Kawana Marsden has secured a spot in the Vodafone Warriors Under-20 squad pre-season train-on squad.
Warriors scout Duanne Mann invited Marsden to take part in the six-week training programme with the Auckland-based NRL franchise, which started yesterday. The 18-year-old from Kaitaia has started catching the selectors eyes recently following several impressive outings. These include his first test jersey where he turned out for the New Zealand Universities side which hosted Australia in a two-match series in the South Island last month.
After playing for the Muriwhenua Falcons in the domestic club championship this winter, Marsden gained selection into the Northern Swords premiers side which contested the national provincial title. He admitted he has turned down several offers from other NRL franchises over the past two months.
"[It's about] Getting an opportunity," he said of being recognised by the Warriors, and adding his main goal is to be in a grand final-winning team. Marsden will stay in Auckland for the next six weeks, with the team to contest the 2016 Holden Cup championship named at the completion of the camp.
Marsden thanked his tutor Jim Larkin for helping during his 2015 year of study with the Kaitaia-based Lowie Foundation Kick for the Seagulls High Performance Sporting Academy. He also thanked his parents, and his employer (The Warehouse) for supporting his league ambitions.