The 2017 New Zealand 16s wider squad to play the NZ Maori 17s next month was announced today.
The team last played in 2014 against Samoa in what was a tightly contested match with the NZ Residents coming out on top with a 32 – 26 victory. The 2014 16s team featured 14 players who are now with NRL clubs including young talent Steve Marsters and Chanel Harris-Tavita who both went on to earn a spot in the Junior Kiwis this year.
New Zealand Resident 16s Head Coach, Andrew Auimatagi says “I’m really excited about the talent we have named in the wider training squad for this representative season.
“We have selected players from right across the country who have impressed us in the early stages of their playing careers and who will be working hard to ensure they are named in the final team to play the NZ Maori 17s in late July.
“As it will be the first time for many wearing the New Zealand jersey, it is important for us (as staff) to teach the players about what it means to take those first steps on our representative pathway,” he says.
The re-introduction of this anticipated match into the NZRL calendar is something New Zealand Rugby League’s National Talent Manager, David McMeeken believes will strengthen the pathways for young rugby league players.
“The return of this fixture is a great opportunity for the boys with aspirations to play for their country – it also adds a lot of prestige to the occasion.
“This game will be a challenging and competitive fixture as our NZ 16s gear up to face a strong NZ Maori 17s team, many of whom are also boys that have been through the NZRL pathways,” he says.
The final squad of 18 will be named on 5 July to play in Rotorua at Puketewhero Park on July 22 against the NZ Maori 17s.
2017 New Zealand Resident 16s Wider Training Squad:
Akarana: Christian Tuipulotu, Eteru Ropati, Jyris Glamuzina, Nathanael Sasagi, Temple-Olympia Kalepo, Tuinamo Tepulolo, Jona Palota-Kopa, Keanu Ratumairavuki, Junior Tuileisu; Counties: Aamon Dean, Brian Lealiifano, Diaz Tahia, Kaya Cuthers, Marco Talagi, Semisi Tapa, Xavier Stevens-Teo; Mid Central: Jamie Robertson; Northland: Kiarn Reihana-Ngatoki; Southern: Caius Faatili, Griffin Neame, Leroy Ferguson; Upper Central: Albert Talakai, Ceiza James, Rayna Whakaari; Auckland Vulcans: Caleb Pese, Sione Moala, Soaki Taufa; Wellington: Ilai Tuai, Wyatt So'otaga
(NOTE: as per their last represented zone)
The 2016 SAS College Rugby League runners up Wesley College have fallen short of securing a spot in the championship division of the secondary schools competition this year, kneeling 12-10 to Aorere in the final game of pool play on Wednesday June 7.
With Kelston already through to the next round and Aorere sitting in second position of their pool, Wesley needed to win if they had any chance of making the championship rounds.
Wesley dominated the early exchanges of the game.
Camping deep in the oppositions territory, the home side stormed over for two tries to take a 10-4 lead at the break.
But Aorere's response was perfect.
Gaining plenty of early yardage in the second half, the visitors harassed the fading forwards to score and set up another lifting Aorere to 12 points.
Wesley had the opportunity to score again, but Aorere repeatedly pinned their opponents frustrating them to fundamental errors.
With the siren going in the background and only metres from their line, Wesley had one last chance to take the lead, but Aorere's patience and discipline couldn't be denied edging past Wesley 12-10 at fulltime.
Aorere 12 (Falani Pokino, Xavier Stevens, JB Vave Bulu tries) Welsey 10 (Sam Havili, Taniela Prescott tries; Larenz Tupaea x1 goal).
In other games, Kelston kept their undefeated streak to ensure top qualification from Pool B with a 30-10 victory over Papatoetoe.
Mt Albert performed admirably against perennial heavyweights St Paul's staying in the contest for the full 50 minutes to win 10-8 in Pool A, while Westlake went down 32-8 to Southern Cross ending their hopes of championship progression.
The premiership pools now split into Championship and Plate competitions (refer to attached draw for both divisions).
Kelston, Aorere, Southern Cross, St Paul's, Papatoetoe and Mt Albert will play in the Championship grade while Manurewa, Wesley, Westlake, Avondale and Western Springs play for the Plate.
For fixtures and ladders click here. *Please note these are subject to entry by College Sport.
Premier Pool A
St Paul’s 8 Mt Albert 10 HT: 4-6
Westlake Boys 8 Southern Cross 32 HT: 0-18
Premier Pool B
Wesley 10 Aorere 12 HT: 10-4
Manurewa 30 Western Springs 0 (by default)
Papatoetoe 10 Kelston Boys 30 HT: 0-30
Selwyn 16 Pakuranga 18 HT: 8-6
Aorere B 12 Sir Edmund Hillary 24 HT: TBA
Southern Cross 24 Papakura 6 HT: TBA
James Cook 22 Lynfield 14 HT: 10-6
Westlake Boys bye
St Paul’s 48 Aorere 18
Manurewa 56 Onehunga 14
Avondale 12 Southern Cross 56
Sir Edmund Hillary 36 Henderson 12
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