17 August 1995 |
Hamilton, New Zealand
|Height||186 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||97 kg (15 st 4 lb)|
|Position||Wing, Fullback, Centre|
As of 2 May 2016
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, 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. He attended Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown.
Watene-Zelezniak is the great-grandson of former New Zealand rugby league captain and politician, Steve Watene. Watene-Zelezniak is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Dallin is the younger brother of Wests Tigers Winger, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.
In April 2013, Watene-Zelezniak re-signed with the Panthers on a 2-year contract. 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. 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.
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. 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.
On 5 February, Watene-Zelezniak extended his contract with the Panthers until the end of 2016. 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. 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. He finished off the 2015 season having played in 16 matches and scored 7 tries for the Panthers. On 10 November, he extended his contract with the Panthers until the end of 2017.
In February, Watene-Zelezniak was named in the Panthers' 2016 NRL Auckland Nines squad. 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. 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.
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- "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak ‘grateful and blessed’ to be re-signed by Penrith Panthers". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
- "Dallin Watene-Zelezniak Ruled Out of New Zealand Test Team; Jason nightingale to Start against Australia". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
- 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.
- "Panthers Fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in hospital After suffering a Collapsed Lung". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
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- "Panthers name Auckland Nines squad". NRL.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- "Updated: Representative Round team lists". NRL.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
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