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Up to 130 players are expected to push their claims at the Vodafone Warriors’ open NYC trial at Cooks Gardens in Whanganui on Sunday.

While registrations will remain open until the day of the trial well over 100 players from both rugby league and rugby union backgrounds have already signed up to take part.

“We have players coming from Wellington, Manawatu, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay, Wairarapa and Horowhenua plus Whanganui and we even have some making the trip from Otago,” said Vodafone Warriors academy and pathways manager Duane Mann.

“We’ve had great support for this trial, the first we’ve ever staged outside Auckland, especially from (general manager) Lisa Rewiti and staff from the Mid Central Zone as well as Wellington.

“This is also about involving local coaches and referees as we continue to search for talent. We certainly hope to be able to select some players from those we see on Sunday to join our NYC squad for offseason training in November and December.”

Former Vodafone Warrior Herewini Rangi is bringing players from Gisborne while Vodafone Warriors scouts and Wellington zone general manager Jason Hemson have been instrumental in pulling together a group of contenders from the Capital.

The Whanganui trial follows the highly-successful annual two-day trial in Auckland last week. A group of 10-15 players from the Cornwall Park event are to be offered the chance to train with the NYC squad next month.

A group of about 150 hopefuls travelled from as far afield as Queensland and Christchurch as well as Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Northland. While players featuring had predominantly come through the rugby league system, many were from secondary schools rugby union.

The trials have proved successful in providing contract opportunities over the last few years.

Three of this year’s NYC regulars – wings Tomas Aoake and Paul Ulberg plus loose forward Jazz Tevaga – were ultimately signed through their performances at the NYC trials.


Sunday, October 18

Open Trial 

Registration | From 9.00am

Games | From 10.00am 

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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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