General 2015 Warriors Where Are They Now?

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127 Grant Rovelli - Playing for the Souths Sharks Mackay Australia
Working for Aon. Aon is New Zealand's largest insurance broker, risk solutions, reinsurance and a leader in the provision of specialist insurance products and services.

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Still playing footy for the Souths Sharks in Mackay, Queensland, Australia. They won the Auscoal Super Cup grand final against Wests last season.

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Also spent time at the North Queensland Cowboys elite camp in December with none other than Micheal Luck who is standing far left...

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128 George Gatis - Retired from NQ Cowboys 2008. Runs Fish and Chip shop Link
Running Simple Tops Seafood Bar with his father Christos in North Queensland, Australia.

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Great bio below of the company and what Gatis got up to after life at the Warriors.

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Simply Tops gets a few footy stars coming through and is a regular pilgrimage for the Warriors every time theyre in Townsville.

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And who can blame them for going there with the mouth watering offerings available there.

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Below are all the details for Simply Tops if youre in that neck of the woods and want to get along to it...

CNR of Palmer & Plume Street, Townsville, Queensland
+61 7 4772 3028
https://simplytopsseafoodbar.com.au/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/SimplyTopsSeafoodBar

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132 Wade Mckinnon - ??? Released from ESL Hull FC on compassionate grounds in 2012. Rumoured to re-sign with Tigers but didnt.
UPDATE 29/07/15

Got a tip that Wade McKinnon was working with the airport fire crew. After a bit of research I found out he's working at the Auckland Airport Fire Service. Wade did the Firefighters Sky Tower Stair Challenge in May 2015...


Donations are still being accepted for Wade at the following link:

https://secure.leukaemia.net.nz/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=883334&Referrer=https://www.google.co.nz/#&panel1-2

Was also part of the Auckland Airport Fire Service touch team that competed in the The District at Auckland Airport touch tournament...

View attachment 14951 View attachment 14950 View attachment 14949
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Nothing recent on Wade. Was spotted in Auckland but unsure of job or current whereabouts. Anyone got a lead to follow???
 
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134 Michael Witt - ESL London Broncos
UPDATE 07/06/15

Has updated his LinkIn profile. Director/ Owner of Witt Bros Developments. Cant find anything more on the company...

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https://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-witt/42/77b/75b

Wittdog also had his first professional fight. He was a promising boxer as a junior but decided to follow the league pathway after being signed by the Tigers Development program. Trains at the Smithy's Gym in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia...

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Left the London Broncos and signed a one year contract for the St George-Illawarra Dragons as replacement for another former Warrior Nathan Fein who had retired the season before. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2014 season.

Ex-Warrior Michael Witt announces retirement

NZPA
WITT'S END: Retiring playmaker Michael Witt in action for the Warriors in 2008.


Former New Zealand Warriors' playmaker Michael Witt has announced his retirement as injuries and the mid-season arrival of Benji Marshall at St George Illawarra combined to fast-track consideration of life after the NRL.


The 30-year-old was signed to a one-season deal as a replacement for former Warriors team-mate Nathan Fien when the Dragons halfback retired at the end of last year.

Witt, who played 43 games and scored 271 points for the Warriors between 2007-09, is currently recovering from a knee reconstruction and had no regrets that his top flight footballing career is over.

"It was decision that I had been weighing up in the back of my mind earlier on this season and I have no regrets after 12 great seasons playing first grade," said Witt, who entered Warriors' folklore when his late try knocked Melbourne out of the 2008 finals series.

"To play in the NRL has always been a dream of mine and I've been privileged enough to have played more games (179) than I could have ever imagined."

The Queenslander made his first grade debut for Parramatta in 2003 and then joined Manly before crossing the Tasman to Auckland.

He switched codes to rugby in 2009 and represented Otago as a five-eighth before returning to the 13-man code the following year with now defunct English Super League team the Crusaders.

Witt also played for the London Broncos before returning to the NRL this season.

He was limited to just four first grade appearances in his farewell season - and six in the NSW Cup for the Illawarra Cutters.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor credited Witt for mentoring younger players on the team roster.

"He has been more than willing to share this experience with the younger players here at the Dragons and even though he only played a few games, he has been a valuable contributor to our club throughout the season."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/10464857/Ex-Warrior-Michael-Witt-announces-retirement
 
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137 Brent Tate - NRL North Queensland Cowboys
UPDATE 21/06/15

Released an autobiography...

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https://www.nzwarriors.com/threads/2015-where-are-they-now.40187/page-14#post-523371

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Brent Tate was forced into retirement after doing yet another knee during the State of Origin series. He spent the remainder of the year as a North Queensland Cowboys ambassador. He was part of a union drive to protect weekend pay rates in Cairns.

NRL legend Brent Tate joins unions’ crusade against penalty rate cuts as fears for industries voiced
ANIKA HUME
THE CAIRNS POST
OCTOBER 29, 2014 7:41AM

NRL legend Brent Tate and Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams in Cairns to launch a month-long campaign targeted at Cairns to protect weekend pay rates. Picture: Stewart McLean

STATE unions have launched an aggressive campaign to protect weekend penalty rates in Cairns amid fears proposed new laws slashing them would threaten staple industries.

A more than 100-strong crowd turned out to a Queensland Council of Unions address on the issue at Brothers Leagues Club yesterday, with NRL legend Brent Tate fronting what marked the start of a month-long local crusade.

Various Cairns region industry representatives filled the room to stand against proposals to wind back penalty rates by supporting the QCU’s “Save our Weekend” campaign, which will involve four weeks of local TV and print advertising, doorknocking and rallies.

Earlier this year, the Fair Work Commission, which sets penalty rates, announced a 25 per cent cut to them on Sundays for casual workers.

The Federal Government has asked the Productivity Commission to review workplace laws, and the business community is pushing to have this review accelerated.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has estimated that 4.5 million Australians rely on penalty rates as part of their income, and QCU president John Battams says about 35,000 of them live in the Cairns region.

“The extra money these people get, they need to survive, so if their wages were to be cut, that’s food off the table and bills going unpaid,” he said.

Mr Battams said abolishing penalty rates would take $3.5 million out of spending in the local economy every week.

Cairns registered nurse Yvonne Hennebery said penalty rate cuts would inflict untold damage on the region’s mainstay industries of hospitality and tourism because wages wouldn’t be good enough to attract quality staff.

“We want to offer the best services we can to our tourists and locals alike, but as far as attracting the staff to provide this, well, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys,” she said.

“Cairns will lose more than just pay rates if this all goes ahead.”

Tate said the QCU campaign struck a chord with him after growing up with only his mum to run him to football on weekends between nursing shifts paying penalty rates.

“She had three kids and we were always travelling for sport, and it’s not cheap to run kids around,” said the former State of Origin centre.

“I never went without anything, and that was because mum used to do those extra weekend shifts, so we definitely relied on those penalty rates.

“It’s such a big sacrifice to give up your weekend for work, especially when that’s crucial time with your kids when you’re a parent, and people should be reimbursed accordingly for that.”

https://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/nrl-legend-brent-tate-joins-unions-crusade-against-penalty-rate-cuts-as-fears-for-industries-voiced/story-fnjpusdv-1227105546449

According to Brent Tates LinkedIn profile he is available for Speaking Engagements, Corporate/Charity Events, Brand Ambassador, Key Note Presentations and Motivational Speaking. He was seen at a Bunnings workshop in October and visiting schools in November...

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https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=259089125&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=g7Mm&locale=en_US&srchid=2237007731421392017039&srchindex=13&srchtotal=14&trk=vsrp_people_res_name&trkInfo=VSRPsearchId:2237007731421392017039,VSRPtargetId:259089125,VSRPcmpt:primary
 
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141 Russell Packer - NRL Newcastle Knights
UPDATE 21/09/15


The Illawarra Cutters Players were also recognised on the evening with prop Russell Packer named the ‘Illawarra Coal Player of the Year’ whilst lock Sam Coster was awarded the ‘Illawarra Cutters Coaches’ Award.

https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2015/09/20/ah_mau_named_player_.html

UPDATE - 26/06/15

Playing for the St George Dragons feeder team the Illawarra Steelers. Is playing well by all accounts and set for a return to the NRL next season...

DRAGONS

Who’s hot: The Dragons’ most controversial recruit, former Warrior, Knight and convict Russell Packer has acquitted himself well in his initial stint with the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup.

While his match fitness is still returning slowly Packer has lost none of his impact carrying the ball or his ferocity in defence and he’s boosted the Cutters in the middle of the field.

While Packer is ineligible to be called up to the top grade this season, once he gets a full pre-season under his belt he’s sure to quickly return to the form that saw him become a New Zealand Test regular.

Russell Packer has been in fine form for the Cutters.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-lowdown-round-16-whos-on-the-cusp-and-whos-on-the-block-at-your-club/story-fnp0lyn3-1227410903054

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Sure we all know the back story to Rusty ending up in jail. He was released January 4th. No word on what he's up to. Said to be a few clubs chasing him and no doubt we will be updating this post sometime this year...

Jailbird Russell Packer walks free after just 12 months for vicious assault and seeks NRL contract
CHRIS BARCLAY

CONVICT: Russell Packer attends his court case before conviction.

Russell Packer reportedly walked free from a Sydney jail today after serving just half of his sentence for the vicious beating of a fellow New Zealander, but his return to the NRL remains an unlikely step-by-step process.

Packer, who turned 25 while behind bars last October, is understood to have been released on parole after spending 12 months in jail for an assault that left aspiring former Auckland league player Enoka Time with head injuries.

The former New Zealand Warriors and Kiwis prop was originally jailed for two years on January 6 last year after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Astonished to be handed a custodial sentence for what Magistrate Greg Grogin labelled a "cowardly" attack, Packer changed his legal team and in April he successfully appealed the severity of his punishment.

Packer punched Time, then aged 22, to the ground outside a Sydney CBD hotel and then stomped on his head during an alcohol-fuelled night out in November 2013, shortly after he signed a four-year contract with the Newcastle Knights.

Time suffered a fractured eye socket, lacerations and needed to wear a neck brace until he recovered.

The Knights were initially supportive of Packer, their marquee recruit for 2014, and supported his partner and children who relocated to Newcastle after the incident.

However, a week after he was jailed the club terminated his contract - the NRL had already refused to register the deal.

Packer, who played 110 games for the Warriors over six seasons, was still sought after despite his criminal record with St George Illawarra, Penrith, Newcastle and Brisbane reportedly keen to assist his rehabilitation from long-standing issues with alcohol.

The Dragons subsequently emerged as the club most likely to sign Packer, although that depends on whether the NRL is willing to register a contract.

Packer's future is also clouded by the Department of Immigration and Border Security, which has the power to cancel the New Zealander's special category visa.

The department has already started assessing whether Packer - who undertook alcohol-related counselling before and during his incarceration - will be allowed to remain in Australia.

Convicted criminals who are sentenced to 12 months or more invariably fail the "character test" associated with the 1958 Migration Act and are deported.

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor last month argued Packer should be allowed to return to the code immediately saying 12 months was a "sufficient sentence" - a view that angered some Dragons fans.

McGregor said the Dragons would be prepared to meet any conditions the NRL might impose on the front rower, including an alcohol ban.

Former Kiwis captain and Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall also backed the club's desire to sign Packer.

"Look at all the people who have been given second chances who have done misdemeanours off the field as well, so I think it is fair to give him a crack," Marshall said.

"He put himself in a situation that he will regret now and I am pretty sure that won't happen again. So we would be happy to have him."

Packer was visited by former team-mates during his sentence and regularly called the Warriors dressing room on game day.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary, who handed Packer his first grade debut at the Warriors, also monitored his assimilation to life in custody.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/64678079/jailbird-russell-packer-walks-free-after-just-12-months-for-vicious-assault-and-seeks-nrl-contract
 
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143 Malo Solomona - Played for Pt. Chevalier Pirates in their 2013 Fox Memorial team
Still playing for the Pt Chev Pirates as well as the Akarana Falcons. Turned out for the Warriors during the Wigan Warriors trial and I believe he had a couple games for Warriors Reserve Grade. Not sure what he does for work but I believe its warehousing. Possibly for TSP or something like that.

Heres a pic of him and his Pt Chev team mates. He's the one in the blue shirt with former Warrior Tevita Latu on his left...

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144 Denan Kemp - NRL Brisbane Broncos
Before he was re-signed to the Brisbane Broncos in 2013 Denan Kemp was pulling pints in a Wollongong pub, The Glasshouse Pub. He stayed on for 2 seasons before being released at the end of last season.

He's now living in Woolongong and an electrical apprentice...

Butchers import desperate for premiership


Steve Renouf, Lote Tuqiri, Justin Hodges ... Denan Kemp - it’s a hell of a list to feature on.

The quartet share the distinction of a Brisbane Broncos club record four tries in a match and new Thirroul Butchers signing Kemp admits he still gets tingles when he recalls the night he joined the illustrious list in 2008.

‘‘It’s a childhood dream to score the match-winning try after the bell, but to do it off a Darren Lockyer kick for my fourth try of the game ...I did feel lucky,’’ Kemp said.

‘‘If I have doubts about leaving the NRL, I just think about how lucky I’ve been to play with the people like Darren Lockyer, Shane Webcke, Petero Civonoceiva, Brad Thorn, Justin Hodges and be coached by Wayne Bennett.

‘‘Wayne Bennett and all the advice he gave me still has a lasting effect on my life.’’

Though his 42-game NRL career, including stints with the Warriors and the Dragons, had obvious highlights the 26-year-old admits life on the fringes of the NRL did erode his passion.

He hopes a move to Thirroul to pursue an electrical apprenticeship and turnout for the Butchers under former teammate Nathan Fien will rekindle his love for the game.

‘‘I was in the Broncos first grade squad last year but it was getting to be a bit of a chore,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m 26 which isn’t very old but I thought ‘I’ve got to bite the bullet here’ I want to be successful outside of footy.

‘‘I’m pretty good mates with Fieny, I played with him at the Warriors and the Dragons, and he heard I was thinking about coming back.

‘‘My missus is from here and I really like Wollongong, I’ve got a lot of good mates here and I just though ‘why not come back and play for the enjoyment of it?’’’

Coal League rivals, though, shouldn’t expect less than 100 per cent Kemp on the paddock.

‘‘I’ve said to Fieny I want to go hard, I want to win it,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve never won a premiership so it’d be great to get a first one here.’’

Though he spent his NRL career on the wing, Kemp said he’s eyeing off the number one jumper at the Butchers hopeful of striking up a combination with Fien.

‘‘I debuted [in the NRL] at fullback so that’s where I’d like to play,’’ he said.

‘‘Me and Fieny had a pretty good combination at the Warriors and we played pretty well off each other so I’ll get off his hip and hopefully he’ll put me through a few holes.’’

https://www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=7-2373-0-0-0&sID=19818&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=27961497
 
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