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:
|HEARTLAND TEAM 2018
|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|
|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|
|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|
|DEVELOPMENT TEAM 2018|
|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|
|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|