Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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Vodafone Warriors vs Newcastle Knights: 6pm Kick-off
Saturday, February 5th: Wingham Park, Greymouth
LIVE SKY SPORT 3
Vodafone Warriors coach Ivan Cleary will use all four of the club's major new signings in Saturday's charity game against the Newcastle Knights at Wingham Park in Greymouth.
Included in a list of 21 players he named today for the trial are the ex-Parramatta duo Feleti Mateo and Krisnan Inu, former Brisbane Broncos star Shaun Berrigan and Steve Rapira, who's back in Auckland after breaking into the NRL during a two-year stint with the North Queensland Cowboys.
The match, the first of four New Zealand-based NRL trials on consecutive Saturdays, is being played on Miners' Solidarity Day; the game is the result of a partnership between the Vodafone Warriors, the Knights, the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League with all proceeds from the day shared between the West Coast Rugby League and families affected by the loss of 29 lives in the Pike River mining tragedy last November.
Also named is centre Joel Moon who was yesterday called into the Indigenous All Stars to replace the injured Sam Thaiday for the match against the NRL All Stars in Robina next Saturday (February 12). Mateo is the Vodafone Warriors' representative in the NRL All Stars; both players leave for Australia on Sunday morning.
Set to play in their first NRL trial are fullback Glen Fisiiahi and second rower Matt Robinson, both NYC premiership winners with the Vodafone Junior Warriors last year, along with captain Ben Henry, who missed the grand final with injury. The other new faces are 2009 Vodafone Junior Warriors prop James Gavet plus Auckland Vulcans halfback Pita Godinet and New Zealand resident player of the year Saulala Houma; Godinet and Houma have been training with the NRL squad on off-season contracts.
The squad for the Greymouth match is: Shaun Berrigan, Lewis Brown, Glen Fisiiahi, James Gavet, Pita Godinet, Ben Henry, Saulala Houma, Krisnan Inu, Jeremy Latimore, Jacob Lillyman, Kevin Locke, Sione Lousi, Micheal Luck, Alehana Mara, Feleti Mateo, Joel Moon, Steve Rapira, Matt Robinson, Ukuma Ta'ai, Elijah Taylor, Bill Tupou.
Big Programme for Vodafone Warriors in Greymouth
West Coasters will have every chance to come face to face with NRL stars when the Vodafone Warriors and the Newcastle Knights are in Greymouth next week for the Miners' Solidarity Day charity rugby league match at Wingham Park on Saturday.
Vodafone Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah and his Newcastle counterpart Steve Burraston say their clubs are determined to do as much as possible to not only provide financial aid but to also lift spirits in a region left reeling and devastated by the mining tragedy.
In a joint partnership with the National Rugby League and the New Zealand Rugby League, the Vodafone Warriors and the Coal & Allied-sponsored Newcastle Knights will distribute all proceeds from the match to the Pike River mining relief fund and to the West Coast Rugby League.
After flying into Hokitika on Thursday afternoon, the Vodafone Warriors will visit the Brunner Mine, also the scene of a mining disaster when 65 men lost their lives in 1896. A monument at the mine carries the names of those killed in 1896 as well as those who died in other mining disasters in the region, including the Strongman Mine in 1967.
Later in the afternoon, Tony Kokshoorn will welcome both teams at a public gathering at the Grey District Aquatic Centre.On Friday morning, the Vodafone Warriors and the Knights will hold separate open training sessions at the Suburbs Rugby League Club - as well as signing autographs afterwards - before they attend the West Coast Rugby League charity dinner that evening. During the dinner, the NZRL will present identification tags (or 'dog tags') to former Kiwis from West Coast.
On Saturday morning - Miners' Solidarity Day - the two squads will be together for a breakfast attended by the mayor and members of the West Coast Invitation XIII which will play the Canterbury Bulls in the curtain-raiser to the NRL trial.
Later Vodafone Warriors players not required for the trial will be involved in a kids' carnival at the Suburbs club being run by the Vodafone Warriors and the NZRL. Also lending a hand with goal-kicking coaching will be champion marksman and former Kiwi Daryl Halligan.
A minute's silence will be observed before the main game on Saturday evening; top NRL referees Jared Maxwell and Tony De Las Heras will control the game.
While the Knights will leave Greymouth early on Sunday morning, the Vodafone Warriors will stay on to join the public at Greymouth's Waitangi Day picnic before flying back to Auckland at midday.