General Rugby League / NRL

Walking around the grounds of Otahuhu College with Lesley Vainikolo makes you feel like you are the coolest float at a community Christmas parade, or at least like you are walking next to the coolest float at a community Christmas parade. Physically all 1.88 metres of him stands out. And the voice too, it’s deep like Sigmund Freud during an epiphany. Many of the pupils here are drawn to him, darting in and out of his path for a greeting and some small talk. ‘Kolo’ is personable by nature...
He is the younger brother of one of the most successful Kiwi players of the NRL era, and now Jeremy Marshall-King is working hard to make a professional career himself, playing in the Wests Tigers’ reserve grade side. Kiwileaguecentral.com sat down for a quick catch up with the 21-year-old utility. KLC: Tell us a bit about your childhood Jeremy, we know Benji spent a fair bit of time in Whakatane before heading to Australia, was that the same for you? JMK: I was raised in Whakatane for...
Trying to predict stuff in rugby league is fraught with danger at the best of times. Predicting stuff in rugby league before the year has even started is madness. Nonetheless, here are our 17 New Zealand league predictions for 2017. 17. Otahuhu bounce straight back from being relegated last year and win the Auckland second division, reassuming their place in the Fox Memorial Premiership for 2018. Signing John Ackland as head coach proves a masterstroke. 16. The impending legal battle...
As the start of the 2016 Four Nations approaches kiwileaguecentral.com takes a look at the three teams the Kiwis will come up against, assessing their strengths and weaknesses from a New Zealand point of view. England The Kiwis haven’t tasted Test series success in England since 2005, and come off a 2-1 series defeat to the Poms there last year. Wayne Bennett is at the helm of the host nation now as well, which will ensure they are an almighty test for their upcoming opponents. Key...
Penrith Panthers rookie Te Maire Martin is about to cap off an incredible first year as an NRL player with a trip to the UK as part of the Kiwis’ Four Nations squad. Season 2016 could have been even better for the Tokoroa-born playmaker, had a fractured shoulder not halted his NRL progress after just six games. Kiwileaguecentral.com sat down with Martin near the end of the club season to discuss his speedy comeback from what was meant to be a season-ending injury, the prospect of playing...
(Main photo: Te Maire Martin showed plenty of promise before injury struck. Credit: photosport.nz). He hasn’t been seen in the NRL since April, but Penrith rookie Te Maire Martin needs to be in the final 17 for the Kiwis come October and November. With a lack of established Kiwi hookers and halves currently available – following injuries to Kodi Nikorima and off-field issues for Kieran Foran – Martin presents as the best option to complete the hooking rotation for New Zealand, and he can...
(Main photo: Joseph Manu fights for a ball on first-grade debut v the Warriors. Credit: photosport.nz). New Zealand products Kalyn Ponga, Brandon Smith and Joseph Manu are among the players honoured in the 2016 Holden Cup Team of the Year. The team was announced at Monday’s 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series Launch at Allianz Stadium. NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said 90 percent of players who made the Holden Cup Team of the Year went on to play in the NRL. “It’s become...
If the Warriors’ Board had made a couple of different decisions a few years ago Nathan Cleary could well be displaying his talents at Mt Smart Stadium every week, rather than Pepper Stadium in Penrith. (Main photo: Tuimoala Lolohea fends away Nathan Cleary. Credit: photosport.nz). Had dad Ivan been kept on as head coach of the Warriors it’s probably safe to assume young Nathan would have come through the U20 system in Auckland, and by now could be helping a different team in their quest to...
New Zealand Rugby League has made Sir Peter Leitch a life member at its annual meeting in Auckland today, recognising his passionate support of the game across the past five decades. Sir Peter (aka “The Mad Butcher”) began his association with rugby league through the Mangere East Hawks during the 1970s, but has more recently contributed to NZRL, the NZ Kiwis and NZ Warriors. The Warriors have retired the #19 jersey in his honour, he has been NZRL patron since 2011 and was proud manager of...
As Sione Faumuina sat back and watched the headlines unfolding from his home in Brisbane, the former Warrior and Kiwi international saw too many familiar stories popping up, and knew he wanted to help. Cue a tell-all book, The Second Phase, documenting Faumuina’s own battles against alcoholism and depression. A cautionary tale for players past and future, and something to help fans better understanding what may be going through the minds of their favourite footy stars. We chat to Faumuina...
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