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Players rewarded with New Zealand Heartland XV selection

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Players rewarded with New Zealand Heartland XV selection

New Zealand Heartland XV Coach Mark Rutene has named 25 players for a three-match programme taking place next month.

The team features 14 players that will be taking the field in Mitre 10 Heartland Championship Finals this weekend.

The New Zealand Heartland XV is;

Carl CarmichaelKing Country

Josh ClarkNorth Otago

Ralph DarlingNorth Otago

Anthony EllisBuller

Tristan FluteyWairarapa Bush

Hone HaerewaEast Coast

Campbell HartWanganui

Himiona HenareHorowhenua Kapiti

Sione HolaniWest Coast

Tyler KearnsWest Coast

Meli KolinisauNorth Otago

Seta KoroitamanaMid Canterbury

Miles MedlicottSouth Canterbury

Peni NabainivaluWanganui

Regan O'GormanSouth Canterbury

Willie Paia'auaHorowhenua Kapiti

Patrick PatiNorth Otago

Tim PriestWairarapa Bush

Brett RangaThames Valley

Robbie SmithNorth Otago

Churlainn SowerbyKing Country

Nick StrachanSouth Canterbury

Jaxon TagavaitauHorowhenua Kapiti

Troy TauwhareWest Coast

Alex ThruppKing Country

Willie WrightSouth Canterbury

Head Coach Mark Rutene has selected 13 players that were involved in the Pasifika Challenge II match against Samoa in July, with 12 players in line for their Heartland XV debut.

Rutene said the standard of Mitre 10 Heartland Championship had been impressive in 2019 and he was looking forward to assembling this team.

"We have a really good balance of players who will be new to the team and those who have been involved in past campaigns. It is great to be able to reward players who have performed well in their provincial colours over the past few months, I’m sure they are excited about the opportunity to wear the black jersey and represent their families and Unions," said Rutene.

The New Zealand Heartland XV will play three matches; their annual fixture against New Zealand Marist team for the McRae Cup along with two matches against Vanua XV in Fiji.

Rutene said the goal will be to get the players to connect in a short space of time so that they can come together on the field.

"We know we have the best players from across the Heartland Unions coming together, so there is no lack of skill or talent, the key is getting them all on the same page with how we want to play so we can put out three good performances," said Rutene.

New Zealand Heartland XV match schedule

Saturday 2 November, kick off 2pm

New Zealand Heartland XV v New Zealand Marist

Boyd Park, Te Aroha

Wednesday 6 November, kick off 7pm

New Zealand Heartland XV v Vanua Fiji

Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji

Saturday 9 November, kick off 3pm

NZ Heartland XV v Vanua Fiji

Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, Fiji

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