New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) selectors have named a 23-man squad in the running to take on the New Zealand Residents team on Saturday, October 15 at Davies Park in Huntly.
NZMRL Chairman, John Devonshire, says New Zealand Rugby League were eager to revive the annual fixture, which was suspended three-years ago.
“We were only too happy to accommodate the request for a game between our Māori side and the NZ residents… and with a large pool of talented Māori rugby league players to choose from, it should be a great game”, says Mr Devonshire.
In the mix to play in the green and black jersey, are first grade NRL, Holden Cup and NSW cup players, as well as domestic competition players from around the motu. Selectors will look at reducing the number on October 1, after the Kiwi team and NZ residents have been selected.
The highly anticipated clash is one of three games that will be played on the day and is being dedicated to NZMRL life member, Robert Bob Tukiri (MNZM), for his contribution to the Huntly community and to Māori rugby league.
Similarly, the curtain raiser between the NZMRL Wāhine Toa and the Pasifika Women is being dedicated to two female stalwarts of rugby league, namely NZ Women’s Rugby League chair, Christine Panapa and NZRL life member, Cathy Friend (QSM, DSA).
Mr Devonshire says “we want to celebrate their achievements and lifelong commitments to rugby league at this auspicious occasion and hope their families will join us too”.
Games are to be held on Saturday, October 15 at Davies Park, Huntly:
11:00 am – Te Atiawa Mens vs Waikato Māori Mens
1:00 pm – NZ Wāhine Toa vs Pasifika Women
3:00 pm – NZ Māori XIII vs NZ Residents
NZ Māori Residents 23-man squad:
AOAKE Tomasi NZ Warriors NSW Cup Ngāti Ranginui
BELL James NZ Warriors NSW Cup Tūwharetoa / Tainui
BHANA David Newcastle Knights NSW Cup Ngāpuhi
BISHOP Trent Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Kahu
DOCKER-CLAY Zach Penrith Panthers NSW Cup Te Atiawa / Ngāti Porou
DOYLE-MANGA Carne Wyong Roo’s NSW Cup Ngāti Raukawa / Ngāti Kapumanawawhiti
EASTWOOD Greg Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Tainui
EDWARDS Delane Fremantle Roosters Western Australia Tainui / Ngāti Mahanga
EDWARDS George Papakura Sea Eagles Fox Memorial Tainui / Tūwharetoa
HOTENE Carlos Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Ngāpuhi / Ngāti Awa
KARA Kurt Newtown Jets NSW Cup Tainui / Tūwharetoa
MILNE Taane St George Illawarra Dragons NSW Cup Tainui / Ngāti Maniapoto
ROGERS Piki North Sydney Bears NSW Cup Ngāpuhi / Tūhoe
RONA Curtis Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Te Atiawa
SAMSON Kouma Glenora Bears Fox Memorial Te Arawa / Ngāpuhi
SNELL Dion Mt Albert Lions Fox Memorial Ngāpuhi
THOMPSON Bodene NZ Warriors NRL Ngai Te Rangi
TUIA Tony Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Ngāti Whātua / Ngāti Porou
WATENE-ZELEZNIAK Malakai Penrith Panthers NSW Cup Ngāti Maru
DAWSON Keanu NZ Warriors Holden Cup Tainui
OSBORNE Manaia Whiti Te Ra Wellington Ngāti Raukawa / Ngāti Rangitihi
PENEHA Te Ariki Whiti Te Ra Wellington Ngāti Raukawa
RATU Dana Taniwharau Waicoa Bay Tūhoe / Ngāti Maniapoto
Final team will be named after October 1, 2016.