South Canterbury’s Nigel Walsh returns to the helm as Head Coach of the Heartland XV and has named a strong group of players to assemble for the match. The team features 14 players who took the field in the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship Final.
The New Zealand Heartland XV is:
Adam Williamson (Mid Canterbury)
Cam Russell (South Canterbury)
Connor McVerry (Thames Valley)
Cruise Dunstar (King Country)
Henry Bryce (South Canterbury)
Hakarangi Tichborne (Ngati Porou East Coast)
Junior Fakatoufifita (North Otago)
Kaleb Foote (King Country)
Liam Rowlands (King Country)
Nick Strachan (South Canterbury)
Roman Tutauha (Whanganui)
Tokomaata Fakatava (South Canterbury)
Vaka Taelega (South Canterbury)
Dane Whale (Whanganui)
Harry Lafituanai (Thames Valley)
Hayden Todd (North Otago)
Lindsay Horrocks (Whanganui)
Paula Fifita (South Canterbury)
Saimone Samate (North Otago)
Timoci Seruwalu (Whanganui)
Todd Doolan (Thames Valley)
Willie Wright (South Canterbury)
Zac Saunders (South Canterbury)
Head Coach: Nigel Walsh (South Canterbury)
Assistant Coach: Jason Hamlin (Whanganui)
Manager: Thomas Zimmerman (Horowhenua-Kapiti)
Assistant Manager: Shay O’Gorman (Wairarapa-Bush)
Team Doctor: Coll Campbell (Poverty Bay)
Team Physio: Geoff Thompson (South Canterbury)
Team Trainer: Slade King
Following a competitive Heartland Championship, Walsh said he was pleased with the team that has been selected.
“We are fortunate to be able to select from a quality group of players. The calibre of the squad we have fielded is credit to the competitive nature of the Heartland Championship. We’re pleased to have selected a well-balanced team, with a strong skill-set that is bolstered by some great experience.”
Walsh expects the New Zealand Police to be a competitive match-up for the New Zealand Heartland XV.
“We’re expecting a tough, close competition from the New Zealand Police and I’m looking forward to seeing players take the opportunity to pull on the New Zealand Heartland XV jersey and proudly represent it. This is the pinnacle for a number of these players from the Heartland provincial teams and for them to be able to don the black jersey is something very special and will be treasured for the rest of their lives.”
This will be Walsh’s second campaign as Head Coach, alongside Assistant Coach Jason Hamlin. Walsh said it is a special time for the management as well as the players’ to be recognised.
“It is an absolute privilege to be involved with the New Zealand Heartland XV team and represent the silver fern. Each member of the side has earnt their spot and will be an honour for them to step-out onto the field to represent their Heartland Union, whānau, and friends.”
The New Zealand Heartland XV will play the New Zealand Police at Owen Delany Park, Taupō on Sunday 6 November at 2.05pm live on Sky Sport.
New Zealand Heartland XV v New Zealand Police
Sunday 6 November, 2.05pm
Owen Delany Park, Taupō.
Live on Sky Sport.