01 June 2021
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is pleased to confirm a busy NZ16s and NZ18s representative schedule for the year in liaison with New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) and Auckland Rugby League (ARL).
NZRL recently announced the selection of an NZ18s Girls Schools team off the back of the inaugural NZRL Secondary Schools Girl’s Competition in August. The NZ18s Girls will take on the Auckland 18s Girls on Sunday, 3 October.
The Auckland 18s side will be selected off the back of the Auckland Rugby League (ARL) Region of Origin. The ARL Region of Origin provides a pathway for players unavailable to participate in the NZRL Secondary Schools or NZMRL Rangatahi Tournaments to represent Auckland in a trial game against New Zealand Secondary School Girls.
ARL CEO Greg Whaiapu says: “It’s really exciting to be able to offer up these opportunities for our local Auckland players and we’re looking forward to being part of the NZRL’s annual competitions.”
“The girls-specific grades are the fastest growing area of our game right now and it’s an important next step that we continue to offer more opportunities for our players and coaches in those grades to earn honours at a higher level.
“We also want to encourage and help the other districts around New Zealand to keep growing the female game.”
New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) will select a squad to participate in the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective Tournament (15th – 17th October) off the back of their NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament over Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.
John Devonshire, NZMRL Chairman, says, “This is an outstanding opportunity for our seven foundation member nations to come together in an inaugural Pasifika Aotearoa Collective (PAC) rangatahi side.”
“For so long we have competed against each other at many levels, the opportunity for our Cook Island, Fijian, Niuean, NZ Māori, Samoan, Tongan and Tokelauns to play together side by side is incredible. We are grateful to Motu Tony and the NZRL for this opportunity to create our own PAC history.”
From there, NZMRL will then finalise their 18s Kotiro team to take on the NZ18s Girls at the NZMRL Tuakana Tournament in Rotorua on October 23rd.
John Devonshire, adds, “For our Māori Kotiro 18’s side to participate in this historical match is right. NZ Māori, along with the ARL have been the key drivers in the kotiro space. The match is a reflection of the momentum that kotiro rugby league is having in NZ. Well done Lui and the NZRL; this has been a long time in the making, it is here now – bring it on!”
The NZMRL Tuakana Tournament will also play host to a clash between the NZ Resident 16s and the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective 17s (Boys).
The NZ Resident 16s team will comprise of the best players from the NZRL National Youth Tournament held in early October, while the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective 17s will be the merit team selected from the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective Tournament.
Luisa Avaiki, Head of Women’s Rugby League at NZRL, says the new representative clashes are huge milestones for the game.
“It’s so exciting to provide these playing opportunities which reflect the hard mahi going into growing and developing our women’s space across the country.”
“Thank you to ARL and NZMRL, who have pioneered the girls game for many years now. It’s exciting to come together and provide opportunities for girls to play rugby league at a representative level. It adds a layer of incentive and fosters further pathways that encourage participation growth and player development.
“I can’t wait to see what the girls produce come the end of the year.”
NZ18s Schools v Clubs also returns for its second year, which will see the best 18s players from the NZRL Secondary School Competition and NZRL Youth Tournament face off in October. NZRL will release further detail on the clash in due course.
October 7, 2020
New Zealand Rugby League wishes to congratulate the following selected in the 2020 New Zealand Resident 16s squad who will face the New Zealand Māori Rugby League 17s on the 24th October at Rotorua International Stadium.
The fixture will be live-streamed on NZMRL and NZRL Facebook pages and will bring a close to Day One of the annual New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) Tuakana Tournament.
17 players will be named from the below 19 to take the field on the day, congratulations to the following:
Head Coach – Phil Gordon (Akarana)
Asst Coach – Peter Butler (Mid Central)
Asst Coach – Alex Parker (Upper Central)
Manager – Clarissa Percival (Mid Central)
Head Trainer – Ben Collins (Akarana)
Asst Trainer – Clayton Amer (Wellington Rugby League)
NZMRL will select an U17s team from their Rangatahi Tournament just been which celebrated its 20th year over the weekend.
The highly successful NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament has provided a pathway for many young Kiwi players over recent years; 2020 NRL debutants Jordan Riki, Jackson Ferris and Matt Timoko have all previously played in the NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament.
In 2017, now Brisbane Bronco, Jordan Riki, captained the NZMRL U17s against NZ Resident 16s in a close game, where the NZ Resident 16s came away with the win 32 – 28.
John Devonshire, NZMRL Chairman says, “The 2020 season has been a huge challenge for all sectors across our code. To be able to stage a representative game for our elite players is awesome.
“We the NZMRL are happy to accommodate the NZRL in what we see as an exciting match up. We are very proud of our NZ Māori 17’s Rangatahi team and wish them well. It is one thing to play for your country, it is another to play for your people, kia kaha te tima Māori.”
The New Zealand 16s team has been named to take on the Toa Resident 16s tonight at 6pm, Puketawhero Park, Rotorua.
Watch the video below: