The West Coast Heartland rugby team has a genuine local flavour to it this season.
The 2018 West Coast Heartland squad is: (Click player name for full career break-down)
|Name||Position||Club||Height (m)||Weight (k)||Games|
|Jesse MacRae||Prop||South Westland||1.90||107||20|
|Tyler Kearns||Hooker||Grey Valley||1.88||112||0|
|Daniel Davies||Prop||South Westland||1.78||105||10|
|Tumma Tu’ulua||Lock||Loan – University-Auckland||1.98||119||0|
|Josh “JJ” Manning||(Captain) Lock||Loan – Marist-chch||1.98||111||28|
|Amenatave Tukana||Number 8||Loan – Belfast-chch||1.87||108||16|
|Steven Soper||Flanker||Grey Valley||1.80||96||13|
|Jasyn Van Vliet||Lock||Kiwi||1.90||110||0|
|Nik.K.Cumming||Five eighth||Loan – Sumner-chch||1.80||83||27|
|Tom Reekie||Five eighth||Marist||1.87||85||12|
|Nathan.L.Smith||Five eighth||Origin – Shirley-Chch||1.8||85||15|
|Sione Holani||Midfield Back||Grey Valley||1.75||102||0|
|Regan Stanton||Midfield Back||Blaketown||1.94||102||36|
|Duncan Wood||Outside Back||Blaketown||1.75||84||0|
|Maleli Mudu||Utility Back||Marist||1.67||73||92|
|Peter.E.Te Rakau||Outside Back||Kiwi||1.85||100||18|
|Declan Delany||Outside Back||Kiwi||1.85||94||0|
2018 Fixtures & Results
|04 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||Marlborough||Seddon Shield||33 - 07|
|11 Aug, 1:00 pm||A||Nelson Bays||Representative Match||22 - 19|
|18 Aug, 2:00 pm||A||Canterbury Maori||Pre-Season (non 1st Class)||40 - 17|
|25 Aug, 2:00 pm||A||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||25 - 27|
|01 Sep, 2:00 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||21 - 33|
|08 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Mid Canterbury||Heartland Championship||36 - 29|
|15 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Poverty Bay||Heartland Championship||31 - 30|
|22 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Buller||Heartland Championship|
|29 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||North Otago||Heartland Championship|
|06 Oct, 2:00 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||Heartland Championship|
|13 Oct, 2:00 pm||H||East Coast||Heartland Championship|
Apart from the three imports and one origin player, the remainder of the 28-man squad, announced today by the West Coast Rugby Football Union, are West Coast-based players.
Coach Sean Cuttance told the Greymouth Star he was looking forward to the season and was impressed with the talent he had secured.
The three imports to pull on the West Coast jersey are Christchurch’s Josh Manning and Amenatave Tukana, both of whom played for Coast last year, Manning as captain.
The new import is lock Tumama Tuulua, who played in Auckland this season, but has also played tor Sydenham in Christchurch, where he has family. Tuulua has also played for the Samoa under-20.
The origin player is former West Coaster Nathan Smith, who now plays for Shirley.
Cuttance said he was excited with the number of young players in the squad, with special mention of Wests lock Josh Tomlinson was m the side last year as a development player and has impressed already in our pre-season matches. He is a real talent who can play at either six or seven and has good height which will help us in the lineouts. He it a player we really need to look after and has the talent to go a lot further in the sport.” Cuttance said.
Another Wests player, 19-year-old Vinnie Lucas, also rated a special mention, with his versatility at either halfback or 15. “We have a good number of players from last year coming back, which gives us continuity, and with the new guys we are keen to go one better than what we did last year.”
Cuttance will again have the support of two assistance coaches Kyle Parker and Bruce Pearson, both from Hokitika.
Both have completed a number of coaching courses in their build-up to the Heartland season.
Luke McNeish returns as team manager.
West Coast will play their first game against Thames Valley in Te Aroha.
by Viv Logie – Greymouth Star