Dream trip to Anzac Test

17 April 2015

Fancy a trip to Dreamworld, plus all the international footy you can shake a stick at?

Queensland Tourism and the NRL have combined to sweeten the deal for the Anzac Test weekend in two weeks.

The NZ Kiwis will seek their third straight win over the Kangaroos on May 1 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, with the Kiwi Ferns and the NZ Defence Force playing curtainraisers against their Aussie counterparts.

The next day, the Junior Kiwis take on the Junior Kangaroos as part of a triple bill at Gold Coast’s Cbus Stadium, which will also include Fiji v Papua New Guinea and Samoa v Tonga.

Rugby league fans can now secure a pass for both nights, plus a visit to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, for A$60 (children) and A$80 adults.

That’s a great deal!

Also available are offers that package just the Brisbane tests/Dreamworld or just the Gold Coast tests/Dreamworld.

Come support your NZ teams … can they achieve a sweep of victories?

Simply click on the relevant tab below to book your tickets.

Anzac Test tix dreamworld 1
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What does it take to be The Rookie?

17 April 2015

The NRL, in conjunction with Channel 9 and McGuire Media, has launched a new reality TV show called "The NRL Rookie", which will perform a global search to discover new talent capable of playing rugby league at the highest level.

During 2015, the NRL, supported by Telstra, will assemble a group of potential rookies who have what it takes to play in the NRL. They will live in a Sydney house and undergo an intense training programme, coupled with a variety of challenges to demonstrate their strengths and ability, and transform them into the elite sportsman.

As the show progresses, the number of rookies will be reduced on a weekly basis and will culminate with thewinner being awarded a professional contract with an NRL club.

A guaranteed NRL contract, it's the greatest prize in Australian sport!

"The NRL Rookie" will broadcast in 2016, and will find a player the NRL recruiters have never seen or have missed.

Right now, somewhere out there in Australia, New Zealand or on distant shores is a weekend warrior, a man playing in a local club, but dreaming of an NRL career – that man will be the winner of "The NRL Rookie".

Visit nrlrookie.com for more information and to apply.

In order to be eligible for the programme, NRL rookies must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be at least 20 years of age
  • The applicant must never have been on an NRL first grade top-25 squad list or played an NRL first-grade game
  • The applicant must not have played a second-tier NRL match (NSW/QLD Cup) or a Holden Cup U20's in any of the last three seasons (being 2013-15)

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have the required physical attributes and sporting prowess to advance to the trials stage.

Applicants from other sports are welcome as long as they can demonstrate that they have what it takes to be an NRL superstar of the future.

Four national trials will be conducted during June to identify the candidates who will feature on the show. Those trials will likely take place in Sydney, Auckland, Townsville and Brisbane, with dates and venues to be confirmed in the near future.

The series aims to benefit to everyone involved in rugby league from grassroots through to the NRL clubs, by:

  • Broadening the appeal of rugby league to increase participation in existing and new markets
  • Promoting rugby league as a way of bringing people together and enriching their lives
  • Connecting communities as entrants are selected and showcased in their local context
  • Global PR opportunities for the rugby league clubs of the selected NRL rookies
  • Showcasing what it takes to play rugby league at an elite level
  • Motivating young players to achieve their dreams
  • Educating the community about health and fitness
  • The winning rookie's rugby league club will receive $25,000 (AUD) to use for kit, equipment or a clubhouse makeover

Vatuvei reaches milestones in style

15 April 2015

NZ Warriors star Manu Vatuvei showed his temperament for the big occasion and his readiness for next month’s Anzac Test, with a standout display in his 200th outing for the Auckland-based club.

With team-mates heeding the “feed the beast” catch cry, Kiwi #720 crossed twice for tries in a tight 32-22 home win over Wests Tigers, rumbling for 117 metres and two linebreaks in the process.

“It’s hard to go past Manu’s performance in his 200th game,” confirms Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, in his appraisal of the latest NRL round. “It was certainly a wonderful day for him.”

Vatuvei’s heroics saw him equal Nigel Vagana (Kiwi #668) as the leading Kiwi tryscorer in the Australian competition, each with 140 touchdowns now.

Meanwhile, the battle for Kiwi forward spots continued to heat up, with Jesse Bromwich continuing his rise up the front row ranks.

“Jesse had one of his trademark performances,” says Kearney. “I know we’ve been talking about for a while, but the way he played showed he is one of, if not the premier prop in the competition.”

Bromwich (Kiwi #775) amassed a game-high 259 running metres, including a linebreak, and made 33 tackles in Melbourne Storm’s 14-10 nailbiter over Canberra Raiders.

International team-mate Tohu Harris (165m/40 tackles) also excelled for Melbourne in that encounter, as did Warriors prop Ben Matulino (158m/33 tackles) and Alex Glenn (159m/26 tackles) for Brisbane.

But, for the third time this season, Sydney Roosters fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Kiwi #779) caught the eye with 288 metres and a try assist in 22-18 loss to Kearney’s Broncos outfit. He is still the leading runner of the comp, averaging 247 metres a game.

“The way Roger has been playing, it’s hard to go past him. I think he’s in pretty good form at the moment.”

NZ Kiwis players named for their NRL clubs this weekend are:

Canterbury Bulldogs v Manly Sea Eagles
Friday, April 17, 9.35pm NZ
Bulldogs: 1-Sam Perrett, 13-Greg Eastwood, 16-Frank Pritchard
Sea Eagles: 1-Peta Hiku, 4-Steve Matai, 6-Kieran Foran

St George Dragons v Brisbane Broncos
Friday, April 17, 9.35pm NZ
Dragons: 7-Benji Marshall
Broncos: 11-Alex Glenn

Gold Coast Titans v Penrith Panthers
Saturday, April 18, 5pm NZ
Titans: 1-Josh Hoffman
Panthers: 7-Isaac John, 11-Sika Manu, 12-Elijah Taylor, 15-Sam McKendry

North Queensland Cowboys v NZ Warriors
Saturday, April 18, 7.30pm NZ
Cowboys: 13-Jason Taumalolo
Warriors: 5-Manu Vatuvei, 7-Shaun Johnson, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Ben Matulino, 11-Bodene Thompson, 13-Simon Mannering

Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters
Saturday, April 18, 9.30pm NZ
Storm: 8-Jesse Bromwich, 11-Kevin Proctor, 12-Tohu Harris
Roosters:1-Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 4-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 8-Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Wests Tigers v Canberra Raiders
Sunday, April 19, 4pm
Tigers: 13-Martin Taupau, 14-Dene Halatau
Raiders: 15-Frank-Paul Nuuausala

Newcastle Tigers v Parramatta Eels
Sunday, April 19, 6pm
Tigers: 13-Jeremy Smith, 15-David Fa’alogo

Cronulla Sharks v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Monday, April 20, 9pm
Sharks: 2-Sosaia Feki, 3-Gerard Beale
Rabbitohs: 4-Bryson Goodwin, 9-Issac Luke

NZ Rugby League would like to thank partners Pirtek, BLK and Revera for their support of the NZ Kiwis programme.

Pirtek Logo Blue Background_HiRes BLK_LOGO_NEW_BLACK revera

Your country needs you ...

15 April 2015

NZ Rugby League patron Sir Peter Leitch (aka The Mad Butcher) is on the warpath again, whipping up support for our national teams over Anzac Test weekend.

We'll have four national teams in action over May 1/2 in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so it's a unique opportunity to cross the ditch and get behind the black jersey.

Heck, you can even win your own to wear.

Sir Peter isn't leading an official tour group this time, but he has done the legwork in terms of tracking down accommodation and entertainment options for Kiwis supporters.

butcher's newsletter

Check out his latest special-edition newsletter here and here, and then track down your passport. We're going Roo hunting!


Friday, May 1
3.35pm NZ Defence Force v Australian Combined Services Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
5.20pm NZ Kiwi Ferns v Australia Jillaroos Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
8pm NZ Kiwis v Australia Kangaroos Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, May 2
3.15pm NZ Junior Kiwis v Australia Junior Kangaroos Cbus Stadium, Gold Coast

Tamati honoured for life's work

14 April 2015

NZ Kiwi #550 and NZ Rugby League president Howie Tamati has been recognised for lifetime achievement at the annual NZ Sport & Recreation Awards in Auckland.

Best known for role as an international hooker, playing 50 games for the Kiwis between 1979-85, Tamati later coached the national side for two years and continues to make his presence felt in the game.

But the mana he brings to the sport's administration is also felt beyond his favoured code, serving three terms on the New Plymouth District Council (1999-2007) and as chief executive of Sport Taranaki since 1994.

"Honestly, I am lost for words," said Tamati at the awards function. "Rugby league has been a catalyst for taking me out of the small Taranaki town of Waitara and putting me on the international stage to fulfill my dreams.

"I stand here today truly humbled by this opportunity."

Tamati had to force back tears of emotion at receiving the award.

"You know, as a rugby league player, I used to play in the front row with some of the toughest men in the world," he quipped. "But I tend to get emotional."

Tamati joined veteran netball/softball administrator Fay Freeman and multisports promoter Arthur Klapp as recipients of lifetime achievement awards.

NZRL was among the finalists in the commercial partnership category of the awards, combining with DB and Cheers! for the "Legendary Mates" campaign advocating smart alcohol choices during last year's Four Nations tournament.

But they were headed off for the prize by Yachting NZ and Aon NZ.

Rugby league did feature among the winners, though, when Ateed and Duco Events took out the innovation award for their running of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.