to get the result last night to propel us to top of the table and a humbling experience to receive my @countiesrugby blazer with my rock of a supporter! #Repost @miss_amanda_mac Massive congrats to my best friend and inspiration @piersfrancis on being awarded your @countiesrugby blazer. 🔴⚪️⚫️ I'm so proud to see you achieve your dream ❤️❤️❤️
The loved-up couple are based in Freemans Bay and are enjoying the Ponsonby hospitality scene.
“We both enjoy a bite out to eat, finding cool coffee spots,” Francis said.
They are excited about an upcoming Kiwi summer and 2017 is shaping up as a big year for the glamour couple.