1. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington DIE FOR TONGA Contributor

    He's getting an education at the best school in the country where fees are $150,000 a year. I think its smart from the Warriors to not only have him signed up but allow him to better his future prospects with a decent education. His sporting life will only last so long. And besides, arent we always complaining that our U20s dont develop players properly? At least this kid will know the importance of defence when he finally heads over...
     
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  2. Matulino#1
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    Matulino#1 1st Grade Fringe

    I don't disagree here in NZ - But you can bet your bottom dollar there are no 17 year old prospects signed for NRL teams playing Rugby in Australia.

    In general our pathways are poor.

    Also.. St Kent's fees are about $20k per year.
     
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  3. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    Its a necessary evil by the sounds of it.

    Unfortunate circumstance in our ill league system.

    The bigger picture really, is that in a fair society, St Kents would offer its students the opportunity to play in the Auckland schools Rugby League comp.

    The boy has no choice. The real question is how this reality arose.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen were this kid able to play on a sports scholarship with Rugby league being one of his choices.

    School boy Rugby has a long and unpleasant history in its attitudes to the other Rugby code....I won't go on about that....but it does a League man a disservice to sugar coat the picture by looking for positives in such cases I feel...

    Granted there are fundamentals of codes which the Unionist can hone in this fellow, and their systems are par excellence.

    Still, it takes a convert a couple of years adjustment ( I'm talking top tier professionals like Ridge....or in the case of going the other way SBW) to grasp another code.

    Rugby League by no means is blameless. Small minded self interest has seen the code eroded internally to its current sad state....however Union School control is a fundamental handicap to the sports prospects.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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  4. The Batman
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    The Batman 1st Grade Fringe

    150k!!!! Closer to 15k
     
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  5. Iafetas Kickstand Wang
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    Iafetas Kickstand Wang 1st Grade Fringe

    Jesus! $150k! No way I'm using my half yearly bonus cheque to send my kid to high school.
     
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  6. Jordan G
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    This is not true. A couple of years ago the team that won the Australian Schoolboy Union title had no less than 10 already signed by NRL clubs when they won the title.
     
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  7. jonno
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    jonno Warriors 1st Grader

    So this kids an amazing young talent,,,,,,

    and he's gonna be learning league at the warriors,,,,,,:banghead:
     
  8. Defence
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    Defence 1st Grade Fringe

    Some players are so talented that even our development system can't hold them back.
    Look at Fai or Johnson or.......um.......
    Shit he better be good.
     
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  9. Matulino's Left Shoulder
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    Matulino's Left Shoulder 1st Grade Fringe

    How much you wanna bet this kid uses the Warriors to gain experience and then buggers off to Union :D
     
  10. Iafetas Kickstand Wang
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    Iafetas Kickstand Wang 1st Grade Fringe

    On FB the All Blacks put up a video of him as a rugby wunderkind. Posters are going off, he's awesome, blah blah blah. Only one of the 90 odd posts seems aware that he's actually signed with the Warriors.

    Nek Minnit "he's got a bad attitude... that step would never hold up in senior footy... my boy played him and carved him up"
     
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  11. Ozwarrior
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    Ozwarrior 1st Grade Fringe Contributor

    Warriors can’t wait for Etene Nanai to show the NRL how good he is
    NZ Herald
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    THE NRL’s New Zealand Warriors have won a tug of war with rugby union to secure the services of the hottest teenage athletic prospect in Auckland.

    Viral footage of Etene Nanai, a cousin of Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Super Rugby stars Tim Nanai-Williams and Melani Nanai, starring at centre for St Kentigern College First XV is wowing social media audiences and raising the question of who has nabbed the signature of the fast-rising 17-year-old.

    Fans flocked to watch highlights of Nanai on Facebook and YouTube this week, adding to the hype surrounding his reputation as a future NRL star.

    Warriors development manager Tony Iro confirmed Nanai was signed to the NRL club until the end of 2019 and also revealed coach Stephen Kearney wanted to unleash him in the Auckland Nines tournament in February but he was ruled ineligible due to age restrictions.

    The Warriors are happy for him to concentrate on rugby during his final school year but there is a possibility he could turn out for the club’s Under-20s side once his First XV commitments have finished.

    “He’s been with the club for a couple of years but First XV is his priority at the moment,” Iro said. “He’s a talented and smart kid and pretty well balanced. He’s quick, got good feet and a good footy sense as well, so he’s got all the attributes you need. He’ll be a good player.

    “He spent a little bit of time with the NRL side just before Christmas and did some training but he’ll just stay with his First XV side this year before joining us in the pre-season.”

    Warriors back-rower Ryan Hoffman said Nanai made a big impression when he left star halfback Shaun Johnson clutching at air during pre-season training.

    “He stood out when he gave Shaun a bit of his own back,” Hoffman said. “We were doing a one-on-one defensive drill and he turned Shaun inside out so that certainly raised a few eyebrows.

    “I don’t think he could wipe the smile off his face after that.”

    Born and bred in Auckland, Nanai was a standout at fullback in St Kentigern’s 2015 Auckland 1A title win and is now proving a YouTube hit after dominating in midfield to help his side win last week’s Presbyterian quadrangular tournament and a pre-season match against Christchurch Boy’s High.

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    Etene Nanai looks unstoppable in full flight.Source:YouTube

    St Kentigern First XV coach Tai Lavea says he is happy to give Nanai a new challenge, both defensively and organisationally, at centre.

    “He’s got a lot to learn, but it’s a no-brainer that he’s one of our marquee players,” said Lavea. “He’s an abrasive player, he’s come back in ridiculous shape and his confidence in contact has gone to another level.”

    The Link has been hidden. Please Register to view., which unofficially ranks the top First XV players in the country, has Nanai at no. 3 behind Wellington College lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi and Hastings Boy’s Lincoln McClutchie.

    Despite his lofty status, Nanai — like fellow Warriors rookie forward Isaiah Papalii — was ruled ineligible for the New Zealand Schoolboys rugby side after committing to the 13-man game.

    The Warriors are keeping an open mind about where he could slot in through the backline and an eventual move into the halves is not beyond him.

    “He’s come through the grades as a fullback but he can play centre or wing very easily and has an accurate punt on him, so who knows if he could transfer those skills into the halves,” Iro said. “Time will tell but he’s got plenty of skills that will give him the best chance to play a number of positions.”

    The Warriors secured Nanai’s services despite plenty of interest from the Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs, who lured him to an Under-18s camp last year from under the nose of his local team the Blues.



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  12. TheCool
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    TheCool 1st Grade Fringe

    With 18 year olds like Nick Cotric and Moses Suli playing regular NRL on the wing, I honestly would not be surprised if he gets a go on the wing in first grade next season. He's obviously spent the entire offseason in the gym looks considerably bigger than last season in those preseason highlights and by next year will have two full NRL preseasons under the belt. The guy is hands down the most talented junior we've ever had at this club, we just need to find a way to not fuck up his development.
     
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  13. JoeyJohns
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    JoeyJohns Warriors Bench Player

    How the f### did Suliasi Vunivalu slip under the radar ?!... sorry boys, off topic there but still gutted to see local (although Fijian born) talent slip under the Warriors radar.
    Surely there are other Fijians in the high school rugby scene not yet fully developed but full of potential!... who we desperately need on the flanks.
     
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  14. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    When you say greatest Junior Player in the System I assume you are excluding players from the pre U20's era who were on the clubs books and the same age as this lad ? Players like Stacey Jones, Henry Paul Manu Vatuvei and Sonny Fai.

    Those are some badass Mofos.

    If you mean recent Junior players tagged by the Warriors system then I wouldn't mount a strong argument against the big call you've made.

    Stacey Jones made the NZ Herald (Union rag) when he was fifteen.

    He was the first kid in the history of our code to inspire a Journalist to write about a no name league kid he saw play a school game.

    I read that piece.

    It was brief. ' fifteen year old school kid plays like an adult Winfield Cup halfback.....Remember the name Stacey Jones.

    I remembered it in the fashion you are excited now. That reporter was right.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  15. Vancent
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    Vancent 1st Grade Fringe

    Early days but we seem to have beaten several to his signature - if so kudos to TI.
     
  16. TheCool
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    TheCool 1st Grade Fringe

    No including them also. Arguments could be made for Fai, Hurrell and Johnson, but IMO Nanai has more talent than all of them at the same age.

    Stacey Jones was talented at 19-20 years old but he really did his developing once he was established in first grade, both he and Paul were of an era where there was much less competition at junior level and less talent was required to be a standout at that age level. Manu was just another Junior Kiwi rep coming through the grades and if anyone said they predicted that he would go on to become one of the greatest kiwi wingers of all time then they're lying.
     
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  17. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington DIE FOR TONGA Contributor

    The key difference between the latest round of young players and the first lot is pretty simple IMO. We had a decent domestic comp back then by way of the Bartercard Cup. I remember watching Ben Matulino play for the Orcas and marvelling at how young he was playing against men. He was 15-16 years old. Same with Sonny Fai and Russell Packer. Even the kids that were coming up through the Fox Memorial when that was still competitive and a level playing field were coming to the Warriors better prepared.

    The sad thing. Its only going to get worse...
     
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  18. Blain
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    Blain 1st Grade Fringe

    Yeah I remember watching the Bartercard cup when I was 15 years old, Packer was a stand out!

    What about this Warriors secondary school comp? It's only Auckland of course, but I thought there was good growth coming off the back of it? Could be wise for the club to offer a juicy reward for the winning school, get some of these union only schools wanting to join in..

    I know the NZRL should be responsible for these sort of programmes, but hard to do alot with a tiny budget.
     
  19. Defence
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    Defence 1st Grade Fringe

    Stacey was 2 years older than me and I used to see him at the age grade tournaments coming through.
    That Auckland team was stacked! Possibly the best they've had and that's saying something but yeah he was still the name on everyone's lips.
     
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  20. Brother Faisal
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    Brother Faisal 1st Grade Fringe

    He looks like a leaguie playing union. Has nrl written all over him. Potentially better than Kata Hurrell Fusitua combined.