Player Rocco Berry



Warriors Orange Peeler

Warriors' fight to keep young talent in NZ bears fruit as club signs son of All Black

Marvin France
16:41, Jul 24 2019
Rocco Berry warms up with Chanel Harris-Tavita prior to the Warriors' game against the Sharks in Wellington.

Rocco Berry warms up with Chanel Harris-Tavita prior to the Warriors' game against the Sharks in Wellington.

The Warriors have a son of a former All Black on their books after securing the services of highly-rated youngster Rocco Berry.

Berry's father, Marty Berry, made 10 appearances for the All Blacks between 1986 and 1993, including one test match against Australia.

Marty enjoyed a distinguished provincial career as a midfield back, playing exactly 100 games for Wairarapa-Bush and Wellington, as well as spending a season in Super Rugby with the Hurricanes in 1996.

Having followed in his father's footsteps in union, Rocco has made a name for himself as a skillful fullback, starring for Wellington college St Pats Silverstream at 1st XV level and last year was selected to attend the Hurricanes under-18 training camp.

But the 18-year-old is now eying a future in the 13-man game with the Warriors fending off strong interest from rival clubs in both codes to sign him to a four-year contract.

"He's got some really good attributes on and off the field, you've only got to talk to him for five minutes to know he's been raised in a very good environment," Warriors chief executive Cameron George told Stuff.

Young fullback Rocco Berry (back) spent last week training with the Warriors first-grade squad.

Young fullback Rocco Berry (back) spent last week training with the Warriors first-grade squad.

"It's very exciting we've been able to secure a son of an All Black into our league family. We do know that he was heavily chased by a number of rugby league and rugby clubs and to get his signature is certainly a massive privilege for our club."

With the Warriors playing Cronulla in Wellington last week, the Auckland club took the opportunity to give Berry the full first grade experience.

Berry trained with Stephen Kearney's squad all week, stayed at the team hotel and even took part in the pre-game warm-up at Westpac Stadium and recovery session the next day.

"It's all part of bringing some of our young kids closer to the inner sanctum and the experience of being an NRL player," George said.

"I spoke to him at length after the game and it was amazing to see the affect it had and how the players had rubbed off on him over the week. Full credit to our squad and coaching staff, they really allowed him to be hands-on.

"Experiences like this shows the young kids coming through our system that you're a part of our club, it doesn't matter where you sit in the structure."

It's all part of the Warriors' efforts to keep the best young talent in New Zealand.

Faced with intense competition from Australian NRL clubs, there's been countless examples over the years of the country's leading youngsters being lured across the Tasman.

But led by general manager of football Brian Smith and recruitment manager Peter O'Sullivan, the Warriors have restructured their development pathways over the last 12 months to identify and recruit players nation wide.

"The re-setting of our pathways now is really showing the young kids New Zealand-wide there's a great way here to be part of the NRL and you don't have to go to Australia," he said.

"Whether you're a rugby union kid playing the game or rugby league, there's opportunities here at the Warriors."

Bangbros 2023

Bangbros 2023

It would potentially mean some pace in our backline next year, with him, Walsh and Aitken
I would think he's now behind Pompey and Aitkin, either way hiku is no longer required. So I would think Berry will get some game time but not a straight starter over the other two mentioned.


Have they.
He is a guy I would have in the team as one of the first picked. I know he has defensive lapses.
Pretty much every poster on here was praising his brutal defence in round 1.
Best beat him to score the winning try in round 2.
Hiku beats players like that.

I do hope they re-sign him. But he was only signed for this year. If he manages to stay injury free after he returns, I hope he makes a strong case for the club to have faith in him. As you said, he’s an attacking threat and he’s improved his defence already
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Bangbros 2023

Bangbros 2023

Berry: It's unreal but I don’t take it for granted

Josiah Brown &
Thu 23 Sep 2021, 09:23 AM
Rocco berry 1d

Rocco Berry was in his hotel room on the Gold Coast when caught up with him for a chat on Zoom to reflect on his rookie NRL campaign.

Not surprisingly the weather was much nicer where he was than it was back in Auckland, which is why you’ll find him at the beach most days – enjoying golden sands, clear blue skies and the sound of the ocean as he recuperates over the off-season.

Berry takes the opportunity he’s earned at the Vodafone Warriors very seriously but that doesn’t stop him enjoying the journey.

“I still miss New Zealand but I don’t have it as bad as the others. I’ve got my brother and sister in Brisbane, which makes it easier,” he said.

“The Gold Coast is a fun place to be in an offseason. I’m loving it here, the apartments we’re staying at; it’s actually unreal. It’s something I don’t want to take for granted.”

I still miss New Zealand but I don’t have it as bad as the others. I’ve got my brother and sister in Brisbane, which makes it easier
Rocco BerryVodafone Warriors centre

The schoolboy rugby union star spent his formative years in the small Wairarapa town of Greytown. It has a population of just under two and a half thousand people but that was never a bad thing for Berry. What Greytown lacked in size it made up for in terms of community.

“We all just played for the same footy team, and, yeah, we grew up together and loved it. That’s the thing I miss about back home, my mates back there,” he said.

His fondness for his hometown is touching. It’s also why he appears to be such a grounded young man; one who hasn’t forgotten his roots.

Rocco berry 1g

It didn’t come as a surprise to learn that rugby union was a big part of Berry’s life growing up. He is the son of an All Black, after all.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to play footy as a kid. And it probably did help a bit having [Dad] around,” he said.

“He would always push me to train and do extras and stuff like that when I was being lazy – he was always a hard worker as a player.”

Even though Berry came from a strong rugby union community he supported the Vodafone Warriors growing up. He’d never really considered playing rugby league himself. At least, not until his manager suggested it to him one day.

“I always liked watching league growing up, and I guess it was always something I wanted to try but I never thought I’d get the opportunity,” he said.

“I think when I was about 16 or 17, I had a manager, and he said: ‘Would you try league?’ And straight away, I said: ‘Yeah, I’d be keen.’ It all kind of happened quickly from then.”

Berry joined the club during the 2019-2020 offseason. He played in the Perth Nines and also saw some game time against Melbourne in a trial match. These were significant milestones for the youngster, but he wasn’t done. He was set on making his NRL debut.

Rocco berry 1e

Yet, the journey there was not without its challenges. Covid brought a premature end to the 2020 Canterbury Cup competition, which meant no reserve grade football for the rest of the year.

Berry also picked up a stress fracture in his back which put him out of action for a reasonable period but these setbacks didn’t stop him from moving closer toward his rugby league dream. If anything, they made him stronger.

“I missed a bit of footy and learning… so over the preseason just gone, I wanted to get healthy, and I worked pretty hard to learn the game,” he said.

Taking inspiration from some of the older players at the club, Berry sought to emulate their dedication and discipline.

“Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) was the big one last year and this year. He’s probably the ultimate professional,” said Berry.

Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck) was the big one last year and this year. He’s probably the ultimate professional
Rocco BerryVodafone Warriors centre

“Seeing how professional the older players were, what they do day in and day out, their routine… that helped that part of my game a lot.”

Come week seven of the 2021 NRL season, and Berry wondered whether he’d get the chance he’d been waiting for against Melbourne on Anzac Day.

“I kind of had a feeling I was going to play because both centres went down the week before,” he said.

“Once I got told, I was pretty happy and at the same time nervous, real nervous. But I just thought: ‘If I can get through this game, it’s pretty much ticking off the hardest game you can play’.”

While Berry couldn’t play in front of a home crowd at Mount Smart Stadium, he did have friends and family there to cheer him on.

“It was cool to know that they were there and I could share the moment with them. I remember after the game going to see them; it was a pretty cool moment,” said Berry.

“The cream for me was definitely making my debut… just the relief after the game; you can say you’re an NRL player. No one can take that away from you.”

Rocco berry 1i

Berry was impressive throughout the season for the Vodafone Warriors, scoring three tries across eight appearances – and he would have made more if not for the hamstring injury he picked up against Penrith in round 18.

“It was frustrating. I had just come back into the team and I was starting to get a bit of confidence. I felt like I was playing some of my better footy, and yeah, I picked up another hamstring injury,” he said.

“I just want to play more footy because I haven’t played much.”

After reflecting on the season that’s been, Berry believes he has grown significantly as a player. He believes the Vodafone Warriors are building something special, and he’s excited to be a part of it.

“I just go out there and try to play my best each week and try to make my teammates proud,” he said.

Having extended his contract to the end of 2024, Berry will have ample opportunity to make good on these aspirations.

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Warriors Orange Peeler

Berry signs contract extension to end of 2024 season

Richard Becht &
Mon 3 May 2021, 10:58 AM
Screenshot 2022 12 23 83020 PM

Exciting outside back Rocco Berry has signed a contract extension with the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2024 NRL season.

The 19-year-old Masterton-born Berry’s new deal comes on the back of him making his NRL debut against Melbourne on Anzac Day and backing it up with his first NRL try in yesterday’s 24-20 win over North Queensland in Gosford.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown says the son of former All Black Marty Berry is a key player in the club’s future.

“Rocco has done everything right since pre-season and fully deserved his NRL debut against the Storm,” said Brown.

“His form in the trials and for our feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup has been very impressive.

“He’s still new to the game with just a handful of rugby league appearances so far but he clearly has so much to offer. He’s a terrific trainer and has a great desire to improve. He’s a pleasure to coach and has a big part to play in our club’s future.”

Berry was signed when he was excelling for St Patrick’s Silverstream College in Wellington’s First XV competition in 2018.

“Rocco has been a standout since the first moment I laid eyes on him. I always said it was a matter of when he played NRL, not if,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“He comes from an outstanding family and has been a pleasure to have in our club since his arrival.

“It’s exciting to lock him in long term. He is an integral part of our planning as we build for the future and is equally a key player for our present.”

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said Berry’s long-term deal is another example of the club’s strategy to cover all recruitment needs.

“We have said all along we are planning for now, short term and our long-term future. Rocco fits all of the above – quality player and person who fits all the criteria we want at our club,” he said.

Berry represented the Vodafone Warriors at the NRL Nines in Perth last year and also played in the club’s first-grade trial against Melbourne in Palmerston North.

He made his New South Wales Cup debut against Newcastle in the only round played in the competition before the Covid-19 pandemic forced it cancellation.

He spent the rest of the 2020 campaign training with the Vodafone Warriors while they were based in Australia.

Berry appeared in the club’s only 2021 NRL trial against Gold Coast in Lismore in February. He has been used in the centres for Redcliffe this season, scoring two tries in the Dolphins’ 30-28 first-round win over the Mackay Cutters.

Screenshot 2022 12 23 83443 PM
May 17, 2001
Birthplace: Masterton, NZ
Junior Club: St Patrick’s Silverstream College (rugby union)
Position: Centre/fullback/wing
Height: 191cm
Weight: 95kg
Vodafone Warriors No: 258
NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Melbourne, AAMI Park, Melbourne, April 25, 2021 (Round 7)
NRL Games: 2 (2021)
NRL Points: 4 (1 try)
Rep Honours: NRL Nines (2020), Wellington Under-18 rugby union (2018)

Height: 191 cm
Date of Birth: 17 May 2001
Weight: 95 kg
Birthplace: Masterton, NZ
Age: 21
Debut Club: New Zealand Warriors
Date: 25 April 2021
Opposition: Melbourne Storm
Round: 7
Junior Club: St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, Wellington (Rugby Union)

The Vodafone Warriors secured the much sought-after Berry ahead of other rivals when he was a schoolboy rugby union star excelling for the St Patrick's Silverstream College First XV in Wellington.

He joined the club fulltime for the 2019-2020 offseason, beginning the 2020 campaign by representing the Vodafone Warriors at the NRL Nines in Perth and playing in their NRL trial against Melbourne in Palmerston North.

He had one outing for the Canterbury Cup side against Newcastle before the reserve grade competition was suspended for the season following the Covid-19 outbreak. With no second-tier football for the rest of the year, he spent the season training with the wider NRL squad on the Central Coast.

The son of former All Black Marty Berry, Rocco is now a fulltime NRL contract. After training in Auckland with half the squad before Christmas, he has been with the full squad since January 3 in Australia.

He had some time in the centres in the Vodafone Warriors' 12-12 draw with Gold Coast in their NRL trial in Lismore on February 27.

As the 2021 season started, Rocco developed his game playing for the Vodafone Warriors' feeder club Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland. With injuries biting into the squad's frontline players, opportunities began to open with Berry handed his NRL debut in the club's Anzac Day encounter with Melbourne.

The following week he experienced his first NRL win and also his first try for the club.


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