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A group of 10-15 players is expected to be offered the chance to train with the Vodafone Warriors’ wider NYC squad in November-December following the club’s annual open trial at Cornwall Park in Auckland on Saturday and Sunday.

More players will be in line for the same opportunity when the Vodafone Warriors stage a one-day open trial at Cooks Gardens in Whanganui this Sunday (October 18), the first time the club has taken its NYC trial concept outside Auckland.

The two-day trial in Auckland began with a group of about 150 hopefuls who travelled from as far afield as Queensland and Christchurch as well as Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland.

Some players progressed from the first day to join a group of pre-selected players for the final series of trial matches on Sunday.

Vodafone Warriors academy and pathways manager Duane Mann, Vodafone Junior Warriors coach Kelvin Wright and Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro were impressed with quality of the players assembled and also hailed the new format.

“From our point of view, the format worked really well playing nine-a-side games on the first day to give us a better indication of the relative abilities of players,” said Mann.

“The standard of the trial games on Sunday was a big step up from what we’ve seen before.

“We started the last day with 40-plus players, trimmed that down to about 20 after the final game and will look to select around 10 players who will be offered the chance to train pre-Christmas with the NYC squad.

“We were really pleased to see so many players making the trip from Queensland and the rest of the country including the group (scout) Te Iwi Ngaro brought up from Christchurch.”

Players included sons or relatives of ex-Kiwi and former Vodafone Junior Warriors coach John Ackland, former Vodafone Junior Warrior and ex-South Sydney NRL forward Neccrom Areaiiti, 2015 Vodafone Junior Warrior Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano, former Vodafone Junior Warriors prop Visesio Setefano, ex-Kiwi trialist Paul Nahu and 2015 Vodafone Warriors rookie prop Albert Vete.

While players featuring had predominantly come through the rugby league system, many were from secondary schools rugby union and a group of players also returned home from Australia to trial.

Mann said registrations were still open for Sunday’s trial in Whanganui where the Vodafone Warriors were keen to provide an opportunity to rugby league and rugby union players from the central North Island region as well as others from the South Island.

Mann said the Vodafone Warriors were grateful to Mid Central Zone general manager Lisa Rewiti for helping to co-ordinate the trial and volunteers and Wellington Zone general manager Jason Hemson for assisting Wellington players to attend the trials.


Sunday, October 17

Open Trial

Registration | From 9.00am

Games | From 10.00am

Acknowledgement of Country

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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