2017 Northland High Performance Squad

  • 2017 Northland High Performance Squad Announced

    Toll Northland Coaches Derren Witcombe and Dale MacLeod have announced the 2017 Northland High Performance Squad.

    This squad will be preparing for the following games:

    Northland HP vs Counties
    @ Kaiwaka
    Wednesday 24th May 2017

    Northland HP vs North Harbour and Auckland
    @ Wellsford
    Monday 12th June 2017



    Namatahi Wa'a - Pakuranga

    Howard Sililoto - Old Boys Marist

    Ross Wright - Wellsford

    Ropate Rinakama - Waipu

    Cole Keith - Old Boys Marist

    Tau Koloamatangi - Kamo

    Chris Apoua - Mid Northern


    Jordan Olsen - Mid Northern

    Ben Tau - Waipu


    Josh Larsen - Mid Northern

    Tom Dwyer - Mid Northern

    Epineri Uluiviti - Awanui

    Rueben Wright - Kamo

    Justin Fredrich - Western Sharks


    Jack Ram - Kerikeri

    Matt Matich - Western Sharks

    Hayden Jurlina - Hikurangi

    Michael Faleafa - Hikurangi

    Sam McNamara - Waipu

    Oneal Rongo - Kerikeri

    Jaycob Matiu - Horahora

    Aorangi Stokes - Old Boys Marist

    Taniela Manu - Old Boys Marist



    Matt Markwick - Old Boys Marist

    Malcolm MacLeod - Mid Northern

    Mac Sykes - Kamo

    1ST FIVE

    Peter Breen - Old Boys Marist

    Dan Hawkins - Otamatea

    Tim Blundell - Mid Western


    Troy Gilbert - Old Boys Marist

    Blake Hohaia - Kamo

    James Cherrington - Mid Northern

    Swayn Rakete - Mid Northern

    Jonetani Mateiwai - Western Sharks


    Jordan Hyland - Otamatea

    Matty Wright - Wellsford

    Noah Cooper - Old Boys Marist

    Robbie Rollo - Old Boys Marist

    Monty Lama - Old Boys Marist

    Renata Roberts-Tenana - Old Boys Marist

    Shelford Murray - Kamo

    Matt Tuatagaloa - Awanui

    Waisea Lawebuka - Awanui

    Whiria Meltzer - Wellsford


    Sam Nock - Super Rugby

    Jack Goodhue - Super Rugby

    Jone Macilai - Super Rugby

    Solomon Alaimalo - Super Rugby

    Dan Pryor - Super Rugby

    Kara Pryor - Super Rugby

    Josh Goodhue - Super Rugby

    Phil Kite - Super Rugby

    Matt Moulds - Super Rugby

    Tamati Tua - NZ U20

    Tom Robinson - Injured

    Scott Gregory - Injured

    Sean Sweetman - Injured

    Tyler Lansdowne - Injured

    Warren Dunn - Work commitments

  • Good to see Mat Wright back!

    Wasnt Shelford Murray a bit of a star in age group rugby with a number of provinces trying to sign him?

    I gotta say, that is a pretty good list of players, almost enough to make me dream of 2017 being our year...best stop that right now huh 🙂

    I had heard Meltzer had been called into NZ 7s side, but looking at the HP team schedule, he must not have?

  • Ok guys who are the new stars?

    We had a really young team last year so with another year some of these players will start to come of age - Robinson, Stokes, Larsen - plus more guys with Super 15 experience than ever, plus some guys coming back - Matt Wright (yes!) , Ram (thought he was gone), Sykes, and then 7s talent in Noah Cooper and Scott Gregory, and some real class in Jack Goodhue.

    Hope we add a Rene Ranger to this mix. Imagine him playing in a young team full of enthusiasm where he can just concentrate on his role. I think he would be huge!

    Looking good. Excited already.

  • @taniwharugby Shelford Murray was / is a young star. Kaloamatangi (Waikato) was an age group prop. If they can mould all this "young" talent who knows...

  • @kev was he at St. Kents with Nock?

  • @taniwharugby Kings I think

  • Northland v Counties Manukau HP Squad
    Wednesday 24th May 6.30 @ Kaiwaka Sports Complex

  • Northland HP won 33-32

  • @taniwharugby said in 2017 Northland High Performance Squad:

    @kev was he at St. Kents with Nock?

    @kev is right, he was at Kings College with Jonah Lowe. Both were picked for NZ Schools in 2014, but only Lowe made it into the NZU20s (Murray dropped out of the trial squad after the 2nd camp) in 2016.

    See this video from 2014:

    Murray was in the Waikato U19 team in 2015 and in the Waikato U21 and Chiefs Development squads in 2016.

  • Some exciing young talent running around in the Northland club competition,should hopefully translate to some happy days moving forward for the Taniwha.
    Scott Gregory,although he set to miss most of the 2017 season through injury,comes to mind,but you also throw in Tamati Tua,currently away with NZ 20s in georgia preparing for the world cup.
    Shelford Murray(Kamo),Swayne Rakete & James Cherrington (Mid Northern),Noah Cooper (OB Marist) who has been in superb form at club level,Sam Mc Namara,loose forward from Waipu who i understand is quite rangy,and when he fills out will be a very solid unit along with many of the current squad who are still realtively young,especially the likes of Jack & Josh Goodhue,Sam Nock,Jacob Matiu and Aorangi Stokes.
    There is no reason why we cant have a golden patch,on paper it looks good anway.
    One player i have heard some superb things about is Blake Hohaia,Blake played for Mt Albet Grammar around the same time Jack & Josh Goodhue were running around in Auckland.
    Hohaia has also represented Auckland U19s,Blues secondary schools,has ties to both Taranaki & Northland,mother is from Kaitaia i believe,he was down in the Taranaki in 2015 and was in their wider training squad and may have played 7s for the Naki at the Nationals.
    In 2016 he was drafted into the Wanganui heartland team after they had some injuries,he played in the final against Buller,having a hand in the winning try,would be good to get some footage of that final.

    From what i have been told he is very athletic,got good footwork and a decepive turn of pace,maybe one to watch,even though we appear to be quite strong in the midfield,when you throw into the mix,Gilbert,Tua,Goodhue,Hyland and if some of the rumours of Ranger returning North are true,someone could be unlucky to make the cut.

    2 areas of concern for me,are in the tight five,especially at lock,with Sweetman,Injured,possibly out for the season,Shane Neville having moved on to North Harbour,and Tom Robinson injured,and unlikely to be returning until close to when the campain starts,that leaves us a little thin on the ground,with only Josh Goodhue,Epineri Uluiviti & Josh Larsen from last years squad as the only locks with Mitre 10 experience ,which is a concern if there is further injury
    Without being to disrespectful to the guys who are in the HP squad,i would look outside the union for an experienced righthand side lock with a bit of size,most super rugby locks i would imagine are probably signed up with their respective unions,so i am going to play devils advocate.

    I will throw a few names out there,Callum Retallick(Rebels & BOP),not sure if he has signed with the steamers for 2017,but his experience would be valuable.
    Isaac Ross NTT Shinning Arcs in Japan,former All Black lock,plenty of size and athletisim,once again very experinced,like Retallick,very good at kick off recieves.

    Liaki Moli,has'nt been signed by Auckland,good with ball in hand,probably not for me,but just putting it out there..!,
    well there a few names to get the ball rolling.
    I suspect in all honesty,the union will will sign a lock from outside the union.

    Some good young locks running around in Auckland like Sam Ulufonua,who played for Ak Grammar and NZ secondary schools,built like a block of shops,is the Nz Junior discuss champion,however is very young,and i suspect Auckland may have him wrapped up.

    The ideal player in my opinion would be Blade Thomson,when you consider the Blues are losing Luatua,next year,similar to Luatua,can play lock or loose forward,highly skilled.

    The other area is tighthead prop,we have one specialist,Phil Kite who is proven,Namatahi Waa i saw running around for the Blues Dev squad,looked ok at tighthead and would probably do the job,or do they take a punt Chris Apoua who was in the squad last year..?,and is ticking some boxes in and around fitness this year..Seems like Matt Talese has fallen off the radar.
    My only ask is,dont get Jeremy Parkinson in if we are recruiting props,especilally if they are from Argentina..!,we all know how that worked out..!,still shaking my head on that one,its right up there with Kirwin recruiting Benji Marshall for the Blues.

  • @Steven-Harris great summary Steven. If we can keep this squad and these young guys coming through together we will be in great shape for the future. A few years ago the Board moved to focusing more on local talent and bringing guys back to the region - this is starting to show through.

    This year it will be about changing mindsets and playing smart rugby as we have the talent. As always the performance of the tight five will still be critical so we wait to see what happens there. With Goodhue, Larsen, and Robinson we have some young, tough, athletic and talented locks. It would be nice to add an old head with some beef to that mix.

  • yep, there is almost enough to start getting excited about, but best not, I've been down this road before and always ends in tears 😢

    Assuming all fit:

    KIte, Moulds, Waa, Goodhue, Larsen/Uluiviti, D Pryor, K Pryor, Matich, Nock, Breen, Macilai, Tua/Goodhue, Goodhue/Tua, Ranger, Wright.

  • @taniwharugby we have Alaimalo as well....

  • @kev and HYland who has been part of the BLues dev side this year too...

    As I said, plenty of reason to hope this year

  • Contracted players:


    Former Bay of Plenty and Sunwolves lock Tim bond has signed with the Toll Northland Taniwha Mitre 10 Cup team for the 2017 season. He will arrive in Northland in time to play the last couple of Bayleys Premiership matches for Hikurangi. 27 year old Bond will add some experience and maturity to the Taniwha second row. After finishing his secondary schooling in Christchurch he went to Japan to attend Teikyo university. He played for the Suntory Sungoliaths in the Japan Top League and then returned to play for Bay of Plenty in the NPC from 2013-2015. He played for the Sunwolves, alongside former Taniwha Derek Carpenter, in their inaugural season of Super Rugby. Tim becomes the 24th contracted player for the 2017 season.

    The full list of contracted players so far is:

    Solomona Alaimalo Otamatea & Chiefs

    Peter Breen Old Boys Marist

    Tim Bond Hikurangi

    Jack Goodhue United Kawakawa & Crusaders

    Josh Goodhue Kamo

    Scott Gregory Hikurangi

    Dan Hawkins Otamatea

    Jordan Hyland Wellsford

    Phil Kite Old Boys Marist & Reds

    Jone Macilai Awanui & Crusaders

    Matt Matich Western Sharks

    Matt Moulds Otamatea & Blues

    Sam Nock Kerikeri & Blues

    Jorden Olsen Mid Northern

    Dan Pryor Old Boys Marist & Highlanders

    Kara Pryor Old Boys Marist & Blues

    Jack Ram Old Boys Marist

    Rene Ranger Wellsford & Blues

    Tom Robinson Western Sharks

    Howard Sililoto Old Boys Marist

    Tamati Tua Hikurangi

    Ratu Epeneri Uluiviti Awanui

    Namatahi Waa HIkurangi

    Matt Wright Wellsford

  • @taniwharugby Good to see Rene back - they need to work hard on him carrying the ball directly and running at holes. I really like Aorangi Stokes, Jaycob Matiu and Josh Larsen so hopefully they are still in the mix. Looks like a strong side with young talent. Halfback seems to an area where they are not certain. Ross Wright is the unluckiest player. They mucked around with him at prop when he was a great hooker, and last year with injuries he looked unfit - so I wonder what will happen this year with him? Don't know what has happened to Faleafa?

  • @taniwharugby possibly one of the strongest Northland squads we have seen on paper at least in recent seasons,does'nt appear to be to many more spots open,depending wether we carry 3 halfbacks,Malcolm MacLeod ,Matty Markwick and Mac Sykes are the contenders.
    The fact the selectors have not named a back halfback makes me think,are they looking outside the union..?or maybe Kurt Davies who was in the squad a couple seasons back,I understand he has been running around for Hikurangi.

    Prop is another talking point,Chris Apoua from Mid Northern has made superb gains this year,others in the frame are Tau koloamatangi from Kamo,whom previously represented NZ u20s & Waikato and Ropate Rinakama from Waipu,whom previously has been with the Auckland development squad last year and North Harbour rugby previously in 2013,playing 3 x games.

    I would hope Aorangi Stokes,Jacob Matiu & Josh Larsen are still going to be looked at,and like Kevs previous comments,I now wonder what happens to Micheal Faleafa..?

    In the backs,notable omissions are Troy Gilbert,Waisea Lawabuka and Monty Lama,I suspect Gilbert may come into consideration if Gregory is not available and the status of Jack Goodhue in terms of ABs selection comes into play.

    From a personal point of view,I would love to see them take Shelford Murray into the squad,with pace and great footwork,is definitely one for the future.
    Another player I have heard a bit about is Blake Hohaia from Kamo,2nd five from Kamo,played heartland for Whanganui in last years heartland final.

    Other than that,very excited about this years prospects,I know,we have said this before,but we have got to get this right sometime.

  • INteresting decision on Bond, given Reuben Wright has been in the HP squad, while he probably isnt quite up to moving past MItre 10 Cup (possibly not quite tall enough either, but then at this level not as much an issue) he isnt likely to let you down either, been very good for Kamo in the games I have watched.

    Watched the Kamo-Wellsford game today, Ross Wright looking in pretty good shape, Whiria looks sharp at the back for them too, got some gas and some nice touches, but with his pack getting out-muscled he was often trying to create something form nothing.

    Kamo won 23-5 in damp windy conditions, and gotta say, skill level seems pretty good too, Sykes looking handy as as Wright for Kamo.

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