Academy applications open now

22 October 2014

The NZRL Academy structure is a development pathway for elite youth athletes and management staff, aiming to develop a stronger NZ pathway that keeps our junior athletes at their own homes and schools for as long as possible, rather than moving to Australia.

Ultimately, we want to influence behaviours, disciplines and attitudes towards being the best that you can be across everything you do, not just rugby league.

In that regard, educational aspiration and engagement with each athlete's school will be a pre-requisite to attending

The academies will duplicate the pre-season and in-season programmes that exist in the New South Wales and Queensland 16 and 18-year age-group competitions.

The key elements are:

  1. Academy start date of November 24 OR the day after the last NCEA exams for the athlete
  2. A commitment of 3-4 evening training sessions per week, plus a Saturday morning session
  3. Off-season (December/January) - introduction to strength and conditioning training, speed work and fundamental skills
  4. Pre-season (February) - maintenance work, contact and wrestle, and team structures
  5. In-season (March) - proposed national academy 16s and 18s competition

Proposed Academy locations are:

Akarana:  Western Springs College, Western Springs

Counties-Manukau:  Waimahia Intermediate, Clendon

Wellington:  Te Waananga, Porirua

Christchurch:  NZIS, Riccarton

The cost is $1250, which covers.

  • 200-250 development hours for each athlete
  • Training and playing kit
  • Venue hire
  • six-week national competition.

NZRL wants to encourage NRL clubs to fund and place any kids that they may have signed into the academy structure

We have a limited number of scholarships available and these will be allocated on merit.

NZRL Academy Application Form

Varsities named for South Is clash

21 October 2014

NZ Univerities coach Kenny O'Brien has chosen a team of good youth and experience from more than 60 nominations to play the South Island as a curtainraiser to the Kiwis v England Four Nations test next month.

"In the end, he has chosen an exciting young team," says NZ Universities Tertiary Students Rugby League Council chairman Rodney Moore.

The team includes four players - Dexter Buchanan, Marrin Haggie, Denzil Hokianga and Nicholas Read - who went to England last year as part of the New Zealand Student World Cup side.

The remaining 14 players will all be making their New Zealand Universities & Tertiary Students representative debut from eight different university and tertiary institutions, including six from the Auckland University of Technology.

Moore says the game is especially significant for the team, given that Dunedin is the spiritual home of student league in New Zealand, where the first university club was formed 60 years ago, along with being the city where the first ever New Zealand Universities side played in 1967.

The team captain will be named when the team assembles in Dunedin on November 6.

The squad in alphabetical surname order is:

Name Institution
Chaz Brown Auckland University of Technology
Dexter Buchanan University of Otago
Marrin Haggie Waikato Institute of Technology
Tumoana Halkyard New Zealand Institute of Sport
Denzil Hokianga Wellington Institute of Technology
Theo Lalakai Auckland University of Technology
Isaac Misky University of Otago
Jordon Norton Auckland University of Technology
Nicholas Read Waikato Institute of Technology
David Saumolia Wellington Institute of Technology
Solomona Sio Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation
Elifasa Sopi Auckland University of Technology
Tyrone Tangata-Makiri Auckland University of Technology
Uta Toea'ana Auckland University of Technology
Ken Tofilau University of Canterbury
Manu Weepu Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
Jason Whareaitu University of Waikato

Coach: Kenny O'Brien (Wellington)
Manager: David Marsh (Auckland)
Event manager: Marama Puketapu (Wellington)
Trainer: Johnny Herewini (Dunedin)

Two debutants in Kiwis line-up

21 October 2014

Blockbusting forward Jason Taumalolo and teenage wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have been named for their NZ Kiwis debuts in the 2014 Four Nations opener against Australia at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

Coach Stephen Kearney has also re-united Keiran Foran and Shaun Johnson in the halves, with veteran utility Thomas Leuluai starting at hooker.

Watene-Zelezniak's inclusion is subject to a fitness test on a foot injury picked up in training early this week. He continues a proud family tradition in the Kiwis - great-grandfather Steve Watene is a former national team captain and lends his name to the NZ Player of the Year award.

"Dallin is an exciting young prospect, who we think will play many tests for the Kiwis in the future," says Kearney. "He'll be looking for to this opportunity to step up to the next level, but we'll have to wait and see how his foot mends up."

Taumalolo finally gets his chance to take the field for the Kiwis, after filling a non-playing role at the 2012 Anzac Test.

"His performances over the past year, but particularly over the last two months of the NRL, have been very consistent," says Kearney.

"Jason's always been there or thereabouts. He had an opportunity to get picked for the Anzac Test before he injured a shoulder and he's also been a Junior Kiwi."

Utility Lewis Brown also returns to the side, coming off the bench, after a three-year absence.

"I feel like this group has a good balance about it and we've certainly trained very well over the last couple of days, so you can feel the combinations starting to come together." says Kearney.


Saturday, October 25

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

England: 1-Sam Tomkins, 2-Josh Charnley, 3-Kallum Watkins, 4-Michael Shenton, 5-Ryan Hall, 6-Gareth Widdop, 7- Matty Smith, 8-George Burgess, 9-Josh Hodgson, 10-James Graham (captain), 11-Liam Farrell, 12-Joel Tomkins, 13-Joe Westerman, 14-Daryl Clark, 15-Brett Ferres, 16-Tom Burgess, 17-Chris Hill

Samoa: 1-Tim Simona, 2-Antonio Winterstein, 3-Ricky Leutele, 4-Joey Leilua, 5-Daniel Vidot, 6-Ben Roberts, 7-Kyle Stanley, 8-Sam Tagaetese, 9-Michael Sio, 10-David Fa'alogo, 11-Frank Pritchard, 12-     Leeson Ah Mau, 13-Josh McGuire, 14-Pita Godinet, 15-Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16-Isaac Liu, 17-Mose Masoe, 18-Dunamis Lui

Referee - Gerard Sutton, touch - Jason Walsh, Anthony Elliot, video - Henry Perenara


New Zealand: 1-Peta Hiku, 2-Jason Nightingale, 3-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 4-Dean Whare, 5-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6-Kieran Foran, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Adam Blair, 11-Simon Mannering (captain), 12-Kevin Proctor, 13-Jason Taumalolo, 14-Lewis Brown, 15-Greg Eastwood, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Tohu Harris, 18-Suaia Matagi

Australia: 1-Greg Inglis, 2-Josh Mansour, 3-Michael Jennings, 4-Dylan Walker, 5-Daniel Tupou, 6-Daly Cherry-Evans, 7-Cooper Cronk, 8-Aaron Woods, 9-Cameron Smith (captain), 10-Sam Thaiday, 11-Beau Scott, 12-Ryan Hoffman, 13-Greg Bird, 14-Robbie Farah, 15-Aidan Guerra, 16-Josh Papalii, 17-Corey Parker, 18-Boyd Cordner, 19-David Klemmer, 20-Sione Mata'utia

Referee - Phil Bentham, touch - Robert Hicks, Grant Atkins, video - Ian Smith

In the news - No panic for Kiwis

20 October 2014

David Long, Stuff

There's none of that panicking around the Kiwis camp this week that's usually there before a big game in Australia.

For the Anzac test each April, Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has to cram in as much as he can in the two training sessions he gets, but with a longer lead-in time, the team have settled in well on the Gold Coast in preparation for Sunday's test against the Kangaroos in Brisbane.

So much so that, after a strenuous 100-minute training session yesterday, they boys were let off the leash to try out the rides at the Dreamworld theme park with the 19-year-old sensation Dallin Watene-Zelezniak the keenest to try out the stomach churning ride, the Claw.

Read more


Learn more about the NZ Kiwis' Four Nations campaign at #goodstuff


Canterbury Bulls take premiership

18 October 2014

Canterbury Bulls have scored a seven try to two over the Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions in the Pirtex National Premiership final at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Bulls eventually won the game 40-8, but it wasn't as easy as most first thought and Wai-Coa-Bay battled strongly in testing conditions.

There had been plenty of contention over who should be in the final before kick-off, with the Bulls strong favourites for the title and showing why in the first 20 minutes of the game.

In torrential rain, the Bulls scored first through Erwin Sauni, followed by Toi Sepuloni and then Bruce Havea for an 18-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Showing strong resolve, Isaac Robinson replied for Wai-Coa-Bay in the corner to signal his side was in the game.

Canterbury came back with a try through some good hands to Ken Tofilau, converted by Sepuloni for a 24-4 lead.

Not to be outdone, the Stallions came back for an unconverted try to John Koko, via a nice darting run and a dummy.

That was the end of the first half, and it, no doubt, gave the Bulls a big scare and the Stallions plenty of pride.

The second spell saw another try to Sepuloni and also to talented teen Cyrus Timo-Latu. Sepuloni converted them all for six in a row.

He couldn't quite convert the seventh try, scored by Manu Weepu in the 64th minute, but he had a game that was worthy of the praise from coach Darrell Coad.

"Sepuloni has done a lot of work off the field and outside of normal practice hours, and it shows today," said the first-time Canterbury coach.

"We started well, but dropped intensity near the end of the first half. All-in-all, I'm really happy with the completion rate, and so happy for the boys and for me too.

"League is in my blood and I'm so happy with the win."



Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Saturday, October 18

Canterbury Bulls 40 (Toi Sepuloni 2, Manu Weepu, Cyrus Timo-Latu, Ken Tofilau, Erwin Sauni & Bruce Havea tries; Sepuloni 6 goals) Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions 8 (Isaac Robinson & John Koko tries); HT: 24-8