General 2015 Warriors Where Are They Now?



Warriors Orange Peeler
2015 Warriors Where Are They Now?

Ever wondered where past Warriors are these days?

On this thread we will try to keep an updated list of where players are and what theyre doing.

1. Dean Bell - 52 -
New Zealand Warriors Head of Recruitment and General Manager of Football Link
2. Phil Blake - 51 - Fired as Defence coach for Leicester Tigers for sports betting Link
3. Sean Hoppe - 43 - Real Estate agent in Bundaberg Link
4. Manoa Thompson - 46 - Lives in Sydney, Australia. Works as a delivery driver and is the Vice Chairman of the Australian Fijian RL Link
5. Whetu Taewa - 43 - Builder in Cromwell, Otago. Link
6. Gene Ngamu - 40 - Groundskeeper in Australia with Green Options. Link
7. Greg Alexander - 49 - Fox Sport and Radio commentator Link
8. Gavin Hill - 48 - Works as a Duffy Books ambassador Link
9. Duane Mann - 49 - NRL Warriors Academy and Pathways Manager Link
10. Hitro Okesene - 44 - Living and working in construction in Carlisle, Cumbria, England Link
11. Stephen Kearney - 42 - NRL Brisbane Broncos assistant coach and NZ Kiwis head coach Link
12. Tony Tatupu - 45 - NZ Police Officer in Auckland Link
13. Tony Tuimavave - 45 - ??? Link
14. Se'e Solomona - 49 - ??? Living in Townsville Link
15. Tea Ropati - 50 - Executive manager of the Koru Trust Link
16. Jason Mackie - 45 - ??? Link
17. Martin Moana - 41 - Still living in Halifax and involved in league Link
18. Joe Vagana - 39 - Mentor at Reaches Pacifica Mentoring and owns a hire company Link
19. Syd Eru - 43 - ??? Link
20. Willie Poching - 41 - Assistant Coach at Hull KR Link
21. Logan Edwards - 46 - Prison guard at Paparua Prison in Christchurch Link
22. John Kirwan - 50 - Auckland Blues Head Coach Link
23. Andy Platt - 51 - Owns a motel in Mackay, Queensland, Australia Link
24. Stacey Jones - 38 - New Zealand Warriors Reserve Grade Head Coach Link
25. Mike Dorreen - 47 - Painter in Christchurch Link
26. Richie Blackmore - 45 - Coach of the Papakura Sea Eagles Link
27. Frano Botica - 51 - Real Estate Agent at Harcourts Cooper & Co Mairangi Bay, Auckland, NZ Link
28. Denis Betts - 45 - Widnes Vikings Head Coach Link
29. Marc Ellis - 43 - Still has a few business interests after selling juice company Charlies for $80 million Link
30. Mark Horo - 51 - Coached the ESS Norths NSW Maori RL Link
31. Mark Carter - 46 - ??? Link
32. Nigel Vagana - 39 - NRL Education and Welfare Officer Link
33. Awen Guttenbeil - 38 - currently works as a broadcaster for SKY Network Television and for Maori Television's sports show, Code. Link
34. Doc Murray - 42 - Working at Plumbing World Tauranga and playing with local club Otumoetai Eels Link
35. Iva Ropati - 46 - Principle of Howick College, Auckland, New Zealand Link
36. Anthony Swann - 39 - Grade 4 teacher in Singapore Link
37. Brady Malam - 41 - Runs a packaging business in Auckland Link
38. Bryan Henare - 40 - ??? Still living in Auckland but thats I can find out at the moment Link
39. Aaron Lester - 41 - Living in Whitehaven, UK Link
40. Matthew Ridge - 46 - Owner of car wash company Car-fé Link
41. Grant Young - 44 - Living in Brisbane, Australia and working as a self-employed builder Link
42. Logan Swann - 39 - Real Estate Agent for Ray White, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand Link
43. Steve Buckingham - Coaching Mt Albert Lions Premier team and the Akarana Falcons Link
44. Shane Endacott - 43 - Has a building company Link
45. Paul Staladi - 39 - Contracted as an army chef. Does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Link
46. Meti Noovao - 40 - Living in Avarua, Rarotonga and owns a vehicle rental company in the area Link
47. Lee Oudenryn - 44 - Police Detective in Palmerston North Link
48. Aaron Whittaker - 46 - Woking at Coles, Robina, Gold Coast, Australia Link
49. David Bailey - 45 - ??? Link
50. Jerry Seu Seu - 40 - New Zealand Warriors Welfare and Education Manager Link
51. Kevin Iro - 46 - Lives in Rarotonga and works as the Commissioner of Cook Islands Rugby League Link
52. Quentin Pongia - 44 - Personal Trainer at M.E.A.N Team training Link
53. Tyran Smith - 40 - Player agent with Sports Player Management Link
54. Zane Clark - ??? Link
55. Ali Lauitiiti - 35 - Playing for Wakefield Trinity, England Link
56. Joe Galuvao - 36 - Working for the NRL’s One Community to deliver social inclusion, health and education programs Link
57. Frank Watene - 37 - North Regional Manager for Delta Force Paintball in the UK Link
58. Odell Manuel - 36 - Australian record power weight lifter. Link
59. Jason Death - 43 - Working as a personal trainer at Smart Body Fitness Link
60. Terry Hermansson - ??? Possibly living in Christchurch Link
61. Monty Betham - 36 - Works as boxing instructor at Boxing Alley. Also does charity and media work Link
62. Cliff Beverley - 37 - Field Sales Manager - National Convenience at Mondelēz International (Cadbury) Link
63. Peter Lewis - 35 - ??? Link
64. Wairangi Koopu - 34 - Freelance broadcaster Link
65. Francis Meli - 35 - May be forced to retire after not being re-signed by the Salford Reds Link
66. Clinton Toopi - 35 - NRL Titans 4 Tomorrow ambassador. Link
67. Carl Doherty - 39 - Works for Euro Optics Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand Link
68. Robert Mears - 40 - Police officer in NSW, Australia Link
69. John Simon - 42 - ??? Link
70. Boycie Nelson - 40 - Police officer in Avondale, West Auckland Link
71. Talite Liava'a - 43 - Fire fighter in Palmerston North Link
72. Scott Pethybridge - 37 - Owns a labour hire company and coach of the Narrabeen Sharks A Grade team. Link
73. Ivan Cleary - 43 - Penrith Panthers head coach Link
74. Matt Spence - 38 - ??? Link
75. Scott Coxon - 41 - Mechanic in Newcastle, NSW Link
76. Mark Tookey - 37 - Raiders development official and runs a Boot Camp Link
77. David Myles - 36 - Business mentoring and coaching consultant in Brisbane Link
78. Paul Whatuira - 33 - Fitness and Conditioning coach in Sydney, Australia Link
79. Ben Lythe - 39 - Personal trainer at Lythestyle Training Link
80. Shontayne Hape - 33 - ??? Travelling the world at the moment Link
81. Henry Fa'afili - 34 - Personal Trainer at Les Mills, Wellington, New Zealand Link
82. Jason Bell - 43 - Personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Ballina, NSW, Australia Link
83. David Mulhall - CEO of SEE Media Group in Seattle, Washington, USA Link
84. Jonathan Smith - 35 - ??? Link
85. Henry Perenara - NRL Referee Link
86. Kevin Campion - 43 - Business Development Manager, Queensland, Australia Link
87. Richard Villasanti - 34 - Licensed Plumber in Canberra. Link
88. Justin Morgan - 39 - Melbourne Storm Assistant Coach Link
89. Jason Temu - 42 - Running a drainage company in Auckland Link
90. Motu Tony - 33 - Hull FC General Manager Link
91. Nathan Wood - 42 - CEO & Founder at & Punchboxfit Link
92. Justin Murphy - 36 - Bar Manager at the Meringandan Pub, Toowoomba, Queensland Link
93. Iafeta Paleaaesina - 31 - Playing for Hull FC Link
94. Anthony Seu Seu - Working in Telecommunication Industry in Auckland, NZ. Link
95. John Carlaw - 39 - Account manager at Zodiac Group Australia. Zodiac supply swimming pool supplies Link
96. PJ Marsh - 34 - Drill operator for AngloAmerican in an open cut mine Link
97. Brent Webb - 35 - Opened a cafe in Auckland Link
98. Sione Faumuina - 33 - Owns a laundrymat and working as an Electrician in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia. Link
99. Lance Hohaia - 31 - Playing for St Helens, England Link
100. Vinnie Anderson - 35 - Playing with AS Carcassonne RL, France Link
101. Jeremiah Pai - 32 - Played in the 2014 Pt Chev Pirates team in Aucklands Fox Memorial Link
102. Evarn Tuimavave - 30 - ??? Released from his Hull KR contract. Possibly back in NZ Link
103. Karl Temata - 36 - Playing for Oxford Rugby League, England Link
104. Mark Robinson -39 - Ambassador Klas Consultancy Ltd in London, UK Link
105. Thomas Leuluai - 29 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
106. Vince Mellars - 30 - ??? Possibly retired and living in Brisbane Link
107. Tevita Latu - 33 - Living in Auckland. Played in 2014 for Pt Chev Pirates Link
108. Jerome Ropati - 30 - NZ Warriors Ambassador Link
109. Tony Martin - 36 - Electrician apprentice living in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia Link
110. Epalahame Lauaki - 30 - Bradford Bulls, England Link
111. Danny Sullivan - Groundsman at Hunter Stadium Link
112. Louis Anderson - 29 - Playing for Catalans Dragons Link
113. Matt Jobson - 34 - Working as a valuer at LMW Hegney, Gold Coast, Australia Link
114. Paul Dezolt - 36 - Fulltime managing his Pulmonary Hypertension Link
115. Manu Vatuvei - 28 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
116. Shannon Stowers - 35 - ??? Link
117. Herewini Rangi - 30 - NZRL Kiwisport Officer in Gisborne Link
118. Cooper Vuna - 27 - Playing Rugby Union for Japanese club Toshiba Brave Lupus Link
119. Kane Ferris - 30 - Playing for the Celebration Lions Christchurch, NZ Link
120. Paul Atkins - 32 - ??? Link
121. Steve Price - 40 - Owner/Operator of Waipu Four Square and has a public speaking company Link
122. Todd Byrne - 36 - Bulk Liquids Berth Officer at Port Botany, NSW, Australia Link
123. Ruben Wiki - 41 - NZ Warriors Strength and Conditioning Coach and personal trainer Link
124. Nathan Fien - 35 - Partner at Corporate Finance Group Link
125. Simon Mannering - 28 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
126. Micheal Luck - 32 - North Queensland Cowboys’ Manager of Recruitment and Development Link
127. Grant Rovelli - 31 - Works for Aon Insurance and playing for the Souths Sharks, Mackay, Australia Link
128. George Gatis - 36 - Runs family Fish and Chip shop Simply Tops in North Queensland, Australia Link
129. Patrick Ah Van - 26 - Playing for Widnes Vikings, England Link
130. Misi Taulapapa - 32 - Playing for Sheffield Eagles, England Link
131. Sam Rapira - 27 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
132. Wade McKinnon - 33 - Working at the Auckland Airport Fire Service Link
133. Michael Crockett - ??? Link
134. Michael Witt - 31 - Director/ Owner of Witt Bros Developments Link
135. Corey Lawrie - 34 - Scaffolder in Christchurch for Action Scaffolding and playing for the Hornby Panthers Link
136. Aidan Kirk - 28 - Working as a Project Manager for Baxter Building in Sydney, Australia Link
137. Brent Tate - 32 - North Queensland Cowboys ambassador Link
138. Ian Henderson - 31 - Playing for Catalans Dragons, France Link
139. Sonny Fai - RIP 04/01/09 Link
140. Ryan Shortland - 28 - Playing Rugby Union for Newcastle Falcons, England Link
141. Russell Packer - 25 - Playing for St George feeder team Illawarra Cutters Link
142. Ben Matulino - 26 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
143. Malo Solomona - 27 -
Living in Auckland and playing for Pt. Chevalier Pirates in the Fox Memorial Link
144. Denan Kemp - 27 - Living in Woolongong and an electrical apprentice Link
145. Joel Moon - 26 - Playing for Leeds Rhinos, England Link
146. Jacob Lillyman - 30 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
147. Leeson Ah Mau - 25 - Playing St George Illawarra Dragons, Australia Link
148. Jesse Royal - 34 - Mining in Newcastle, Australia Link
149. Ukuma Ta'ai - 27 - Playing for Hudderfield Giants, England Link
150. Daniel O'Regan - 26 - Working as a builder in Auckland for Bridge City Interiors and Construction Ltd Link
151. Lewis Brown - 28 - Playing for the Penrith Panthers, Australia Link
152. Kevin Locke - 25 - Playing for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, England Link
153. Aaron Heremaia - 32 - Playing Widnes Vikings, England Link
154. Isaac John - 26 - Playing for the Penrith Panthers Link
155. Siuatonga Likiliki - 24 - ??? Living in Gold Coast, Australia and currently without a contract Link
156. James Maloney - 28 - Playing for the Sydney Roosters, Australia Link
157. Brett Seymour - 30 - Coach in the Mackay competition, Australia Link
158. Jeremy Latimore - 28 - Playing for the Penrith Panthers, Australia Link
159. Sione Lousi - 25 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
160. Bill Tupou - 24 - Playing for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats Link
161. Mataupu Poching - 26 - ??? Link
162. Alehana Mara - 25 - Playing for Wynnum Manly in the Queensland Cup, Australia Link
163. Glen Fisiiahi - 24 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
164. Feleti Mateo - 29 - Playing for Manly Sea Eagles Link
165. Shaun Berrigan - 36 - Apprentice Electrician for Thiess Link
166. Krisnan Inu - 27 - Playing Super League team Catalans Dragons, France Link
167. Elijah Taylor - 24 - Playing for Penrith Panthers Link
168. Shaun Johnson - 24 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
169. Steve Rapira - 26 - Playing for the Mackay Cutters, Australia Link
170. Pita Godinet - 27 - Playing for Wakefield Wildcats, England Link
171. Ben Henry - 23 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
172. Nathan Friend - 34 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
173. Konrad Hurrell - 23 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
174. Omar Slaimankhel - 22 - Signed with the Sydney Roosters Link
175. Sam Lousi - 23 - Playing Rugby Union for the NSW Waratahs, Australia Link
176. Sebastine Ikahihifo - 23 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
177. Carlos Tuimavave - 23 - Playing for Newcastle Knights, Australia Link
178. Dane Nielsen - 29 - Playing for St George Illawarra Dragons, Australia Link
179. Todd Lowrie - 31 - Playing for Brisbane Broncos, Australia Link
180. Ngani Laumape - 21 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
181. Suaia Matagi - 26 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
182. Dominique Peyroux - 25 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
183. Charlie Gubb - 24 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
184. Sio Siua Taukeiaho - 23 - Playing for Sydney Roosters, Australia Link
185. Sam Tomkins - 25 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
186. Chad Townsend - 24 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
187. Jayson Bukuya - 25 - Playing for the Cronulla Sharks, Australia Link
188. John Palavi - 22 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
189. David Fusitua - 20 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
190. Siliva Havili - 21 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link
191. Agnatius Paasi - 23 - Playing for Gold Coast Titans, Australia Link
192. Tuimoala Lolohea - 19 - NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS Link

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Please, if anyone has any info on former players then let us know. Maybe when that player comes up would be best. Even if the information is old it can give us a lead to work with. Player marked with 3 question marks above still have last known info if you follow the link.

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

The quotes are from last years thread. Will be editing this first post to add all the new info. All links will be to this thread where you can read the info in more detail.

The search, as always, is ongoing and if anyone can provide even the slightest clue for me to follow up on then please let me know by posting or private message.

If you find any new updates on existing ones or problems with links also let me know.

This is by no means definative list. All care has been taken to make sure that all current statuses and links are up to date but if you feel one my be wrong then please let us know. We are keen on keeping this as up to date as possible as the players move and change.

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Warriors Orange Peeler
1 Dean Bell - NRL Warriors Recruitment
We probably arent more aware of any former players current status as we are of Warriors number 1, Dean Bell. Will need to clarification but last I heard he was Head of Recruitment as well as General Manager of Football. Recent articles on new CEO Jim Doyle suggest he may be take less work on to concentrate on one or the other but until we get an official press release we have to run with the current job title.

Warriors dean bell psjpg


Warriors Orange Peeler
2 Phil Blake - Union Manly Marlins, NSW. Link
UPDATE 26/06/15

Phil Blake banned for placing eight separate bets on his own team
6:02PM BST 25 Jun 2015

Blake placed the bets over two matches and made money in game that saw Leicester lose 23-8 to Toulon

Phil Blake has been fined £669 - the profit made on the bets placed Photo: PA

Former Leicester defence coach Phil Blake has been banned for six months by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel after he was found guilty of two breaches of anti-corruption and betting rules.

The 51-year-old Australian was found guilty of placing a bet on a European Champions Cup match between Toulon and the Tigers on December 13 last year, and also betting on an Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle and Leicester on March 8.

Blake, who was also fined £669 - the profit made on the bets placed - and ordered to pay costs of £500, will be barred from rugby-related activity until November 24, 2015.

The judgement said Blake's behaviour "undermines public confidence in the integrity of the sport and strikes at the foundations of the Game."

Christopher Quinlan QC, chairman of the RFU Disciplinary Panel said: "This is the first such case that we know of in rugby union and is certainly the first brought under the relatively new Regulation 17, so this is new ground.


Leicester Tigers finished third in last season's Aviva Premiership

"In arriving at the appropriate sanction we have been careful to remind ourselves that we must not make an example of Phil Blake.

"We have imposed a sanction which we consider fair and proportionate to what he did, while having due regard to the proper consideration of deterrence. We have sought to strike a proper balance between the competing factors and arrive at a sanction we consider to be just.

"We must have regard to the wider interests of the game. It is important that those involved in the game and the wider public understand that any breach of the anti-corruption and betting regulations will and must be treated seriously."

Blake's appeal against the length of the ban was subsequently dismissed by the RFU.

London-born Blake joined Leicester in June 2014 on a one-year deal which was not renewed at the end of last season.

And the Tigers spoke highly of the former Manly coach in a response to the RFU's ban.

A statement read: "We acknowledge the decision of the disciplinary hearing in relation to the conduct of Phil Blake and the panel's views on betting within professional sport.

"The club also fully endorses the governing body's regard for the wider interests of the game in respect of any breaches of the anti-corruption and betting regulations.

"Phil Blake was under contract for the 2014/15 season and is no longer employed by Leicester Tigers. The club would, however, like to place on record, as it did during his time at Leicester, that he was a popular and valued member of the coaching team and we hope he is fully able to return to the game in a suitable capacity at the end of the period laid down by the disciplinary hearing."


03 with Cutler Shield 3df5753948
Last time I updated his status he was head coach of Manly Marlins, a Rugby Union club. Blakey had had some success with his Union coaching.

He was the Defence and Skills Coach for the Wallabies in 2010 under Robbie Deans. He joined the Western Force as defence and skills coach for the 2011 season. When Richard Graham was stood down as head coach of the Force during the 2012 season, Blake became the interim head coach before Michael Foley was appointed for the 2013 season.

Blake returned to Manly as head coach in 2013. In 2014, he was appointed as head coach of the North Harbour Rays for the inaugural National Rugby Championship season. However on 2 June 2014 it was announced that he had been appointed as defence coach for Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership.

Manly and North Harbour Rays coach Phil Blake poached by English club Leicester Tigers
JUNE 02, 2014 4:12PM

LEAGUE legend turned rugby coach Phil Blake has been poached by English club Leicester Tigers.

Blake will become Leicester’s defence coach under head coach Richard Cockerill in a deal to be formally announced in a few hours.

Blake has led Manly to a 10-game undefeated start to the Shute Shield season and was recently announced as the inaugural coach of the North Harbour Rays, who will compete in the newly formed National Rugby Championship starting in August.

But the opportunity to coach one of the giant clubs of English rugby is a massive boost for the burgeoning career of Blake, who has previously coached Western Force and was the Wallabies assistant coach in 2010.

Blake’s defection at the end of the Shute Shield season has forced the Rays to scramble for a new coach.

It appears that either Rays assistants Scott Fava or Geoff Townsend will step up to the top job in place of Blake, with a decision to be made this week.

Blake is highly rated in rugby circles and has transformed Manly into the most dominant club team this year with the perfect start which includes victories over last year’s grand finalists Sydney University and Eastwood. They are six points clear at the top of the table over northern beaches rivals Warringah, who they have also defeated this season.

Blake played 272 first grade rugby league games in the 1980s and 90s for a host of clubs including Manly-Warringah, Souths, St George and New Zealand Warriors, while also playing one State of Origin game for NSW and a match for NSW City.

After retiring, he briefly coached the Rabbitohs in the NRL before turning to rugby, where he started as an assistant for Southern Districts in the Shute Shield in 2006.

Blake coached Manly to the semi-finals in 2010, prompting then Wallabies coach Robbie Deans to appoint him to the national side as defence and skills coach.

Blake joined the Force the following year, and when head coach Richard Graham was forced to leave mid-season after agreeing to join Queensland, Blake guided the Force for their final eight games before moving back to Manly.

Tigers to add Blake to coaching team
2 June 2014 11:16am
By Gary Sherrard


Phil Blake will join the Leicester Tigers coaching staff

Phil Blake will join Leicester Tigers staff as defence coach in time for the new season.

London-born Blake enjoyed a long and successful playing career in rugby league in the southern hemisphere before coaching in both codes, including spells with Western Force and as defence and skills coach with Australia under Robbie Deans.

He has been head coach of Australian club Manly since 2013 and led them to a 10-game unbeaten start to the Shute Shield season as well as being appointed head coach of the North Harbour Rays for the inaugural National Rugby Championship season.

Blake, 50, will join the Tigers coaching team alongside director of rugby Richard Cockerill and coaches Paul Burke, Richard Blaze and Geordan Murphy.

Director of rugby Cockerill said: "I'm delighted that Phil has agreed to join us in the role of defence coach. He is very well thought of in the game and very experienced, and has worked in a number of different environments, including Super Rugby and at Test level in Australia.

"He joins a very strong group of coaches at this club and we look forward to working with Phil in his new role."

Leicester Tigers are an English Rugby Union team that plays in the Aviva Premiership. That is the English Premier competition and the Tigers are the most successful team to ever play in it. They face off against teams like Sam Burgess' Bath team. For more info on the Tigers follow the links below...

Leicester tigers badge
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Warriors Orange Peeler
3 Sean Hoppe - Real Estate Agent in Bunderburg Area, Australia. Link
Nothing really to update on Sean Hoppe. By all accounts he still resides in the Bundaberg region. His LinkedIn account still has him as being a Real Estate agent but he's been many things since his playing days have been over.

BNM 16 01 2010 SPORT 02 brl0503

Heres a couple articles on some of them.

From 2011. At that time he was in construction but he had just started in that industry at the tender age of 40...
Where are they now: Sean Hoppe
By Ben Blaschke

Sean Hoppe: the original ‘Beast’

How the Warriors could do with a Sean Hoppe now.

As the Auckland-based club struggles to cope with the loss of injured superstar Manu Vatuvei and a 0-2 start to the 2011 season, former Kiwi international Hoppe finds himself slaving away on the new Brisbane Airport Link after a long career that saw him play for four clubs in three different countries.

“Yeah I’m in construction these days,” the 40-year-old, who has lived in Queensland for the past six years, explains.

“It’s something that’s fairly new to me and I’m still learning as I go but I was ready for a change and it’s something I enjoy.”

Having played the final four years of his rugby league career for UK giants St Helens before retiring in 2002, Hoppe’s career has seen him try his hand at everything from building and property development to stints as both a referee and an assistant coach in the Bundaberg Rugby League competition.

He returned to Australia six years ago but had still spent much of his time flying back and forth between Bundaberg and Manchester in the UK until the global financial crisis saw his days in property come to a premature end.

“I was in England in total for nine years and for the past four and a half years I was flying back and forth but when the GFC hit, the property prices in the UK all tumbled,” he says.

“I was just renovating houses at the time so I guess I was doing a little bit of construction anyway, although not to the extent that I’m doing now.

“I was also working for the PCYC when I was in Bundaberg as the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Officer – I really loved that job – and was coaching and refereeing as well.

“They all sort of rolled into one because the people I worked with were all involved in rugby league.

“Ken Nagas’ family are all up that way, Mal Meninga’s family was there and Tony Rea’s father and brother were involved as well.

“So I was coaching and refereeing – I really enjoyed refereeing but I won’t be doing it this year, I’ll be missing it.”

Hoppe, whose father was from Brisbane, also began his professional rugby league career in Australia with Canberra in the early 1990s where he made a name for himself in the great Raiders sides that boasted the likes of Meninga, Ricky Stuart, Laurie Daley, Brad Clyde and Steve Walters.

He played 39 games for Canberra in 1992 and 1993 and would almost certainly have been a part of the club’s 1994 premiership-winning side had he not signed on to join the new Auckland Warriors franchise 12 months earlier.

“It was exciting to finally have a New Zealand side in the competition because it meant I could head home,” Hoppe recalls.

“Obviously I felt lucky to be able to play alongside some of the best players in the world at Canberra and I wanted to stay for the 1994 season before joining the Warriors in ’95 but when [former Raiders CEO] Kevin Neil found out I’d signed with the Warriors he told me I wouldn’t be playing first grade in ’94 and would have to play for West Belconnen instead.

“That’s when North Sydney showed some interest – because Daryl Halligan had just retired – so I spent a year with Norths before heading back to New Zealand.

“My only regret is missing that premiership win in ’94 because we knew we had the team to win it. We only bowed out of the semis in ’93 when Ricky Stuart went down injured and they went on to win it the following year. It was unfortunate to miss out.”

Despite his absence, Hoppe describes his four years and 88 games for Auckland as some of the best years of his life.

“That first year was amazing,” he says. “I mean, we didn’t know how we were going to go. We had players coming from the Auckland comp as well as England and Australia, we had different nationalities and it was all happening at once.

“It was exciting but we weren’t used to the travel. They seem to have gotten over that now, since Daniel Anderson came to the club (in 2001). They win as many away now as they do at home – it’s hard to pick!”

While he spent time with four clubs throughout his 250-game career (including 98 games for St Helens), Hoppe describes himself as a diehard Warriors fan these days and rarely misses a game.

“I definitely follow them wherever they go,” he laughs.

“I’ve already worked out that the Warriors are playing at 11am (Qld time) this Sunday so I’ll make sure I find somewhere to watch the game.

“Because I’m only renting in Brisbane at the moment I’ll have to go somewhere else… but that’s fine – I like to just sit down and watch the games by myself so I can watch them properly. I’m a bit of a tragic like that when it comes to following the Warriors!

“I’ve still got a soft spot for the Raiders and of course I follow St Helens in England – but the Warriors are my team.”

As for Ivan Cleary’s men in 2011, Hoppe believes their immediate success depends largely on the ability of the outside backs to cover for the loss of Vatuvei.

The giant winger will be sidelined until at least Round 9 with knee ligament damage suffered in his side’s Round 1 loss to Parramatta and the Warriors face an uphill battle to break their duck against St George Illawarra this Sunday having won just one of their past 12 games without Vatuvei on the field.

“It’s an amazing statistic but it goes to show how important he is,” Hoppe says.

“He scores tries and he saves tries as well.

“He knows who to hit and when to hit, so he is great in defence with those big hits.

“Obviously he scores plenty of tries as well and he does a lot of hard work to help out the forwards.

“I love watching the guy play – I actually told him a few years ago ‘You’re my favourite player’. Being a former winger I obviously enjoy watching the wingers go around.

“It’s no good that he’s out but it’s up to the other guys now.

“I thought Jerome Ropati was outstanding on the wing when Manu was injured in the Parramatta game, and Krisnan Inu is a skilful player so it’s not like they don’t have any options.

“Hopefully they can find their feet soon, but I think they’ll be right.

“They’ve had a slow start but I still think they’ll make the semi-finals and their slow start will be forgotten.”

Heres a link to when he was a referee as referenced in the above article

If anyones got any new info on him then please let us know...


Warriors Orange Peeler
4 Manoa Thompson - Lives in Sydney, Australia. Works as a delivery driver and is the Vice Chairman of the Australian Fijian RL (Link). Father of Jarryd Hayne
Manoa Thompson is still listed as a self employed truck driver. Still listed as the Vice Chairman of the Australian Fijian Rugby League though the last known entries for this were last updated in 2011. Here's a screen shot from one of the links below.


Page has current news and info on its home page so hopefully the Board Member list is also current.

Still living in St Peters, Sydney, Australia.

Thompson is the father of Parramatta, NSW, Fiji and Australian representative Jarryd Hayne. He married Tamara Regan and they have 3 children, Evie born in 2002, Jonah born in 2005 and Julius born in 2010.

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Warriors Orange Peeler
5 Whetu Taewa - Builder in Cromwell, Otago. Link

Still listed as a builder on his LinkIn page. Working with ATD Building in Cromwell, Otago where he also resides.


One thing that may surprise some is that Whetu is doing really well at speedway racing in the Production class.

Ex Kiwi Whetu Taewa in a league of his own

Whetu Taewa blitzed the opposition with pace and power throughout his international league career.

Now, 12 years after hanging up his footy boots, Taewa is gassing rivals on the speedway track.

Taewa, 43, was last month named Production Saloon Competitor of the Year at Speedway New Zealand's 2014 awards.

"I had friends who were into it [speedway] so I jumped into a car one day and had a blat and enjoyed it, " Taewa, who began racing four years ago.

"From there, it got bigger and bigger. I was very surprised when I was nominated [for], let alone won that [national] award."

Taewa is a regular competitor on Cromwell's Central Motor Speedway circuit of Greymouth, Dunedin and Invercargill. He is also on the circuit's organising committee. While many of his former league team-mates were surprised at his new sporting direction, Taewa said: "I think everyone is into cars in one way or another."

Taewa has four production saloon race cars numbered 99t.

Production saloons are regarded as an ideal entry to speedway as they cost less than vehicles in other classes and because few modifications are allowed to the former street cars, putting the emphasis on driving skills.

While Taewa is now associated with his race cars, he drove a distinctive vehicle during his footy career in New Zealand.

"I worked for the Mad Butcher for a while and had a [Mitsubishi] Mirage and it had Mad Butcher logos stuck all over it."

Taewa is set to make an impact behind the wheel.

He is preparing a driving mentoring scheme to encourage more responsible behaviour on the roads.

"I have identified where some of the young ones sort of get a little bit enthusiastic in their cars," Taewa said.

"If they learned a bit more about them [cars], and drove as fast as they can in a controlled environment, then they will get rid of that urge to squirt around the streets."

During a league career in which he played six tests for the Kiwis, Taewa was a star of the West Coast and Canterbury provincial teams, and played for the Auckland Warriors and North Queensland Cowboys from 1995-96.

In 1997 he played for UK Super League side the Sheffield Eagles, who won the 1988 Challenge Cup, before joining Hull Kingston Rovers in 1999.

After retiring as a player, he was HKR's assistant coach in 2003, before returning to New Zealand.

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You can follow his progress on the news section of the Central Motor Speedway website or their Facebook page...
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Warriors Orange Peeler
6 Gene Ngamu - Groundskeeper in Australia with Green Options. Link
Still a groundskeeper with Green Options. Green Options are a Landscape Management company of Qualified Greenkeepers, Horticulturists, Landscapers and Irrigation Experts that was formed in 1990. They have several offices but he works out of the Graceville, Brisbane branch.!search/profile/company?companyId=355586743&targetid=profile

The following link is for a slightly recent interview with Gene where he discusses the Warriors early 2014 team and his work with Green Options. Gene comes on around the 2 minute mark. Still a passionate Warriors supporter.

Not much out there on Gene Ngamu and cant find a current photo (Im not even sure thats him in the pic I found below?) but there is an old article from 2011 where they talk about his career pre and post Warriors...

Where Are They Now: Original Warrior Gene Ngamu

Gene Ngamu never experienced semi-finals football with the Warriors – his time was long before the club became an NRL force – but as premiership matches go their maiden game back in 1995 was as close it gets.

“It was just a massive buzz,” he recalled of that first game against Brisbane – a contest now famous in New Zealand and set to be revisited in the minds of many this weekend when the two sides line up again in Week One of the finals. “I didn’t get to play finals footy when I was at the Warriors but that first game was a similar sort of build-up. Everyone was behind us. It was an amazing experienced and we got so close. There were only three points in it (the Warriors lost 25-22).

“It was a great experience but unfortunately after that first year we probably didn’t go quite as well as we should have.”

Ngamu was a foundation member at the Warriors during those early years – playing 81 games for the club between 1995 and 1999 – and is best remembered for the strong partnership he formed in the halves with rising star Stacey Jones.

The pair went on to play Test football together with the Kiwis but despite boasting an all-star squad that included the likes of Greg Alexander, Phil Blake, Stephen Kearney, Dean Bell, Sean Hoppe, Andy Platt, Denis Betts and Richie Blackmore, the Warriors never fulfilled their limitless potential in those early years.

“I guess it’s like any club at the start but more so at the Warriors,” Ngamu recalled. “You’re under the spotlight – the public and the media just wanted us to do well. We went alright that first year too (finishing 10th) but then we tapered off a little bit. We lost a few games, probably more than we should have, but we tried out best.

“Having said that I think the club has learnt a lot as the years have gone by. They do things a lot different now and it’s showing on the field – they’re killing it.

“The travel doesn’t seem to bother them anymore. We really suffered with the travel back then.”

Still a passionate Warriors supporter, Ngamu had actually moved to Australia in search of an opportunity before the emergence of the new Kiwi club in 1995 provided an opportunity for him and a number of his fellow Kiwi stars to return home.

A classy five-eighth, he debuted for Manly in 1992 – playing nine games in the top grade – and enjoyed a brief stint at Souths in 1994 before heading back to be part of history in his home country.

“Playing for the Warriors was a dream come true,” he recalled. “There were rumours going around that they were going to be included in the competition – even when I got over to Manly and played there for a while. I was hoping they would come in and when they did I pretty much signed straight away.

“I desperately wanted to go home and be part of it. I wanted to be part of that first team that was part of the [premiership]… the bonus was playing top-line footy and being at home at the same time.”

Ironically, Ngamu’s career has just about brought him full circle: these days he bases himself back on Sydney’s north shore – right around Manly – where he fills his days looking after the very grounds on which he used to ply his trade.

“Yeah I’m a greenkeeper now,” he said. “I came back from the UK (after two years with Huddersfield in 1999-2000) and started doing it with my brother-in-law in NZ and ended up doing my apprenticeship back in Auckland. Eventually I moved over here and ended up working with a company called Green Options.

“I’m now the manager of our north side operations, so with winter sports we look after rugby league, rugby union, soccer, AFL, hockey fields – pretty much everything over winter – and then coming into spring it’s getting all the renovations done and then getting cricket pitches ready for the summer sports. The company I work for specialises in cricket wickets so we do Waverly, Coogee Oval, Manly Oval, Pratten Park out west, Redfern Oval and we look after Toyota Stadium as well.

“Even now I find myself driving around to various grounds all the time just to have a look and see what the other groundsmen are doing.”

“It’s funny though – when I used to play I never really thought about the grounds we played on. We used to get out there and train and kick balls 1000 times on the same spot. The groundskeeper used to come out all the time and repair divots straight away and I used to look at him funny, but now I understand exactly what he was doing.”

Still a passionate Warriors fan, Ngamu rates his former club a huge chance of knocking over old rivals Brisbane this weekend and believes this could be the year they give the competition a real shake.

“I’d really like to see them do well this year and watching the Broncos beat Manly last week when Manly had a few guys out – if the Warriors turn up they can definitely get a win up, for sure.

“Their little halves are doing the job at the moment – James Maloney is killing it, they’ve got big, mobile forwards, they’ve all got agility and they’ve all got an offload.

“There will be a huge crowd up there but they’ll be buzzing and there will be plenty of Kiwis up there too, so they’ve got a great chance to keep going
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Warriors Orange Peeler
7 Greg Alexander - Channel 9 commentator
Got the original entry for this wrong. Brandy is actually part of the Fox Sport stable of commentators and experts. Usually seen commentating on the Super Saturday Games and Monday Night Footy alongside Warren Smith and Laurie Daley. Also does opinion pieces for Fox Sport website. This is one piece he did on the Fox site on his end of year predictions. Was written in Round 20, 2014.

Brandy’s Breakdown: Greg Alexander looks at the run home of every NRL club and predicts their finish
Greg Alexander
July 31, 2014 2:40PM


There’s plenty of twists and turns ahead in the race to September in the NRL. Source: News Corp Australia

THE NRL finals are just around the corner — who will make it and who will miss?

Even at this stage of the season, it’s so difficult to make predictions, when you can have a weekend like we did in round 20, where five of the top eight were beaten.

Keeping all the recent upsets in mind, there’s no easy run home, although some do look easier than others on paper.

A side like Newcastle, who are no hope of making the eight, have won four of their last five matches.

On Saturday the Sharks came up with an upset win over the Panthers.

The Raiders are the only team that looks like they might really struggle for a win for the rest of the season, and things can change quickly.

But I’ll be brave and see how I go pulling apart the draw and working out who will feature in September — bearing in mind the bottom three are already out of the race.


Brandy says: The Sea Eagles look certainties for the minor premiership. They’re looking good and have a four-point buffer with six games to go. Wins against the Broncos and Rabbitohs in the next fortnight would just about sew up top spot.


Brandy says: Losing Sutton to injury might not be a bad thing because it will give them a chance to try out Keary and Reynolds as a combination as they get ready for the semi-finals.


Brandy says: The Panthers are under some pressure. They’ve lost their last two and they’re missing some key players for the remainder of the season. Looks a tough task to hold their place in the top four.


Brandy says: They’ve had a couple of losses on the trot and they’ve been disappointing, but Reynolds back into the line-up for the business end of the season should see them finish strongly.


Brandy says: The Roosters have got to find something. They’ve got three big games to finish the season and they need to find their ruthlessness again or they’ll struggle to climb into the top four.


Brandy says: I like the Storm. With a lot of the top sides doing it tough at the moment, the Storm with Cronk back from that broken arm look a completely different side.


Brandy says: The Cowboys look like they’ll go on another run, which they did last season. They don’t have to win as many, but with Matt Scott returning, Johnathan Thurston in form and four home games to finish, it looks like they’ll force their way into the playoffs again.

Sam Thaiday’s Broncos have got plenty of work to do to make the finals. Pic: Gregg PorteousSource: News Corp Australia


Brandy says: Brisbane’s run home is as difficult as anyone’s. We’ll find out just how much their younger players, including Ben Hunt, have learned from this season in the big games they’ve got in the run home.


Brandy says: I think the absence of Shaun Johnson and Feleti Mateo hurt them last week. They play the four bottom sides in their last six matches, so they should qualify comfortably. Their finishing position might be determined to some extent by how soon they get Johnson back.


Brandy says: They showed great signs against the Tigers but this weekend’s clash with the Roosters is massive. If they can win it, their run isn’t too bad, and they might be able to squeeze in.


Brandy says: Injuries are going to hurt them with Luke Brooks missing for the next couple of games. They’ve got one of the tougher runs home, so I can’t see them making it.


Brandy says: The Eels have got the Raiders twice in the next weeks, and they also play the Knights and the Sharks. There’s four games against sides below them on the ladder so a finals position is in their hands.


Brandy says: The Titans can’t make it. Their run is too hard and they’re not playing well enough.


1. MANLY (40pts)

2. CANTERBURY (36pts)

3. MELBOURNE (36pts)

4. SOUTH SYDNEY (34pts)



7. PENRITH (32pts)



9. BRISBANE (28pts)

10. WESTS TIGERS (26pts)

11. PARRAMATTA (26pts)


13. GOLD COAST (20pts)

His Fox profile page can be found at the following link.

309772 greg alexander 2012

Brandy is also a sports anchor for Sydney radio station 2UE and hosts weekday evenings sports show Sports Today alongside former Manly half John Gibbs...

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Warriors Orange Peeler
8 Gavin Hill - ??? Union College Rifles coach 2009
Gavin Hill got involved with Rugby Union coaching a lot after playing for the Warriors. The following pic was taken when he coached the Auckland Womens during a New Zealand Rugby Union AA Rewards Heartland Provincial Unions training session at the Poneke Rugby Club on June 30, 2008 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Right now he is working with Duffy Books in Homes and travels the country spreading the message. The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation, better known as Duffy Books in Homes, is proud to provide free books to over 100,000 New Zealand children, three times a year. He is also doing kids mentoring and counselling.

Mountain Man entrances kids

Anyone who heard former league and rugby player Gavin Hill reading aloud at Whitcoulls would have thought he had a tribe of kids of his own at home.

Ensconced in a plush red chair in a quiet corner of the shop, 42-year-old Hill kept the children entranced for the best part of an hour yesterday while he read book after book thrust eagerly into his hands.

But reading to the children was a first for the single and childless Hill – even though he has been helping with book-donation programme Duffy Books in Homes for nigh on eight years.

"I've never done this before, it's quite exciting," he said, before taking a pair of reading glasses out of his pocket and launching in to an animated rendition of The Pungapeople of Ninety Mile Beach.

Hill's work with Duffy was organised through a friend who needed more role models to go in to the low decile schools where the books are distributed.

"I love kids so this is great. And they love the books – you never ever see those books in the book sales, they hang on to them, they're a keepsake," Hill said.

Most Taranaki folk will remember Hill better for his rugby-playing days, where he played first union for Taranaki, Canterbury and Wellington, then league for New Zealand.

He is considered unusual in rugby-playing circles for consistently kicking goals while playing the position of prop.

When asked about his ability to kick, Hill said it came both from playing winger in rugby and playing soccer in the early days.

"If you want to know how to get longevity, do what Reuben Wiki did," he said, referring to Wiki's ability to change as he lost his pace and move from the back into the front row.

Hill was also one of the few front rowers to make a successful change from union to league. The 191cm giant, whose nickname is Mountain Man, was originally from Taranaki but has been living and working in Auckland until last year.

He decided to return home for a break from employment coaching and is currently working at MCK metals in New Plymouth. "It's good for the body and good for the mind, that sort of work," he said.

Hill has no plans to return to Auckland at the moment.

This week was Whitcoulls Duffy Books in Homes week.

The article states that he is in New Plymouth but he has returned to Auckland since...


Warriors Orange Peeler
9 Duane Mann -NRL Warriors Academy and Pathways Manager. Link
Duane Mann is still the NZ Warriors Academy and Pathways Manager after a few years at Auckland Rugby League doing the same thing.

Mann return to club
Sun 29th September, 07:04AM

Mann (48) is moving across Beasley Avenue from the ARLs offices to the Vodafone Warriors headquarters at Mount Smart Stadium to become the clubs academy and pathways manager.

Duane has a long involvement in rugby league and a huge passion for the game and for the club, said Vodafone Warriors general manager football operations Dean Bell.

Mann will be having his third term with the Vodafone Warriors. The first was as a player when he became Warrior No 9 in the clubs foundation team in 1995 and his second as the junior elite coach in 2003-2005.

Hell fill the position created by club legend Stacey Jones stepping up to become Vodafone Junior Warriors head coach next season.

Duane has an ideal mix of skills, knowledge, experience and networks to take on the role of academy and pathways manager, said Bell.

As football development manager with the Auckland Rugby League he has been involved in a number of initiatives from junior development camps, to coaching education, school competitions and being a central figure in starting up the College Rugby League competition in conjunction with the Vodafone Warriors this year.

Part of Duanes role will be to take over our junior recruitment which will allow me to put more time into supporting the NRL side.

Manns arrival will add to what has become a burgeoning group of old boys in the football department comprising Bell, Jones, Jerry Seuseu, Ruben Wiki and Awen Guttenbeil. Monty Betham runs the clubs Legends of League Lounge on game days and the likes of Logan Swann and Steve Price regularly feature in a club-related capacity in the rugby league community.

Manns extensive playing career spanned appearances for the Kiwis, Tonga, the Warriors, Warrington, Auckland, the North Harbour Sea Eagles, the Counties Manukau Jetz and his beloved Glenora Bears.

He has previously coached Tonga, Fiji, the Bay Roskill Vikings and the Glenora Bears while he also has extensive experience in the education sector.


Born: June 28, 1965

Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Coaching Career:

Fiji head coach 2010

Tonga national coach 1996, 1997 and 2006

New Zealand Rugby League high performance director 2003-2005

Vodafone Warriors junior elite coach 2003-2005

Bay Roskill Vikings head coach 2010-2011

Glenora Bears head coach 2000-2001 and 2008-2009

Playing Career:

Kiwis (#609):

29 Tests 1989-1994

Kiwi captain 1994

NZRL Player of the Year 1994

Mate Maa Tonga:

30 games 1986-2000 including 1995 and 2000 World Cups


16 games 1988-1994

Auckland Warriors (#9):

13 games 1995


124 games 1989-1993

Other Positions:

Auckland Rugby League football development manager 2011-2013

Greater Auckland Coaching Unit coaching manager 2008-2010

Sport Auckland and Counties Manukau Regional Sports Trusts 2010-2012

Avondale College director of sport 1998-2003


Duane is also an ambassador for Student Horizons who are specialists in organising international sport and educational tours for students in Australia and New Zealand. Heres his profile from their page.


He's also available for private speaking engagements through Training Plus who strangely have the exact same profile on him...



Warriors Orange Peeler
10 Hitro Okesene - Living and working in construction in Carlisle, Cumbria, England.
Hitro Okesene is still working and living in Carlisle, Cumbria, England. His being from there. He works for Thomas Armstrong Construction; Cumbria's biggest construction firm. He made a visit to NZ and toured the Warriors facilities at Mt Smart. Below is an interview he did with Warriors TV while he was here.


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As he was here with the Warriors, Hitro is a cult figure at Carlisle. Following article pretty much does all the work for me...

Cult hero Hitro Okesene's Cumbrian sunset

Hitro Okesene played only three seasons for the Warriors in the mid-90s yet remains one of the club's most beloved players. But what happened to him? BEN STANLEY went to Cumbria, England to find out.

Mid-afternoon and the Maryport Navy Club is packed.

Thirsty punters stand elbow-to-elbow, necking cheap cans of Carlsberg at an impressive pace and talking loud in gritty, blue-collar Cumbrian accents.

A guitarist on a small stage at the end of the bar sweeps his hand across his instrument, and his band - TJ and the Suitcase - launch into their next number: a cover of the age-old blues standard Who Do You Love. I walked through 47 miles of barbed wire / I got a cobra snake for a necktie.

There's a good feeling in the air; that sort of loose, warm feeling that only good music, good company and a few downed beers will provide.

About five metres back into the crowd, there's a big Kiwi-Samoan bloke with a mullet, nodding his head to the music.

He takes a long sip from his can, and smiles; this is his sort of scene.

It's the last day of the famed Maryport Blues Festival - the United Kingdom's biggest blues celebration.

The festival, which runs for an entire weekend in the town's bars in late July, has a reputation for getting pretty feral in ‘Scaryport' - at the moment, it's a pretty mellow vibe.

A guy wearing a bright red Workington Town rugby league jersey approaches the Kiwi-Samoan. He has quite obviously started on the wets very early in the day but his admiration for the man with the mullet is clear.

The leaguie holds up his festival programme for him to sign, and asks for a photo.

Hitro Okesene - rugby league cult hero - smiles again, and wraps one of his big arms around the fan's shoulders as his friend holds up a camera.

"You's a real legend you are, Hitro," he yells, as TJ and the Suitcase rip into the chorus. Who do you love? Who do you love?

"You's the man," the fan says, patting Okesene on the chest. "Best player I saw for Town. Hard man. Great player."

ASK ANY New Zealand league fan about Hitro Okesene, and a particular image will almost certainly come to mind.

The man with his head down, long scraggly mullet flying, and tree trunk-sized legs pumping fearlessly into the next tackle.

For the first three years of the Warriors' existence, from 1995-97, the south Auckland front rower was the people's face of the club.

Sure, you had the big-name Australian signings Greg Alexander and Phil Blake, as well as Wigan and Kiwis legend Dean Bell - but it was Okesene, a starting prop in the Warriors famous first game against the Broncos in March 1995 that the fans really fell for.

"He really was a cult hero at the club, the way his hair flew about and with his style of play," legendary Warriors halfback Stacey Jones says. "He was full on but off the field he was a real nice guy."

More than any other player, Okesene, a five-test Kiwi who played in the ‘95 World Cup, was the guy that perhaps best personified the Warriors' early years.

Full of the talent and heart required to compete in the first-grade but without the fully formed professional mentality to hold things together completely at the top level.

After the tumultuous 1997 Super League season- which Okesene played just one game in - he left New Zealand.

He, and his young family, were bound for Cumbria, England, where he would became a cult hero for Workington Town, the "people's club" in a staunch working-class region.

Cumbria is a place where the people love him just as the Warriors faithful do.

"To be honest, I think it was because I was a local in with all the big names," Okesene, now 43, says, laughing, when asked by the Sunday Star-Times about his cult following at Mt Smart nearly two decades ago.

It is the day before he heads to the blues festival, and Okesene is at his brother-in-law's birthday barbecue in Carlisle.

He is surrounded by family - wife Donna and kids Shakayla, Giavanna and Rocco - as well as his extended and Donna's extended family.

Okesene's famed mullet still covers his head but a few kilos have been added to the puku since those glory days.

"I only lived down the road from Penrose then. I was staying in my parents garage in Mangere when that first game [against the Broncos] was played.

"To tell you the truth, I was looking at these guys that I'd watched on TV, and it was just cool to get to know them."

Okesene's link with Cumbria stretches back to before the Warriors even existed, thanks to Cameron Bell - father of Dean and legendary Auckland league coach in his own right.

Okesene, then 18, wanted the opportunity to play English league for a season and asked Bell, his coach at Manukau, if he could make something happen.

Bell had strong links to Carlisle - he would coach the team for four seasons from 1990 - and secured the teenager a spot in the town's league team quickly.

While juggling commitments to Manukau in the Kiwi winter, Okesene would play three UK seasons for the club, during which time he'd met Donna.

The Warriors opportunity - he would play 23 times for the club - would come after being scouted playing for Manukau in ‘94 - but differences in opinion with the coaching staff meant a return to England would happen, eventually.

He'd do spells at Hull, Featherstone, in a Catalans XIII in France alongside his brother Paul - who died in Spain in 2012 - before playing for Workington for four seasons.

At "Town", as the locals know it, Okesene played the hard-charging, up-the-guts style of footy he did at Mt Smart - and the fans responded in an identical way.

OKESENE AND his family live in the village of Oughterside, located a half-hour's drive south of Carlisle on the road down to Maryport.

His house - his No. 10 jersey from that very first Warriors game is in the attic - is far from a mansion but most certainly a home.

A small Heartbeat-style village of no more than 600 people, Oughterside overlooks the foothills of the famed Lake District.

There's a pub - "my local," Okesene says - called the Miner's Arms but any shopping is done in Aspatria, a few clicks up the road towards Carlisle.

During the week, Okesene works for Thomas Armstrong Construction; Cumbria's biggest construction firm.

The work differs. Often he'll be driving the dump truck but he'll do time on the road roller, and various other general worksite jobs as well.

Okesene enjoys his work, and the cameradierie of the worksite. Few know his past, he admits, and what he achieved on the footy field though.

"The young guys don't want to hear that old school stuff - they don't believe us," he says.

"I say ‘I used to play with those guys' - and the young guys are like ‘whatever'.

"There's a lot of young lads that play league, and they don't know. There are old guys there - around Maryport is a hot spot for rugby league clubs and talent - they know what happened.

"That eased me into the company. I'm normally the quiet one, though. I'll just do my job and keep my head down."

It is fair to ask whether Okesene reached the absolute ceiling he could as a player.

Yep, he was a foundation Warrior, played in a World Cup for the Kiwis and had a decent semi-amateur career in the UK - but one feels that his legacy on the paddock could have been much greater.

Jones believes Okesene could have achieved more at the Warriors, but feels his friend was never used in the position he was best suited to.

Had Okesene donned the No. 9 Warriors jumper from the word go, instead of the No. 10, things might have been different.

"He could have stayed at the Warriors longer than he did," Jones says.

"He ended up going hard on the weights - we all did that year [1995] - and was turned into a prop. I think his best value was as a hooker or even a second rower when he was trimmed down a bit.

"He was outstanding in 1994 - the best hooker on the domestic scene. The way he was playing then he could have put a lot of pressure on for hooker's job with the Warriors."

His old skipper Bell believes Okesene's career hit the mark, just right.

"With Hitro, it was 100 per cent or nothing," he says. "That's the way he was with everything he did.

"You were never in doubt that he'd play to his very best and that enabled him to reach the heights of playing for the Warriors and also representing the Kiwis.

"He certainly got the best out of himself."

OKESENE IS nodding his head to the beat, again. He is in the kitchen of his Oughterside home and, this time, the Grayson Hugh classic Talk It Over is on the dial.

It is past 11pm, and he just arrived home from the Maryport Blues Festival, a bus ride down the road. It's been a great night, and Okesene's still in good mood.

During the course of the day, at least a dozen fans approached the Kiwi and talked league with him. Countless more friends, co-workers and former teammates were bumped into as well. Okesene has time for them all.

He may not have made the big money or still be hanging with the big names, but what the Kiwi means to the people that watched him play for Carlisle and Workington Town is obvious - and worth something that money can't buy.

Like those days at the Warriors - he is one of them. He played league the way it should be played - and now he's living his life like they are.

Here in Cumbria, Okesene - rugby league cult hero from Mangere to Maryport, hard-working father and husband, and proud Kiwi Samoan with a ready grin - is loved; not just by his family, but by his community.

It doesn't get much better, really; a man with big mullet, still; but an even bigger heart.

"I'm blessed," Okesene says. "Nah, that's corny. I'm thankful, really. Life's all good."
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Warriors Orange Peeler
11 Stephen Kearney - NRL Brisbane Broncos assistant coach and NZ Kiwis head coach
Nothing new here for Kearney. There was a fear that when Wayne Bennett was made head coach of the Broncos that Kearney may get the chop but he has missed the swing of the axe this time round. He was also confirmed as Kiwis coach through to the next World Cup and was given Bennetts blessing to continue that role while at the Broncos...

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney remains a key at Broncos
NOVEMBER 15, 2014 12:00AM

HE has dodged the axe at the Broncos, and now Stephen Kearney is keen to extend his career with a Kiwis side plotting Four Nations glory on Saturday at Westpac Stadium.

Kiwis coach and Broncos assistant Kearney has been around long enough to appreciate that nothing is guaranteed in the cutthroat world of NRL coaching.

So when master coach Wayne Bennett arrived at Red Hill last month, Kearney had reason to fear he would depart with Anthony Griffin, the sacked Broncos mentor who hired him.

But not only will Kearney remain a part of Bennett’s Broncos staff next season, he also has the seven-time premiership coach’s blessing to continue leading the Kiwis.

Bennett was a key advisor to Kearney when the Kiwis staged a World Cup boilover in 2008 and the former Test back-rower is not ready to abandon the New Zealand post.

“I have a contract with the New Zealand Rugby League and I want to go on (next year), I really enjoy the job,” Kearney said.

“We understand the circumstance we are facing. Our focus at the beginning of the tournament was to get ourselves into the final, that was the important part.”

Kearney’s tenure at the Broncos appeared uncertain last month when Bennett formally added club legends Kevin Walters and Allan Langer to his staff for next season.

But Kearney, speaking for the first time about his retention at Red Hill, is keen to reunite with the coach that helped galvanise the Kiwis’ self-belief.

“I am pleased to be working alongside Wayne and I look forward to the challenge,” Kearney said.

“My focus has been on this campaign for the last month, but the contact I’ve had with Wayne recently, I’m ready for the challenge moving forward.

“We have always kept a relationship.

“To be honest, I didn’t know what was in store for me (when Griffin was sacked).

“Anthony is the guy who got me to the Broncos, and I had to see how it would pan out, but fortunately for myself it worked out the way it did and I’m glad I get the chance to work with Wayne.

“I’m still not sure of my exact role, I will work that out when I’m back on deck, which will be in a week’s time.”

Kearney said the Kangaroos side will be a superior opponent to the team beaten comprehensively 30-12 at Suncorp Stadium last month.

“With the Australian side in the first match, the conditions were taxing and a lot of the Aussie guys hadn’t played for a while,” he said.

“We’ve watched the Australians with their improvement the last couple of weeks. We know what we are in for (on Saturday).

“I think it (the home-ground advantage) can be of assistance but essentially it will come down to the 17 guys who take the field and execute what we’ve been training on during the week.”

Kiwi coach...

Broncos Assistant Coach...



Warriors Orange Peeler
12 Tony Tatupu - NZ Police Officer in Auckland
As far as I can tell he is still a Police Officer after joining the force in around 2003.

Warrior hits police beat
Last updated 12:21 01/05/2008

JANIE SMITH/Auckland City Harbour News

COMMUNITY ACTION: Central Auckland's community action team, from left: Constables Keki Wilson, Tone Tatupu and Tai Rossi.

Former New Zealand Warriors player Tone Tatupu will be walking to a different beat when you see him down Queen St.

The 38-year-old is a now a policeman and is part of new community action team set up to target crime in central Auckland.

"I occasionally get recognised," he says.

Mr Tatupu played for the Warriors from 1995 to 1999, but loves his more recent career as a police officer.

"It was a really positive change of career and this role is great."

The community action team also consists of constables Tai Rossi and Keki Wilson and they are expecting a fourth member soon.

All three are former front line staff and are enjoying the new role.

"It’s not a traditional community constable position," says Mr Rossi. "It’s a bit more proactive."

The team identify problems in the city, with help from the intelligence team, and work with the community to resolve them. They have each been assigned areas to cover.

Mr Tatupu focuses on Queen St and AUT, Mr Rossi covers Parnell and Mr Wilson looks after Karangahape Rd and Auckland University.

"We all cover each other’s areas as well," says Mr Rossi.

"It’s more having someone for the community to identify with."

Issues in the city include vehicle crime and some international students not taking care with personal safety.

"Most of crime is opportunistic so it’s teaching people about being responsible for their property and themselves," says Mr Tatupu.

"People need to take precautions so they don’t leave themselves open to being victims."

So far the community has responded well to the team, says Mr Rossi.

"People love it. It has started to create a flow of information on things happening that people would not usually bother reporting."

The community action team can be contacted at the Auckland central police station on 302-6400.

Theres no date on the next piece but this is the only other thing Ive found on Tony...

Police in the community

Grey Lynn now has a ‘go to person’ in the area. We would like to welcome Constable Tony Tatupu as our new community constable. Tony is a very capable and experienced officer who will actively have a presence in Grey Lynn with a strong focus on crime prevention and assistance.

Tony Tatupu's son Shem is playing AFL for Hawthorne.

You can check out footage of him here


Warriors Orange Peeler
13 Tony Tuimavave - ??? 2009 running a jet ski business in Apia, Samoa and was coaching Ponsonby Ponies
Nothing recent to go on with Tony. Was here for the Warriors Old Boys Day during the last game of the 2014 season.

Only thing I can find on the net on him is the same stuff that turned up before.

From 2010.
Ponies rein in co-coaches for the long haul

NEW LEADERSHIP: Cliff Bailey, left, and Tony Tuimavave are the new co-coaches of the Ponsonby Ponies league team.

Former Warriors hard man Tony Tuimavave is looking to put the heart and soul back into the Ponsonby
Ponies League Club.

Tuimavave, along with Cliff Bailey, are the new co-coaches of the club’s premier side for the season starting next month.

"The Ponsonby area is where I grew up all my life," he says.

"It’s a great community and we really want to put back into it."

Ponsonby has a proud tradition, winning the Fox Memorial Auckland club competition 12 times between 1917 and 1973.

"It’s good for the kids to know why the club is here and who started it," says Tuimavave, who played 78 games for the Warriors between 1995 and 2000.

The former Kiwi and Western Samoa player believes using his NRL experience will help youngsters from local suburbs develop into top-class players.

"It’s something I want to offer back to the youth. They need to learn about discipline and sacrifice.

"We can all talk about it, but it’s a matter of if you really want it, you’ll put the effort in."

Bailey, whose cousins Roger and Gary played for Ponsonby and the Kiwis, also feels the premier side would benefit from a more professional approach.

"Our main focus is on building from the bottom up and looking at long-term sustainability."

The squad has been training since last month, with 25 players practising at their Victoria Park base.

But Bailey is hoping for more recruits once the touch season finishes in the next month.

He says a match against the Warriors development side this Sunday will be a good test of where the side sits before the season starts.

As for the fortunes of the club in this year’s premier competition, Bailey says the first goal is to make it past the grading round and into the Fox Memorial competition.

Last year the Ponies played the second half of the season in the second division Sharman Cup.

For more information on playing for Ponsonby call Cliff Bailey on 021-590-037 or email cliff.bailey@win

And from 2007



Former NZ Warriors player Tony Tuimavave now runs a Apia Jet Skis, Scooter
and Car rentals business: the public enjoying the weekend jet skiing at

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Lagi Keresoma)

Business of the Week: Apia Jet Ski, Scooter and Car Rentals26 March 2007 - Source: eventpolynesia.comThe Apia Jet Ski, Scooter and Car Rentals business is making a difference to the lives of many young ones since the introduction of jet ski services in July last year.

The business has opened opportunities for the public to enjoy this water sport, which is popular throughout the world particularly in tourist destinations.

The business is owned and operated by former New Zealand Warriors, Toa Samoa and New Zealand Kiwis international player Tony Tuimavave. He said while he misses the game, he enjoys being a businessman.

When he landed in Samoa, he was involved in a Fishing Enterprises long line fishing company, but he soon gave it up when things did not work out.

He then decided to focus on something different. Gradually his rental business is expanding and he brought in scooters, bikes and cars. He says he is doing brisk business and hopes to expand his services to the public to cater for the demand.

Jet skiing is offered every Saturday and Sunday depending on the high tide. It's $5 for kids and $10 for adults per ride.

Tony said that he knew Aggie Grey's Hotel runs a jet skiing business but his business is the first one to cater to the public.

Despite Tony quitting rugby league, his heart is still in the game and he's involved with the development of the game in Samoa as an official of the Samoa Rugby League (SRL). He has sacrificed his love of playing the game to develop the next generation of Samoan players.

If anyone knows anything on Tony please let us know...


Warriors Orange Peeler
15 Tea Ropati - Executive manager of the Koru Trust. Link
Tea Ropati's status hasnt changed from last time. Still Executive Manager at Koru Trust according to the Koru website. Below is a screenshot from the page.

Tea Ropati

In personal life he is still married to wife Vanessa and resides in Auckland...

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Ever Hopeful

Ever Hopeful

I couldn't find a good image, but went to watch this excellent movie (Dead Lands) during the week. The familiar face on the left sure looked like he would still be a beast on the field.



Warriors Orange Peeler
Dont have a single line of inquiry on Se'e at all. Anyone able to help???
Asked about Se'e on a Warriors page on Facebook. Been told he resides in Townsville and possibly works as a prison guard.

Found this little snippet in an article on Sione Faumuina when he was playing for the Cowboys in 2007...

With his mother and extended family also living in Brisbane and good friend Se'e Solomona, another former Warrior, living nearby in Townsville, Faumuina seems to have found his happy place.


Warriors Orange Peeler
16 Jason Mackie - ??? Have a line of enquiry Im following. Waiting for reply

Still nothing whatsoever to go with Jason Mackie. If anyone knows anything please let us know.

Raurimu Massive if you or anyone up north knows anyone at the Takahiwai Warriors or some of the old leaguies in Northland can you mention it???

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Working in the mining industry in Queensland
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