At this year’s Junior Māori Rugby League Competition in Hopuhopu on the weekend, more than 1000 participants had taken the field, the biggest showing to date. Te Kāea reporter Tamati Tiananga also caught up with NZ Māori Rugby League chairman John Devonshire who revealed a few players who will be named, before the official announcement on Monday.
“I can tell you now as an exclusive that Bodene Thompson (Warriors) will be in our team, Greg Eastwood (Bulldogs) will be named in our squad, Curtis Rona will be named from the Dogs," says Devonshire.
Kurt Kara, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak and David Bhana from the Newcastle Knights are amongst other players who are expected to be named, along with a few local players Tony Tuia and Dion Snell.
Devonshire also revealed he has had a few discussions with former Kiwi captain Benji Marshall, however, Marshall ruled himself unavailable.
“We did inquire with Benji and his manager but unfortunately Benji has counted himself unavailable.”
Returning back to this weekend's tournament, for the first time since the competition's conception in 2015, the competition boasted five sections with the introduction of the U15 girl’s competition.