Home' Greymouth Star : January 28th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
He might have called time on his NRL
career more than eight years ago but 44-year
Ruben Wiki will lead the Warriors at next
weekend’s Auckland Nines.
New coach Stephen Kearney has named
an 18-man squad for the two-day event,
including roster elite Shaun Johnson, Ryan
Hoffman, Solomone Kata and Tuimoala
Big-name omissions include regular NRL
stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke,
Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei and the
yet-to-be-registered Kieran Foran.
Seven players have yet to make their NRL
debut, however Kearney says it is a reward for
strong work during the pre-season .
Former Kiwi captain Wiki will skipper
a side containing a handful of players who
hadn’t been born when he was starring in the
1990s for Canberra.
“I’m still buzzing about having the chance
to play the Nines and now being asked to
be captain as well takes it to another level,”
“It was humbling to be selected in the first
place. To be leading the boys at Eden Park
will be one of the highlights of my career. ”
Kearney said it was an easy decision to
name him captain.
“He’s a leader whatever he does and has so
much mana,” he said.
The side also includes 18-year-olds Lewis
Soosemea and Isaiah Papalii who featured
in the club’s NYC side last season and three
others who are aged under 20.
“ We’ve rewarded a lot of younger players for
the way they ’ve trained throughout the off-
season,” Kearney said.
The Warriors are in the same pool as Manly,
Parramatta and St George Illawarra for the
February 4-5 tournament.
Ryan Hoffman, Junior
Pauga, Matt Allwood, Blake Ayshford, Ata
Hingano, Solomone Kata, Shaun Johnson,
Ruben Wiki (capt), Mason Lino, Bunty
Afoa, James Gavet, Tuimoala Lolohea, Jazz
Tevaga, Ofahiki Ogden, Lewis Soosemea,
Toafofoa Sipley, Isaiah Papalii, James Bell. —
8 - Saturday, January 28, 2017
Two months after being ordered to
surrender his passport, Semi Radradra
will fly to New Zealand next week and
take part in the NRL Auckland Nines.
The troubled Eels’ winger was named
by coach Brad Arthur in a strong 19-
man squad featuring first-choice halves
Corey Norman and Clinton Gutherson.
Rising star Bevan French also received
a plane ticket, as did recruits Josh
Hoffman, Nathan Brown, George
Jennings and Suaia Matagi.
The only notable omissions were
Michael Jennings, Beau Scott and club
captain Tim Mannah, while Peni Terepo
was stood down yesterday after being
convicted of careless driving.
Radradra was banned from flying
overseas after missing a court appearance
in November related to domestic
violence charges because he was visiting
his sick father in Fiji.
He is next due in court on February 13,
however has already signed a contract
to play rugby union in 2018 for French
The Eels claimed last year’s Nines
trophy with a win over the Warriors in
the final, before being stripped of the
title as part of their punishment for
“The Nines is our first outing and I
am pleased that we have been able to
introduce some of our new acquisitions
so early in the year,” Arthur said.
“ We also have some of our developing
players coming along for their first taste
of an NRL-like environment.”
Nathan Brown, Kenny
Edwards, Jamal Fogarty, Bevan French,
David Gower, Clint Gutherson, Josh
Hoffman, George Jennings, Cameron
King, Suaia Matagi, Tepai Moeroa,
Corey Norman (capt), Marata Niukore,
Scott Schulte, Rory O’Brien, Semi
Radradra, Honeti Tuha, Joseph Ualesi,
Troy Dargan. — NZN
Wade Graham, Luke Lewis and Jack
Bird headline a seven-strong contingent
of grand final heroes in Cronulla’s squad
for the NRL Auckland Nines.
The trio join Matt Prior, Chris
Heighington, Gerard Beale and Ricky
Leutele, as members of the side who
prevailed in last year’s grand final win,
to also be included in an 18-man squad
for next weekend’s tournament at Eden
Coach Shane Flanagan has left several
of his biggest names at home, including
Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita and James
Maloney, however the premiers have
named one of the strongest line-ups.
One of the biggest points of interest
will be the inclusion of under-20s
halfback Kyle Flanagan, the son of coach
Cherrington will get a chance to make
a statement about his desire to wear
the No 9 jersey vacated by the retiring
Wade Graham, Luke
Lewis, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington,
Gerard Beale, Kurt Capewell, Joseph
Paulo, Jack Bird, Ricky Leutele, Manaia
Cherrington, Jesse Ramien, Will
Kennedy, Jayden Walker, Kyle Flanagan,
Sione Katoa, Billy Magoulias, Malakai
Houma, Kurt Kara. — AAP
Melbourne will leave the Big Three
wrapped in cotton wool for next
weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines.
Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and
returning fullback Billy Slater will
all miss the pre-season tournament
with Young Tonumaipea and Kenny
Bromwich to skipper the squad.
Munster is the only big name included
by coach Craig Bellamy, who will hand
over the coaching reins to assistant Jason
Former Wests Tigers winger Josh
Addo-Carr will make his club debut
at Eden Park while the likes of Brodie
Croft, Scott Drinkwater, Ryley Jacks
and Linc Port will get their chance to
impress. Greymouth-born Slade Griffin
is also in the team.
Young Tonumaipea, Josh
Addo-Carr, Curtis Scott, Cheyse Blair,
Linc Port, Cameron Munster, Brodie
Croft, Mark Nicholls, Slade Griffin,
Tim Glasby, Joe Stimson, Felise Kaufusi,
Kenny Bromwich, Scott Drinkwater,
Ryley Jacks, Jake Turpin, Dean Britt,
Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Charlie Galo.
The last time the Wellington
Phoenix travelled to Adelaide it
resulted in the exit of their coach
and a bone-deep review of a
faltering A-League season.
They return to face Adelaide
United tomorrow in a far more
chipper state, with winger Kosta
Barbarouses determined they
maintain their play-off push.
He recalls how the 2-0 loss
to then-last placed Adelaide on
December 4 prompted coach
Ernie Merrick to call it quits,
having overseen six defeats in
their first eight games.
Only two losses have come under
replacement co-coaches Chris
Greenacre and Des Buckingham
in the subsequent eight matches,
lifting the Phoenix to sixth.
Despite it being an obvious
turning point, Barbarouses does
not reflect fondly on the Adelaide
“Looking back on it, it was a
pretty sad time because that was
obviously the last straw. That
made Ernie make his decision,”
he said. “It would be great to get
a result there and rectify that in
some sort of sense.”
A scoreless draw in terrible
Wellington conditions on New
Year’s Day then proved how
tough the South Australians can
be to break down.
Barbarouses will not discount
the ninth-placed defending
champions launching a late play-
off charge in a similar manner to
“ You don’t want to be the team
that springs a resurgence, if they ’re
going to have one.
“ We’ve got to back ourselves
and be aggressive like we have in
the last 5-6 games from the front.
I think we should pressure them
into making mistakes and can
capitalise on that.”
The Phoenix have shaken off
their niggles following a string of
three home games in the space of
Buckingham said central
midfielders Vince Lia and Alex
Rodriguez are over knocks picked
up in the 1-0 loss to Brisbane on
He says Dylan Fox has trained
well and shapes as a likely
candidate to replace suspended
Italian defender Marco Rossi,
who picked up a fifth yellow card
against the Roar.
Meanwhile, Barbarouses wryly
noted an upping of the intensity
from some of his New Zealand
team-mates when All Whites
coach Anthony Hudson was on
hand for Phoenix training on
The New Zealand mentor is
finalising his squad ahead of two
World Cup qualifying games
“A few of the boys were running
pretty quick, I haven’t seen
them run that quick before,”
“The coach, just showing his
face here, for the young guys, is
Phoenix chasing redemption
Semi gets passport, Terepo
Sharks included big guns
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Wiki to captain Warriors
Storm big three to miss nines
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