Four members of the NYC grand final-winning Vodafone Junior Warriors line-up are among the 16 players representing the club at this weekend’s Holden Cup Rookie Camp on the Gold Coast.
Utility Nathaniel Roache, winger Paul Ulberg, prop Bunty Afoa and back rower Jazz Tevaga are joined by another nine players who played for the champion squad during the 2014 season.
One of them is 17-year-old standoff Ata Hingano, recently named the Junior Sportsman of the Year at the Counties Manukau Sports Awards.
The others are Ofahiki Ogden, Mattais Heimuli, Tomas Aoake, Mikaere Beattie, Joseph Price, John Wesley Tauti, Semisi Tyrell and Marata Niukore while Roman Tumata, Sheldon Pitama and Levi McBirney round out the group of players.
Management travelling with the party are Vodafone Warriors academy and pathways manager Duane Mann, welfare and education manager Jerry Seuseu, new NYC coach Kelvin Wright, community ambassador and academy coach Jerome Ropati and human resources manager David Fuimaono.
The other clubs attending this weekend’s camp at Griffith University are Gold Coast, Melbourne, North Queensland and Brisbane.
The event begins tonight with sessions on social media, careers and cultural awareness.
Following training tomorrow morning, sessions on media training, alcohol and respectful relationships involve former NRL players Brett Kimmorley, Darren Smith and Matt Geyer plus Wests Tigers back rower Dene Halatau. There is also a session on concussion.
Kiwi comedian Mike King and former Vodafone Warrior Clinton Toopi are also involved in the camp while Ropati, co-winner of the Pasifika Academic Excellence Award, will talk about his recent trip to the United States when he and fellow former Kiwi Sam Perrett spent time at UCLA.
On Sunday there will be sessions on personal brand (Alan Tongue) and finance (Tony Caine) plus a presentation from Michael Crocker from the Rugby League Players’ Association.