Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

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Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.jpg
Personal information
Nickname DWZ[1][2]
Born (1995-08-17) 17 August 1995 (age 22)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Height 186 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 97 kg (15 st 4 lb)
Playing information
Position Wing, Fullback, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2014– Penrith Panthers 75 35 0 0 140
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2016–17 New Zealand 3 0 0 0 0
As of 2 May 2016
Source: [3]

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (born 17 August 1995) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League. A New Zealand national representative, he plays at fullback, wing and centre.


Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Watene-Zelezniak is of Māori, Tongan and Polish descent and is from the Waikato Tainui Iwi. Watene-Zelezniak lived in Ngaruawahia,[4] before moving to Sydney, Australia as a 5-year old and played his junior rugby league for the St Clair Comets, before being signed by the Penrith Panthers.[5] He attended Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown.[6]

Watene-Zelezniak is the great-grandson of former New Zealand rugby league captain and politician, Steve Watene.[7] Watene-Zelezniak is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[7] Dallin is the younger brother of Wests Tigers Winger, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.

Playing career[edit]

In April 2013, Watene-Zelezniak re-signed with the Panthers on a 2-year contract.[8] That year, he played in the Panthers' 2013 NYC Grand Final 42-30 win over the New Zealand Warriors and played for the New South Wales Under 18s team.[9][10] He was also selected to play for both the Australian Schoolboys team and Junior Kiwis team. He eventually chose to play for the Junior Kiwis.[5]


In 2014 Watene-Zelezniak moved on to play in the Panthers NSW Cup team, before being included in the Panthers first grade squad. In round 5 of the 2014 NRL season, Watene-Zelezniak made his NRL debut for the Penrith Panthers against the Canberra Raiders, scoring 2 tries on debut in the Panthers 12-6 win at Penrith Stadium.[11] Watene-Zelezniak finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 10 matches and scoring 7 tries for the Panthers in the 2014 NRL season.

On 7 October 2014, Watene-Zelezniak's impressive late season form saw him included in the New Zealand Kiwis 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations. However he was later ruled out after he suffered a foot injury at training.[12][13]


On 5 February, Watene-Zelezniak extended his contract with the Panthers until the end of 2016.[14] On 28 April, ruled out of making his international debut for New Zealand in the 2015 Anzac Test after he was charged with a dangerous throw on Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks player Wade Graham. The suspension denied Watene-Zelezniak his New Zealand debut for the second time in 6-months.[15] In round 18, against the Sydney Roosters, he suffered a collapsed lung during the Panthers' 24-4 loss at Penrith Stadium and was ruled out for the rest of the 2015 season.[16][17][18] He finished off the 2015 season having played in 16 matches and scored 7 tries for the Panthers.[19] On 10 November, he extended his contract with the Panthers until the end of 2017.[20]


In February, Watene-Zelezniak was named in the Panthers' 2016 NRL Auckland Nines squad.[21] On 6 May 2016, Watene-Zelezniak made his international debut for New Zealand against Australia in the 2016 Anzac Test, playing on the wing in the 16-0 loss at Hunter Stadium.[22][23] Watene-Zelezniak finished the 2016 NRL season with him playing in all of the Panthers 26 matches and scoring 12 tries. At the end of season, Watene-Zelezniak was selected in the New Zealand 24-man squad for the 2016 Four Nations. Watene-Zelezniak played in one match in the tournament, playing at fullback in the Kiwis 18-all draw against Scotland at Derwent Park.[24]


  1. ^ McCullough, Ian (5 April 2014). "Cleary ready to unleash Penrith flyer". NRL. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Penrith’s Dallin Watene Zelezniak will make his first-grade debut against Canberra". Fox Sports. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Ngaruawahia teen bags debut double". Stuff.co.nz. 2014-04-06. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  5. ^ a b Massoud, Josh (21 November 2013). "Penrith whiz-kid Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on idol Will Hopoate's path". Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ Michael Chammas. "No rookie mistakes but Moylan could still lose Penrith fullback role to teen". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  7. ^ a b Lane, Daniel (4 April 2014). "Penrith rookie Dallin Watene-Zelezniak shapes up to a family legend". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  8. ^ "Panthers re-sign talented youngsters". Penrith Panthers. 24 April 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Two Penrith Panthers Star Juniors selected in NSW Under-18 Origin Side". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  10. ^ "AUS-UNDER 18'S STATE OF ORIGIN - QLD v NSW GAME 2 – SMP Images". Smpimages.com. 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  11. ^ Michael Chammas (2014-04-05). "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak stars on debut as Panthers beat Raiders". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  12. ^ "Four rookies in Kiwis Four Nations squad - NRL.com". M.nrl.com. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  13. ^ "New Zealand's Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to Miss Four Nations with Injury". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  14. ^ "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak ‘grateful and blessed’ to be re-signed by Penrith Panthers". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  15. ^ "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak Ruled Out of New Zealand Test Team; Jason nightingale to Start against Australia". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  16. ^ Daniel Lane (2015-08-01). "Penrith Panthers fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak's season over but slams reports about genetic condition". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  17. ^ "Panthers Fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in hospital After suffering a Collapsed Lung". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  18. ^ "Ferguson Leads Roosters to Panthers Pasting". The Australian. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  19. ^ "Custom Match List". Rugby League Project. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2015-12-26. 
  20. ^ "DWZ signs new Panthers deal | NRL". Zero Tackle. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  21. ^ "Panthers name Auckland Nines squad". NRL.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  22. ^ "Updated: Representative Round team lists". NRL.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]