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Mitre 10 Cup game to have extra meaning with Jerry Collins Stadium hosting

Tomorrow marks a repeat of last year's provincial premiership final between Tasman and Wellington but it's guaranteed to look different.

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Tomorrow’s final between Tasman and Wellington will be the first provincial match played at the Porirua stadium. Source: 1 NEWS

In fact, there could be some extra feeling in tomorrow’s game if not simply some extra big hits with it being the first time a provincial match is being played at Porirua's Jerry Collins Stadium.

The stadium is home to Northern United – a club only 30 years old but already rich in history with the likes of Christian Cullen, TJ Perenara and “The Hitman” Collins himself all playing for “Norths” over the years.

After Collins and his partner were tragically killed in 2015 in a car accident in France, the stadium was named after the All Blacks great.

Former teammate and All Black Tamati Ellison told 1 NEWS it only made sense to name the park after Collins.

“Even when Jerry came here out of school they struggled a bit but he was made captain at 17 or 18.”

Jackson Garden-Bachop, who is starting for Wellington at first-five, said tomorrow’s match between Wellington and Tasman means a lot to the club with it being Wellington’s first home match ever played outside of the Cake Tin or Athletic Park.

“This community even sees the Norths premier players as their heroes, so the fact we can bring the Lions here is something really special.”

Having come through the junior ranks at Northern United, Garden-Bachop bleeds blue when it comes to club rugby.

“This is where it all began, right where we're standing is where I used to train when I was under-sevens.”

Tomorrow’s match may be a bit more intense than age-grade rugby though.

“Packed out stadium, probably three deep around the outside – it’ll be a bit of a cauldron here when it gets full.”

Ellison added he’s confident his late teammate will be present too and rapt for the fixture at his old club.

“He would have a lot of pride in making sure we do our families proud.

“And then I'm sure the bar would have to be stocked after the game.”