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NZRL Creates Pathway For Local Players And Football Staff

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Fuseworks Media
NZRL Creates Pathway For Local Players And Football Staff

Auckland, New Zealand, September 19, 2009 - Local players, coaches and football staff will all benefit from the New Zealand Rugby League's push for an annual match pitting a national residents' side against a Pacific Islands team.

The concept will go on show for the first time when the Bartercard Premiership Selection takes on a Samoan Residents' combination at Mount Smart Stadium No 2 on October 10.

The team, to be announced after the 2009 Bartercard Premiership final on October 5, will be chosen from players involved in the national provincial competition. National selection panel convener Howie Tamati is chairing the selection process with assistance from the six provincial coaches.

The coach, manager and other staff for the Bartercard Premiership Selection will be chosen from those involved in the positions in the six teams. They will be selected by NZRL and Kiwi team staff.

NZRL Jim Doyle said it was vital to provide opportunities for domestic players and to also offer development pathways for football staff.

"Giving these people recognition and something to strive for is the motivation for having a match like this," he said.

"They need to know there are pathways available for them in the game here and, by working to make a match of this type a regular fixture, we'll be able to bring through more players as well as coaches and other staff.

"At the same time it's critical for us to use the match to help with the development of rugby league in the Pacific Islands. This is one way of going a long way towards achieving that."

NZRL high performance manager Tony Kemp said it was important for the game's overall progress that not just players but also coaches, managers and trainers had opportunities to progress.

"We have a lot of people in our game who have worked in the system and who have done all they can to become as qualified as possible in their roles," he said.

"This is about helping them to grow and take on positions at a higher level."

While the Bartercard Premiership Selection will be named after the grand final on October 5, the coach, manager and other staff will be announced after the semi-finals next weekend (one to be played on September 26 and the other on September 27).

The premiership continues with the last round of regular matches this weekend. Canterbury, leading the competition with three wins from three games, faces a demanding programme of a catch-up game against Bay of Plenty at Rotorua International Stadium tonight (7.00 kick-off) and then its final match against Waikato at Davies Park in Huntly at 2.30 on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Auckland meets Taranaki at Mount Smart Stadium No 2 and Wellington hosts Bay of Plenty at Fraser Park (both matches kick off at 2.30). Heading into the final round Canterbury leads on points differential from Waikato and Auckland (all on six points). Wellington and Taranaki are on two points and Bay of Plenty is last without a point.

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