Following a very successful residential camp and trial matches held in Rotorua in late July, the train on squads for the NZ Residents 16s and 18s have been named. Three spaces have been left open to give the coaches the option of including any in-form players from the National Competition and the Secondary Schools Tournament they wish to add. The initial squads will eventually be cut to 18 players who will go into camp to play matches against Queensland Academy 16s and Australian Schoolboys later in the year.
Coach of the 16s team, Jeff Whittaker said "We'll be getting out with NZRL and Development staff to have a look at as many players as possible in the Secondary Schools and National Competition to fill the final three places. We really want to make sure that every kid is seen and if anyone is outstanding in these competitions then they still have a chance to make the squad."
Whittaker says some very good players will miss out with the quality and depth now available to the selectors. He says the camps and the National Competition are really helping to build the stocks of quality players and with them spending time with Ruben Wiki and Tony Kemp at the camps it's only going to see the standard rising over the next 12 - 18 months.
With all seven NZRL Zones having players in one or both squads, NZRL Football Manager Tony Kemp says the National Competition and the camps have achieved what they hoped. "Some of these players will have attended two Hearts camps and the recent National Elite camp as well as playing club and rep football. This has given us the chance to work with them on their training programmes, their nutrition and goal setting as well as talking to them about the player pathways and NZRL values. All this builds better people and better players."
Counties Manukau Zone General Manager Kasey King said "I am so proud of the boys. The camps and the National Competition have shown the players that they can make it if they follow the pathway; it's very exciting for them. I think its fantastic seeing the inclusion of players from less populated areas as well. I'm really happy for all the players who've made it and I can't wait to see them all in action."
2011 NZ Residents 16s Squad
Coach: Jeff Whittaker
Manager: Anita Smith-Mckinnon
Trainer: Jasen McCarthy
Players Name - NZRL Zone
Darren Kingi - Counties Manukau Stingrays
Ezra Togia - Wellington Orcas
- South Island Scorpions
Jiordan Fidow-Kele - South Island Scorpions
Joshua Ioane - Pride
Joshua Minhinnick - Pride
- Island Scorpions
Kadince Christensen - Swords
Kenneth Lafaele - Auckland Pride
- Counties Manukau Stingrays
Nelson Asofa-Soomona - Wellington Orcas
Paul Faga - Vipers
Peter-James Los'e - Vipers
Pita Dillen - Counties Manukau Stingrays
- Manukau Stingrays
Rhys Poingdestre - Vipers
- Manukau Stingrays
Tauturu Hapuku - Counties Manukau Stingrays