Billy Spivey could not pass the ball around with the Kiwis at their training session last Tuesday – but the young fan did chat to his favourite player Shaun Johnson.
Billy, 7, broke his femur three weeks ago after crashing his motorbike and has to be in a wheelchair until November 16.
That didn’t stop him getting to Linfield Park to meet his idol after the Kiwis open training session for the Rugby League World Cup.
“It was cool. He said ‘I hope your leg gets better’,” Billy said.
His mother Nicola said she did not tell Billy they were going to the training session until he woke up that morning.
“It is a bit tricky purely because he can’t bear weight on his leg.”
Ms Spivey said while Billy was a bit upset he could not pass the ball around, he was chuffed to meet Johnson for the second time, after seeing him when the Warriors played the Penrith Panthers in Christchurch last year.
The family will be at AMI Stadium on Saturday to watch the Kiwis play Scotland in pool play. But they will not be sitting where they had originally planned.
Ms Spivey said they had to buy tickets in the wheelchair seating area at the bottom of the City Care Stand so Billy could still go.
She, Billy and his three-year-old brother, Benji, will sit together, while dad Hamish will be in the stand with friends.
Billy’s Halswell Hornets gold team, which his dad coaches, won junior team of the year at the Canterbury rugby league awards. He was the second highest points scorer.
Ms Spivey is the junior club captain. Billy said he wants to play for the Kiwis when he grows up, and the NRL premiership-winning Melbourne Storm because he has the same name as their fullback Billy Slater.
Ms Spivey said while their friends joked about their kids being named after well-known rugby league players, it was not intentional.