Former Wellington college loose forward and brother of Lima, Tupou Sopoaga, has joined the Highlanders as injury cover. The former Cronulla Sharks and Penrith Panthers player returned to rugby union late last year in Australia's domestic competition. Just a couple of weeks ago, the brother of All Black first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga, signed to play for the Southland Stags in this year's New Zealand provincial competition. On top of that, he has now also been signed by the Highlanders on a month to month contract to bolster the Dunedin-based Super Rugby team's loose forward stocks. Read more here
The following Wellington players are in Samoa this weekend trialling for the Samoa Penieli Poasa, John Tuia, Alex Ropeti (Ories); Ivan Fepulea'i, Nese Solia, Grayson Whitman, Kerrod Foaese (MSP); Jayden Treviranus (UHr); Losi Filipo (Petone).
Lower Hutt clubs had a mixed start to the 2017 season with Hutt Old Boys Marist, Petone and Avalon recording losses. HOBM blew a handy lead to lose to Upper Hutt. Coach Daniel Vulu put the loss down to a poor second half where HOBM gave away too many penalties, "We started well and scored three tries in the first half but the second half was disappointing and Upper Hutt just got on a roll and deserved the win." Read more from the Hutt News article here
To view photo galleries throughout the year visit Photos across the top of this page. Several galleries being loaded each week. Big thanks to the photographers who help us out. To assist with photo and video coverage in 2017 please drop us an email at email@example.com
With full and exclusive broadcast rights at Westpac Stadium all day Saturday, look out for Sky TV's broadcast of the Hurricanes U20s v Argentina U20s match. Kick-off is at 5.10pm, ahead of the Hurricanes v Highlanders at 7.35pm.
The inagural Collins Medal will be awarded to the Player of the Match between Northern United and Petone in their round one Swindale Shield encounter. The Collins medal is in honour of the late Jerry Collins who played for Northern United and his cousin Willie Collins who played for Petone, in both of whom passed away over the past two years.
Upper Hutt Rams, Wellington Sevens and 2016 Wellington Lions wing Salesi Rayasi is departing for Auckland this season. Rayasi, also an accomplished basketballer, scored nine tries in 10 Premier appearances for the Rams last year. He was playing for Auckland Marist at last weekend's Spillane tournament.
He refereed last year's Jubilee Cup final between champions Tawa and Marist St Pat's and on Saturday former Scots College fullback Richard Gordon will referee their final re-match in their Swindale Shield season opener at Awakairangi Park. To view this Saturday's fixtures and referees visit Draws & Results above.
The New Zealand men's sevens team have conceded the fact they won't be claiming the overall title this year. With a fifth placed finish at the Vancouver tournament at the weekend, the best the New Zealand team can hope for is to finish second - and they still have a lot to do if they want to achieve that. he team's chances of staying alive in the overall title hunt plummeted when they lost to England 14-12 in the quarterfinals. England went on to win the tournament. Speaking to Radio Sport, New Zealand coach Scott Waldrom said after good performances on the opening day of the tournament, his side had high hopes for the pressure stages Read more here
Napier Old Boys Marist have won the 2017 NZ Marist Spillane Cup, beating Wellington's Marist St Pat's 22-3 in the final this afternoon in Palmerston North. MSP started a second string side and failed to fire, while NOBM were well led by early replacement halfback and former Wellington St Pat's Town college player Zac Donaldson. He sealed victory with the final try of the final, an 8-9 move near the whitewash. Wellington's Hutt Old Boys Marist beat hosts Palmerston North Old Boys Marist 49-19 in the playoff for third and fourth.
The Billy Wallace Trophy Best & Fairest competition is awarded on a 3,2 and 1 basis by Dominion Post reporters after each game.
Best & Fairest frontrunners after week one of the Swindale Shield:
3 points: Peter Sciascia (Marist St Pat’s), Hayden Schrijvers (Upper Hutt Rams), Quade Martin-Laumatia (Northern United), Andy Ellis (Oriental-Rongotai), Frae Wilson (Wainuiomata), Sam Gard'ner (Wellington), Jono Ihaka (Old Boys University)
2 points: Sean Bridge (Marist St Pat’s), Joyner Key (Upper Hutt Rams), Logan Henry (Petone), Alex Ropeti (Oriental-Rongotai), Cameron Cross (Avalon), Tiwi Davies (Johnsonville), Te Wehi Wright (Old Boys University)
1 point: Peniasi Tokakece (Marist St Pat’s), Matt Poole (Hutt Old Boys Marist), Te Kahu Bishop (Northern United), Tane McMillan-Parata (Paremata-Plimmerton), Isiah Mamea (Wainuiomata), Olly Sapsford (Wellington), Pakai Turia (Poneke)
The 2016 frontrunners were:
18 points: Peniasi Tokakece (Tawa)
16 points: Greg Foe (Poneke), Mitchell Markov (Upper Hutt Rams), Tomasi Palu (OBU)
15 points: Wes Goosen (OBU)
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|Upper Hutt Rams||1||1||0||0||33||23||1||5|
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|Upper Hutt Rams||1||0||1||0||10||24||0||0|
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On the morning of the 2016 season opener, Porirua Park is officially renamed Jerry Collins Stadium and a commemorative plaque is unveiled in his honour at the foot of the grandstand. Members of Collins’ family, the Northern United Rugby Football Club, former players and teammates and many people from the local community witness the plaque’s unveiling and pay their respects to former Norths, Wellington, Hurricane and All Black loose forward Collins who died in a car crash in France in 2015.