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Closed trial for aspiring players

Following confirmation the Vodafone Warriors will field a team in the New South Wales Rugby League’s prestigious SG Ball Cup (under-18s) next year, the club has today announced it has scheduled a closed trial for Sunday October 20.

“As a club we have made it a priority to recruit, retain and develop the best young players in New Zealand,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“Although it is a constant challenge we are beginning to build a strong junior base. As such we have decided to run only a closed trial with applicants to be approved by our staff.”

Smith welcomes aspiring elite rugby league and rugby union players born in the years 2003 (under-16) and 2002 (under-17) to register for the trial weekend.

“It provides not only an opportunity to put your hand up for our SG Ball squad in 2020 and 2021 but also other representative fixtures and development camps planned in 2020,” he said.

“We have had fixtures against Auckland 16s, New Zealand 16s and 18s, Auckland Schoolboys and the Newcastle Knights Under-16s which were warmly received by players and parents.”

Every year the Vodafone Warriors have players who stake a claim at the club’s trial programme. In 2019 Vodafone Warriors Jersery Flegg and Canterbury Cup winger Edward Kosi earned a trial opportunity with the 2018 Jersey Flegg squad after not playing any competitive sport that year. In the coming off-season, the tall winger will spend time training with the NRL squad.  

Future Warriors programme manager Jordan Friend said the club has a strong base of players to make a successful entry into the SG Ball competition.

“With the launch of our initial Future Warriors programme we have some real momentum with New Zealand players and parents,” he said.

“The increased work into engaging and developing young players means we have a core group of players who have spent a number of years in our system.

“We have had high representation in the New Zealand and Samoa 16s and 18s teams, so we have some exciting young players with many in line to join the SG Ball preseason squad.”

Friend said there are opportunities for players to complement players currently in both the SG Ball and other representative squads.

This year’s trial will be focused on a high-quality closed trial for up to 50 approved applicants at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday, October 20.

Club talent identification staff have been highly active in recent months attending finals, trials and representative competitions in both rugby league and rugby union across the country; as such there is a list of identified players who will trial this Sunday. The rest will be invited based on their applications, factoring in the strength of their application and positional requirements for the trial.

Registrations of interest for the October 20 trial close on Wednesday, October 16.  All approved applicants will be confirmed by 12.00pm on Thursday, October 17.


Players who are invited to trial must bring their own shorts, socks, mouth guard and boots.


Sunday, October 20 | Closed trial, Mount Smart Stadium, 2 Beasley Avenue, Penrose, Auckland

Information confirmed with those invited to attend close trial.


We are always open to opportunities for open age players. Players who are confident of their ability and level of talent are encouraged to email their CVs with video links to for further consideration.

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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