Finalists awarded PIC Steelers contracts

Finalists awarded PIC Steelers contracts

Manurewa and Patumahoe players Tevita Ofa, Thor Manase, Mark Royal, William Furniss and Lionel Evans have been rewarded for outstanding club seasons with contracts for the PIC Steelers in this year’s NPC.

Manurewa’s Ofa and Manase helped the club break a 24-year hoodoo to win the McNamara Cup on Saturday while Patumahoe trio Royal, Evans and Furniss guided their side to an unbeaten run to the 2022 McNamara Cup final.

Manase is a talented young loose forward with a high work rate. He has already been part of the Chiefs U20 side this season.

Ofa is capable of playing in the midfield, on the wing or at fullback and excelled with the kicking tee this season for Manurewa.

Props Royal and Evans have enjoyed superb seasons as bookends in the Patumahoe scrum. Royal has previously played for the PIC Steelers while youngster Evans gets his first representative opportunity this season.

Furniss, a tough-as-teak lock forward, brought up 100 premier games earlier in the year and has been knocking on the door of higher honours for a number of seasons.

“These guys have earned a spot the hard way,” PIC Steelers coach Reon Graham said. “All five have worked their backsides off and played superb football this season and thoroughly deserve their opportunity.

“Mark has plenty of NPC experience with the Steelers before while Tevita, Thor, Lionel and Will have been on the radar for some time.

“I can’t wait to see what they can achieve at the higher level.”

The PIC Steelers begin their 2022 campaign with home game against Otago on Saturday August 6.

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