Around the grounds - 14 May

Club players waiting on Cavaliers announcement
The Counties Manukau Cavaliers squad will be named on Monday for a pre-season fixture against North Harbour on Wednesday.
There will be plenty of interest in which players are chosen by coach Tai Lavea and it should be a good indication as to what we might see come the NPC later in the season.

NPC fixtures due next week
The NPC and FPC draws are due out on Monday next week too. While we won’t know the exact schedule until then there is strong mail Auckland will be down in Pukekohe this year for a Saturday afternoon game in the NPC.

All-star coaching for juniors
A Patumahoe Junior side had a rock star cast of coaches at Wednesday training this week.
Usual coaches Troy Abernethy and Jonny Wilkinson were sick so the first year players had some notable fill-in helpers.
Premier coach Reon Graham, former Counties midfield back Kim Furniss and long serving manager/committee member Darren Abernethy deputised along with a huge support cast.

Cockies get behind Counties Manukau
Counties Manukau Rugby is setting up a Cockies’ Club to get local farmers more engaged with the Union.
It sounds like local salesman extraordinaire Brad Devlin is helping the Union drive it and 12 farmers have already signed up to commit the profits on the sale of one beast to the Union.
In return, cockies get 4 x season tickets, 15 beer vouchers and a Counties Manukau polo. If you’re interested, please contact Brad at

Ardmore Marist celebrates milestone
The Ardmore Marist club will celebrate their 25th anniversary when their premier side takes on Bombay at Bruce Pulman Park.
The club began life as a merged entity with Ardmore joining the old Marist club back in 1996 and have become one of the dominant clubs in the region in the years since.

Papali’i rocks bespoke Counties shirt
All Blacks and Blues loose forward Dalton Papalii swung by the Union’s offices during his week off last week to introduce new signing Hoskins Sotutu to the staff.

Dalton was rocking a Steelers t-shirt featuring iconic players that he apparently designed himself. There can certainly be no accusations that Papali’i hasn’t fallen in love with the province.

Karaka celebrate milestones

Karaka skipper Jamie Gilbert-Clark brings up 150 games on Saturday when his side plays Manurewa at Karaka Sports Complex.
Ray Fuilala will bring up 50 games at the same time and earn a blazer.
The game will be livestreamed as well.

Local to coach Heat
The new Counties Manukau Heat coaching team will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Chad Shepherd has stepped down as has his hands are full running the men’s and women’s academies.
The whisper is the new coaching group will be headed by a local coach.

Te Kauwhata cook up a memorable feed
PIC Steelers coaches Tai Lavea and Richie Harris had a fantastic night helping Te Kauwhata a couple of weeks back and raved about the post-training spread they put on in the clubhouse afterwards.