2020 Bay of Plenty Toa squad named
With New Zealand Rugby’s decision to cancel all provincial representative rugby tournaments below the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup earlier this year due to COVID-19, that meant our Bay of Plenty Toa team would not compete in the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament this year.
Given the circumstances, the Bay of Plenty Toa Management team were still determined to provide a meaningful representative programme for this age group.
Other provincial unions were looking for games as well, so through discussion a strong 6-game schedule has been put together.
The decision to move towards an under 20 age grade campaign enabled the ability to select from a wider pool of players.
Head coach Aidan Kuka has named his 2020 Toa squad.
Kuka is excited for the season ahead.
"There has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to put this campaign together. James Porter has been instrumental in designing the Toa schedule.
"I know this group of young men are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be putting on a Bay of Plenty rugby jersey while also representing their club and whānau.
“The majority of the squad have been part of the 2020 Academy group and have worked hard to this point. It is a well balanced squad and they will look to play an exciting brand of rugby that encourages flair and expression.
"Tama Te Aute will captain the side and lead from the front. He will be well supported by Benet Kumeroa, Cassius Misa and Nikora Broughton who were all inspirational in last year’s campaign."
The Toa will kick off their season this Saturday in their season opener game against Manawatu in Taupo.
This game will make up three of their away games, as the team will travel twice over two weekends to Te Kuiti to meet King Country and Taranaki respectively.
The Toa will then settle in at home to play their three remaining games at home, with their first home game against Thames Valley being the curtain raiser to the Steamers Mitre 10 game at Rotorua International Stadium.
Their second home game against Waikato will be played at Blake Park and will also be Live streamed and free to watch on the Bay of Plenty Rugby Facebook page.
The Toa’s final game of the season will be played at Tauranga Domain against Counties Manukau and will be one of two games played at the Domain before the Steamers Mitre 10 Cup match.
Tickets will be required for entry to Toa games that are played as curtain raiser games to Mitre 10 Cup games, all other games will be free entry to the public if in Level 1.
2020 Bay of Plenty Toa squad:
Amorangi Kuka – Lock (Te Puna)
Arana Millar – Prop (Te Puke Sports)
Bailey Gordon - Utility Back (Whakarewarewa)
Benet Kumeroa – Prop (Rangiuru)
Bernie Hati – Hooker (Whakarewarewa)
Brett Henry – Prop (Rangiuru)
Cassius Misa - Second Five (Te Teko)
Chad Isaiah Roberts – Winger (Rangiuru)
Hunter Wharerau – Hooker (Ngongotaha)
Jack Henry – Prop (Rangiuru)
Jack Hollinshead - Halfback (Te Puke Sports)
Jack Sturmey – Flanker (Whakarewarewa)
Jay Gardiner – Outside Back (Rangataua)
Jayden Green – Fullback (Greerton Marist)
Jona Mataciwa – Wing (Tauranga Sports)
Kali Vaipulu – Lock (Te Puke Sports)
Kane O’Connor – Halfback (Greerton Marist)
Kirwin Hiini – Hooker (Rangiuru
Kobe Hewitt – Wing (Ngongotaha)
Lockie Deveraux - Lock (Te Puke Sports)
Lucas Cashmore – First Five (Tauranga Sports)
Mason Leaver – Fullback (Tauranga Sports)
Melino Fotu – Flanker (Rangiuru)
Nephi Sanerive – No 8 (Greerton Marist)
Nikora Broughton – Flanker (Rangiuru)
Nirai Ririnui – Prop (Rangataua)
Peni Lasaqa – Wing (Tauranga Sports)
Rihari Jobe – First Five (Rangataua)
Tama Te Aute – Centre (Rangiuru)
Te Ao Taumatangi Billing – Halfback (Rangataua)
Te Hemara Gardiner-Toi – Loose Forward (Rangataua)
Zac Ririnui – Prop (Rangataua)
*More to be added
2020 Bay of Plenty Toa Management team:
Head Coach: Aidan Kuka
Assistant Coach: James Porter
Assistant Coach: Glen Jackson
Manager: Michaela Tahere
Strength & Conditioning Trainer: Scott Joblin
Video Analyst: Luca Tahere
2020 Bay of Plenty Toa Schedule:
Manawatu vs Bay of Plenty, 12th September, 2.00pm, Owen Delany Park, Taupo
King Country vs Bay of Plenty, 19th September, 2.30pm, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti
Taranaki vs Bay of Plenty, 26th September, 2.00pm, Rugby Park, Te Kuiti
Bay of Plenty vs Thames Valley, 2nd October, 4.30pm, International Stadium, Rotorua (Curtain Raiser to Steamers game)
Bay of Plenty vs Waikato, 10th October, 12.00pm, Blake Park, Mount Maunganui
Bay of Plenty vs Counties Manukau, 24th October, 12.00pm, Tauranga Domain No.2 Field