New Zealand’s Covid-19 lock-down has spoiled the plans of countless Kiwis who spend their Saturdays playing rugby league, or at the very least watching it on the couch, until now.

That’s because the Vodafone Warriors have teamed up with sponsor Best Foods for a digital dining experience via Zoom, available every Saturday lunchtime as a substitute for cancelled rugby league games.

Three players from the club’s NRL squad will be available each Saturday to engage with fans over lunch, sharing experiences in lock-down and discussing all things rugby league. The first group of players linking up with supporters will include Chanel Harris-Tavita, Jackson Frei & Karl Lawton.

“Like us, our fans are obviously disappointed that the 2020 NRL season has been disrupted, and this is one small way to stay engaged with our fan base and help maintain social connections – in spite of social distancing,” commented Vodafone Warriors’ Glen Critchley.

In late March the NRL confirmed the 2020 season had been suspended indefinitely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Vodafone Warriors, who had been based in Australia for the first two rounds returned home immediately to go into self-isolation.

“Despite the impact Covid-19 has had on the NRL and rugby league at all levels, Best Foods remains a staunch and ardent supporter of the Vodafone Warriors,” noted Matt Rigby, Head of Unilever New Zealand.

”We’d encourage any rugby league fan to grab themselves a fresh sandwich, brew a good cuppa coffee, and dial in to chat to the boys.”

Fans can register for the Best Foods Digital Hangouts via the Best Foods Facebook page. Six individuals will be selected to take part each Saturday.

For more information, head to Best Foods’ Facebook Page

Best Foods Mayonnaise has been around since 1913 after being established in New York City under the name Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. The mayonnaise recipe they created in their New York deli, more than 100 years ago, has been a fan favourite ever since.

Unilever acquired the Best Foods brand in 2000 and have continued to distribute the brand worldwide to loyal Best Foods fans, including here in New Zealand where it is the number one mayonnaise brand. Best Foods believes that good food doesn’t have to cost the earth, creating mayonnaise from simple ingredients to deliver the best possible taste.