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Paul Roache

Paul Roache 008

Paul Roache is the younger brother of Warrior #206 Nathaniel Roache.

Roache was a star player for Mount Albert Grammar School 1st XV in Auckland. In 2016, Roache was selected to play in the junior All Blacks Secondary School team at five eighth.

On 30 January 2017, Roache was signed to the Canberra Raiders on a development contract and immediately put to use in the Raiders Auckland Nines several days later.

In February 2017, Roache suffered a dislocated knee at training and missed six months after needing surgery.

Roache spent all of 2017 playing for the Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg team once fit to play.

In 2018, after a full preseason with the top side Roache played for both the Canberra Raiders feeder reserve grade team the Mounties and the Jersey Flegg team. He played mostly at five eighth but also played at fullback, halfback and hooker.

On 17 December 2018, the Canberra Raiders announced that Roache had been released from his contact on compassionate grounds to return to Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2019, Roache started playing for the Ponsonby Rubgy Union club in Auckland.

On December 15 2019, Roache represented Auckland in the TECT National Sevens at Tauranga Domain, Tauranga, New Zealand.

On February 9 2023, Roache played in the Warriors first trial match against the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland...

Canberra Has Just Signed A SENSATIONALLY Good Player​

Article heading image for Canberra Has Just Signed A SENSATIONALLY Good Player

Paul Roache of Mount Albert Grammar is tackled during the Auckland Secondary Schools Final at Eden Park Photo: Getty Images

The Raiders have just made a remarkable signing.

His name is Paul Roache. He’s 18 years old, a junior All Black and he's made a massive impression, with Rugby League Week calling him one of “the best young five-eighths in New Zealand rugby union.”

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart is so impressed with him, he’s picked him to play in the Auckland Nines this weekend.

He comes from the top Rugby school in the country - (Mount Albert Grammar) - which produced Sonny Bill Williams, while his brother Nathaniel Roache plays for the Warriors.

‘Sticky’ Stuart is on a hot streak with player signings - BJ Leilua, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Sia Soliola and Josh Hodgson all stepping up since joining Ricky's Raiders.

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How the Canberra rugby league team raids New Zealand's rugby union youngsters
David Polkinghorne
20:37, Feb 22 2017

He once lured All Blacks star Nehe Milner-Skudder to the Canterbury Bulldogs and now Canberra Raiders recruitment director Peter Mulholland is raiding the next batch of New Zealand rugby union young guns.

Under-20s players Paul Roache and Mikaele Ravalawa have moved to Canberra after coming through the New Zealand schoolboy rugby system and Mulholland said it was just another cog in the Green Machine's overall recruitment strategy.

It's not something new for Mulholland, who also lured Milner-Skudder into the Bulldogs' under-20s system before he went on to become one of the best wingers in world rugby.

He also went after Roache's Mount Albert Grammar teammate Niven Longopoa, an exciting fullback, but said he'd missed out on him to Super Rugby's Waikato Chiefs - although he vowed he'd "keep working on him, don't worry".

The Raiders recruitment boss used Milner-Skudder as a selling point to bring Roache and Ravalawa across the ditch, but also the success and culture Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has established.

Unfortunately, Roache suffered a similar injury to Raiders captain Jarrod Croker at training and will miss six months after needing surgery on the knee he dislocated at training.

"I did it with Milner-Skudder, the All Black, I took him over to Canterbury and he had two seasons in the NYC and when I left Canterbury he went back to rugby union and became an All Black," Mulholland said.

"Kids in New Zealand can also see our development programme as a pathway, not just into the NRL but also to go back and play club level rugby union.

"He's been a great example of that for us and that was a good selling point. What Ricky's done in Canberra has also sold it to a couple of these young players, which has been tremendous."

Mulholland said New Zealand's production line of rugby stars meant it was an obvious recruitment target, given the Kiwis have "dominated a particular code of rugby for the last 30 or 40 years".

Roache was the New Zealand schoolboys first five-eighth, while Fijian Ravalawa went to school at Burnside College in Christchurch.

"You're talking about a country that's dominated a particular code of rugby for the last 30 or 40 years and their first-choice athletes are very, very good," Mulholland said.

"Plus the school system there basically educates them in every facet of it - values, education, the whole works.

"They've been through wonderful programmes and they're usually the first choice athletes in New Zealand.

"Paul Roache ... was a New Zealand schoolboys five-eight and he's very, very good. He's been through a great school, been through a great programme so they're the reasons you look at them."

With the go-home factor a potential problem, the Raiders sent welfare manager David Thom over with Mulholland to talk to the potential targets to ensure they had the best chance of successfully relocating.

Mulholland said Canberra was an easy sell to a lot of young Kiwis, especially those in the country, because it wasn't a massive city like Sydney.

He said the club's success last season, plus the proposed new training complex at Braddon, were also lures.

While talk of Milner-Skudder sets the bar high, Mulholland said they weren't setting any unrealistic goals.

"No expectations. I think it's about how they settle in and what they're doing. Their ability is no problem, it's about adapting to the game and adapting to the lifestyle here and it's pretty easy," he said.

"We took our welfare manager to New Zealand when we met with these kids and their families. There's some kids that we interviewed that we just wouldn't bring back.

"They were great players, they just weren't suited to relocation. Whereas these boys were absolutely perfectly placed for it."

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Raiders release Junior Kiwis half Paul Roache

By Eamonn Tiernan​

December 17, 2018 — 3.20pm
Teenager Paul Roache has been released by the Raiders on compassionate grounds.

Teenager Paul Roache has been released by the Raiders on compassionate grounds. CREDIT:KARLEEN MINNEY

The Canberra Raiders have released development player Paul Roache after the New Zealander asked to be released on compassionate grounds.

The Raiders confirmed 19-year-old Roache wouldn't be joining another club but will return home to Auckland for personal reasons.

The Junior Kiwis half joined Canberra ahead of the 2017 season and played under-20s for the Raiders and Mounties, filling a number of roles including fullback, hooker and in the halves.

He played well in the trial, some sharp service out of dummy half.

If I manage to catch some of the lower-grade games this year I'll be keen to see how he develops.

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