League: Students to represent Warriors


Four high-achieving Maori secondary school students have been confirmed as the first Warriors representatives at the annual All Stars Indigenous Youth Summit being held in Brisbane from February 5-10.

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has organised the event to recognise outstanding achievement and application to education, culture and the community by selecting a total of 64 young Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander (indigenous Australian) and New Zealand Maori students from all 16 NRL clubs.

The summit is held in conjunction with the annual All Stars match at Suncorp Stadium on February 9.

Two of the pupils chosen as the Vodafone Warriors' representatives - Matiu Love-Henry (17) from Taupo and Dane Clark (16) from Tokoroa - travelled to Auckland to meet staff and players and were also shown around the club's facilities at Mount Smart Stadium on Thursday.

The two girls selected - Savannah Matua (16) from Manukau City and Nikita McGruer (15) from Tauranga - are to visit the Warriors on Friday.

As well as being chosen for the summit, the promising Love-Henry has recently been signed as a development player by the Warriors.

Tribal (iwi) affiliations for McGruer, who attends Te Wharekura o Mauao in Tauranga, are Ngati Porou/Ngati Haua while Matua, a student at Te Kura Maori o Nga Tapuwae in Auckland, is Ngati Whatua/Te Atiawa.

Clark (Tokoroa High School) is Tainui/Ngati Porou and Love-Henry, who attends Taupo's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whakarewa i Te Reo Ki Tuwharetoa, is Ngati Tuwharetoa/Ngati Awa.

All Stars team captains Johnathan Thurston and Benji Marshall and their teammates will teach life skills to the 64 students when they gather in Brisbane.

Activities will include physical challenges, career advice training and job interview sessions, as well as attending the All Stars Community Festival and Learn Earn Legend! Jobs Expo (February 8).

They will also play a role in the pre-match entertainment at Suncorp Stadium.

Students from Melbourne and New Zealand will take part in the summit for the first time, with others travelling from areas as remote as Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Mount Isa in north-west Queensland.

"This year's group consist of students from extremely diverse walks of life," said NRL general manager for community, culture and diversity, Trish Crews. "For the first time we have been able to invite participants from every club and we extend a special welcome to our attendees from across the Tasman.

"There is a great opportunity for the group to learn from our Indigenous All Stars who have only just completed their own indigenous players' camp on the weekend prior as well as the NRL All Stars, coaches, mentors and their own peers," she said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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