Incoming Northern Swords coach Neville Rogers has selected an exciting mix as the side looks to build on its 2016 season.

The 26-man squad sees players rewarded for strong club league form as they look forward to two big home fixtures.

Rogers said the side had a lot of work to do but had looked to get the right mix of talent in.

"It's about getting guys who buy into the system. There's some of the strongest players up here but we need the right mix. We want to be competitive," he said.


"We want to create an environment that will stay and develop players over the next two to three years.

"There are guys here who want to press their claims and go places in league and we've got the links here. But they've got to change some things because what they're doing now won't get them to the next level."

Rogers replaces Jon Renes who, after two years at the helm, stood down to focus on the youth representative teams - an area he is passionate about.

He relocated from Auckland to Whangarei in 2016 with his work as lead educational deliverer for Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Rogers brings a wealth of coaching experience and success having coached youth and Premier Counties-Manukau representative teams to national titles as well as being head coach for the national NZ Maori team.

He will be supported by Jack Walker who has been the trainer for the Swords for many campaigns. Ross Tipene from the Hora Hora Broncos club has been appointed team manager.

The 2017 Northern Swords season will replicate the format introduced last season with a regional qualifying pool competing against Bay of Plenty, Coastlines and Waikato before advancing to the New Zealand Rugby League Championship competition.

Home games are scheduled on August 26 and September 2 at Trigg Arena, Kensington.

The top four sides in the Rugby League Northland Premiership make up the bulk of the squad, with just two players not from those sides.

Finalists Moerewa Tigers have the biggest representation with eight selections while their grand final opponents Takahiwai Warriors (seven), Otangarei Knights (four) and Hikurangi Stags (four) have also been rewarded for their strong seasons.

The other two players are from Northern Wairoa Bulls.

Northern Swords squad: Jaydenn Bentley-Hape, Wilson Hona, Te Tuhi Tipene, Brodee Palmer, Peter Prime, Eli George, Haylin Rogers, Henry Wiki (Moerewa Tigers), Waipu Stone, Jarome Wihongi-Henare, Dixie Harris, Moses Cooper (Hikurangi Stags), Sua Sosopo, Jordan Katene, Linn Hunapo, Sepeti Tatau, Pedro Blake (Otangarei Knights), Hori Tuhoro, Ross McFarlane, Kyle Hool, Nick Schuster, Jordan Hool, Mike Hauraki, Taine Shelford (Takahiwai Warriors), Israel Tahere, Kamonn Flavell (Northern Wairoa Bulls).