The One New Zealand Warriors and One Tree Hill College have sealed a landmark five-year partnership to set up a satellite training base at the school for the club’s pathways teams.
A total of five squads will represent the club next season with additional teams entered in the New South Wales Rugby League’s Harold Matthews Cup (under-17) and Jersey Flegg Cup (under-21) competitions alongside the NRL, New South Wales Cup and SG Ball (under-17) sides.
With the need for additional facilities to cope with the big stable of teams, the club and One Tree Hill College have cemented a relationship which will see the Harold Matthews Cup and Jersey Flegg Cup teams using the school as their training base.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to join together with One Tree Hill College to make this possible,” said Andrew McFadden, the One New Zealand Warriors’ general manager recruitment, pathways and development.
“It’s perfect fit for us. With five teams on our books next season we needed another base apart from our club headquarters at Go Media Stadium.
“One Tree Hill College is just around the corner and (Principal) Nick Coughlan and staff are doing a fantastic job ensuring the facilities are all in place when our players start their preseason training in November.”
The partnership had its beginnings during the 2023 preseason when the Warriors needed an alternative training field after the extreme flooding in Auckland in January rendered the fields at Go Media Stadium unusable; One Tree Hill College came to the rescue.
Under the new partnership, the school is providing two training fields, changing rooms, a classroom converted into a team meeting room.
“It’s hugely exciting for One Tree Hill College and our community to be partnering with the Warriors and having their teams training at the school,” said One Tree Hill College Principal Nick Coughlan.
“With the Warriors having such a fantastic season, our students are super excited about rugby league and having the club using our facilities.
“The young players will provide inspiration for our boys and girls who have a desire to play rugby league and this will bring a surge of interest in the game at the school and for everyone in our wider community.
“Our staff are putting so much work into preparing for this. The field is looking amazing. It’ll be one of the best grounds of any school in New Zealand.”
“It is the perfect example of a high performing secondary school partnering with a high performing sports organisation to develop young people in our community.”
Originally known as Penrose High School, it was rebranded as One Tree Hill High School in 2008.
It has a long list of high-achieving alumni in various walks of life including rugby league.
Preceding Coughlan as principal from 2003-2009 was Iva Ropati, who made seven first-grade appearances for the Warriors in 1996-1997 and four Tests for the Kiwis.
Another rugby league product is Warriors cult hero Iafeta Paleaaesina. He played almost 400 games during his career including 83 for the Warriors from 2001-2005 and three Tests for the Kiwis.
Other Kiwis to come out of the then-Penrose High School in the 1960s and 1970s were Ian Bell, Brian Clark, Murray Eade, Doug Gailey and Brian Lee.