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Fans celebrate Hurricanes long-awaited win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/08/2016 Karen Sweeney

It was a win two decades in the making for the Hurricanes and fans have turned out in droves to show their unwavering support for the champion side.

Last year's disappointment turned to celebration when the Hurricanes took down South Africa's Lions 20-3 in the Super Rugby Final on Saturday.

And on Wednesday fans lined Lambton Quay and Willis Street from Parliament to Civic Square to cheer on the players, who proudly held the championship trophy high.

Captain Dane Coles says it was the support of Wellington and Hurricanes fans over the past two decades and more so the last month that had helped them bring home the win.

"We just want to dedicate the championship to the whole Hurricanes region, especially Wellington," he said.

"All the support we've had is very humbling, we're just stoked we could bring the trophy here today and show it off."

For five players, including France-bound Victor Vito who played his 100th game on Saturday, the parade was their final public outing with the team.

Motu Matu'u was ecstatic to be part of the team that could finally bring home the win for Hurricanes before he is reunited with former teammate Jeremy Thrush at Gloucester for the 2016-17 English premiership season.

"It's unreal, it's 21 years in the making and it's quite important that we have our fans backing us all the way," he said.

"That's what it's all about here in Wellington, packing the Cake Tin, and we're just glad we've brought this big boy home."

Surprised by the huge turnout, winger Julian Savea said to win the championship was not only special for the team but for supporters and everyone else involved in the franchise.

And the team is already looking to the future.

"It's a long shot but there's always a chance for everyone, (we're) definitely going to enjoy this moment and pretty sure the boys are coming back and raring to go next year," he said.

Also looking to the future was 12-year-old fan and aspiring Hurricane Ollie Gittins, who loved the chance to meet his heroes.

"It's amazing, I don't even have the words," he said.

He collected signatures on his Hurricanes flags while others turned to body parts, including Bob Reid who used his bald head as a blank canvas.

Others like Michael Holsworth, who was at the game on Saturday and in the front row for the parade just wanted the chance to take in the atmosphere and celebrate with the team.

"It's fantastic to see them, on a sunny day, to see them out with the trophy," he said.

"It's a long time waiting."

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