COACHES APPOINTED AND TRIALS PLANNED
Auckland New Zealand July 15, 2011 - New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce the appointment of Ricky Henry to the NZ Residents 18s coaching role, and Jeff Whittaker to the NZ Residents 16s coach's position.
Whittaker, who lives in Christchurch, started playing Rugby League when he was five years old, representing the Canterbury district from 7's through to 19's and making a number of age group South Island representative teams. He started coaching teenagers in 1987, reaching the Grand Final in his first two years and winning in his third, he has continued to coach age group representative teams ever since. He first became a selector in 1992, was Coaching and Development Manager for Canterbury Rugby League in the late '90's and has continued in senior roles at age group level until being appointed NZRL National Competition South Island Zone 15s Assistant Coach in 2011. Henry who lives in Auckland, has played representative league from the mid 1980's, was a member of the Auckland Warriors squad from '95 - '97, and with South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1998 - 99, he also played for both the Junior Kiwis and NZ Maori. His other representative honours include Auckland Seniors and NZ A and Residents teams. He has been coaching since 2006, completing all the NZRL qualifications. He is presently employed as the NZ Warriors Development Coach which involves preparing players for the Toyota Cup and NRL.
Dan Floyd, NZRL Coaching and Development Manager said "We had an exceptionally high standard of applicants for both these voluntary roles. Ricky and Jeff have demonstrated their commitment to the game over a long period of time and have a wealth of playing and coaching experience to draw on. We know our young up and coming players will appreciate being able to learn from such experienced coaches who understand what they need to do to succeed at this, the next level."
The two coaches take up their appointments at the NZRL National 16s and 18s camp in Rotorua next Monday July 18. Around 80 players nominated by their respective Zones will attend the camp and complete a Leadership seminar with Tawera Nikau, undertake supervised physical testing with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, and complete on field team training at Puketewhero Park. The camp culminates in trials for NZ 16s and 18s Residents teams, at which both coaches will act as selectors. The successful teams will then go on to play an Australian Schoolboys 18s team and a Queensland Academy 16s selection in October, 2011.