• Mens & Womens Nine a Side
  • Playing team squads of up to 15 players
  • 3 Non-students per team
  • Prize money for the top 3 sides

This tournament will have outstanding players selected for the upcoming NZUTSRL tour to Fiji. You’ll get to play against Australia & Fiji during 12th – 23rd October 2019.  Don’t miss out!



Wakefield Park Wellington

EARLY ENTRY – $200 per team by 6th of September

LATE ENTRY – $300 per team by 17th of September

For more info contact – Carey Clements on 0210734133


By Carey Clements

It is with great sadness that the New Zealand Universities and Tertiary Students Rugby League announces the death of one of its former Presidents and Life Members, Wesley Owen ‘Bud’ Lisle MNZM, who died peacefully last night at the Papakura Rest Home and Hospital following a month of declining health. He was aged 88, following his birthday last Thursday on 27 June.

Few people can claim to have been involved in league for more than 80 years, but in the case of Bud, it is very true, from the time he began playing as a five year old with the Aranui and then the Linwood Clubs in Christchurch. A decade later saw him selected into the Canterbury team which competed at the very first New Zealand Schoolboys tournament in Auckland in 1946. The following year he was selected in the first ever NZ Schoolboys team. After leaving secondary school, he then took up employment with the New Zealand Railways, which was to last more than 30 years.

As a result, Bud maintained his enthusiasm with league whenever a train would take him over to the South Island’s West Coast, although whenever he was back in Christchurch he would also be involved, most famously being to get former rugby player and future Kiwi and Kiwi coach Lory Blanchard, into playing league. Bud later transferred up to Wellington and joined the St George Club. Although stocky in physique, Bud played as a winger who was noted for outstanding speed out wide. He represented Wellington between 1953 and 1963

Although he was now very busy with his job with the Railways, Bud still found time in to establish rugby league in Manawatu in 1957 and in doing so became the provincial body’s first Life Member. As his playing days finished in 1965 following 17 years of competitive league, Bud got involved with league as an administrator as well as a coach and referee.

As well as selecting the Wellington provincial side for a number of years, Bud coached the team in 1967 and then again between 1970 and 1973, during which time the black and olds captured and subsequently held onto the Rugby League Cup for a number of challenges between 1970 and 1971.

In 1974, Bud began his involvement with New Zealand Universities as a selector and then within a few years was managing the national side to 7’s tournaments as well as the 1979 tour to Australia, the first internal tours between 1980 and 1983 and the first side which went to England and France in 1984.

A man who never suffered fools and who was always there when it came to the hard yards off the field around areas like fundraising (which seemed to be his specialist), Bud also never forgot the players that played for NZU and for many years, would send them Christmas cards.

Between 1985 and 1992 Bud became the President and Chairman of the NZ Universities Rugby League and in that time, saw it hosted the inaugural Student World Cup, while seeing the side go overseas on three other occasions in addition to more internal tours. He also continued to manage the NZU team. His last involvement in that role came in 1994 when the team played fixtures against Otago, West Coast and Canterbury.

Not one to move on from the game in a happy retirement, Bud was elected onto the NZRL Board during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, where his blunt and frank nature cast him aside from some of his fellow administrators, while at the same time became an unofficial voice of the big league public.

In addition to being Manawatu’s first Life Member, he was also a Life Member of the St George Club, the Wellington provincial body and NZ Universities. He was awarded a NZRL Distinguished Award in 1984 and four years later became a Life Member. In his spare time, he also became a magpie of rugby league memorabilia, which absolutely filled his house in South Auckland, which was where he relocated to in the mid 1970’s.

Bud also continued to attend NZRL Annual Meeting where again his distinctive voice around accountability would keep the officials on their toes, as well as getting out and watching games or simply doing more fundraising.

In short, rugby league was Bud Lisle’s life. He was unique, he was loyal, he was stubborn, but was overall entirely devoted to a game as a servant which he thought he owed and not the game owing him. We thank him for being part of our lives and for being involved in the game for eight long decades.

By Carey Clements

A courageous New Zealand Universities and Tertiary Students Rugby League side gave one of its best ever fightbacks to beat England Universities 26-10 at the Gateshead International Stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, on Saturday.

The win meant the two Test match series was drawn with one each after England had won the first Test encounter in Featherstone a week earlier.

In the lead up to the second Test, a bad tummy bug affected the majority of the players and team officials, causing some to be in bed for up to two days and miss training.

As a result, the Kiwi students went into the game completely focussed after having so many setbacks disrupt them and from the outset of the Test it happened when they scored the first try of the game in just the second minute before doubling their scoring four minutes later with a second unconverted try.

The remainder of the first quarter remained scoreless before a try to its right wing Nathan Hill in the 28th minute followed by a converted try to its left wing Joe Capless two minutes before the break put the home side up 10-8 at halftime.

In the second half, New Zealand played like a team from another planet as it not only held firm on defence and did not concede any points, but put on 18 points through some brilliance around its pivots Destry Tamai, Mikey Hollis and George Ropati.

Some highly effective storming runs by its second-row captain Jason Whareaitu, fullback Kane Talea, wing Ben Tunnicliff, late replacement centre Mitchell Vincent and loose forward Rory Ropati, also allowed New Zealand to regain lost territory just when England were starting to gain a sniff of getting over the line.

New Zealand however defended magnificently, especially by its outside backs, which had learned so many valuable lessons from the first Test and as a result ensured that overlaps were kept to a minimum by bundling their opponents over the sideline when on defence. On offence it was a similar pattern as a high completion sets of tackles meant that the home side were defending more on their side of halfway.

New Zealand scored three tries in the second half including one just on fulltime from a crashing dive at dummy half by its barging prop Mona Sio, who nearly 80 minutes earlier had scored the game’s first try from a similar movement. It was the first win by an NZUTSRL side over England Universities in England since the 1999 Student World Cup final.

Off the field, coach Kenny O’Brien ably assisted by his highly experienced assistants Ray Fitiao and Tea Ropati, were the true masterminds behind the win by making personnel, tactical and game preparation changes, which led to a highly impressive turnaround from the first Test defeat.

Overall the win meant that the NZUTSRL side came away with what it had set out to achieve for this short tour in blooding new players (15 in total) for the future, while at the same time giving them experience of playing in English conditions against a determined home side, who will be ready to host the next Student World Cup in 2021.

By Carey Clements – Secretary of NZ Universities and Tertiary Students Rugby League

England Universities 42
New Zealand Students 4

LD Nutrition Stadium, Featherstone

Saturday 19th May 2018, 2.15pm KO

In glorious summer conditions, New Zealand Students first visit to England since their 2013 World Cup semi-final, started with all the hallmarks of an international game, with both the visitors and their England Universities counterparts slugging it out in the opening salvo. England’s front row of Jed Mawdsley and Lewis Taylor going hammer and tongue against the Kiwis’ Mona Sio and Rikki Allan.

England built pressure, using the advantage of the slope, and eventually Lewis Fairhurst danced his way through the black shirts to chalk up England’s first points of the day, with Ben Stead on target with the conversion.

Another sustained period flowing play from both sides followed, before Nathan Ainsworth was rewarded with England camped out on New Zealand’s line, with Nathan Ainsworth burrowing over from close range to nose the home side again. Stead added the extras to stretch the advantage.
England were finding their groove and, with a play straight out of the Harlem Globe Trotters handbook, James Mason palmed the ball between his legs to Jason Bass who found Harry Chapman out. Half Time Score: 18-0.

It took just one minute of the second half for Chapman to score his second try, Jason Bass creating the space for Chapman to sail through the wing. Stead found his mark from out wide.ut wide to push the home side ahead at the break, Stead again successful with the boot.

New Zealand responded, using the slope to their advantage, with Rory Ropati rampaging into the England defence, inspiring his colleagues to lift their game, but they could not breach some excellent scrambling defence.

Chapman completed his hat-trick in a carbon copy move of his earlier try, with Stead landing the conversion, with full back Harry Aaronson, again with a Stead conversion, finishing a flowing move .Although England were tiring, their defensive effort remained strong, weathering the Kiwi storm.

New Zealand always looked dangerous with Michael Hollis getting his nose through the line on a number of occasions. Ben Stead capped an excellent afternoon with a try of his own, backing up a downfield break by Fairhurst, supported by Aaronson which he converted himself 20 minutes later to see England move 30 points up with just 15 minutes of the second half played.

England seemed to fade in the final quarter, with the heat and the slope going against them. New Zealand continued to pressure and were rewarded when Destry Tamai crossed for a consolation try in the 67th minute. The remainder of the game ended as it began with both sides trading some big plays, with excellent spirit showed by both sides.

Final Score: 42-4.
England Universities: Harry Aaronson, Harry Chapman, Jason Bass, Matt Chrimes, Lee Registe, Lewis Fairhurst, Ben Stead, Jed Mawdsley, Will Jubb, Lewis Taylor, Marcus Stock, James Mason, Ryan Langton. Interchanges: Luke Stephens, Nathan Ainsworth, Conner MacCallum, Ben Gray, Munashe Fumhanda
New Zealand Students: Ben Tunnicliff, Jordan Stuart, Mitchell Ropati, Isaac Robinson, Josh Mckenzie, Kane Telea, George Ropati, Mona Sio, Destry Tamai, Rikki Allan, Jason Whareaitu, Rory Ropati, Jake Cussack. Interchanges: Michael Hollis, Jong Hoon Lee, Jeremy Suilepa, Cameron
Walters, Matt Filipo

Referee: Harry Neville

England Scorers:
Tries: Lewis Fairhurst (16), Nathan Ainsworth (32), Harry Chapman (38, 41, 52), Harry Aaronson (55), Ben Stead (60).
Goals: Ben Stead 7/7
New Zealand Scorers:
Tries: Destry Tamai (67)
Goals: 0/1

By Carey Clements

After a three year hiatus since it last played an international match, the New Zealand Universities and Tertiary Students rugby league side traveled to England over the weekend ahead of their two Test tour.

Last year due to being unable to meet the high fee cost imposed by hosts Australia, the NZUTSRL was forced to miss its first ever Student World Cup.

NZUTSRL Chairman John Fiso said as a result, the tour to England will be about regaining credibility as well as ensuring his side will have a high quality experience for those players that choose to play rugby league at university and tertiary level.

“It will give players an appetite of playing the game at a higher level and also an understanding of how the English play as well as what some of the grounds are like, which will be useful, before we travel over there in 2021 to the next Student World Cup.

Fiso also said the tour is about pathways for players, who may attract the attention of local scouts.

“It is a critical tour considering that nine months ago we were not going anywhere, but due to some magnificent hard work by my Board, we have turned things around in just six months.”

Of the 19 players that are going on the tour, just four in captain Jason Whareatu, vice captain Isaac Robinson along with Solomona Sio and Kane Telea, have played for the NZUTSRL.

As a result, the team will have 15 new players to take the total number of players that have played for the body to 457, since official representative games began exactly 50 years ago this year.

The side will have a real family feel to it as it features brothers Mitchell and Rory Ropati along with their cousin George Ropati. In doing so it will be the 19th pair of brothers to play for the NZUTSRL, while as both cousins had fathers that also played for the NZUTSRL (John Ropati as the father of Mitchell and Rory) and Tea Ropati as the father of George, it will be the sixth and seventh father and son(s) combinations along with the sixth time that cousins have also played for the NZUTSRL.

Coach Kenny O’Brien said England are not taking any chances by naming an initial 25-player squad as it will be using the Tests as a measure before it plays in a Student Four Nations tournament.

“Although we are unknown to England, the same could be said about our knowledge of them, except to say that they are bound to be tough as was witnessed when they beat us in an extra time thriller at the 2013 Student World Cup in England.”
“This tour will be about building relationships as well as our brand as we think we have something to offer rugby league in New Zealand,” O’Brien said.
The only game prior to the Tests will be against Leeds Beckett University next Wednesday. At last year’s Student World Cup, Leeds provided 14 players to the England Students side. The Tests will be played on consecutive Saturdays in Featherston and Newcastle respectively and both will be played as curtain-raisers to Super League games.

The NZUTSRL touring side is: Jason Whareaitu (captain, Bay of Plenty), Isaac Robinson (vice captain, Waikato), Ricki Allan (Otago), Jake Cusack (Auckland), Matt Filipo (Bay of Plenty), Mike Hollis (Wellington), Jong Hoon Lee (Otago), Josh McKenzie (Otago), Brooklan Niwa (Otago), George Ropati (Auckland), Mitchell Ropati (Auckland), Rory Ropati (Auckland), Solomona Sio (Wellington), Jeremy Siulepa (Bay of Plenty), Jordan Stuart (Otago), Destry Tamai (Bay of Plenty), Kane Telea (Auckland), Ben Tunnicliff (Otago), Cameron Walters (Bay of Plenty); Coach: Kenny O’Brien (Wellington), Assistant Coach: Ray Fitiao (Otago), Manager: David Marsh (Auckland), Trainer: Tea Ropati (Auckland).