The Trade of Origin is back, with the Sparkies taking on the Chippies for a 3 match series. If you have a business and are wanting to play in a Trade of Origina 9s, in November, contact RLN today to register your interest.
Trade of Origin 2015
New Swords Premier’s Coach, Jim Larkin, has named a large training squad to start preparations for the 2013 National Provincial campaign. Jim Larkin, who coached the Swords 15s for the first 3 years of the National Competitions, will now be focussed on developing the next generation of Northern Swords Representative. With many of Jim’s original 15s now playing Premier football.
With a majority of the squad based in the South, Jim is making the commitment to have training in Whangarei. Training starts tonight (Wednesday 24th July) at 6pm, at the Bluegoose in Whangarei.
Coaching Team and Player Selection
|First Name||Family Name||Club Name|
|Te Tuhi||Tipene||Hikurangi Stags|
|Shelford||Edwards||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Taoho||Kake||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Jake||Mau||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Solomone||Palu||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Joe||Paniora||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Robbie||Paniora||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Patrick||Tane||Northern Wairoa Bulls|
|Wiremu||Te Iringa||Takahiwai Warriors|
With four successful seasons under his belt, Alex Smits is stepping down as Rugby League Northland’s General Manager and taking a break from his rugby league career. Smits, who started in the role at the beginning of 2012 has previously played professional rugby league overseas, worked for the Rugby Football League in the UK and made the move North from Wellington where he was Community Development Manager with the Wellington Zone.
Since arriving in Northland, Smits has driven a rise in participation numbers, increased the Zones public profile and worked tirelessly to improve the game experience locally.
He has been responsible for securing a number of new sponsors, including naming rights partners for local competitions, and has persuaded Kiwis from the area to lend their names to local competitions, trophies and social and health promotions.
Well known for his passion and commitment to the rugby league pathway, he introduced the ‘Leadership through League’ programme into Northland bringing primary and secondary schools together and has been a part of its expansion around NZ. He has also been credited for his active leadership to improve sideline behaviour with the “Don’t Be an Egg” campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development violence prevention programme, “It’s Not OK!”.
Smits has been a constant support and champion for local players who may not otherwise have received the exposure their big-city counterparts do, with players going on to attend New Zealand Rugby League national performance camps and crossing the Tasman to start their careers with NRL clubs.
Walter Wells, Chairman of Rugby League Northland said, “Alex has worked long hours and travelled thousands of kilometres to raise awareness and encourage loyalty to the Zone amongst our clubs, rugby league players and supporters.
“He has applied his knowledge across a range of areas, including marketing, commercial and game development and volunteered as a match official. “We will be sorry to lose him, but appreciate that after so many years in the game, Alex wants to take a break and spend some time with his family. “He leaves a wonderful legacy and we have no doubt our new General Manager will have a solid foundation to build on.”
Smits says highlights of his time in Northland include seeing the NZ Kiwis play Toa Samoa at Toll Stadium during last year’s Four Nations, the creation of the RLN Premiership Finals series into an event on the Northland sporting calendar and the growth of League in the Northland Primary and Secondary Schools Calendars.
“It is sad to leave Rugby League for the time being, it has been a huge part of my life for 25 years, but it is time for me to focus on a new business venture and spend more time with my family.” Rugby League Northland is also losing the impressive service of Club Development Officer, Toni Haldane. “Toni is well known in the Rugby League community for her commitment and empathy in supporting clubs and the game.
“She has built a great rapport with the clubs during her time with Rugby League Northland and is well respected amongst her peers. We wish both Toni and Alex the very best” says Wells.
Recruitment for these roles is underway, with the aim that they are filled by the New Year. Both Toni and Alex will remain with RLN until December 18th to ensure a smooth transition period.