The 2019 New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) season kicks off tomorrow with the 16s and 18s Talent Development Programme (TDP) at St. Peters College in Cambridge.

The TDP camp brings together the most talented 16s (16-years-old or under) and 18s (18-years-old or under) age-group rugby league players from around New Zealand, as they work towards a professional career, while also keeping them in New Zealand playing in local competitions longer.

This year’s TDP consists of a three-day camp during the January school holidays which aims to enhance the development of players and management staff in attendance, through a series of coaching sessions and well-being seminars that prepare the players to showcase their skills in a trial on the final day (Friday, 25 January). One of the objectives for this camp is to ensure the players are better prepared for the rigours of the NRL, not only on the field, but in their educational and career aspirations.

The TDP will provide those who dream of playing in the NRL and for the Kiwis, with resources and tools that encourage players to develop in New Zealand through rugby league, and in their academic studies with the support of their families and friends.

With specialist coaches coming into the camp including Kiwis Assistant Coaches Ben Gardiner and Nathan Cayless, Paul Dyer and Greg Boulous, the camp will have a specific focus on developing halves and hookers as well as coaching and management. These coaches will also assist the up and coming players in enhancing their attack and defence skill sets.

Trials on the final day (Friday 25 January) will assist in selecting the 2019 New Zealand Resident 16s and 18s teams.


Wednesday 23 – Friday 25 January 2019 (Three-day camp)

St. Peters College, Cambridge

Note: This is a closed camp between Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 January however, the trial day will be open to all and is free of charge. Details below:

Trial Day Schedule: Friday 25 January 2019

10.00am – 16s Trial Commences

11.45am – 18s Trial Commences


2019 TDP 16s players

Akarana: Paaua Papuni-Abbott; Benaiah Ioelu; Tevita Tafea; Pita Wilson, Zyon Maiu’u; Counties Manukau: Ali Leiataua; Kavan Thompson-Campbell; Francis Manuleleua; Ben Peni; Carlos Tarawhiti; Salesi Ataata; Mid Central: Arama Kite; Tuhokairangi Miller; Fatiauma Moeahu-Leota; Northland: Esmonde Parangi, Tea-Rani Woodman Tuhoro; Southern: Felix Fa’atili; Jaedon Wellington; Jack Campbell; Uriah Tuli; Nikau Waikato; Unafato Uasi; Ethan Faitaua; Auckland Vulcans: Nathaniel Cama; Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio; Nathaniel Tangimataiti; Stanley Iongi; Heneli Luani; Michael Angelo Taufau; Sione Fotuaika; Sione Latoa Vaihu; Demitric Sifakula; Upper Central: Tome Poona; Cassius Cowley; Te Wano Ngamotu-Tahana; Manaia Ngataki-Matthews; Wellington: Poto Akavi; Joshua Williams


2019 TDP 18s players

Akarana: Caleb Pese; Jyris Glamuzina; Lani Graham-Taufa; Matthew Palu; Moala Graham-Taufa; Luani Tavake Naufahu Whyte; Temple Kalepo; Tj Devery; Totive Junior Tuileisu; Counties Manukau: Albert Talakai; Eteru Ropati; Feao Tongia; Josiah Karapani; Otukinekina Kepu; Paea Fotu; Semisi Sikei; Simisi Tapa; Sione Moala; Soakai Taufa; Tyrone Waipouri; William Fakatoumafi; Quinnlan Tupou; Peesi Vailangi Pasi Kepu; Mid Central: Brooklyn Herewini; Daeon Amituanai; Tyson Chase; Southern: Caius Fa’atili; Elijah Tuhura; Jordan Coleman; Levi Pascoe; Thomas McKenzie; Auckland Vulcans: Konrad Tu’ua; Upper Central: Sean Field; Tukimihia Simpkins; Maui Carroll; Wellington: Dallas Mcewan; Maui Wallace