LION FOUNDATION NJC 2004 We are due to kick off the Lion Foundation National Junior Competition (NJC) on Saturday 6 March 2004. Structured as an off-season high performance programme throughout New Zealand to create another pathway for our elite players, coaches, managers, trainers and match officials in the development to the professional ranks of Rugby League. This has been made possible with the assistance of the Lion Foundation and we are very happy to again have their support in 2004. This competition has provided the opportunity for our top teen talent to hone their skills as part of structured off-season conditioning/coaching, and then showcase their abilities as part of a high quality competition. This programme has already paid dividends in the previous two seasons of running, with the number of graduates who have been capped with representative honours in the New Zealand 16's and the Junior Kiwi's, and many becoming part of the Warriors Junior Elite Squad. We are now seeing many graduates also stepping up to Bartercard Cup and being involved in NRL franchises in both New Zealand and Australia. Thomas Leuluai is one example of a success story, starting the season off with the Lion Foundation NJC, then kicking on to play for the Tornadoes in the Bartercard Cup, making a number of appearances for the NZ Vodafone Warriors and also representing both the Junior Kiwi's and the Kiwi's who had a great win over Australia at North Harbour Stadium in October 2003. The 2004 competition looks to be just as exciting and competitive as the last two, with the likes of Shaun Metcalf, Cooper Vuna, Manu Vatuvei, and Marvin Filipo all taking part. These four players have already made appearances for the NZ Vodafone Warriors in their trial games against both the Dragons and the Penrith Panthers in February of this year, which certainly shows the standard of the competition. Click below for both the Foundation Cup 16's and the Kiwi Cup 18's draw http://www.nzrl.co.nz/template.cfm?PageID=287
If you have any queries or would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.