Vodafone Warriors players and staff have a strong presence in the New Zealand 18s squad to face the Australian Schoolboys in two internationals in Brisbane next week.
Six players from the club’s NYC and academy squads have been selected including hooker Chris Sio, who was named 18th man in the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ team for today’s NYC preliminary final against Penrith at Suncorp Stadium.
Also in the 18s are Tyrone Nathan, Fabien Kiri and Lewis Soosemea – all debuted for the Vodafone Junior Warriors this season – plus Kenese Kenese and Phoenix Hunt.
Another three Vodafone Junior Warriors – Erin Clark, Ata Hingano and Amoni Tufui – were originally selected but will instead turn out in today’s NYC play-off and potentially next week’s grand final.
Rod Ratu is coaching the 18s while the manager is Elizabeth Richards and the trainer is Junior Matauiri; all three have the same roles with the Vodafone Warriors’ development squad.
With Clark, Hingano and Tufui out, Ratu has promoted two players – Kenese and Isaiah Papalii – who excelled who excelled for the New Zealand Secondary Schools in their come-from-behind 30-22 win over the New South Wales Combined High Schools at Papakura on Monday. Ratu also coached the New Zealand Secondary Schools.
The New Zealand 18s meet the Australian Schoolboys at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, September 27, and again on Thursday, October 1 at Wynnum.
NEW ZEALAND 18s | Tarquinn Alatipi (Wellington), Whitiroa Davis (Akarana), Keanu Dawson (Upper Central), Josh Farrant (Akarana), Rory Ferguson (Southern), Jackson Ferris (Mid Central), Bostyn Hakaraia (Akarana), Morgan Harper (Upper Central), Phoenix Hunt (Counties Manukau), Kenese Kenese (Counties Manukau), Dean Kouka-Smith (Akarana), Rory Marshall-Barton (Counties Manukau), Tyrone Nathan (Counties Manukau), Fabian Paletua-Kiri (Mid-Central), Isaiah Papalii (Akarana), David Phillips (Counties Manukau), Chris Sio (Akarana), Lewis Soosemea (Counties Manukau), Auzzie Tuwhangai (Akarana).