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Paul Turner wins Sonny Fai Medal

Halfback Paul Turner won the top honour at the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ 2019 awards at Mount Smart Stadium last night picking up the Sonny Fai Medal as the club's Jersey Flegg Cup Player of the Year.

The 19-year-old, born and raised in Whangarei, was signed by the Vodafone Warriors in 2017 and played in the under 20s side 12 times that season. Since then, Turner has continued to improve and develop.

This season saw him used in the club's Canterbury Cup (reserve grade) side eight times, scoring two tries, making 47 tackle breaks and averaging 86 metres a game. In the Jersey Flegg competition, he played 10 games this season, scored five tries, produced seven try assists and made 43 tackle breaks while averaging 80 metres per game.

Other nominees for the award were middle forward Phillip Makatoa, back rower Brody Tamarua and prop Wesley Veikoso.

The Jersey Flegg Education Ambassador of the Year award acknowledges under-20 players who are well balanced off the field doing a recognised course of study or a work pursuit.

Back rower Isaiah Vagana (Bachelor of Architectural Studies), utility Casey Smith (Bachelor of Engineering), wing Harley Maynard (BCITO apprenticeship) and hooker Sean Mullany (Bachelor of Commerce) were this year's nominees with the award going to Smith.

Smith, who was also a nominee for the award last year, had an impressive 2019 season on the field, displaying resilience while proving adept at completing his studies at the University of Auckland. It was a credit to the way he plays the game.

Finalists for the Jersey Flegg Clubman of the Year Award were centre Kayal Iro, fullback Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard and prop Wesley Veikoso. The award went to Veikoso for exhibiting the club's values through his attitude during the year.

Halfback Sione Moala won the Jersey Flegg Rookie of the Year honour. Moala had a superb first season for the club where he made 15 appearances, scored 60 points (3 tries and 44 goals) and produced five try assists and 33 tackle breaks while averaging 67 metres a game.

The other nominees were hooker Taniela Otukolo and Vagana.

Five academy players were acknowledged as a part of the Future Warriors programme. Taniela Mapusua-Lotaki, Salesi Ataata, Francis Manuleleua, and Zyon Maiu'u all picked up the merit award while Vaka Sikahele was given the excellence award.



Special achievements


Cook Islands senior international debut:

Kayal Iro

Brody Tamarua


Canterbury Cup debut:

Kayal Iro

Edward Kosi

Phil Makatoa

Sean Mullany


New Zealand 18s:

Sione Moala

Caleb Pese

Jyris Glamuzina

Eteru Ropeti

William Fakatoumafi

Temple Kalepo

Feao Tongia

Semisi Sikei

Taniela Otukolo

Otukinekina Kepu

Vailingi Peesi Kepu


Player of the Year and 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

2018 Preston Riki

2019 Paul Turner


Jersey Flegg 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

2018 Kayal Iro

2019 Sione Moala


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

2018 Eiden Ackland

2019 Wesley Veikoso

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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