Hawke's Bay is gearing up for a sellout at McLean Park as the Warriors face the Brisbane Broncos tomorrow night.
It's the first time the New Zealand side's played an NRL match in the region.
Skipper Tohu Harris was born and raised in Hastings and makes his return to the proud sporting region.
The team was welcomed onto Waipatu marae, a homecoming for the Hastings rugby league king.
Harris said the moment was special.
“Not everyone can say that they were able to have their team come to visit their marae, and I know it’s a very rare occasion and one that will stick with me for the rest of my life and I'm sure my family too.
"For us to come down here, hopefully, it's a real positive thing for the area and hopefully, we can bring a few smiles to everyone after a tough few months,” Harris said.
The fourth-placed Broncos will be missing some key players on Origin duty for the Saturday clash and for the seventh-placed Warriors they are back in action after last week's bye.
Harris said the team was ready.
“We're expecting a tough battle, it's going to be a hard slog out there,” Harris said.
Hundreds showed their love for the team today at a fan signing session while players were also soaking it all in.
Warriors star playmaker Shaun Johnson said the local crowd response was special.
“Something that we haven't experienced in a long time, so yeah refreshing and exciting, the kids showed out,” Johnson said.