Thanks to the efforts of Marlborough Rugby Sub-Union life members, headed by Ewen Robinson, an old and valuable trophy has been resurrected.
The CWA Weaver Memorial Cup is awarded annually to the most outstanding Marlborough club rugby player below senior level.
The trophy lay dormant in a box at Marlborough Sub-Union headquarters in a state of some disrepair, with it's base detached, until Ewen found it and went about having it restored to its former glory.
It dates back to 1972, named after the late Charlie Weaver and donated to the Marlborough Rugby Union by his family.
Haven Walsh, one of Marlborough's most promising up-and-coming stars, is this year's recipient and he follows an impressive list of former winners which include ex-All Blacks Anton Oliver and David Hill plus Marlborough Red Devils stars Paul Phillips, Cory Holdaway and Ian Stark. The last person to be presented with the trophy was Kaikoura and former Marlborough utility back David Posa in 2001.
Haven is a very worthy recipient. The 16-year-old was one of the individual stars of the Marlborough/Nelson under-18 competition-winning Moutere team, scoring 12 tries mainly as openside flanker, where his powerhouse running and punishing defence were features.
He also filled in for two matches off the bench for the Marlborough Boys' College first XV and is a member of the Marlborough under-16 team.
Haven said it was down to his team and their coaches that he had such a good season.
"I was very surprised to win it. When my Mum told me I got a bit of a shock. Our game plan was pretty set, our fitness was up, it was a full-on team thing. The backs did as much as the forwards and Rob [Avery] and Bart [Arnst] helped a lot as coaches."
Rugby is very much part of Haven's life. He's been playing for Moutere since the age of 3 and at school he's part of the MBC rugby academy class, which focuses on developing the skills needed to become a professional rugby player.
Family support has played a significant part in Haven's enjoyment of rugby and his success so far, something he appreciates.
"My grandad, Alan Walsh, lives up in Napier but he's helped me a lot. Go hard, is his best advice. Mum [Charlotte Walsh] and nana [Sandie Wooster] are the best supporters. They try to be at every game."
Ewan is delighted the trophy has gone to such a worthy recipient, especially one from his beloved Moutere club.
Haven's coach Bart Arnst couldn't praise his young charge's efforts strongly enough. "Haven has always showed promise and has steadily improved to where he is more than often the best player on the paddock, irrespective of which grade he is playing in.
"He was selected as Moutere under-18 player of the year and is also the team's top try-scorer. He had game time for the Moutere senior As and the premier team and never looked out of place.
"He's easy to coach, keen to learn, and a real good club man with a big future."
Haven's long-term rugby dream is to play for the Tasman Makos. So far he's doing all the right things to reach that goal.
- The Marlborough Express