Southland under-17 side aims to contest SI tournament final
The Southland under-17 team have the bold target of a place in the final of the South Island provincial age-group rugby league tournament, which starts in Christchurch on Sunday.
It is the first time South Island under-15 and under-17 tournaments will be held, giving young players the chance to represent their province in a competition.
Southland have entered teams in both grades and under-17 coach Dennis Thompson said the aim was to be in the tournament final on Tuesday.
Thompson said the preparation had been patchy leading into the tournament, as players juggled rugby commitments as well, but he felt if the players gelled, the Southland team could show some promise.
The Southland under-17 team will begin the tournament with two games on Sunday, the first against Tasman before they take on Otago later in the day.
On Monday they will play West Coast and Canterbury, with the hope to be in the final at 10.30am on Tuesday.
Jay Thompson-Te Muunu is expected to be a key figure in the halves for Southland, while up front it will be Garth McKinley and Lionel Taumata who will be trusted to get them on the front foot.
The Southland under-15 team will be coached by Bruce Williams and managed by Teaukura Moetaua.
They will take on Otago in their first game on Sunday before later playing West Coast.
On Monday they will play Canterbury and the under-15 final will also be played on Tuesday.
As well as a chance to represent their provinces, the tournaments will provide a chance for the players to impress for South Island selection.
The Southland under-15 and under-17 will travel to Christchurch tomorrow and will have little time to relax before they are put through fitness testing by Kiwis rugby league legend Ruben Wiki. The fitness testing will give selectors a gauge of where the players are at.
Under-17 Garth Kinley, Niehana Templeton, Lisaiah De Groot, Connor Templeton, Ethan Ramage, Clark Morgan, Materua Tupou, Jamie O'Connor, Jay Thompson, Toni Joass, Tamakahu Waiwai, Chase Wilson, Travis Millian, Lionel Taumata, Nutira Ropata, Leighton Van Rooijen, Cameron Lumsden, Samual McCormick.
Under-15 Joe Tamanui, Cameron Scott, Tommy Stenning, Kaleb Davies, Mitchell Condon, Lincoln Harris, Alex Kinley, Izayah Kawe-Gage, Trent Puketapu, Matenga Haora, Caleb Gerry, Muhamad Anas- Zamberi, Reece Pritchard, Tawhiri Waihirere, Shai Mitchell, Shine Mills, Jordan Templeton, Kade Fisken, Taikaha Wainui-Dunn, Ezrom Goodsir.
- © Fairfax NZ News