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2018 Thames Valley Heartland and Development Team Squads Announced

The 2018 Thames Valley Heartland Squad has been named by Head Coach, Matthew Bartleet to compete in this year’s Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. Bartleet, a dairy farmer from Matamata and his assistants, David Harrison and Joe Murray have selected a mixture of youth and experience along with a good number of returning players from last year.

The team will be co-captained by Brett Ranga from Waihi Athletic and Shaun Hill from Hauraki North. Ranga appeared as a Player of Origin last season but is back as a local player this year. The Player of Origin position has been filled by Connor McVerry, formerly from Mercury Bay and currently with Fraser Tech in Hamilton. The other named loans are Harry Lafituanai from Melville and Sam Vea who plays for Hamilton Marist. Vea is not new to the Heartland scene having played 35 games for South Canterbury between 2012 and 2015. Former Waikato and Chiefs player, Alex Bradley is also back for a second season.

The team has preseason games against Taranaki Development team at Hawera on August 4 and East Coast at Waihi on August 11 followed by a camp to be held locally on August 18 before the Heartland Championship begins with a home game against West Coast on August 25.

Colin Walker and Mike Bellamy from Waihi have moved up the coaching ranks to become Head Coaches of the Thames Valley Development Team for 2018 and have named their squad to compete in this year’s Northern Regions Under 85kg competition. The team will be managed by Geoff Spargo and Stephen Wise Snr., both from Whangamata.

The team has preseason games against Auckland Under 19B at Auckland on August 4, Te Marawhero XV at Waihi on August 11 and King Country Development at Waihi on August 18.

Thames Valley and King Country have been given special permission to compete in the Under 85kg competition again this year. Their first competition game is against Auckland U85’s in Auckland on August 25.

This competition runs for five weeks and finishes with a home game against Waikato on September 22 as curtain raiser to the Heartland Team’s game against North Otago .

The teams are as follows:



Lance Easton Tairua R&S Club
Te Huia Kutia Tairua R&S Club
Logan Matai-Povey Tairua R&S Club
Sitiveni Tupou Thames R&S Club
Nic Judd Thames R&S Club
Glen McIntyre Waihou R&S Club
Keegan Lewis Waihou R&S Club
Connor McVerry (Player of Origin) Fraser Tech (Hamilton)
Matthew Rolston Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Cameron Dromgool COBRAS
Sam Vea (Loan) Hamilton Marist
Brett Ranga (Co-Capt.) Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Matt Hart Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Ben Vincent Thames R&S Club
Alex Bradley Waihou R&S Club
Ben Bonnar Waihou R&S Club
Matt Fisher Hauraki North R&S Club
Reece Broughton Thames R&S Club
Nathan Emery COBRAS
Shaun Hill (Co-Capt.) Hauraki North R&S Club
Sam McCahon Waihou R&S Club
Sam Goatley Thames R&S Club
Matiu Abraham Thames R&S Club
Jayden Tegg Mercury Bay R&S Club
Harry Lafituanai (Loan) Melville R&S Club
Ethan Seymour Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Jesse Dodunski Waihi Athletic R&S Club

Jordan Crawford Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Paki Solomon Whangamata R&S Club
Patrick Aislabie Waihou R&S Club
Paddy Breen Waihou R&S Club
Ash Marsh Whangamata R&S Club
Brad Nightingale Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Shin Ouchi Waihou R&S Club
Jordan Downs Whangamata R&S Club
Ford Ainsley Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Bray Ward Thames R&S Club
Ryan Leopold Thames R&S Club
Brandon Dromgool COBRAS
Tate van Duyvenboden Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Dylan Horne Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Stephen Wise Tairua R&S Club
Carlos Roberts Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Cole Berridge Thames R&S Club
Jake Comer Whangamata R&S Club
Matt McCahon Waihou R&S Club
Cole Edwards Thames R&S Club
Jerome Hill Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Charles Pipe Waihi Athletic R&S Club
Dylan Robinson COBRAS