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Sunday, August 18 2019 @ 02:26 am ACST

Kiwis announce squad for Australian Country Champs

Oceania

The New Zealand AFL, reigning International Cup champions, have announced their squad to contest the 2006 Australian Country Championships in Queensland in late July. This historic occasion will see the Kiwi's league up against some of Australia's finest country talent in a huge challenge for the New Zealand team.

Unlike the majority of internationals, in which countries field sides made up entirely of their own nationals, this competition will be slightly different. As it is a country Australia regional event, not state of origin, there is no reason for NZ to limit its team to purely New Zealanders. This will give the NZAFL the opportunity to present the full strength of their footy leagues, regarded as some of the best outside of Australia. Nevertheless, the Falcons will be up against stiff competition, and all the international footy community will be watching to see how they go.

Rob Vanstam will coach the side, which has an average age of 23 years, an encouraging sign for future NZ teams. 14 players come from the dominant Auckland league, with 5 from Wellington, 4 Canterbury and 3 from the relatively new Waikato AFL.

2005 International Cup captain Andrew Congalton was off to the UK on a rugby contract after the Cup, and has been replaced as leader by Louis McLennan, with Morgan Jones and Mick Coultard as deputies.

We'll run through the team compared with the 2005 International Cup and the Kiwi/Aussie breakdown in a later story.

PlayerAgeProvinceClub
Steve Telfer 35 Auckland Manurewa Raiders
Tim Stevens 31 Wellington Wellington Saints
Mick Coultard 31 Auckland Manurewa Raiders
Stephen Power 29 Auckland University Blues
Rob Hart 28 Auckland Manurewa Raiders
Morgan Jones 25 Auckland Mt Roskill Saints
Lewis Hurst 25 Auckland Mt Roskill Saints
Richard Bradley 24 Canterbury Eastern Blues
Scott McNally 23 Canterbury Eastern Blues
Caleb Stick 23 Auckland North Shore Tigers
Louis McLennan 23 Auckland North Shore Tigers
Guy Ferguson 23 Wellington Eastern Bulldogs
Frank Archer 23 Canterbury Canterbury Cougars
John Mailing 22 Auckland Waitakere Magpies
Joe Hendry 22 Canterbury Canterbury Cougars
Matthew VanWijk 21 Waikato Waikato Thunder
Phil Mourits 21 Waikato Waikato Thunder
Matt Callaghan 20 Auckland Mt Roskill Saints
Nic Cunneen 20 Waikato Waikato Thunder
Ben Horne 20 Auckland University Blues
Anthony James 20 Wellington Hutt Valley Eagles
David Cory-Toussaint 19 Auckland University Blues
Alex Fakatoumafia 19 Auckland Manurewa Raiders
James Kusel 18 Wellington Hutt Valley Eagles
Andrew Crighton 18 Auckland North Shore Tigers
Andrew Lealofi 17 Wellington Wellington Saints

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