New Zealand national Australian rules football team

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AFL New Zealand
Names
Club details
Colours Silver, black
Competition International Cup
Coach Rob Malone
Captain(s) Andrew Howison
Ground(s) Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
  Hutt Park, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Other information
Official website aflnz.co.nz/

The New Zealand national Australian rules football team, is the national team for the sport of Australian rules football in New Zealand. The team is selected from the best New Zealand born and developed players, primarily from the clubs of the AFL New Zealand. New Zealand-born players in the Australian Football League are not considered for selection. The team mainly plays only for the purposes of the Australian Football International Cup, and won the tournament in 2005.

Identity[edit]

The NZ side wear a distinctive silver and black uniform which consists of a guernsey (singlet), shorts and socks. The guernsey contains New Zealand's silver fern. Before every match, similar to the all blacks, the NZ team will perform a Haka.

History[edit]

New Zealand are the modern version of the team that defeated both New South Wales and Queensland at the Jubilee Australasian Football Carnival. Australian Football was seldom played in New Zealand between 1908 and 1974.

New Zealand was reintroduced to international Australian Football at the Arafura Games in 1995. The team also competed in the 1997 and 1999 games, winning the Silver medal in each year of the competition as runners up to Papua New Guinea.

The team competed in the inaugural 2002 Australian Football International Cup finishing in 3rd place.

Warming up for the 2005 International Cup, the Falcons played a touring Maffra (from the strong Victorian Country Football League in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia) at Manurewa in New Zealand but were defeated by 70 points,[1] dulling expectations of the team's appearance in the next international event, but at the same time displaying the massive disparity between the competitive level of the sport in the two countries.

However, with the growing popularity of Aussie Rules in New Zealand, the much improved 2005 New Zealand International Cup side went through the competition undefeated, claiming the title of International Champions by defeating Papua New Guinea in the Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, effectively claiming the title from previous winners Ireland. The team took most by surprise and no other side was able to come close to winning against them.

The Falcon's best and fairest player (from the 2005 International Cup) was Matthew Callaghan.

Following the overwhelming success of the team's 2005 International Cup appearance, the Falcons were invited to play at the Australian Country Championships in 2006 to be held on the Gold Coast. The qualification rules of this competition are more lenient, and the Falcons were able to play non-New Zealand born players to make them competitive against Australian sides from country leagues. The Falcons were not successful at the event, losing heavily to Queensland, by 9 points to Victoria B and by 63 points to the Indigenous All-Stars.[2]

Warming up for the 2008 cup, New Zealand were once again convincingly defeated by Maffra. The team, however went on to win all of its first 3 rounds by massive margins, leading its pool by a massive percentage to play-off in the finals against Ireland, Papua New Guinea and South Africa. Though the Falcons lost to a determined Papua New Guinea in the Grand Final. Richard Bradley was the tournament's equal leading goalkicker with Canada's Scott Fleming and was one of three New Zealanders selected in the All-International (world) team.

Since 2012 the national side has played against the National Australian Under 17 team (NAB AFL Academy). The first game was won convincingly by the AFL Academy by 91 points. 2013 saw the Australian's win by 44 points and in 2014 it took a goal in the final minutes to win their third straight game by only 4 points.

Some of NZ's past and present players include-

Shem Tatupu - Melbourne Storm (NRL) Joseph Baker Thomas - St Kilda International Scholarship Holder (AFL) Cameron Illet - NT Thunder (NEAFL) / St Mary's (NTFL) Khan Haretaku - Port Melbourne Football Club (VFL) / Sydney Swans (Rookie List) Matt Argus -NT Thunder (NEAFL) Lachlan Argus - NT Thunder (NEAFL) / St Mary's Brendan Clark - NT Thunder (NEAFL) / Tiwi Bombers Andrew Howieson - Sandringham Dragons reserves (VFL) / Old Collegians (VAFA) Wayne Schwass - Sydney Swans (AFL) Andrew Christiansen - University Blues (VAFA) Mitchell Ryan - Frankston Dolphins (VFL) Justin Clark- Old Collegians (VAFA) Kurt Hedtherley - Hawthorn Football Club (AFL)

AFL New Zealand Sponsors[edit]

AFL, St Kilda Football Club, Foundation North, AVJennings, Sport New Zealand, Sekem, New Zealand Racing Board

International competition[edit]

International Cup[edit]

Arafura Games[edit]

  • 1995: 2nd[3]
  • 1997: 2nd[4]
  • 1999: 2nd[5]
  • 2001: Did not enter[6]

Current Squad[edit]

The following players were included in the squad for the 2017 Australian Football International Cup:[7]

Name Club League Region
Aaron Harris Morningside Panthers AustraliaQAFL Brisbane
Adam Simpson Springwood Pumas AustraliaQAFL Brisbane
Andrew Howison Oakleigh Districts AustraliaSFNL Melbourne
Andriu Sucu North Shore Tigers New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Andy Christensen South Melbourne Districts AustraliaVAFA Melbourne
Barclay Miller St Kilda Saints AustraliaAFL Melbourne
Ben Hick University Blues New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Brandon Sucu Wilston Grange AustraliaQAFL Brisbane
Brendan Clark Maroochydore Roos AustraliaQAFL Brisbane
Carlos Donnell-Brown Waitakere Magpies New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Christian Blackie Otago Hooops New ZealandOtago AFL Otago
David Rattenbury Waitakere Magpies New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Jackson Clince North Shore Tigers New ZealandAAFL Auckland
James Kusel Hutt Valley Eagles New ZealandWAFL Wellington
Jay Johnson Eastern Blues New ZealandCAFL Canterbury
Joe Baker-Thomas St Kilda Saints AustraliaAFL Melbourne
Josh Cunliffe North Shore Tigers New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Josh Mackie Otago Hoops New ZealandOtago AFL Otago
Liam Beattie University Blues New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Michael Boyce Mt Roskill Saints New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Misilifi Faimalo North City Demons New ZealandWAFL Wellington
Peter Halstead Eastern Bulldogs New ZealandWAFL Wellington
Samuel McKenzie Mt Roskill Saints New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Shane Leat Waitakere Magpies New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas North Shore Tigers New ZealandAAFL Auckland
Ty Smith North Shore Tigers New ZealandAAFL Auckland
William Dickinson Mt Roskill Saints New ZealandAAFL Auckland
William Gregson Sandringham Zebras AustraliaVFL Melbourne

Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New Zealand given a football lesson by touring Maffra Eagles by Aaron Richard for worldfootynews.com
  2. ^ Reality Check for International Footy by Brett Northey for worldfootynews.com
  3. ^ [1] Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ [2] Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [3] Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ [4] Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ http://aflnz.co.nz/blog/2017/06/15/new-zealand-squad-for-2017-international-cup/

External links[edit]