Taranaki have asked their fans to lend them a bull to be their new mascot.
Taranaki's old mascot McGillie, who weighed in at 850kg, died in 2007 and Jimmy Fastier, who is part of the Union's marketing team, is keen to bring back a new mascot after seven years without a bull. "When I was a young fella I used to go to the rugby with mum and dad and there was a live bull there," Fastier told Taranaki Daily News. "I want to bring that back."
With that in mind, in a post on their Facebook account, Taranaki wrote: "In 1953 a Taranaki Rugby tradition began when parts of a massive bull from the abattoirs at Clemow Road, Fitzroy were used to create the Taranaki team mascot.
"From there it all grew into livestock being used at Rugby Park to support the team and entertain the local crowd. During the 1990s the legendary McGillie, a Scottish Highland steer from Stoney Oaks Wildlfie Park weighing 850kg was used as the main attraction until it sadly passed away in 2007 - at one stage a TV commentator even had a ride on it's back.
"Taranaki Rugby needs your help to bring back livestock to the Bull Ring in 2014! If you support Taranaki Rugby and have a pet steer or bull that would be able to safely entertain the TenderLink Taranaki crowd at Yarrow Stadium then we want to hear from you."
McGillie's former owner has endorsed the plans but said the replacement would have to be a highland bull and that McGillie was "one in a million".