New Zealand Heartland U19 Team named
Congratulations to Xavier Pereka (Waikanae RFC), Moses Pearce (Foxton RFC), Sean Pape (Shannon RFC) and Connor Paki (Foxton RFC) for their selection into the New Zealand Heartland U19 side to play at the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 Tournament in Taupo. Also, all the best to Aleni Feagaiga who is the Head Coach of the NZ Heartland U19 team.
The Heartland Under 19 team to play in the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament next week has been named today.
The tournament is a key calendar event for New Zealand’s emerging young rugby talent and will kick off at Owen Delany Park in Taupō on Sunday 9 September and will once again feature a combined team selected from Heartland Championship provinces.
Horowhenua Kapiti’s Aleni Feagaiga takes up the reigns as Head Coach of the Heartland team for the first time and has selected representatives from each of the Heartland Unions.
Feagaiga said having a Heartland team encouraged young players to stay involved in the game beyond college, and aspire to be part of the tournament, while giving them a real opportunities to develop their game. There are four players who currently play in the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship included in the squad (Connor Paki – Horowhenua Kapiti, Kafaongo Katoa – North Otago, Te Huia Kutia – Thames Valley and Jeramiah Mapusua – Wairarapa Bush).
“It’s great that these guys can remain playing for their Heartland Union, but also be involved in a national set-up where they can stick their hand up for the New Zealand U20s team,” said Feagaiga.
“This is a very exciting time and a great honour for these young men to represent their provinces. With every Heartland Union represented there are challenges as we arrive in Taupo on Thursday and only have a couple of training runs before we play our first game. Most of the other teams have been together for at least six weeks and have played half a dozen games.
The tournament takes place on 9, 12 and 15 September and is part of a week-long event that sees the teams assemble on 8 September and includes development programmes for the players, parents, coaches and referees which is run on the non-game days. There are position specific workshops with Super Rugby coaches, as well as sessions focusing on player education and life skills.
Previous tournaments have seen players going on to represent New Zealand at World Rugby’s Under 20 Championship, others onto Mitre 10 Cup and Investec Super Rugby contracts, or the highest honour of them all, playing for the All Blacks.
2018 New Zealand Heartland Under 19 Squad
NAME – PROVINCIAL UNION
Austin Brear – Thames Valley
Zachary Gregory – Thames Valley
Kafaongo Katoa – North Otago
Te Huia Kutia – Thames Valley
Ioelu Leo – Mid Canterbury
Jake Lochore – King Country
Jeramiah Mapusua – Wairarapa Bush
Matt Masoe – Wairarapa Bush
Jason Myers – Wanganui
Moses Pearce – Horowhenua Kapiti
Xavier Pereka – Horowhenua Kapiti
Hamish Prattley – South Canterbury
Baxter Richards – Thames Valley
Bray Ward – Thames Valley
Bryan Arnold – Wairarapa Bush
Isaac Bracewell – Wairarapa Bush
Joseph Gordon – Wairarapa Bush
Joel Hands – Buller
Max Linklater – West Coast
Caleb McNoe – South Canterbury
Connor Paki – Horowhenuna Kapiti
Sean Pape – Horowhenua Kapiti
Niao Savage – East Coast
Winiata Tarawa – Poverty Bay
Desmond Tyrell – Wanganui