Nelson students to play for Samoa against Warriors

  • March 11, 2015

marvin curry  junior tuiNelson College students Marvin Curry, 16, left, and Junior Tui, 17, have been selected to play for a Samoan invitational rugby league team in Auckland this weekend. Photo: Phillip Rollo

11 March 2015

By Phillip Rollo – The Nelson Mail

Two Nelson College students have been given a huge opportunity to play for a Samoa Invitational XIII against the Warriors development team in Auckland this weekend.

Marvin Curry and Junior Tui, who were both part of the Tasman Titans 17s team last year, were travelling to Auckland on Wednesday to train with the team twice before taking on the Warriors development squad in front of NRL scouts and getting a chance to tour through their team headquarters.

Marvin and Junior were clearly excited about the opportunity to not only represent their country of birth but to try to impress Warriors selectors during the one-off fixture. “It’s a privilege to play for the Samoan team and it’s always been a dream to represent my country,” Junior said.

“I think this is a big opportunity to play in front of Warriors scouts and all of the top players that will be watching. I just want to make a big impression of myself,” Marvin added.

Junior can play “anywhere” but is most comfortable in the halves. Though his experience in league is minimal, he said he loved every minute he played for the Tasman Titans 17s team last year and was looking forward to linking up with the Richmond Rabbits following the trip to Auckland.

“I just want to get to know the game more. I love having space to run and rugby league gives me that.

“I want to be able to play a game and have the coach look at me like ‘we’ll have him starting again’.”

Though 16-year-old Marvin, who plays centre, wing or fullback, is too young to play in the Tasman Rugby League competition this year, he has been involved in the South Island academy for the past nine weeks and already he’s reaping the rewards.

“It’s improved my fitness heaps. Last year I remember going down to Christchurch last year for fitness tests and thinking I did pretty high but I went down a couple of weeks ago and I beat my score by three times.

“Even skill-wise I’ve been learning a lot and it’s just good to be representing Tasman.”

Tasman Rugby League regional development officer Ryan Charles said the pair’s inclusion in the Samoan Invitational XIII highlights other pathways for young players in the region, with both Marvin and Junior also involved in the South Island academy along with Nelson College’s Teu Sami and Waimea College’s Tomas Ogilvie.

“It’s special for them because it’s the country of their birth but it’s great to see the opportunities that the Tasman 17s is leading onto. You’ve got the academy and now there is this opportunity for these two.
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“The Warriors will obviously have scouts watching. The NRL has a large percentage of island boys so they’ll know what to expect and it’s a massive opportunity for them.”