Internationals List of Kiwi eligible players in the NRL & NYC 2017

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Hooker Danny Levi re-signs with Newcastle Knights
Source: https://www.theherald.com.au/story/4577813/levi-re-signs-with-knights/

THE Knights have locked up hooker Danny Levi for at least another three seasons.

Levi, already under contract until 2018, has agreed to an extension that takes him through until the end of season 2020.

“Our strategy is to retain our best young talent and build a team around them,” Knights coach Nathan Brown said.

Levi, 21, made his debut for Newcastle in round 15 in 2015, and has racked up 30 NRL games for the Knights.

“I like what’s going to happen here and I feel like we’re building something,” Levi said.

“I definitely want to be a part of that and hopefully be one of the players to help that along.’’
 
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Malaki Watene-Zelezniak confirmed to make his NRL debut for Penrith against South Sydney. Must be a huge buzz to not only make your NRL debut, but to do it playing alongside your brother.

Also good to see Sione Katoa playing only his 2nd NRL game after making his NRL debut in 2015. Long time between games.
 

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Fantastic video piece on Kalyn Ponga. Sounds like his parents want him to rep the Kiwis, but he considers himself an Aussie. Well worth the watch.
 
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Francis Tualau has been named on the bench for the Bulldogs against the Rabbitohs. Looks likely to finally make his NRL debut.

Former junior Kiwi Renouf To'omaga has been named as a reserve for the Bulldogs against the Rabbitohs. Yet to make his NRL debut.


Former junior Kiwi Jamayne Isaako has been named as a reserve for the Broncos against the Titans. Yet to make his NRL debut.

Taniela Paseka has named as a reserve for Manly against Melbourne. Just signed with Manly from Wests. Yet to make his NRL debut.

Makahesi Makatoa has been named as a reserve for Canberra against the Watrriors. Has played for the Cook Islands. Yet to make his NRL debut.

Former junior Kiwi Braeden Uele has been named as a reserve for the Cowboys against the Dragons. Yet to make his NRL debut.

Former junior Kiwi and Warriors player Marata Niukore has been named as a reserve for Paramatta against Wests. Yet to make his NRL debut.
 
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Good to see that the NZRL will be running the Taurahere concept again this season. NSW based Kiwi eligible players versus Queensland based Kiwi eligible players at the u18s level.

However this year the NZRL has taken the concept further, the Taurahere match will be a trial match that will form the basis of an Aussie based Kiwis u18s side which will then play a NZ residents u18s side.

This match will then serve as a trial for selection for the NZ u18s side to play the Australia school boys side.
 
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Mali Manukia from St Paul's College has signed with Sydney Roosters till the end of 2018
 

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Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad named to make his NRL debut for the Warriors against the Roosters. 6th Kiwi eligible player to make his NRL debut this season.
 

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Congratulations to Christian Maainama for being named 2017 Newcastle Knights Harold Matthews player of the year. Newcastle Knights won the Harold Matthews competition for 2017. Christian is originally from Auckland
 
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drake83

Who was the young guy from chch that signed with the Broncos big boy 3 news did a piece on him on Sunday sport?
 

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Who was the young guy from chch that signed with the Broncos big boy 3 news did a piece on him on Sunday sport?

Jordan Riki signed with the Broncos in 2016. Posted about it in the 2016 thread.
 

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Taranaki teen Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens signs with the Parramatta Eels

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/leagu...vuki-Kneepkens-signs-with-the-Parramatta-Eels

For young league players, the dream is to sign on the dotted line with an NRL franchise.

Taranaki's Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens has done just that, signing on with the Parramatta Eels.

The 15-year-old Francis Douglas Memorial College student has taken up an academy offer that would see him travel to Australia for camps twice this year, before spending six months of 2018 across the ditch for the under-18s competition.

"It's pretty overwhelming. At the start it definitely was because I've liked the Eels since Jarryd Hayne was playing for them [Hayne left the club in 2014]. It's just surreal," Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens said.

The opportunity came about through scouting at a number of national tournaments and it wasn't only the Eels who were interested in Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, with the Newcastle Knights also showing an interest.

"We had a few trainings, just to see the squad, and then a game over there and I think it just went of that really.

"It's an opportunity I couldn't really not take. I'll be experiencing everything and be getting my skills up for both rugby and league."

Now that he had signed, he said the club had been in constant contact and would be at least once a month for the rest of the year to check in on how he was doing.

It's already been a big year in terms of rugby league for the young fullback, who represented Fiji at the Pasifika Youth Cup in Auckland in February and recently was part of an under-16 Warriors invitational team to play against Auckland.

His brother, Isaac, was also selected to play for the under-18 invitational tea - with the teams selected by former Warriors first-grade assistant coach Tony Iro - and said the experience was something he would bring back and apply to their games with the College team.

"They encouraged us to go back into our schools and our clubs and be leaders - to bring what we learnt up there into our teams. Things like the skills and the mindset before a game."

Isaac, a 17-year-old half, said he had been approached by an NRL club as well, but talks were in the preliminary stages.
 

JoeyJohns

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Joseph TAIPARI playing SG Ball for Parra. He's the real deal. Everything we wanted in Benji and Shaun Johnson but already mentally tough with an acute football brain at 17. You heard it hear first
 
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Joseph TAIPARI playing SG Ball for Parra. He's the real deal. Everything we wanted in Benji and Shaun Johnson but already mentally tough with an acute football brain at 17. You heard it hear first

Expecting him to be selected for Tu for the Taurahere match against Toa later in the year.

Another one to keep an eye on in the future is Kaeo Weekes. Plays Harold Matthews for Manly. Born in Australia but has Maori Heritage. Has been carving up and was just recently selected for NSW u16s. Expect a battle for his allegience between the Kangaroos and Kiwis in the future just like the Ponga situation.
 

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YOUNG GUN IN DEMAND

Source: https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...s/news-story/cffcad93367dfb9d2259f997474f18b9

Keep an eye out for Manly centre Tevita Funa.

A goal kicker who played his junior footy with Tigers gun Moses Suli, Funa has plenty of buzz around him.

Having caught the eye of the Roosters and Tigers, the 18-year-old is turning 19 this year and had been tearing up the NYC before suffering a knee injury.

Funa started the year with five tries and 13 goals from three Holden Cup games — tallying an impressive 46 points.

He’d also made 20 tackle breaks and 394 running metres in his three games in 2017.

Funa will return from injury mid-season.

Is Kiwi eligible, played for Tu in last years Taurahere match against Toa. Would've probably played for the Junior Kiwis in last weekends match against the Junior Kanagaroos if not for injury
 

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Connagh Takairangi from Westlake Boys High, and Glenfield Rovers has signed with Sydney Roosters till the end of 2019. Roosters have been signing up a lot of New Zealand schoolboy talent this year. Also had a lot of Kiwis playing for their SG Ball side this year.
 

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Former Junior Kiwi and recent Kiwis squad member Brandon Smith has been named as a reserve for Melbourne for the first time against Canterbury. Highly unlikely to make his NRL debut in this match. But good to see him getting recognition and pushing for his NRL debut.

You would think he'd be a good chance to make his debut once state of origin rolls around.
 

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Francis Tualau to make his NRL debut for Canterbury against Cronulla.
 
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Esarn Marsters named as a reserve for the West Tigers for the first time possibility he could make his NRL debut against this weekend.
 
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