Auckland Rugby 2020

  • Having no recollection of this guy I googled and found he has played one game for Auckland, six for Nth Harbour and four for the Blues and another four for NZ Maori during the period spanning 1996 to 2006 before throwing his lot in with some Italian outfit.

  • Recently he has crafted his coaching skills experience with the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby and the Melbourne Rising in the Australian National Rugby Competition.

    Hardly a compelling CV is it?

  • @Higgins I'd assume those Auckland stats are incorrect, as I remember him playing for Auckland and the Maori.

    His era was definitely pre the 90% of AB halfbacks have to be Maori quota was introduced.

  • @antipodean said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    Hardly a compelling CV is it?

    What do you expect for a 3rd coach at NPC level (he's behind Ieremia and Tiatia)? Some experience at club or schoolboy level would be the norm

  • @Duluth said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    @antipodean said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    Hardly a compelling CV is it?

    What do you expect for a 3rd coach at NPC level (he's behind Ieremia and Tiatia)? Some experience at club or schoolboy level would be the norm

    It's a swipe at the Melbourne bit and their level of success.

  • @Tim Ropate Rimakama, the ex-Northland player?

  • @Stargazer he had been on an injury cover contract for Worcester recently

  • @Stargazer I guess so. Played for Harbour and Worcester too.

  • @Tim said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    Where are the Eden players?

  • @Higgins A bit late on this one but I don't think Wikipedia is overly accurate on that. He played more than that for Auckland and played a fair bit in our 2003 winning side. I remember the Blues had a massive injury crisis at halfback in 2005 and he started in a big game against the Hurricanes which happened to be the first time we lost to them.

  • What's up with Jordan Trainor? Isn't in the team above and wasn't called up for any Blues pre-season games despite Page being out.

  • @Tim They lost 35 - 7.

    Heatherley scored the only try.

  • @Tim That caption though: "Who is looking forward to seeing Ofa wear the blue and white hoops this year?" As if.

  • @Stargazer said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    @Tim That caption though: "Who is looking forward to seeing Ofa wear the blue and white hoops this year?" As if.

    Could do the Canterbury thing and parachute in some ABs for the finals?

  • @Kirwan Instead of Bledisloe 3 and/or the game against Fiji after that?

  • @Stargazer said in Auckland Rugby 2020:

    @Kirwan Instead of Bledisloe 3 and/or the game against Fiji after that?

    Just pointing out the ABs have let players get game time at the expense of the NPC before.

  • @Tim Has the cash run out at Pakuranga?!!!!!

  • @Duluth Good to see Lemeki Namoa back.

  • @Duluth

    Niko Jones at 7 for Waitemata.

    Tumua Manu at 12 for College Rifles (good combo with Meihana Grindlay). Coming back from injury?

  • Nankivell and Sullivan are listed to be playing in Waikato club rugby so they must have released a number of Chiefs to play.

  •  Auckland Premier first round results. 
         Te Papapa:      3  vs  80 	Marist: 
    Eden: 	24  vs  18   Grammar TEC: 
    Waitemata:     17  vs  13     Papatoetoe: s
    Otahuhu 	6  vs  44       Pakuranga: 
    Suburbs: 	20  vs  20	Manukau: 
    East Tamaki: 	6  vs  59     College Rifles: 
    Ponsonby:     48  vs  16	  University:

  • Some good young backs to look for in the NPC squad: Taufa Funaki, Zarn Sullivan, Meihana Grindley, AJ Lam, Lemeki Namoa.

    Any young standouts in the forwards? Maybe the hooker Vikenia?

  • @Tim Niko Jones?

  • Some clues from the Blues U20 and A squads.

    Steven Bates and Dave Askew have named their first Ganellen Blues U20 team of the year. The team will travel to Napier to play the Hurricanes U20 in a Super Rugby curtain raiser at McLean Park, on Saturday the 29th of February.

    Bates and Askew have picked the promising Zarn Sullivan as captain, with Terrell Peita as his vice captain, in a side which features 11 players recently named in the New Zealand U20s as well as NZ 7s player Niko Jones and the 2019 Development Player of the Year, Lemeki Namoa.

    The match will kick off at 2.05pm.

    Starting XV:
    1 Tevita Langi – North Harbour
    2 Soane Vikena – Auckland
    3 Jimmy Roots – North Harbour
    4 Damien Naufahu – Auckland
    5 James Brown – Auckland
    6 Rob Rush – Northland
    7 Niko Jones – Auckland
    8 Terrell Peita (vc) – Auckland
    9 Manu Paea – Auckland
    10 Zarn Sullivan © – Auckland
    11 Heremaia Murray – Auckland
    12 Lemeki Namoa – Auckland
    13 Joel Cobb – Auckland
    14 Lewini Mocevakaca – Auckland
    15 Sofai Maka – Auckland

    16 Gil Cann-Vaana – Northland
    17 Leandro Vakatini – Auckland
    18 Sione Ahio – Auckland
    19 Joeli Matalaweru – Auckland
    20 Noah Perelini – Auckland
    21 Taufa Funaki – Auckland
    22 Corey Evans – Auckland
    23 Patrick Elia – Northland
    24 Kade Banks – North Harbour
    25 Jack Gray – Auckland
    26 Clayton Frans – North Harbour
    27 Cam Church – Auckland
    28 Meihana Grindlay – Auckland
    29 Hamdahn Tuipulotu/ Aisea Takapu – Auckland
    30 John Latu – Auckland

  • Eleven players from the Blues region have been selected in a 52-strong squad selected for the New Zealand Under-20 camp in Palmerston North next month.

    This is the first step towards selecting the team to compete at July’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy.

    The 11 Blues region players include Blues ITC players, who trained through the pre-season with the club, in Auckland’s Soane Vikena (pictured), Taufa Funaki and Zarn Sullivan.

    The other Blues players to attend the camp comprise Northland’s Robert Rush, North Harbour’s Jimmy Roots and Aucklanders Hamdahn Tuipulotu (brother of Blues captain Patrick), Terrell Peita, Corey Evans, Lemeki Namoa, Meihana Grindly and Heremaia Murray.

    The 52 players were selected after more than 100 players were tested in November.

    “It’s widened our base and created a really competitive environment,” said New Zealand Under 20 head Coach, Craig Philpott. “With that has come a good selection dilemma because outside the 52 that we have named, there are another 20 players on a shortlist that could easily have been selected.”

    The development camp next month also includes expert coaching focussed on set-piece work with forwards and a focus on game drivers for halfbacks, first fives and fullbacks. North Harbour’s Tevita Langi is one of eight additional players to attend the set piece camp

  • The Blues A team have the final game of a two-match programme when they take on the Chiefs A in Hamilton on Friday.

    Buoyed from their 33-5 victory over Hurricanes B in Wellington last week, the Blues A combination head to FMG Stadium as the curtain-raiser to the Chiefs’ Super Rugby clash against the Hurricanes.

    The game will provide further valuable game time for Blues players who have returned from injury including Jack Heighton, Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa, Finlay Christie and Jared Page and other Super Rugby squad players Tony Lamborn and Tamati Tua.

    The side also includes a group of exciting new players from our Provincial Unions who get the opportunity to test themselves at this high level including Ropate Rinakama, Michael Lea, Teague McIlroy, Vaiolini Ekuasi, Felix Kalapu, Lewis Gjaltema, Patrick Elia and Kade Banks.

    Also some of the Blues Under-20s squad members will have an opportunity including Niko Jones, Ekuasi, Joel Cobb, Elia and Banks.

    The match kicks off at 4.25 pm on Friday against Chiefs A who also have a number of Super Rugby players in their side.

    The team is: 15 Jared page, 14 Tomas Aoake, 13 AJ Lam, 12 Tamati Tua 11 Joel Cobb 10 Jack Heighton 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Tony Lamborn, 7 Niko Jones, 6 Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa ©, 5 Sam Caird, 4 Samipeni Finau, 3 Ropate Rinakama, 2 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 1 Fatongia Paea.

    Reserves: 16 Michael Lea, 17 TBC, 18 Teague McIlroy, 19 Felix Kalapu, 20 Xavier Cowley-Tuioti, 25 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Patrick Elia, 23 Kade Banks.

  • A bit of a depth chart for this season.


    Ofa Tu'ungafasi
    Angus Ta'avao
    Alex Hodgman
    Ezekiel Lindenmuth
    Marcel Renata
    Jarred Adams
    Marco Fepuleai?

    Rob Cobb(with Waikato?)
    Taniela Koroi


    Leni Apisai?
    Mike Sosene-Feagai
    Soane Vikena

    Michael Lea
    Leif Schwencke


    Patrick Tuipulotu
    Scott Scrafton
    Jack Whetton
    Jamie Lane

    Peter-Chanel Tagaloa
    Lyndon Dunshea


    Hoskins Sotutu
    Akira Ioane
    Blake Gibson
    Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa
    Adrian Choat

    Niko Jones
    Cameron Suafoa


    Jonathan Ruru
    Taufa Funaki

    Danny Tusitala
    Dwayne Polataivao
    Rilloy Suesue
    Manu Paea

    First Fives

    Harry Plummer
    Zarn Sullivan

    Daniel Kirkpatrick?
    D'angelo Leuila
    Tyrone Elkington-McDonald


    Rieko Ioane
    TJ Faiane
    Tumua Manu
    Tanielu Telea

    Paulie Roache
    Meihama Grindley

    Outside Backs

    Caleb Clarke
    Salesi Rayasi
    AJ Lam
    Jordan Trainor

    Lemeki Namoa
    Kurt Heatherley
    Freedom Vaha'akolo

    Bolded the ones I think will most likely be in the Mitre 10 squad.

    Also, some guys I listed might've moved on and I don't know about it.

  • @Dice Jarred Adams will be in the props, unless he's signed with another team.

  • @Tim I thought I had him in, but I obviously forgot, probably because our prop depth is ridiculous for this level. I'll add him.

  • @Dice Yeah, huge prop depth. Lemalu would be handy at lock.

  • @Dice Also looks like NZ schools (Rotorua) halfback Manu Paea is back in Auckland (Eden, Blues U20 - listed as Auckland).

  • @Tim It'd be nice to have him. Not sure what he's up to.

  • @Tim Yeah, I already put him in there. Good to have him back in Auckland. He's only 18, so probably won't get a look in this year, but one to look out for.

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