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John Palavi. Vodafone Warriors v  Newtown Jets VB NSW Cup Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. New Zealand. Anzac Day Saturday 25 April 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

He was named the Vodafone Warriors’ New South Wales Cup Player of the Year and now captain John Palavi has been named in the competition’s overall team on the year.

The back rower made 19 appearances this season leading the side to a fourth place finish in the regular season.

Palavi was chosen on the bench in a side including former Vodafone Warriors Omar Slaimankhel and Russell Packer.

The Vodafone Warriors’ 2015 campaign ended with losses in the first two weeks of the finals to the Mounties and Canterbury-Bankstown.

The Newcastle Knights came through from seventh spot in the finals to beat the second-ranked Wyong Roos 20-10 in last night’s grand final. Wing Honeti Tuha, a former Vodafone Warriors development player, was named man of the match after scoring three tries.

The grand final featured numerous New Zealanders including several players previously involved with the Vodafone Warriors. Former Vodafone Warriors NRL players Suaia Matagi and Slaimankhel were in the Wyong side along with former Vodafone Junior Warrior and NRL squad member Abraham Papalii plus New Zealander Matt McIlwrick.

Apart from Tuha, Newcastle’s side included former Vodafone Warrior Carlos Tuimavave, ex-Vodafone Junior Warrior Tama Koopu and Marvin Filipo, who was in the Vodafone Warriors’ wider NRL squad in 2006. Also in Newcastle’s side were former Junior Kiwis Joseph Tapine, Danny Levi and Sam Mataora plus 2014 New Zealand 18s representative Ken Tofilau.


1 Omar Slaimankhel (Wyong Roos)

2 Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury Bulldogs)

3 Kerrod Holland (Newcastle Knights)

4 Sami Sauiluma (Newtown Jets)

5 Kurtis Rowe (Wests Tigers)

6 Josh McCrone (Mounties)

7 Mitch Cornish (Mounties)

8 Russell Packer (Illawarra Cutters)

9 Mitch Williams (Wyong Roos)

10 Luke Page (Mounties/Illawarra Cutters)

11 Mitch Barnett (Mounties)

12 Adam Elliott (Canterbury Bulldogs)

13 Leilani Latu (Penrith Panthers)


14 Damien Cook (Canterbury Bulldogs)

15 John Palavi (Vodafone Warriors)

16 Daniel Alvaro (Wentworthville Magpies)

17 Shaun Lane (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Coach | Rip Taylor (Wyong Roos)

Assistant Coach | Ben Gardiner (North Sydney Bears)

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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