The chance of New South Wales Cup contracts will be on offer when the Vodafone Warriors host a trial at Cornwall Park in Auckland on Sunday, November 2.
The club has today invited players to register for the trial which will be watched by the Vodafone Warriors’ newly-appointed NSW Cup coach Stacey Jones along with general manager football Dean Bell, academy and pathways manager Duane Mann and other football department staff.
“It’s a great opportunity for not only local players but also some from Australia to stake a claim to play for the Vodafone Warriors in the New South Wales Cup,” said Bell.
“Stacey is looking for talented and driven players most likely aged between 19 and 26 although he’s also interested in experienced players of quality who are older. He’s keen to use local players alongside our already contracted-players who have come through the NYC system.
“Basically we want to do all we can to ensure all players of the right standard are given the chance to impress.”
Players registering should be regarded in the top echelon in the competitions they are involved in such as Auckland’s Fox Memorial premiership or they must have experience in the NZRL premiership. Players with NYC, New South Wales Cup and Queensland Cup experience have also invited to register.
Mann added registration wasn’t exclusive to rugby league players.
“We’re also interested in looking at rugby union players who have a background at premier level and in provincial competitions,” he said.
“We have a proven pathway through our development system for aspiring players to become NRL professionals but we’re also open to giving older players a chance of earning contracts with us through the local game or from overseas.
“A major benefit of our structure is that the NSW Cup side is now part of the club in every way. The team wears the same club colours as our NRL and NYC sides and uses the same high-quality facilities.
“This year the side was generally involved in triple headers at home games which saw its matches regularly shown live on television.
“It means our NSW Cup side provides a good stepping stone for ambitious and motivated individuals seeking to take their careers to the next level.”
Bell and Mann pointed to the success enjoyed by the likes of Agnatius Paasi and Jarrod Tua this season.
Paasi earned a New South Wales Cup contract and was also handed his NRL debut in a year when he won the club’s SKYCITY NSW Cup Players’ Player of the Year Award and the supreme Vodafone NSW Cup Player of the Year Award.
Tua, who has previously played for Newcastle’s NYC side, was brought into the Vodafone Warriors’ NSW Cup side early in the season from the Mount Albert Lions in the Auckland club competition. He went on to make 20 appearances and was the side’s top try scorer with 14 tries.
Another player who made progress through the New South Wales Cup was Siliva Havili.
He started the season in the club’s second team, was promoted for his NRL debut and almost as quickly won a call-up for his Kiwi debut in the Anzac Test against the Kangaroos. After a taste of first-grade football he spent the rest of season in the NSW Cup and won selection in the Kiwis’ Four Nations squad.
NSW CUP TRIAL
Sunday, November 2
Cornwall Park, Auckland
10.00am | Registration
11.30am | Kick-off
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Registrations close on October 21.