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Warriors to part ways with original Drums of the Pacific weeks before 2024 season

Jaxin Daniels

'Hit me real hard': Warriors ditch original drummers week before session

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Warriors fans will be marching to a different beat at Mount Smart stadium this season as the club has decided to move on from the drummers that have been around since 1996.

For 28 years, the Drums of the Pacific have been contracted to the Warriors as their official drummers, even having their Australian branch take over during the NRL’s Covid-19 seasons.

In a Facebook post by the group, they pointed to always being present no matter what the situation was for the Warriors.

“Every loss. Every win. Every storm. Every rainbow. All the criticism. And even in the most challenging time for the entire world, a pandemic.

“Whether there were thousands in the stands or five people, whether we had shelter to drum under or not, whether the boys were at the top or very bottom of the table we were there 1000 per cent.”

Although a sad time for the group, they are also very grateful for the opportunity over the years.

“As we see out this chapter with big and grateful hearts to the NZ Warriors staff, we know that God will be presenting more opportunities for us.

“Many relationships have been created with our past and present NZ Warriors players and that is what we will miss the most.”

One of the drummers, Jay Samson, shared his sadness after 28 years drumming for the team.

“This hit me real hard,” he posted.

‘No one was a more hearty Warriors fan than my old man’

“I spent my whole life drumming at the Wahs games, through the rain and sunshine, through all the years of them losing, we were there.

“Now that they are popping, everything has changed.”

Warriors fans will have a new game day experience in 2024. Photo / Photosport

Samson went on to express how upset he was for his father and leader of the group, Jacob Samson, who had been looking at old photos of the performers drumming for the Warriors.

“No one, I mean no one, was a more hearty Warriors fan than my old man.

“My dad was the type to defend the Wahs name anywhere and everywhere.”

Warriors marketing and business development general manager Glenn Harris said they were looking toward the future of game day entertainment and were appreciative of the long service provided by Drums of the Pacific.

“We sat back at the end of last season and looked at every part of our game day experience, and one of those was the opportunity to have a look at our drummers.

“The drummers are an important part of our game day and it’s sort of become a bit of a signature.”

Harris said the Warriors were transitioning into a new model around game day entertainment and were transparent with the drummers about what they were looking for.

“I told him [Jacob Samson] that our intention was to take on a new dance troupe and appreciated all their long service.

“It was really important for us that he blessed this new group, which was a young group of people coming through and at that stage he was happy with that, but obviously disappointed.”

“He understood what we were doing and understood that, much like a football team, we need to give the new players a chance now and then.”

Harris has seen some comments on social media and understands the group and community is disappointed but doesn’t feel like the comments reflect what has happened behind the scenes.

“We gave more than three months’ notice of the change.

“We’ve consulted with Jacob Samson along the way so I think we’ve done everything fair and reasonable.”

The Herald has reached out to Jacob Samson and Drums of the Pacific for comment.

Hero image: Drummers. Vodafone Warriors v Brisbane Broncos. NRL Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 27 May 2017 © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga /

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