Here's a chance to rub shoulders with some some of the biggest
legends of the game when a host of rugby league personalities
gather to raise money for a great cause.
The Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust is
hosting a fundraising luncheon for the League 4 Life foundation at
the Ellerslie Events Centre on May 9.
There will be a mystery guest speaker and the MC is Knight of the
Realm, Sir Peter Leitch. A number of past Kiwis players will be in
attendance including Stacey Jones, Ruben Wiki, Roger Bailey, Graeme
West, Hugh McGahan, Dane O'Hara, Gary Clarke, Monty Betham, Gary
Prohm, Jerry Seuseu, Duane Mann and Dean Bell.
Ex Kiwis coaches Bob Bailey, Graham Lowe, Brian McClennan will
also be there.
A charity auction will take place and items going under the
hammer include the boots worn by Benji Marshall in his last ever
game for the Kiwis.
Whoever successfully bids for a signed Vodafone Warriors jersey
will also get the chance to meet his or her favourite player.
Where: Guineas Room, Level 3, Ellerslie
When: May 9, 2014
Buy a table (for ten) and receive two tickets to the Warriors v
Raiders match at Eden Park on May 10, 2014.
Call 5713863 or (021) 532 483 to book or email Phillippa
Ivory at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for all the
details of this fantastic event
Whangarei, Dunedin and Wellington have early opportunities to
show they're ready for 2017 Rugby League World Cup fixtures, when
they host games in this year's Four Nations tournament.
New Zealand Rugby League will stage three clashes in the
international showpiece, including the final at Westpac Trust
Stadium on November 15.
The NZ Kiwis face a Pacific Island team - either Fiji or Samoa -
at Whangarei's Toll Stadium on November 1 and England at Forsyth
Barr Stadium in Dunedin on November 8.
They will kick off their campaign against archrivals Australia
in Brisbane on October 25, as a curtainraiser to England taking on
the Pacific champions.
"Bearing in mind we will be co-hosting the World Cup with
Australia in four years, this is a great opportunity for us to show
our capability," says NZRL chief executive Phil Holden. "But it's
also a huge challenge, both on and off the field.
"On one front, we may be up against the other three
semifinalists from last year's World Cup, with England, in
particular, itching to avenge their semifinal loss to us at
"And then we're looking for Wellingtonians to show their passion
for rugby league and support what promises to be a memorable
"Auckland has already shown it's ready for major World Cup
fixtures, after successfully hosting the NRL Nines. Wellington
prides itself as a sporting Mecca and we're confident local fans
can also support an international spectacle of this calibre."
Tickets will go on sale next month. Sign up to the NZRL database
here to register for pre-sale information.
The full Four Nations schedule is:
Australia v New Zealand, Brisbane
England v Fiji/Samoa, Brisbane
New Zealand v Fiji/Samoa. Whangarei
Australia v England, Melbourne
New Zealand v England, Dunedin
Australia v Fiji/Samoa, Wollongong
With only three weeks until the Anzac Test in Sydney, NZ Kiwis
coach Stephen Kearney is encouraged by the performances of players
in contention for team spots.
"For me, there were a few that stood out," he reflects on Round
Six of the NRL.
Incumbent Kiwis five-eighth Kieran Foran (Kiwi #757) showed he's
is rounding into form at just the right time to take on the
Kangaroos, running for 117 metres in Manly's 24-4 romp over
"A couple of weeks ago, he had a game where he had been injured
and came back to run for 150 metres, and was really good," says
"He played really well again on the weekend, which is really
positive from a New Zealand point of view."
Another making a strong bid for inclusion is veteran forward
Adam Blair (Kiwi #732), who made 26 tackles in West Tigers' 16-4
upset of North Queensland Cowboys.
"With the way the Tigers are going at the moment, I've seen Adam
playing football that first earned him a Kiwis jersey a few years
ago," says Kearney.
And St George centre Gerard Beale was also impressive, clocking
up 154 metres in the Dragons' heartbreaking 24-28 loss to Melbourne
Storm after the final siren last night.
"Some of his defensive plays were really good," marvels
But one player who seems unlikely to line up for the Kiwis on
May 2 is Frank Pritchard (Kiwi #718), who missed last year's World
Cup final through injury and tore a pectoral muscle (chest) in the
Canterbury Bulldogs' 21-20 nailbiter over the NZ Warriors.
Let us know your favourite of the three and be in to win a
prize from BLK. Click
here for details.
NZRL Southern Zone chairman John Brimble reports on his
zone's achievements during 2013...
It is gratifying, after three-and-a-half years of intensive work
by the Southern Zone board and the general manager, to see the
continual growth of the game within the South Island.
Since the inception of the Southern Zone, participation numbers
have increased each year, with 2013 being no exception.
A 19.8% rise in population over the past year indicates that the
game is not only capturing the imagination of the community, but is
seen by those competing as a popular activity and pathway.
The fact that our strategies have result in a 50% increase in
numbers involved in the game across all age grades is significant,
and testimony to the hard work and dedication of all involved, from
the zone board to the district governance, development officers,
clubs and volunteers in a wide range of roles.
The consolidation of both Tasman and Otago, who had no league
played in 2009, along with the continued growth of rugby league in
Southland and the gradual re-emerging of Canterbury under new
governance with revised procedures and strategies has seen the game
strengthened in the South Island.
In particular, it is pleasing to see the major strides being
made at school and junior level on the West Coast. The major
challenge facing the Coast is retention of players at senior
One of the major strategic gains in 2013 has been the effort put
into developing the game at junior level at both school and
New competitions have been created at primary school and club
level, and in particular, at second school level, growing the base
and providing for younger players through to representative
The number of schools participating in our skills development
programmes has increased, with further opportunity to expand
involvement throughout 2014.
This is an area that the South Island must concentrate and
invest into all levels to ensure that, year by year, we retain
those we have attracted to the game and attract new participants by
providing them with a great experience and instil a love for the
We cannot maintain and extend our Impact and reach into the
communities without the assistance and support of volunteers. They
are the lifeblood of any sport.
In 2013, Southern Zone, working in partnership with the
districts, up-skilled 238 volunteers through exposure to a variety
of training opportunities.
This was a substantial increase on previous years, however more
needs to be done in this area to attract and retain more and more
Only by growing our base of volunteers, inclusive of coaches,
administrators and officials, can we grow participation rates.
This is our challenge for 2014 and going forward - to
consolidate what we have and to further build the base structure
that can support the game.
I am indebted to my fellow board members for their support and
commitment throughout the year, and especially acknowledge the work
that is carried out by the Southern Zone general manager, Steve
Martin, who devotes considerable energy, thought and perseverance
to ensure that the annual goals set by the Southern Zone are not
only achieved, but exceeded.
Steve is ably assisted in this by the team of regional
development officers, who do an outstanding job and are the face of
I also acknowledge and thank the work of the district chairs and
their boards, along with those working, often unheralded, at club
level to ensure that teams are fielded and that opportunities are
provided for our communities to play and be involved in the
Warriors and Kiwis captain Simon Mannering has underlined his
commitment to the Auckland club by signing a new four-year contract
to the end of the 2018 NRL season. Owner Eric Watson hailed
Mannering's contract extension as critical.
"Simon's signing is a fantastic coup and a huge boost for the
club," he said. "He is exceptional across the board as our
record-holding captain, a player of the highest order and also a
person of tremendous quality.
"I'm elated he is extending his career with us to what will be
14 seasons. Only a few in the game today can measure their
dedication to one club in such terms."
The 27-year-old Mannering had attracted significant interest
from other clubs.
"This is the biggest contract of my career because it could
possibly be my last," he said.
"I love this club and always will. I'm keen to be a part of our
future and have the greatest faith in the direction to the club is
heading. We have much to offer this season and in years to
"It's not just about football, though. I also have my family to
consider. That was a big part of the decision and I'm really happy
it has all worked out."
Mannering, who made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old in 2005,
lead the Warriors for the ninety-fourth time when they played the
Bulldogs at Eden Park last Sunday April 13.
Now six games into his tenth season as an NRL player and his
fifth as captain, his next win will be his fiftieth victory as
captain, another first for a Warriors captain. He has a record of
49 wins and 45 losses so far while his predecessor Steve Price had
a record of 42 wins and 47 losses with two draws.
As well as being set to become the club's first 100-game
captain, he is also in line to become only the second player to
play 200 games for the Vodafone Warriors.
He sits on 194 heading into round seven and is on track to hit
200 in the first home game at Mount Smart Stadium when the Warriors
face Newcastle in June.