General Warriors Where Are They Now 2023?

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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Each update will be posted to player discussion threads if anynone wishes to continue talking about them or sharing more info. Cheers

Warriors Where Are They Now 2023?

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This list hasnt been updated since 2015 so here we go again bringing this list up to date for 2023. At the bottom of this post will be a list of players that I cant find anything on so if you are able to help please post up. Thanks.

Player names marked like this ***PLAYER*** mean we were not able to get any up to date or only vague information. If you can help with any of those updates please let us know.

This thread is locked to allow me to complete the updates. If you wish to comment on any updates every one of them have been posted to the players discussion thread. Use the search feature to find them.

1. DEAN BELL - Link
2. PHIL BLAKE - Link
3. SEAN HOPPE -
Link
4. MANOA THOMPSON - Link
5. WHETU TAEWA - Link
6. GENE NGAMU - Link
7. GREG ALEXANDER - Link
8. GAVIN HILL - Link
9. DUANE MANN - Link
10. HITRO OKESENE - Link
11. STEPHEN KEARNEY - Link *
12. TONY TATUPU - Link
13. TONY TUIMAVAVE - Link
14. SE'E SOLOMONA - Link
15. TEA ROPATI - Link
*** 16. JASON MACKIE - Link ***
17. MARTIN MOANA - Link
18. JOE VAGANA - Link
19. SYD ERU - Link
20. WILLIE POCHING - Link *
21. LOGAN EDWARDS - Link *
22. JOHN KIRWAN - Link
23. ANDY PLATT - Link
24. STACEY JONES - Link *
25. MIKE DORREEN -
Link
26. RITCHIE BLACKMORE - Link
27. FRANO BOTICA - Link
28. DENIS BETTS - Link *
29. MARC ELLIS -
Link
30. MARK HORO - Link
31. MARK CARTER - Link
32. NIGEL VAGANA - Link *
33. AWEN GUTTENBEIL - Link
34. DOC MURRAY - Link
35. IVA ROPATI - Link
36. ANTHONY SWANN - Link
37. BRADY MALAM - Link
*** 38. BRYAN HENARE - Link ***
39. AARON LESTER - Link
40. MATTHEW RIDGE - Link
41. GRANT YOUNG - Link
42. LOGAN SWANN - Link
43. STEVE BUCKINGHAM - Link
44. SHANE ENDACOTT - Link
45. PAUL STALADI - Link
46. METI NOOVAO - Link
47. LEE ODENRYN - Link
48. AARON WHITTAKER - Link
*** 49. DAVID BAILEY - Link ***
50. JERRY SEUSEU -
Link
51. KEVIN IRO - Link
52. QUENTIN PONGIA - Link
53. TYRAN SMITH - Link
*** 54. ZANE CLARK - Link ***
55. ALI LAUITIITI - Link
56. JOE GALUVAO - Link
57. FRANK WATENE - Link
58. ODELL MANUEL - Link
59. JASON DEATH - Link
60. TERRY HERMANSSON - Link
61. MONTY BETHAM - Link
62. CLIFF BEVERLEY - Link
63. PETER LEWIS - Link
64. WAIRANGI KOOPU - Link
65. FRANCIS MELI - Link *
66. CLINTON TOOPI - Link
67. CARL DOHERTY - Link
68. ROBBIE MEARS - Link
69. JOHN SIMON - Link
70. BOYCIE NELSON - Link
71. TALITE LIAVA'A - Link
72. SCOTT PETHYBRIDGE - Link
73. IVAN CLEARY - Link
74. MATT SPENCE - Link
75. SCOTT COXON - Link
76. MARK TOOKEY - Link
77. DAVID MYLES - Link
78. PAUL WHATUIRA - Link
79. BEN LYTHE - Link
80. SHONTAYNE HAPE - Link
81. HENRY FA'AFILI - Link
*** 82. JASON BELL - Link ***
83. DAVID MULHALL - Link
84. JONATHAN SMITH - Link
85. HENRY PERENARA - Link
86. KEVIN CAMPION - Link
87. RICHARD VILLASANTI - Link *
88. JUSTIN MORGAN -
Link
89. JASON TEMU - Link
90. MOTU TONY - Link
91. NATHAN WOOD - Link
92. JUSTIN MURPHY - Link
93. IAFETA PALEAAESINA - Link
94. ANTHONY SEUSEU - Link
95. JOHN CARLAW - Link
96. PJ MARSH - Link
97. BRENT WEBB - Link
98. SIONE FAUMUINA - Link
99. LANCE HOHAIA - Link
100. VINNIE ANDERSON - Link
*** 101. JEREMIAH PAI - Link ***
*** 102. EVARN TUIMAVAVE - Link ***

103. KARL TEMATA - Link
104. MARK ROBINSON - Link
105. THOMAS LEULUAI - Link
106. VINCE MELLARS - Link
107. TEVITA LATU - Link *
108. JEROME ROPATI - Link
109. TONY MARTIN - Link
110. EPALAHAME LAUAKI - Link
*** 111. DANNY SULLIVAN - Link ***
112. LOUIS ANDERSON - Link
113. MATT JOBSON - Link
114. PAUL DEZOLT - Link
115. MANU VATUVEI - Link
116. SHANNON STOWERS - Link *
117. HEREWINI RANGI - Link
118. COOPER VUNA - Link
119. KANE FERRIS - Link *
120. PAUL ATKINS - Link
121. STEVE PRICE - Link
122. TODD BYRNE - Link
123. RUBEN WIKI - Link
124. NATHAN FIEN - Link
125. SIMON MANNERING - Link
126. MICHEAL LUCK - Link
127. GRANT ROVELLI - Link
128. GEORGE GATIS - Link
129. PATRICK AH VAN - Link
130. MISI TAULAPAPA - Link
131. SAM RAPIRA - Link
132. WADE MCKINNON - Link
133. MICHAEL CROCKETT - Link
134. MICHAEL WITT - Link
135. COREY LAWRIE - Link
136. AIDAN KIRK - Link
137. BRENT TATE - Link
138. SONNY FAI - Link
*** 139. IAN HENDERSON - Link ***
140. RYAN SHORTLAND - Link
141. RUSSELL PACKER - Link
142. BEN MATULINO - Link
*** 143. MALO SOLOMONA - Link ***
144. DENAN KEMP - Link
145. JOEL MOON - Link
146. JACOB LILLYMAN - Link
147. LEESON AH MAU - Link
148. JESSE ROYAL - Link
149. UKUMA TA'AI - Link
150. DANIEL O'REGAN - Link
151. LEWIS BROWN - Link

*
- currently between jobs or needs a revisit soon
*** - GHOST! *** Nothing can be found at all or only vague information. PLEASE HELP!
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
1. DEAN BELL

During the July 2022 episode of Once A Warrior on SKY TV Dean Bell stated that he was unemployed and having a rest after selling the motel he ran with his wife for 6 years just a couple months before the interview.

Managed to track down the motel which was Edgewater Motel in Orewa, Auckland. You'll have to read the following article from 2018 to believe it.

Orewa's Edgewater Motel for sale
Jay Boreham
19:42, Apr 11 2018
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A block of land consented for luxury apartments is now up for sale at a north Auckland beachfront location.

Believed to be the largest remaining privately-owned block of land overlooking Orewa beach, the 3851 square metre property at 387-391 Hibiscus Coast Highway adjacent to Kinloch Reserve, has been 'flagged' as a prime location for a high-end intensive housing development.

The site currently houses the 16-unit Edgewater Motel which has been operating there for more than three decades and was once the base of convicted fraudster Loizos Michaels who duped notable New Zealanders, including Jonah Lomu, out of millions of dollars.

Last year, resource consent for the construction of a four-storey luxury 35-unit apartment development was granted to Malibu Investments Limited, an investment vehicle connected to Eric Watson who also just sold the Warrior NRL Club.

Watson's Cullen Investments and Elizabeth Equities holds a 50 per cent stake in Malibu Investments.

The Edgewater Motel has operated at the site for the past three decades.

The consent, which will be transferable to the new owner, raised a number of concerns, including the building's height and scale, coastal inundation issues and the amount of protected trees proposed for removal, but was allowed after Malibu Investments presented a redesigned application.

The property is being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Orewa, with tenders closing 4pm, April 26.

Bayley's Simon Wilde said the land encompassed four separate titles which could also be subdivided, or offered options for retirement living, daycare, timeshare development or redevelopment of the existing motel.

(abridged)


The 6 year timeline fits with the sale of this motel so maybe Bell bought it from Watsons company.

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Dean Bell at the Old Boys day during the Warriors final game of 2022



Cut interview discussion on what Dean is doing can be heard in the first minute of the podcast on Spotify...

 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
2. PHIL BLAKE

When we last heard from Blake in 2015 he'd just been fired as Defence coach for Leicester Tigers for sports betting. He made 8 separate bets on his own team! Follow the link to the old 2015 post as the article has sonce been taken down.


Lately Blake was the Head Coach for the Manly Marlins Rugby Club with the club announcing his appointment on 26 September 2021. He coached the club to 3rd place in 2022.



Skip forward almost a year exactly and in September 2022 it was announced that Blake would be joining the Brad Thorn coached Queensland Reds as their new defensive coach.

Queensland Reds sign Phil Blake and Mick Heenan to finalise 2023 coaching staff

Fri, Sep 23, 2022, 7:58 AM
by Reds Media Unit
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The Queensland Reds have locked in their coaching staff for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season, signing the experienced Phil Blake as defence coach and University of Queensland head coach Mick Heenan as an assistant coach.

Blake joins the staff at Ballymore after stints with the Wallabies, Western Force and Leicester, while Heenan’s 13-year tenure at UQ has delivered the club six StoreLocal Hospital Cup premierships.

Signed through 2023, the duo will work alongside head coach Brad Thorn and attack coach Jim McKay, with Thorn entering his sixth season in the position and McKay his fifth in what is his second stint at Ballymore after winning the 2011 Super Rugby title in the same role.

Thorn will become Queensland’s equal equal-fourth longest serving coach in history this season, with his tenure the longest in more than two-decades at the Reds.

Blake said: "It is a privilege to have an opportunity to work with an internationally recognised Rugby entity such as the Queensland Reds.

“I am looking forward to again working with Brad Thorn, and very excited to be joining an impressive backroom staff.”

Heenan said: “I am excited by the opportunity to work with Brad and his coaching team, and with a very talented group of players, many of whom I know well.

“I have had nearly 25-years of coaching experience and many years managing teams in corporate environments and hope to bring a fresh perspective, both on and off-field, and contribute to the success of the Reds in 2023 and beyond.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “We are really pleased to welcome Mick and Phil to the Queensland Reds.

“Both are great Rugby men who will bring a vast amount of coaching experience to our program.

“Mick has certainly earned his opportunity with his history of success in Queensland Premier Rugby and Phil is a passionate defence coach who has considerable experience across both the amateur and professional games.”

Blake brings over a decade of top line experience to Ballymore, having held roles in the Shute Shield, Super Rugby and English Premiership, as well as on the international stage.

The 58-year-old started his coaching career in Sydney with Southern Districts and Manly, before he was appointed defence and skills coach with the Wallabies under Robbie Deans in 2010.

Defence coach roles with the Western Force, Leicester and London Wasps followed, before Blake returned home to coach Sydney University in 2021, taking the side to the top of the ladder before the competition was abandoned due to COVID.

Blake became head coach of Manly in 2022 and led the Marlins to third-place, the club’s best finish since 2017.

Like Thorn, Blake also boasts an accomplished rugby league career, having played more than 300 games at the highest level for a number of clubs and featuring in State of Origin for New South Wales.

Working alongside him will be Heenan, who will be responsible for coordinating the Reds coaching program, maximising the development of non-matchday-23 players and emphasising off-ball effort areas and attack breakdown.

The 48-year-old has established himself as arguably the most successful coach in Hospital Cup history.

Heenan took over as head coach of UQ in 2009, with the club falling to second-last the year previous whilst they endured an 18-year premiership drought.

In the 13 seasons since, he has led the club to the finals every year, winning six premierships and playing in nine Grand Finals, including last Sunday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium.

Heenan coached Brisbane City in the 2017 and 2018 National Rugby Championship (NRC), going head-to-head with Thorn who coached Queensland Country, and also spent six years with GPS before taking the top job at St Lucia.

Queensland Reds 2023 coaching staff​

Brad Thorn – Head Coach​

Jim McKay – Assistant Coach (attack)​

Phil Blake – Assistant Coach (defence)​

Mick Heenan – Assistant Coach​


 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
3. SEAN HOPPE

Very difficult to find anything on Hoppe with the most recent news being about his daughter. I wont get into that here but you can Google that yourself.

His LinkIn profile that we used in 2015 has been deactivated. Back then he was listed as an independent real estate agent in the Bundeburg area in Australia where he was also a referee and coach. The real estate job went horribly wrong and ruined him financially. He went onto construction in Gladstone which is about 90 odd miles from Bunderburg.

He speaks about it in this interview from the Sir Peter Leitch page from 2019.



According to this post from February 2020 by the Green Machine Podcast page on Facebook Hoppe is working at a gas plant in Gladstone but that was also what he was doing in 2015 when the NRL did an article on the original Warriors team that took the field in 1995 against the Broncos so I have no idea if its accurate.




The most current publicly available photo of Hoppe is from January 2020 with his mother...

Sean Hoppe 1.jpg
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
4. MANOA THOMPSON

Very little to go by since our last update where he was truck driving in Sydney. Only thing I can find on him is this video that looks like he's still in a truck. A delivery truck by the looks of it. Turn your volume down.



Last article I can find is this one from 2017 thats a bit of a bore.


From what I can tell he is still heavily involved in Fijian Rugby League in Sydney but I havent been able to find out if he is still on the Board like our last update. He was at the Kaiviti Silktails game for the Ron Massey Cup with a few other Fiji Bati old boy legends. Thats on the far left.

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As you can see from these recent photos from 2019 and 2021 hes still in great shape for 54yo...

Manoa Thompson 4.jpg
Manoa Thompson 5.jpg



Update thanks to the miracle of social media. He is a self employed delivery driver...

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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
5. WHETU TAEWA
Last update

Found out from a mutual mate that Whetu is still working as a builder but no longer works for ADT Builders which was dissolved in 2017. He is contracting for himself and still working and living in Cromwell.

Whetu was playing masters rugby league just this month in Queenstown.

League players reliving glory days in Queenstown

Philip Chandler
October 8, 2022
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Raring to go: Kahui Tipua player/coach Lui Matulino, left, and veteran player Ned Wepiha

Some former rugby league stars will be rolling back the years in Queenstown next week — but they’d best not be colour-blind.

Twenty-six teams, including some mixed teams, four Aussie teams and a Queenstown/Central Otago combo, have signed up for the International Masters of Rugby League Tournament which was postponed from last year due to Covid.

Male players have to be 35-plus and females 30-plus — and all have to have retired from
competitive football.

To tell players how hard they can tackle their opponents, those in their 30s wear white shorts, in their 40s, black shorts, in their 50s, red shorts, and 60-pluses, yellow shorts.

If you’re wearing yellow, you only get tagged.

However, Taika Brooks, who’s managing the Queenstown/Central Otago team, Kahui Tipua, says ‘‘even the old boys who are supposed to be playing rippa are putting shots on players’’.

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Ready to compete: Kahui Tipua manager Taika Brooks

Kahui Tipua’s player/coach is Lui Matulino, whose brother Ben played for the Warriors and Wests Tigers before retiring in 2019.

Lui’s got no doubt his players will be fit enough ‘‘once the adrenalin and excitement kick in’’.
‘‘I think the competitive side’s still in everyone.’’

One of his stars will be Cromwell-based Whetu Taewa, 51, an ex-New Zealand rep who was in the Warriors’ first run-on team in ’95 and even scored a try.

Kahui Tipua’s only yellow-shorts player will be Queenstowner Ned Wepiha (formerly Webster), 60, who’ll be stand-off/five-eighth — ‘‘that’s where I’ll do all the talking’’.

Though he hasn’t played since about 2000, Wepiha, who co-founded the former Wakatipu Giants in ’88, is raring to go.

‘‘I’m here to win, I’m not here just to fill the numbers.’’

Being played at the Events Centre, the tournament sees each team play 40-minute games next Monday, Wednesday and Friday — games start 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm — with NZ and Aussie teams and South Island and North Island teams squaring off next Saturday.




As the above post states he is mentoring youth and was recently involved with helping Cromwell College students get their car ready for a demolition derby.



If you want to check out his speedway record and rankings please visit the following site.


And finally heres a pic of Whetu Taewa's new look 95T undergoing green sheeting with head scrutineer Daniel (Rolly) Rolton just last month. How awesome!!!

Whetu Taewa 1.jpg


Heres some footage of him racing but I have no idea which one he is.


Recent pictures of him getting podiums at meets from 2021 and 2022...

Whetu Taewa 3.jpg
Whetu Taewa 2.jpg
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
6. GENE NGAMU
Last Update

Still working as a greenskeeper for Green Options in the Northern Beaches of Sydney.




This from an article that is now deleted from the NRL site but saved on the forums 2015 updates.

Ironically, Ngamu’s career has just about brought him full circle: these days he bases himself back on Sydney’s north shore – right around Manly – where he fills his days looking after the very grounds on which he used to ply his trade.

“Yeah I’m a greenkeeper now,” he said. “I came back from the UK (after two years with Huddersfield in 1999-2000) and started doing it with my brother-in-law in NZ and ended up doing my apprenticeship back in Auckland. Eventually I moved over here and ended up working with a company called Green Options.

“I’m now the manager of our north side operations, so with winter sports we look after rugby league, rugby union, soccer, AFL, hockey fields – pretty much everything over winter – and then coming into spring it’s getting all the renovations done and then getting cricket pitches ready for the summer sports. The company I work for specialises in cricket wickets so we do Waverly, Coogee Oval, Manly Oval, Pratten Park out west, Redfern Oval and we look after Toyota Stadium as well.

“Even now I find myself driving around to various grounds all the time just to have a look and see what the other groundsmen are doing.”

“It’s funny though – when I used to play I never really thought about the grounds we played on. We used to get out there and train and kick balls 1000 times on the same spot. The groundskeeper used to come out all the time and repair divots straight away and I used to look at him funny, but now I understand exactly what he was doing.”

Gene Ngamu 2.jpg

New Years Eve 2021
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
7. GREG ALEXANDER

This ones an easy one. Greg 'Brandy' Alexander wears a few hats as detailed in his Fox Sports profile.

Greg Alexander

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A Premiership-winning captain and living legend of the Penrith Panthers, Greg Brandy Alexander is now one of the most recognised Rugby League and general sports commentators across television and radio has been a key figure in the FOX SPORTS NRL team since 2000.
A Premiership-winning captain and living legend of the Penrith Panthers, Greg ‘Brandy’ Alexander is now one of the most recognised Rugby League and general sports commentators across television and radio has been a key figure in the FOX SPORTS NRL team since 2000.

After taking out the league’s Rookie of the Year award in 1984, Alexander’s meteoric rise in the game was complete when in just his second year of first grade he broke the club record for the most points scored in a season (194) and was awarded the coveted Dally M Player of the Year.

A majestic playmaker and gifted number seven, he captained the Panthers to their first ever Premiership in 1991 with a memorable 19-12 win over the Canberra Raiders in the Grand Final. His brief representative career saw him make four appearances for New South Wales between 1989 and 1991 and six appearances for Australia.

When he retired in 1999, Alexander was only the second player in history, behind Terry Lamb, to register 100 tries and 1000 points for the one club.

In 2018, Alexander will continue to be the key analyst for NRL matches and join Thursday Night League, Friday Night Footy, Super Saturday and NRL Sunday Ticket at various times throughout the year.

‘Brandy’ is also a sports anchor for Sydney radio station 2UE and hosts weekday evenings sports show Sports Today alongside former Manly half John Gibbs.

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
8. GAVIN HILL

According to his latest job post on Facebook from 2022 he is working for Dines. Dines are a big construction business based in Mt Wellington, Auckland that do a lot of civil engineering work cutting subdivisions and laying infrastructure.

Screenshot 2022-10-24 1.42.29 AM.png


For an idea on what Dines do have a look at the following link...


Gavin Hill 2.jpg

September 2022
 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
9. DUANE MANN
Last update

Last time we looked at Mann he was the NZ Warriors Academy and Pathways Manager after a few years at Auckland Rugby League doing the same thing.

He left in 2016 and became the Sport & Business Development Manager at Kelston Boys' High School until December 2019.

Since January 2020 he has been working at the Cause Collective as a Strategic Relations Manager. The Cause Collective is New Zealand charitable trust operating out of South Auckland since 2016. They provide systems and services that help solve the social problems that Pacific people face that stops them from thriving.

Duane Mann

Duane-TCC-Colour.jpg


Duane Mann is of Māori – Ngāti Kahungunu and Tūhoe descent from his mother and Tongan descent from his father from Neiafu, Vavaʻu.

Ponsonby was home until the early 1960s, his family then moved to Kelston, West Auckland, for more space and a larger home. His parents raised five boys and also extended family siblings. He is a proud born and raised ‘Westie’ with strong family and working connections across South Auckland.

What inspires you?
“I am continuously inspired by my parents and whānau, by all their actions and behaviours in achieving their big goals but also in all the small everyday things they do. My wife and three adult children always give me inspiration and focus.”

Current work
”I am the Strategic Relationship Manager for The Cause Collective. A large part of my role is to build and foster strategic partnerships and engage with key stakeholders to help influence and drive a systems change approach. I am focused on the reduction of risk factors for major health loss and to improve health equity for our Māori and Pacific communities.
The majority of my career has been in coach education and athlete development within the sport sector from grass-roots to high performance sport. My passion has always been about helping others to live well and using sport as a vehicle to find and be your best self. I believe strongly in the spirit of team and community and the synergy of values within our Māori and Pasifika cultures. Working with the Cause Collective and Healthy Families align with where I want to serve, challenge and continue to grow.”

What is your vision for health and wellbeing in South Auckland?
“That people and families are happy, live well and live long.”

What is one funny/quirky/interesting thing that no-one knows about you?
“I am the master of knowing the chorus of just about any song without knowing the full song and proper words.”


Anyone wanting to learn about the Cause Collective can visit their website...

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
10. HITRO OKESENE
Last update

Still working with the same outfit doing construction as per the last update.

Since 2021 he has also been the Head Coach of the Aspatria Hornets where I believe his son plays. Here is the article announcing his signing with a picture of him wearing a 1998 player issue Warriors Nike jacket 😍.

HORNETS SNARE KIWI LEGEND

BY CRAIG HAMILTON
30 APRIL 2021

Callum Thorndike gives us the lowdown on the new Aspatria Coach​


download.jpeg


Aspatria Hornets are pleased to announce that former Auckland Warriors Prop Forward Hitro Okesene has agreed to take over as the coach of the club.

He played 5 times for the New Zealand national team and was also capped by Western Samoa and American Samoa. He played for Carlisle RL between 1989-92 and most notably the Auckland Warriors for three seasons between 1995-97. He most recently played for Workington Town (2001-03) where he finished his career and has also coached local powerhouse, Ellenborough Rangers.

He will be assisted by Hornets' veterans Richard Holliday and Stewart Reynolds as the club look to bounce back from the recent lockdown and get back to playing competitive rugby again.

Okesene commented "I'm very happy to be taking over and hope that only good things will come, we have a lot of young players here and that can mean only good things for the future."
All at the club welcome Hitro and wish him the best of luck in his new role.




With the RLWC2021 being in his neck of the woods he has been going to every Samoa game.



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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
11. STEPHEN KEARNEY
Last update

Back in 2015 he was the NRL Brisbane Broncos assistant coach under Wayne Bennett and NZ Kiwis head coach. Obviously since 2015 he became the Warriors head coach in 2017 before getting unceremoniously fired in 2020.

Kearney then headed to Melbourne where he reclaimed his position as Assistant Coach to Craig Bellamy for the 2021 and 2022 season.

Just this month he announced that he would be stepping down and returning to his Brisbane house.

No word yet on what the future holds for Mooks.

Kearney steps down as Assistant

melbournestorm.com.au
Fri 21 Oct 2022, 04:50 PM

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Melbourne Storm Assistant Coach, Stephen Kearney, has stepped down from his position to return to his Brisbane home.

Kearney returned to Storm for the 2021 and 2022 seasons after a lengthy career as player and coach at Storm, Super League Club Hull and New Zealand Warriors.

“Storm has been a big part of my life, and the life of my family, for over 20 years,” Kearney said.

“I cannot thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me to develop as a player, coach and person. Storm will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will leave with some great memories and lifelong friends.”

Kearney played at Storm for six seasons from 1999 playing 139 games for the club, including being an integral member of the 1999 Premiership and 2000 World Club Challenge. He was Craig Bellamy’s inaugural Captain in 2003 and, after a stint at Hull in the Super League.

Kearney returned to the club as Craig’s Assistant Coach from 2006 to 2010 which included the 2007 and 2009 Premierships and the 2010 World Club Challenge. In 2018 Kearney was selected in the Melbourne Storm team of the first 20 years and was recognised with a Life Membership in 2010.

Storm General Manager Football, Frank Ponissi, said Kearney has had an enormous impact on the players, coaches and staff at Storm.

“There are not too many people who have had as much impact on our club as Mooks. He is passionate about the club and has been an outstanding mentor for the players and football staff. Whilst he has been an outstanding coach, he is also a wonderful person around our club and will be sorely missed.

“We wish Mooks and his family all the best for the future in Brisbane.” Ponissi said.

Kearney will finish with Storm at the end of November.

The Club will begin a recruitment process to find a replacement for Kearney in the coming weeks in preparation for the 2023 NRL season.

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
12. TONY TATUPU
Last update

Tony, or Constable Tatupu more accurately, is still working as a police officer.



He was also made an ambassador for Physical Disability Rugby League New Zealand. Had a chat with him at the homecoming game against the Wests Tigers this year where he was a guest in the Mad Butchers Lounge to draw the winning raffle in a fundraiser to get the PDRLNZ team to the RLWC2021.

TONY TATUPU ANNOUNCED AS PDRLNZ’S AMBASSADOR

26 August 2019
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Physical Disability Rugby League NZ (PDRLNZ) is pleased to announce, former Warrior and New Zealand International, Kiwi #657 Tony Tatupu, has been appointed as PDRLNZ’s new ambassador.

Tony made his NRL debut against the Brisbane Broncos in 1995 as Warrior #12 and has represented both New Zealand and Samoa. Tony now serves as a New Zealand Police officer and represented the New Zealand Police at the inaugural Police World Cup 2008.

Tony’s appointment as PDRLNZ’s new ambassador comes at an exciting time for disability rugby league. The PDRLNZ South Pacific 9’s Challenge will see the Polynesia All Stars take on the Invitational All Stars as the curtain-raiser match for the Great Britain League Lions v Tonga test at Waikato’s FMG Stadium on October 26 – a first for the sport.

“It is an absolute honour to have been considered for the Ambassador position and it was an easy decision after having met the Physical Disability Rugby League NZ team and their families for the very first time,” Tony said.

“I was immediately captivated and inspired by the player’s individual journeys, their resilience and determination to overcome barriers so they can play and enjoy our game. To witness our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters in action is truly humbling and I have nothing but aroha and respect for each of them and their families. Grateful to Paul Walsh and Vaughan Perry for introducing me to PDRLNZ.

“PDRLNZ has empowered me to advocate and champion this wonderful kaupapa by promoting its vision – to normalise physical disability, and encourage our physical disability families to get involved. It has motivated me to reconnect with the Warriors Old Boys, NZ Warriors and NZRL and as a result, a number of brothers from the OGs who have kindly offered their support.”

Sandra Hickey, Founder and Chair of Physical Disability Rugby League, said: “We are thrilled to bits that Tony has accepted the role of Ambassador for Physical Disability Rugby League NZ. Tony is a very humble and honourable person who has a big heart for people, especially those who don’t get as much opportunity in this life as others. We are looking forward to working together to encourage more people with a physical disability to get out and get active. The future is looking really exciting for PDRL”.

 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
13. TONY TUIMAVAVE
Last update

Tuimavave was one of the few people we couldn't track down any reliable infomation on.

Found an interview from the Mad Butchers Facebook page in 2019 saying he is working for Veolia doing waste disposal.



Was able to find a picture of him in the NZ Herald from 2017 of him in his truck.

Tony Tuimavave and Jordan Sealy work their route around Te Atatu in December, 2017. Photo / Michael Craig

Tony Tuimavave and Jordan Sealy work their route around Te Atatu in December, 2017. Photo / Michael Craig

Article was about the number of incidents rubbish trucks had in the Auckland region but nothing in there claiming he was involved so I didnt add it here bar the link.


Below is a description of the service Veolia and Tony provide the Auckland community.

General-Waste_0.jpg


Otherwise known as red bin waste, general waste is a global name used to describe hard to recycle, landfilled streams such as waxed cardboard, strapping ties, food containers and tissue paper.​

What is Veolia’s offering?​

Veolia offers collection, transfer and disposal services for this stream, and the details around which equipment would be best suited to your needs can be found here.

Veolia advises all clients to undergo a site waste assessment prior to their selection of equipment and schedules to receive best value for our services.


What is commonly found in general waste that can actually be recycled?​

To assist our consumers who are unfamiliar with which streams belong in which bin, we have put some guidelines below pertaining to the recyclable streams that are most commonly found in our general waste bins:

  • White office paper - can be placed in blue paper/cardboard bins as long as it is uncontaminated
  • Clean cardboard - can be placed in blue paper/cardboard bins as long as it is uncontaminated
  • Aluminium cans - can be placed in yellow commingled bins
  • Glass bottles - can be placed in yellow commingled bins
  • Plastics - can be placed in yellow commingled bins.

Where does your general waste go?​

While Veolia maintains that there is always room for improvement to reach optimal landfill diversion rates, we are doing our best to recover this stream within today’s economic restrictions, exemplified by our numerous best-practice facilities across the nation.

Learn more about our pioneering general waste management facilities, otherwise known as landfills, at the Woodlawn Bioreactor, the Woodlawn MBT and the Ti Tree Bioreactor.


Tony also helps out with Physical Disability Rugby League by running training sessions sometimes alongside Tony Tatupu.

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
14. SE'E SOLOMONA
Last update

Se'e was another one we didn't have any concrete evidence to show what he was up to but one person who responded to a Facebbok post I made asking after him said he was still living in North Queensland and working as a prison guard. For obvious reasons its impossible to verify that online.

Using his real name Maseesee Solomona I got I hit on LinkedIn for someone working for Queensland Health in Townsville but there is no extra details on the profile so no way of telling if its him or a relative named after him. Profile hasnt been updated in some time.

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I have found a host of articles that make it clear that he still lives in Townsville and didnt leave after his stint with the Cowboys under coach Graham Lowe where he went after playing for the Auckland Warriors.

This excerpt from an article on his friend Sione Faumuina in 2007.

With his mother and extended family also living in Brisbane and good friend Se'e Solomona, another former Warrior, living nearby in Townsville, Faumuina seems to have found his happy place.

This excerpt from an article on his nephew Malo Solomona in 2009.

Solomona is a first cousin of current Bradford Bulls and former Kiwis forward David Solomona, while former Kiwis and foundation Warriors prop Se'e Solomona is his uncle.

After spending two years in the North Queensland Cowboys development side while staying with Se'e Solomona in Townsville, he played for the Auckland Lions last season in the New South Wales premier league, scoring 15 tries in 21 games.


Also this article from 2018 has his son playing for North Queensland juniors.

Former Intrust Super Cup premiership player Wallace Solomona will line up for the Queensland Police team when they face NSW Police in Wollongong tonight.

Solomona, son of former New Zealand and Samoan Test player Se'e Solomona, was a member of the North Queensland Young Guns team which beat Burleigh in the 2005 grand final.


A quick Google has Wallace Solomona working as the school based police officer at Kirwan State High School which is just outside Townsville.



Have sent a couple messages out to mutual mates so hopefully we can pin him down...

UPDATE

Just found an article on the NRL site confirming that the Maseesee above is indeed our Se'e Solomona.

Se'e Solomona

Then: A big-bopper who wouldn't back down, was seen as a vital cog to then coach John Monie's front-row rotation.

Now: Living in Townsville where he is a psychologist working with local kids.

 
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mt.wellington

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15. TEA ROPATI
Last update

As with the previous update he is still the Executive Manager at Koru Trust.

They run youth programs and community initiatives mainly centred around sport. Seems he gets some great sporting names along like Stacey Jones, David Tua, Valerie Adams and Monty Betham.

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Found a Once A Warrior podcast with Tea on Apple but for some reason its not Spotify and there is no clip for it on YouTube. Anyway, he confirms the Koru Trust involvement during the podcast.

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
16. JASON MACKIE
Last update

Very difficult finding anything on Mackie other than the last update where we used an article from 2015 written by the NRL site for the Warriors 20th season.

According to the article he is working in the mining industry in Queensland. A search across all normal avenues comes up with nothing. Jason Mackie seems to be quite a popular name in Queensland.

I'll pencil in the rather unflattering NRL article but add him to the MIA list for further research...

Jason Mackie

Then: A home-grown talent who never really kicked on at the club, playing in the inaugural team before spending most of his time in Auckland playing reserve grade.

Now: Working in the mining industry in Queensland

 
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mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
17. MARTIN MOANA
Last update

Thought I had an easy job with Moana when I found this post but after a bit more research the place doesnt belong to him at all. Anyway, nice recent pic of the big fella from August 2021.

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As per our last update Marty is still living in Halifax where he has been for the last 26 years since leaving the Warriors at the end of the 1995 season. According to a 2016 interview with the Mad Butcher he is a Pom now and has no plans of returning to NZ to live.



Visiting Marty's Wikipedia page I came across a this.

Later life - BBEC

Martin now works at BBEC school where he is pastoral manager. He is a much loved member of the school who is appreciated by all staff and pupils. One staff member was quoted as saying 'Martin is a top guy' and has helped alfie wood out

His page history shows that strange update was added in December 2019.


His comments in the above Mad Butcher interview said he was working with kids so it seems to add up.

Was also able to find this post from the Calderdale Community Coaching Trust site as well as the haka mentioned from their Facebook page.

An evening with….. Martin Moana

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The Old Post Office in Halifax was the latest venue for our ‘an evening with’ Martin Moana.

Marty spoke about his rugby upbringing in New Zealand and how he came to Halifax in December 1996 wondering what he had let himself in for with the place covered in snow.

He spoke with Malcolm Kielty about his journey through the UK Super League until his retirement and his career looking after kids in care.

He treated the audience of 30 with a Maori thank you as well as a Haka.


 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
18. JOE VAGANA
Last update

Joe's is still involved in the heavy equipment industry but now works for Trow which specialise in deconstruction which is essentially demolition with a heavy emphasis on recycling.

JOE VAGANA​

OPERATIONS MANAGER
joe-vagana.jpg


Former New Zealand Warrior and Kiwi league legend, Joe Vagana, is the Operations Manager and Partner at TROW Group.

Joe manages the day-to-day operations across the entire TROW organisation and heads Health and Safety critical for all our people and projects.

He is responsible also for HR and TROW’s various work programmes. As a coach and mentor, Joe is passionate about creating pathway opportunities for young Pasifika and Māori through self-confidence, tool skills, training and employment.

Joe brings strong commercial skills from his experience as founder and director of Hire Connect machine leasing, a sister business of TROW Group which Joe had the opportunity to become involved with when it was being established at the same time as TROW in 2013. Joe built up the Hire Connect business with effective strategic planning, client relations and business development, before moving on to TROW.

In 2008, Joe founded not-for-profit charitable trust, ‘REACHES Youth Mentoring Trust.’ The trust came about from his passion for mentoring youth and assisting them on their pathways, teaching disciplines such as attitude, hard work, commitment and self-belief. It was founded after he retired from rugby league and returned to New Zealand.

Joe’s professional rugby league career spanned over 14 years, playing over 350 1st grade games for both the (formerly known as) Auckland Warriors in the Australian competition, and the Bradford Bulls in the English Super League Competition. Joe Also represented both Samoa and the New Zealand Kiwis in the 1995 and 2000 Rugby League World Cups, respectively.

Joe and Saia have learnt a lot along this journey and they both share similar beliefs and a vision for making TROW Group a success for the communities it supports.


Here is a description of what Trow does from their site.

WE ARE TROW​

TROW Group is one of the largest commercial deconstruction companies in New Zealand and is the industry expert in delivering full project, lifecycle services, salvaging hundreds of tonnes of construction materials every year.

We work to create a more sustainable construction sector and repurpose over 90% of the materials we salvage, to improve social outcomes and enable community projects locally and in the Pacific Islands.

Our greatest strength is our people. As experts in deconstruction, development and civil infrastructure, TROW Group invests heavily in training, innovation and technology to ensure our people are continuously improving and striving to exceed the best industry standards.

TROW Group believes there is huge value in supporting a circular economy and has repurposed thousands of tonnes of materials including over 500 tonnes from five major Auckland Council projects, trained, improved literacy skills and provided employment for over 1,000 people including the 50 jobs created for local youth, and provided valuable materials to community projects in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.


West Auckland locals Joe Vagana and Saia Latu make a difference

Joe Vagana and Saia Latu, founders of Trow Group, a civil contracting and machinery hire company that also aims to make a difference in their community.

SUPPLIED
Joe Vagana and Saia Latu, founders of Trow Group, a civil contracting and machinery hire company that also aims to make a difference in their community.

Former Kiwi player Joe Vagana is part of a team taking on international construction giants with his company Trow Group.
The civil contracting and machinery hire company manages million dollar projects across the Auckland and Waikato region.
However, the success of the Ōtāhuhu-based company is only a small part of the story of Vagana and his business partner, Saia Latu.

Some of what Trow Group salvaged from construction sites and distributed to community organisations and schools here and in Tonga.

SUPPLIED
Some of what Trow Group salvaged from construction sites and distributed to community organisations and schools here and in Tonga.
The West Auckland locals have committed to making a difference to their community, with a positive reach that extends into Tonga.
As finalists in the NZI Sustainable Business Awards, the company works to salvage and reuse or recycle material from their building sites to be used in schools, community centres and churches in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Traditionally, waste from construction accounts for 40 per cent of waste to landfills.
Latu, Vagana and their team go into sites and salvage materials that then go to community organisations.
They also have a hiring policy to encourage more inclusive employment.
But they want to be clear, Trow Group is not here to give a hand-out.
It's simply good business to have a social outcome, said Latu.
Trow grew out of the realisation that, despite the billions being spent the Waikato Expressway, most of the workers were coming from outside of Huntly.
"Almost all the workers involved in the Huntley project were from outside of Huntly.
"So we worked with Tainui and trained locals for long term employment," Latu said.
"We try and transition high needs people into employment."
Latu said the goal was a job ratio of $25,000 to one. Which means, for every $25,000 spent on the job, they aim to employ one person.
Vagana, who had been playing league in England, knew he wanted to make a difference when he returned to New Zealand.
"Helping people to reach goals, not do it for them but help them get there, thats rewarding for us," he said.
The men tell new employees sweeping the factory that the goal is to have the recruits own their own business.
"Some of them get inspired, you can see it in their faces," said Vagana.
"So we are a commercial company, with a strong sense of support for the community."


Havent been able to find much on REACHES Youth Mentoring Trust or REACHES Pasifika Mentoring Trust other than the business register.
 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
19. SYD ERU
Last update

We had very little to go on last time we looked for Syd. Thankfully Ive been able to track down a lot more with Syd being quite active on Facebook.

He is living in Tākaka. Tākaka is a small town situated at the southeastern end of Golden Bay, at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island, located on the lower reaches of the Tākaka River.

Screenshot 2022-10-27 1.56.06 AM.png

From what I can tell from his posts he spends his days fishing, hunting and doing whakairo, the Maori art of carving as well as odd jobs like NIWA research, concreting, building, archeology, to Maori eco tours. As anyone who lives in small towns will know you do whatever work you can to keep the lights on.

Heavily involved with the Maori culture all along that northern coast from Picton to Motueka to Pakawau.

Funniest is the kai videos he posts then shares to various kai groups on Facebook.



Unfortunately the videos I tried to share are private and you have to be friends to watch it...
 
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