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Player Jacob Laban

Date of Birth
Apr 17, 2004
Birth Location
Moto'otua, Apia, Samoa
Nationality
  1. 🇼🇸 Samoa
Height (cm)
188 cm
Weight (kg)
100 kg
Position/s
  1. Second Row
Signed From
Randwick Kingfishers

Vodafone Warriors invest in future with two more hot prospects
Richard Becht & photosport.nz
Thu 29 Apr 2021, 12:19 PM

The Vodafone Warriors have secured two of New Zealand’s hottest young prospects Zyon Maiu’u and Jacob Laban on three-year contracts to add more quality to the club’s playing depth for the future.

The 17-year-old Kelston Boys’ High School students are regarded by Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan as New Zealand’s best young second rowers.

“We are very excited to lock up Zyon Maiu’u and Jacob for the next three years,” he said.

In my opinion they're the best two young second rowers in the country

“Both boys complement each other beautifully, Zyon Maiu’u with his competitiveness, skill and toughness and ability to play edge and middle equally as well as the other while Jacob is a gifted, athletic edge back rower with a huge motor.”

Laban, a Randwick Kingfishers junior, moved to Auckland from Wellington this year to complete his year 13 studies and prepare for the next step of his rugby league career with the Vodafone Warriors.

“Both boys live together as we wanted a good family home for Jacob and can’t thank Paula and Toma (Zyon Maiu’u’s mum and dad) enough for taking Jacob in and giving him a great environment to live in,” said O’Sullivan.

“They are thriving and pushing each other in their training, playing and general life skills. It’s also a great story for Kelston Boys’ High School and our working relationship with the school.

“Both boys made a huge impression on the staff when they joined the New Zealand-based top squad in the preseason last year.

“They both looked very much at home and despite their age mixed it with the big boys.

“I can’t wait for them to join the top squad in November and get their NRL dreams into action as I have no doubt the boys will go on and become Warriors in the next few years.”

Laban, who attended St Bernard’s College before moving to Auckland, was named College Sport Wellington’s rugby league player of the year in 2019. He was selected in the New Zealand Resident 16s squad last year.

JACOB LABAN

Born: April 17, 2004
Birthplace: Samoa
Junior Club: Randwick Kingfishers (Wellington)
Position: Second rower
Height: 188cm
Weight: 100kg
Rep Honours: New Zealand Resident 16s (2020)

 

𝐉𝐚𝐜𝐨𝐛 𝐋𝐚𝐛𝐚𝐧 - 𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐘𝐒𝐏𝐎𝐓𝐘 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐑𝐮𝐠𝐛𝐲 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐮𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏
November 24 2021

Jacob Laban started with us at Kelston Boys' High School this year, He's an exceptional athlete & a very talented sportsman who has played outstanding for his first year in the red jersey. He has been a pivotal member of our 1st XIII team who were runners up in the Auckland College Sport Rugby League season. He was also a member of the winning Auckland 1A 1st XV Rugby Championship team this year. He has also made a handful of representative teams this year.

Representative Achievements 2021
NZ Māori’s U17s Champions 2021
NZ Māori’s MVP Of The Tournament 2021
Warriors U17's 2021
NRL Warrior's Full time Contract 2022 to 2024 (3 year deal)
We wish Jacob Laban all the success next year and years to come and no doubt he'll be making moves in the NRL, we are very proud of you and very fortunate to have you apart of our Kelston Family.
 
Jacob Laban was born in Moto'otua near Apia in Samoa before his family moved to New Zealand when he was four years old. Related to Wellington rugby league identity Ken Laban, he played his junior rugby league for the Randwick Kingfishers, a club synonymous with New Zealand rugby league great Stephen Kearney.

He was educated at St Bernard's College, which boasts former Kiwis and One New Zealand Warriors Ben Matulino and Issac Luke among its former pupils. Sam Tagataese, Earl Va'a and Sione Katoa also went to St Bernard's.

In 2019 Laban was named College Sport Wellington's rugby league player of the year before moving to Auckland in 2021 to complete his year 13 studies at Kelston Boys' High School and to prepare for the next step of his rugby league career with the Warriors. While at Kelston Boys' High, Laban was named the College Sport Auckland 2021 Young Sports Person of the Year for rugby league.

He was based in Redcliffe with the One New Zealand Warriors in 2022, making appearances for feeder club Redcliffe in the Queensland Rugby League's under-18 and under-20 teams.

He started this season with the club's SG Ball Cup (under-19) team and also appeared in the NRL trial against the Wests Tigers in February but has been developing his game in the New South Wales Cup. In 15 games he has scored four tries while averaging 77 metres and 24 tackles a game.

For the Warriors' final match of the NRL regular season against the Dolphins, Laban was initially named as 19th man.

 
Laban will debut next year...
I thought he was quite promising, but a few lapses in the NZ A game has me a little worried as they were effort-related (e.g., Finefeuiaki strolling past him). Appreciate though that he hasn't played for a few weeks and was likely gassed after putting in some work, but think he's still a wee bit off his debut. probably rate Halasima over Laban, but both likely to be 2025 prospects.
 
I thought he was quite promising, but a few lapses in the NZ A game has me a little worried as they were effort-related (e.g., Finefeuiaki strolling past him). Appreciate though that he hasn't played for a few weeks and was likely gassed after putting in some work, but think he's still a wee bit off his debut. probably rate Halasima over Laban, but both likely to be 2025 prospects.
Speaking of him, how'd he play?
 
Not great. A couple of good runs but no effort in D. Hopefully he will change but at this stage I’d say he likes doing the fun stuff but not the hard work.
I thought he was much better on D in NSW Cup - had a much more balanced game, but yesterday the D was definitely a worry. However, he's still young and will benefit from a big preseason.
 

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