New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce the following players have been selected to represent the New Zealand Residents who will take on the England Community Lions on November 1st at Trusts Arena in Auckland.
The game will be televised live on SKY Sport with kick-off scheduled for 6:35pm.
First name Surname Region Club
Francis Leger Akarana Pt Chevalier
Simon Luafalealo Akarana Glenora
Sala Falelua-Malio Akarana Mt Albert
Josiah Afu Akarana Northcote
David Bhana Akarana Northcote
Eiden Ackland Akarana Mt Albert
Siliga Kepaoa Akarana Pt Chevalier
Matti Tuitama Akarana Pt Chevalier
Penitito Ilalio Canterbury Linwood
Jope Tagicakibau Canterbury Riccarton
Tevin Arona Canterbury Hornby
Brad Campbell Canterbury Hornby
Michael Butson Canterbury Northern Bulldogs
Alex Todd Canterbury Linwood
Geronimo Doyle Counties Otahuhu
Connor Purcell Counties Otahuhu
Nicholas Halalilo Counties Mangere East
Jerome Flood Waikato Ngaruawahia
Role First name Surname Region
Head Coach Andrew Auimatagi Canterbury
Assistant Coach Phil Gordon Akarana
Assistant Coach Spencer Taplin Counties
Head Trainer Jamie Williamson Counties
Manager Alana Lockhorst Southland
This Residents squad is made up of the best from the NZRL National Men’s competition, many of whom have already achieved professional or international rugby league success.
Canterbury’s Tevin Arona was just named in the Cook Island Nines squad and will take the field this coming weekend in the inaugural World Nines. David Bhana is no stranger to the professional league, before his retirement due to injury two years ago, he captained the Warriors U20s, the Junior Kiwis in 2013, was named in the NRL 20s team of 2013, played professionally for the Newcastle Knights and also represented NZ Māori.
Akarana playmaker, Aiden Ackland, has played 33 times scoring 62 points for the Warriors Jersey Flegg / Holden Cup team and Head Coach Andrew Auimatagi, coached the Canterbury Bulls to the NZRL 2019 Premiership final this year and also doubled as Linwood Keas’ Head Coach, guiding them to victory three years running.
The sought after fixture will be the closing bout of the first-ever England Community Lions tour down under. The England Community Lions will also come up against a North Island Championship Selection at Owen Delany Park in Taupo on October 24 and the New Zealand Māori Residents XIII team in Rotorua on Sunday, October 27.
Greg Peters, CEO of NZRL, says this fixture will further showcase the undeniable regional talent on offer.
“It’s extremely exciting to see a team of such calibre named, not only for the players but for the game in general. The more opportunities we give to our local players and coaching staff, the better the game gets and to come up against a quality international side is a bonus. Congratulations to all who made the team.”
The first weekend of November will be jam-packed with New Zealand Rugby League action at all levels, as the Residents take on the England Community Lions on Friday 1st closely followed by the much-anticipated clash between the Great Britain Lions and Kiwis on Saturday 2nd November.