Lawton, Baker acknowledged at CMRFU AGM

Lawton, Baker acknowledged at CMRFU AGM

Departing chief executive Aaron Lawton and long-serving board member Andy Baker were recognised at the 69th annual Counties Manukau Rugby AGM on Sunday.

The two men have made massive contributions to the Union and were presented with gifts and fitting tributes.

Lawton has led the Union through some of the most challenging times in history but helped deliver some of its best ever financial results while Baker has been the driving force behind the club game thanks to his long association with the Council of Delegates.

Pukekohe’s John Hume was awarded the George Bell Trophy for service to rugby on the back of his outstanding contribution to the Pukekohe club but also for being the man that has helped get U19 rugby back up and running in the region.

Patumahoe took out the John Nicholson Club of the Year for their efforts across all grades while Onewhero picked up the Ultimate Game Day Experience award.

Te Kauwhata’s Frank Greene was given the Volunteer of the Year award for his contribution to the region’s southern most club.

Karaka and Steelers winger Esau Filimoehala took out the Premier Club Player of the Year after helping his side to the final, where they ran so close to winning the McNamara Cup.

Brandon Roberts claimed the Referee of the Year.

In addition to recognising the achievements of many key people within the game, a new board was confirmed that brings to close the governance overhaul that the Union has undergone over the past year or more.

Gary Millington is retained as the Union’s chairman while Peter Fa’afiu, Andrew Foote, Trevor Stang, Renee Maxwell, Sarah Bell, Kevin Wilcox, Tara Coe and Mika Taito have been confirmed as directors.

Coe and Taita are new board members. Coe has held various adminstrative roles with Waiuku and now Puni Rugby Club and is the daughter of Steelers legend Jim Coe. Taita has a longstanding affiliation with secondary school rugby, previously with Auckland Grammar and is currently teaching at St Pauls College in Auckland.

Lee Lidgard continues as president, Jack Kani as vice president and Don Shuker as patron.

Chad Shepherd was officially welcomed as the new chief executive.