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Heartland players picked for special presentation

    04 Dec 2007    

Although the team will not play any games this year, NZRU Deputy Chief Executive Steve Tew said it was important to acknowledge those players who had performed to the highest level in the 2007 AA Rewards Heartland Championship.

The players will each be presented with a New Zealand Heartland XV jersey by NZRU Chairman Jock Hobbs and NZRU President Andy Leslie at a special ceremony at the NZRU’s offices in Wellington tomorrow, Wednesday 5 December.

The team was picked by a selection committee comprising convener Earl Kirton, 2006 New Zealand Heartland XV Coach Ross Cooper and the coaches of the four teams that played in the 2007 Meads and Lochore Cup finals – Mike Mullins (North Otago, Meads Cup winners), Paul Feeney (Poverty Bay, Lochore Cup winners), Milton Haig (Wanganui, Meads Cup finalists) and John Chapman (South Canterbury, Lochore Cup finalists).

Mr Tew said the NZRU recognised the importance of the New Zealand Heartland XV team.

“The team provides an extra motivation for the Heartland players to perform in the AA Rewards Heartland Championship and despite significant effort to secure a suitable programme this year were unable to do so.

“However, feedback from the Heartland provinces suggested that we select 22 players who deserved national recognition.”

New Zealand Heartland XV: 1. Mike Thompson (Wanganui), 2. Joe Harwood (Wairarapa Bush), 3. Colin Hovell (Poverty Bay), 4. Taua Tahaafe (North Otago), 5. James Cullimore (South Canterbury), 6. Aarin Dunster (King Country), 7. Peter Rowe (Wanganui), 8. Jon Dampney (Mid Canterbury), 9. Kilifi Fangupo (North Otago), 10. Scott Leighton (Poverty Bay), 11. Scott Mayhew (North Otago), 12. Steelie Koro (Wanganui), 13. Fa’aitu Tuamoheloa (North Otago), 14. Brenton Connell (Mid Canterbury), 15. Kahu Tamatea (Poverty Bay).

16. Tobias Sekona (North Otago), 17. Malasia Lokeni (Horowhenua Kapiti), 18. Jason Gill (Mid Canterbury), 19. Ross Hay (North Otago), 20. Hamish McKenzie (Wairarapa Bush), 21. Mark Tutton (South Canterbury), 22. Jared McClutchie (Poverty Bay).