Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday November 3 2014
24 — Howick and Pakuranga Times, Monday, November 3, 2014 www.times.co.nz FOLLOW US ON BRONZE ON DEBUT: From the size of the jumps to the final result, the North Island secondary school snowboarding competition was full of surprises for Elim Christian College pupil Aleisha Bain. ➤ Page 23 128403 FOR the first time since 2008, the Blues Super Rugby team will be without the man affec- tionately known as Freak. Pakuranga United, Auckland and Blues veteran Tom McCart- ney is one of the notable absences from the squad named by coach Sir John Kirwan for the 2015 season. McCartney, 29, has left New Zealand to play under former Blues coach Pat Lam for Irish club Connacht in the European Pro12 competition for three years. The versatile front-rower who can pack down at hooker or loose- head prop played 63 matches for the Blues and 94 for Auckland, and was a proud Pakuranga club man. He earned his nickname Freak for his feats of strength and work ethic in the weight room. At the Auckland Rugby Union prize-giving last week, McCart- ney received the Sir Fred Allen Supreme Award, for the player who epitomises the qualities and values of the union to the highest standard. Other stars also missing from last season’s Blues team are Piri Weepu (London Welsh), Benji Marshall (rugby league) and Ma’a Nonu (Hurricanes). Pakuranga prop Sam Prattley and outside back Charlie Piutau remain in the team, and loose for- ward Joe Edwards will get his first taste of Super Rugby after missing the majority of last season with a shoulder injury. Malakai Fekitoa, also of Pakuranga, had a breakout season for the Highlanders in 2014 and has been retained by coach Jamie Joseph. Saint Kentigern College old boy Jerome Kaino replaces Luke Braid as captain of the Blues. “Jerome brings everything you want in a captain – leadership on the field, leadership off the field,” says Kirwan. “He’s also an x-factor player. As a team we want to be resilient and relentless and Jer- ome is that sort of player.” The full 2015 Blues squad, including wider training group, is: (forwards) Josh Bekhuis, Luke Braid, Joe Edwards, Charlie Fau- muina, Blake Gibson, Jerome Kaino, Will Lloyd, Steven Luatua, Keven Mealamu, Matt Moulds, Brendon O’Connor, James Parsons, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Sam Prattley, Culum Retallick, Peter Saili, Angus Ta’avao, Hayden Triggs, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tony Woodcock, (backs) Pita Ahki, Dan Bowden, Jimmy Cowan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Frank Halai, Bryn Hall, Simon Hickey, Ben Lam, Tevita Li, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Hamish Northcott, Charles Piutau, Francis Saili, Matt Vaega, Lolagi Visinia, Ihaia West. Other Pakuranga players rec- ■ ognised at the Auckland Rugby Union awards were Caleb Hall, for Auckland B player of the year, and William Rew, for under-19 B player of the year. Freak’s Blues era is over JEROME KAINO Photo supplied / Photosport TOM MCCARTNEY Photo supplied / Brad James DIPAK PATEL Photo supplied T ➤ urntoPage23 Patel takes career leap By DANIEL SILVERTON DIPAK Patel is no stranger to moving great distances to further his cricketing prospects. The former Black Cap, who emigrated from England to New Zealand in 1986 for a chance to play international cricket, is now coach of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) national team. He has been in the role for nearly three months, following 17 years as director of coaching at Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club. “I was treading water for a while at Howick Pakuranga,” he told the Times while back in New Zealand last week. “I wasn’t going anywhere with my career. “Early in the year I made the decision to look for an international post somewhere, and this came along,” Patel was approached by the ICC to lead the PNG Barrimundis, who are ranked 16th in the world and were promoted to One Day International status this year.
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