Thames Valley, H.G Leach Senior Club Rugby Competition 2019
In the 68th year of the Thames Valley wide Senior Club Rugby Competition, Thames Valley Rugby Football Union are pleased to announce that HG LEACH & Co are the major sponsor of Senior Club Rugby.
The Leach family have had a long association with rugby in the Thames Valley and their sponsorship continues the interest demonstrated by the company’s founder Harry Leach and his sons Merv & Bruce. Harry’s second son, Bruce was playing senior rugby for the Netherton Club in the late 1950s before moving on to the West Club for which his brothers Clark and Glen also played. Bruce’s son Shane was a stalwart of the West Club in the 1970s and 80s and also a Thames Valley representative- as was his son Justin.
After Harry Leach had passed away the family presented the HG Leach Memorial Cup to the Thames Valley Rugby Union in 1966. Over the years this trophy has been used for several competitions.
Waitakaruru (new Hauraki North) were the first holder of the Premier Club Tropy – the McClinchy Cup after they defeated West at Paeroa by 25 points to six in 1952. Waihi Athletic are the current holders having won it for the first time last year.
This year’s competition will consist of two full round robins (Home and away) followed by top four Semi-final and Final.
Semi-finals will then follow with the Club Finals Day scheduled for Saturday 28th July, Boyd Park, Te Aroha.
Waihi Athletic Rugby & Sports Club
The supporters expectations are high in Waihi following last year’s maiden
McClinchy Cup victory. Waihi Athletic senior A’s have assembled a great mix of youth and experience in their squad for 2019. The team will once again be coached by Bryce Bevin who will be assisted by last year’s captain Matt Rolston. Reuben Meares and NZ Heartland player of the year, Brett Ranga will lead the way. Dylan Horne and Manawa Hill will continue their development as vital members of the forward pack. While the introduction of Kini & Jay Ormsby in the backline who will combine with Jethro Meares and try scoring phenomenon Jerome Hill will once again have Waihi as the team to watch.
Player to watch: Seth Dillimore – A late comer to rugby, Seth has great athletic skills and a huge work rate. His height will be an asset to the team.
Thames Rugby & Sports Club
Finalists in 2018, Thames Rugby & Sports Club will look to build on the back of last season, with the majority of the team returning, Thames will maintain their continuity in the 2019 season and are aiming to go one further and claim a championship. Players and Coaches are happy with their preseason build up with two very good hit outs.
Player to watch: Darion Laciarno, from Gloucester England is a dynamic, fiery little red haired flanker who possess strong running ability and is strong over the ball.
Thames Senior B have come into the 2019 season with a great balance of youth and experience. They have had one hit out in preseason and are looking good. Thames boasts a few ex school boy stars and Sage Conner Smith and Baylee Edwards are players to watch.
Waihou Rugby Football Club
Waihou are eager to hit the field and the season looks promising. It is great to have several new players joining the existing team.
We welcome Gerrad MacInnes as our new head coach, ably assisted by Shane Foote.
There are some challenges in the first couple of weeks with many of the player’s currently touring Ireland and we look forward to their safe return later in the month.
Fantastic to have the A’s & B’s following each other this year.
Mercury Bay Rugby and Sports Club
The Mercury Bay Rugby and Sports Club are in a rebuilding phase after consecutive top 4 finishes since winning the title in 2015. A good mixture of youth and experience will ensure that Mercury Bay will once again be a combative side in 2019.
Coach Dwayne Mansell is relatively happy with the pre-season trainings and hit outs and the squad is coming together nicely. The team will again be led by the experienced Kieran Ramage and the dangerous Regan Crosland.
Mercury Bay will field both an A’s and B’s side this year.
Te Aroha College Old Boys Rugby & Sports Club.
They have had a good pre-season build up and have had good numbers at trainings. The majority of last year’s squad has returned and the new recruits to COBRAS should strengthen the side, making it a balanced young side with some experienced campaigners.
Players to watch for include the breakthrough player of the season for Thames Valley in Cameron Dromgool and new halfback Leroy Neels.
COBRAS will field both an A’s and B’s side this year.
Coromandel Rugby Football & Sports Club
Coromandel are looking forward to a big year in 2019 and are looking to build on some great performances from the previous season where they were the big improvers.
Coach John Manuel has returned and pre-season training has been extremely well attended.
Coromandel will be a threat to most teams this year and are a proud team and always combative.
Tairua Rugby and Sports Club
With the ongoing challenge of fielding a competitive side, Tairua Rugby has once again been looking overseas to form a squad.
With local players continuing to be in short supply, the 2019 squad has a distinctly ‘international’ look and feel.
To compliment those that have played for several years, young players from Scotland, the USA, England and Italy have been added. In addition, the coach for the coming year, Sam Mountain is also from Scotland.
Of the overseas contingent, half-back Ruairidh Swan has played Premier level rugby in Scotland for Stirling County and should be an exciting player to watch.
Paeroa Rugby and Sports Club
Paeroa Rugby & Sports will be looking to consolidate and build on the results achieved in our first season in 2018.
Paeroa will be fielding teams in both the senior A and senior B competition, and are looking forward to the new competition format that will give supporters plenty of rugby. The Senior A side will again be coached by Howie Rota.
There are a few new faces in the this year’s senior A squad, including a number of players from successful Paeroa College first fifteen teams from the past two seasons making the step up to senior rugby and it will be worth keeping an eye out for this up and coming talent.
Hauraki North Rugby and Sports Club
A young, new head coach in Gareth Williams has the Club excited. He is well supported by Simon Adams (backs coach) and managers Mike Hitchcock and Mathew MacInnes.
The backline is a young and exciting one, bar seasoned campaigners Shaun Hill and Daniel Hitchcock, who aren’t so young but every bit as exciting.
The forward pack remains similar to last year and is looking to build on some strong, although inconsistent performances from last year.
North will field both an A’s and B’s side this year.
Whangamata Rugby and Sports Club
After a disappointing season in 2018 Whangamata have appointed a new head coach, Gareth Coslett.
The team have battled over the past year to put in consistent performances however have had a solid pre-season
and are looking forward to improved results and performances in the upcoming season.
Ngatea Rugby & Sports Club
Ngatea rugby is in the Senior B division and are looking forward to the 2019 season.
Good numbers at pre-season has Coach Bart Thompson very optimistic for the games ahead.
Ngatea will look to improve on their past season’s performances and aim to be at the Club Finals day.
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