Plenty to see, do at NRL Nines

24 January 2015

Queensland prop Steph Hancock will lead the Jillaroos out at Eden Park next weekend when her side take on the NZ Kiwi Ferns in a three-match series as part of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.

Coach Steve Folkes has named 14 players who were a part of November's test match against the Ferns in Wollongong, and also included Kellye Hodges and Nikki Richards to make up a 16-woman squad.

Hancock, who made her debut as captain in Wollongong, will be joined by forwards Brittany Breayley, Heather Ballinger, Kezie Apps, Vanessa Folaiki, Ruan Sims, Richards and Julie Young, and backs Sam Hammond, Karina Brown, Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Annette Brander, Ali Brigginshaw, Maddie Studdon, Hodges and the versatile Deanna Turner, giving Folkes' squad strength and speed.

"It's an honour to once again be selected to captain Australia in women's rugby league and we are extremely excited to be involved in this year's Auckland Nines," says Hancock.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to play in front of up to 45,000 fans each day, something we have not done before."

Folkes says his side were very much looking forward to the challenge of coming up against the Ferns, who have the home-ground advantage in Auckland.

"After a camp in Wollongong at the end of last year the team know each other well now. They put in some hard work and having that prior preparation should certainly help us," he said.

"These women have shown a lot of commitment to make themselves available for the Nines, they are excited and will no doubt put in their best performance."

Jillaroos Nines Squad: Kezie Apps, Heather Ballinger, Annette Brander, Brittany Breayley, Ali Brigginshaw, Karina Brown, Vanessa Foliaki, Sam Hammond, Steph Hancock, Kellye Hodges, Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Nikki Richards, Ruan Sims, Maddie Studdon, Deanna Turner, Julie Young

Check out teams for the NRL Auckland Nines here.

Searching for NZRL HP manager

23 January 2015


New Zealand Rugby League is searching for a new football and high performance general manager to oversee strategies, initiatives and programmes across the game.

The position, most recently held by former Kiwi Tony Iro, is based at Rugby League House in Auckland. While its most high-profile responsibility is managing the NZ Kiwis programme, the full-time role will also oversee all other national teams and development pathways.

Among the key duties are:

• Owning NZRL high performance plan and initiatives, reviewing and developing appropriate pathways, programmes and structures to position NZRL at the forefront of international elite competition

• Developing and maintaining talent development, player management and support programmes across all elite areas of the game, covering 16s, 18s, Junior Kiwis, Kiwi Ferns and Kiwis

• Managing and leading the NZRL Taurahere and national academy programmes

• In conjunction with the community general manager, developing and delivering the national football calendar to ensure NZRL game, growth and reach objectives are delivered

• Delivering the football content within the annual NZRL football calendar, and all NZRL-run tournaments and competitions, particularly the national secondary schools and youth (15s and 17s) tournaments, and the national premiership

• Convenor of selectors for the Kiwis team and manager of the national selection panel.

• Providing leadership and management to the Kiwis Head Coach and Kiwis management support team, and being the key interface between the team and the NZRL executive

• Leading and driving the "Te Iwi Kiwi" heart/performance standards and cultural values for all national representative teams, particularly the Kiwis

• Representing NZRL high performance at RLIF, NRL, RFL, HP Sport NZ, and any other relevant national and international forums

Salary package is structured to attract high-quality candidates, who must be able to travel throughout New Zealand and internationally on a regular basis.

Please send a one-page cover letter and CV to by 4pm, January 23, 2015.

NZRL Football & High Performance GM Position Description

Counties Manukau schedules AGM

22 January 2015

The Counties Manukau Zone board formally advises that the zone's fifth general meeting & convention will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

The general meeting is called in accordance with the Counties Manukau Zone constitution, Section 13.3 - Notice of Annual Meetings.

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Where: Howick Rugby League Club, Paparoa Road, Howick
Commencing 6.30pm

If a club wishes to submit any items to be considered under general business, these matters should be submitted in writing to zone general manager Kasey King at least 20 business days before the annual meeting.

Therefore, the submission close-off date is 4pm on February 11, 2015.

Please address any general business to:

General Manager
Counties Manukau Zone of NZRL
PO Box 12 712, Penrose
Auckland 1642

or email

To assist with planning for the meeting and to ensure a quorum is present, clubs are asked to complete the attached registration form and submit it to the general manager by February 18, 2015.

If you have any queries on the election process, please contact chairman Trevor Gill on 021 995 263 or Kasey King on 021 275 6975.

Club Registration Form

Notice of Elected Directors

Elected Director Nomination Form

Appointed Directors Advertisement

Appointed Director Application Form

Close calls for NZRL Awards

21 January 2015

Golden Boot winner Shaun Johnson faces strong challenges from national captain Simon Mannering and prop Jesse Bromwich for 2014 NZ Kiwis Player of the Year.

The international player categories will attract most attention at next Wednesday's NZ Rugby League Awards function at Auckland's Floating Pavilion.

Johnson was a Kiwis standout during last year's Four Nations triumph and received the prestigious Golden Boot from Rugby League World magazine in December.

But his achievements in the black jersey will have been weighed against Mannering's outstanding form across the entire season, when he was named Vodafone Warriors Player of the Year for the fourth time, and Bromwich's elevation among the best front rowers in the game.

The awards panel have voted on their finalists in each of the 11 keenly contested categories.

Honours for Kiwis Rookie of the Year came down to a contest among fullback Peta Hiku, second row Jason Taumalolo and prop Marty Taupau, all big contributors to the Four Nations success.

In a year when new Kiwi Ferns coach Rusty Matua introduced several rookies to the national team, veteran Sarina Fiso is up against newcomers Teuila Fotu-Moala and Atawhai Tupaea for Women's Player of the Year.

With a spotlight on women's contribution to rugby league next week, fittingly, the female volunteer category attracted the most nominations, while 18s Player of the Year proved to be the closest call.

Finalists for the player categories are:

Kiwis Player of the Year - Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors), Simon Mannering (NZ Warriors)

Kiwis Rookie of the Year - Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers)

Junior Player of the Year - Bradley Abbey (NZ Warriors), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm), Sam Lisone (NZ Warriors)

16s Player of the Year - Dylan Clark (Upper Central), Rory Ferguson (Southern), Morgan Harper (Upper Central)

18s Player of the Year - Erin Clark (Akarana), Reuben Porter (Akarana), Ken Tofilau (Southern)

Domestic Player of the Year - Jethro Friend (Counties Manukau), Ken Tofilau (Southern), Cody Walker (Akarana)

Women's Player of the Year - Sarina Fiso (Counties Manukau), Teuila Fotu-Moala (Counties Manukau), Atawhai Tupaea (Counties Manukau)

Awards will also be presented for Match Official of the Year, Male & Female Volunteer of the Year and Grassroots Club of the Year.

Keepa on deck for NZRL

20 January 2015

NZ Rugby League is pleased to advise that Dan Keepa has been seconded as national coaching manager for three months.

Dan is already based at the national office with his role as Counties Manukau coaching and development officer, and fills a position left vacant when Dean Watkins became national talent development manager late last year.

His primary tasks will be:

  • Delivering a coaching plan out of the NZRL community sport plan and "Playbook" strategic plan
  • Redeveloping the coaching resources on the new NZRL website
  • Managing the coaching certification process

Welcome aboard, Dan.