The Vodafone Warriors have secured two of New Zealand’s hottest young prospects Zyon Maiuu and Jacob Laban on three-year contracts to add more quality to the club’s playing depth for the future.
The 17-year-old Kelston Boys’ High School students are regarded by Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan as New Zealand’s best young second rowers.
“We are very excited to lock up Zyon and Jacob for the next three years,” he said.
In my opinion they're the best two young second rowers in the countryPeter O'Sullivan Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager
“Both boys complement each other beautifully, Zyon with his competitiveness, skill and toughness and ability to play edge and middle equally as well as the other while Jacob is a gifted, athletic edge back rower with a huge motor.”
Laban, a Randwick Kingfishers junior, moved to Auckland from Wellington this year to complete his year 13 studies and prepare for the next step of his rugby league career with the Vodafone Warriors.
Maiuu was named the MVP after the recent NZRL National 20s competition.
They are thriving and pushing each other in their training, playing and general life skills.Peter O'Sullivan Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager
“Both boys live together as we wanted a good family home for Jacob and can’t thank Paula and Toma (Zyon’s mum and dad) enough for taking Jacob in and giving him a great environment to live in,” said O’Sullivan.
“They are thriving and pushing each other in their training, playing and general life skills. It’s also a great story for Kelston Boys’ High School and our working relationship with the school.
“Both boys made a huge impression on the staff when they joined the New Zealand-based top squad in the preseason last year.
“They both looked very much at home and despite their age mixed it with the big boys.
“I can’t wait for them to join the top squad in November and get their NRL dreams into action as I have no doubt the boys will go on and become Warriors in the next few years.”
Maiuu, a Te Atatu Roosters product, played for the Vodafone Warriors in last year’s Covid-shortened S G Ball Cup competition while he has also played for Kelston’s First XV rugby union side. He was named in the New Zealand Under-18 Schools team last year.
Laban, who attended St Bernard’s College before moving to Auckland, was named College Sport Wellington’s rugby league player of the year in 2019. He was selected in the New Zealand Resident 16s squad last year.
Born: June 29, 2003
Birthplace: Auckland, NZ
Junior Club: Te Atatu Roosters (Auckland)
Position: Second rower
Rep Honours: New Zealand Under-18 Schools (2020)
Born: April 17, 2004
Junior Club: Randwick Kingfishers (Wellington)
Position: Second rower
Rep Honours: New Zealand Resident 16s (2020)