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Team Photograph. Junior Warriors Awards Evening, Mt Smart Stadium Auckland, Wednesday 6th September 2017. Copyright Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Chanel Harris-Tavita backed up his 2016 TNT NYC Rookie of the Year accolade by being named the Vodafone NYC Player of the Year at the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ 2017 awards dinner at Mount Smart Stadium last night.

The 18-year-old Pakuranga College product headed off centre Melino Fineanganofo, prop Kenese Kenese and last year’s winner Chris Sio for the award and the Sonny Fai Medal.

Standoff-halfback Harris-Tavita, who made his NYC debut on his 17th birthday last year, appeared in 21 games, scoring six tries and producing 10 try assists in what was a challenging season for the team.

A Mount Wellington Warriors and Howick Hornets junior, he also made the Junior Kiwis this year.

With a significant number of 17-year-old players again making their debuts this season, the field for the TNT NYC Rookie of the Year award was keenly contested with fullback-wing Israel Ogden, prop Tayhler Paora, back rower Tyler Slade and utility Paul Turner the finalists. Slade was the winner, making 13 appearances and averaging 60 metres and 26 tackles a game.

Co-captain Kenese Kenese was named the Canterbury of New Zealand NYC Clubman of the Year while utility Eiden Ackland was rewarded with the NYC Education Ambassador Award, recognising his efforts in doing a double degree in law and arts.

Five academy players were acknowledged for representing the club’s values – Caleb Pese (grounded), Taniela Otukolo (courageous), Sione Moala (selfless), Quinnlan Tupou (passionate) and Temple Kalepo (uncompromising).

The dinner marked the 10th and last season of the NYC, the competition winding up with the Vodafone Junior Warriors standing out as the most successful having won the premiership three times (2010, 2011 and 2014), the minor premiership in 2011 and being the only club to make the finals in each of the first eight seasons. Penrith has the chance to equal the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ three titles this season.

With NYC graduates Isaiah Papali’i, James Bell and Erin Clark making their NRL debuts this year it means almost 60 Vodafone Junior Warriors have gone on to play at first-grade level, the most of any club in the competition.

Next year the Vodafone Junior Warriors will be playing in the new New South Wales under-20 competition.




Vodafone NYC Player of the Year & Sonny Fai Medal winner

2008   Kevin Locke

2009   Elijah Taylor

2010   Nafe Seluini

2011   John Palavi

2012   Peta Hiku

2013   Michael Sio

2014   Sam Lisone

2015   Bunty Afoa

2016   Chris Sio

2017   Chanel Harris-Tavita


TNT NYC Rookie of the Year

2008   Elijah Taylor

2009   Ben Henry

2010   Carlos Tuimavave

2011   Siliva Havili

2012   David Bhana

2013   Tuimoala Lolohea

2014   Brad Abbey

2015   Ata Hingano

2016   Chanel Harris-Tavita

2017   Tyler Slade


NYC Clubman of the Year

2008   Kurt Tehira

2009   Kurt Kara

2010   Charlie Gubb

2011   Donald Tony

2012   Toka Likiliki

2013   Viliami Kaveinga

2014   Kurt Robinson 

2015   Toafofoa Sipley

2016   Sheldon Pitama

2017   Kenese Kenese

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