News Northern Swords Coaching Team Announced

Northern Swords Coaching Team Announced

Planning is well under way for the Northern Swords 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership Campaign. In the 3rd year of the competition Rugby League Northland General Manager Alex Smits is confident that the three teams competing will build on the improvement gained in the 2011 campaign.

The 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership Campaign is played between seven New Zealand Rugby League Zones at 15’s, 17’s and open age groups. The competition commences in late August with finals scheduled for late October.

“We have recruited three very great coaches and a strong management team to support them. We had a very constructive meeting last night where all three coaching teams have agreed to work together as one overall team. We now have three years experience managing teams at this level so we will be improving on last years performance,” Smits said.

From the 2011 campaign Joe Rau (Premier Coach) and Jim Larkin (15’s Coach) return to the post. At the 17’s age grade Rangi Selwyn (Head Coach for Kaikohe Lions Premiers) comes on board as the Head Coach with Michael Shearer (2011 Care Taker Coach) taking on the role as Trainer/Manager.

John Renes a nationally recognised trainer will continue his role as Head Trainer for the premier teams as well as overseeing the 15’s and 17’s. Rugby League Northland is pleased to bring in Edward Irving in the role of Premier Manager. Edward is the current operations manager at the Whangarei Golf Club so will bring a wealth of local contacts and experience to the team.

Rugby League at a national level is gaining momentum and this can be seen with the growth in interest of the 2012 Pirtek National Provincial Premiership. The competition has gained Pirtek as a naming right sponsor.

Home Matches for Northern Swords Campaign for 2012:

August 26th, Northern Swords v Waicoa Bays Stallions, Toll Stadium, Whangarei September 2nd, Northern Swords v Akarana Falcons (Auckland), Arnold Rae Park, Kaitaia September 23rd, Northern Swords v Counties Manukau Stingrays, (15’s and 17’s Only), Lydnvart Park, Kaikohe September 24th, Northern Swords v Counties Manukau Stingrays (Premiers) Live on Sky, Mt Smart #1.

For further information, please contact: Alex Smits, General Manager, RUGBY LEAGUE NORTHLAND 021 2736975, email:

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Playgroup opens at Takahiwai Rugby League ClubPlaygroup opens at Takahiwai Rugby League Club

Kani Epiha and son Rehua Martin are all smiles about the opening of an early childhood playgroup at Takahiwai Rugby League Club rooms. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Kani Epiha and son Rehua Martin are all smiles about the opening of an early childhood playgroup at Takahiwai Rugby League Club rooms. Photo / Michael Cunningham

A Northland rugby league clubrooms normally reserved for after match celebrations and commiserations will make room for a new team of young players.

New Zealand Rugby League officially opened the playgroup at Takahiwai Rugby Clubrooms this week, the first of its type in Northland.

Twice a week mums and their bubs will meet at the clubrooms to participate in early childhood programmes.

One of the parents already on the team is Kani Epiha, who took her 18-month-old son Rehua Martin, to the opening. She has been nominated as the “Parent Champ” and her aim is to encourage as many locals with young children to use the programme.

“There are a lot of young kids out here in the community that don’t get to daycare.

“This gives them the opportunity to play with other kids and socialise and just gives them opportunities.”

Her links to the club are strong with her grandfather, brothers and cousins involved in the Takahiwai club.

The programme is also designed to help parents as well. Some activities would be driven by government agencies with messages on domestic violence, health and safety in the home. New Zealand rugby league has been involved in creating eight playgroups in Auckland league clubrooms since 2013 and said Takahiwai fitted the bill when it came to hosting a playgroup in Northland.

NZRL community playgroups manager Marissa Holland said the playgroups had become an integral feature of the NZRL community plan, helping government agencies communicate with people they had struggled to reach previously. In 2014, Ministry of Education, Accident Compensation Corporation, Health Promotion Agency and NZ Police entered the “More Than Just A Game” partnership with NZRL.

“They already have lots of children around their facilities, so there’s an opportunity for us to work with them to make it a safer environment for them. They will qualify for funding to achieve that,” Ms Holland said.

Studies have shown that infants attending early-childhood playgroups learn more effectively when they enter the schools system.

The club has undergone scrutiny by the Ministry of Education before opening which included health and safety, curriculum, communication with parents and adequate resources to run the group.

Register through or the NZRL Community Playgroups Facebook page.

Northern Advocate

Kaitaia Mini Mod CompetitionKaitaia Mini Mod Competition

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Three schools entered – TKKMO Pukemiro, Pompallier and Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, with a fourth team, the Muriwhenua All Stars, making up the numbers.

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