OPOTIKI rugby players Makau Phipps and Ngawai Amoamo start their warm-up at Rugby Park in Whakatane before the first training of the Ellis Shield Eastern Bay Under-11 representative rugby team, coached by Glenn Phipps from Opotiki. Photo Tania Humberstone
  • Ellis Shield teams ready for upcoming action

THE first training of the Ellis Shield Eastern Bay representative junior teams took place over the weekend.

The representative teams are chosen from players across the Eastern Bay in under-11, -12 and -13 grades and are open-weight and open to boys and girls. It is a traditional tri-way fixture that Eastern Bay teams have been competing in for more than 20 years.

Flying the flag for Opotiki are under-13 coaches Kevin (Brivvy) Waterson and Joseph Howe. Rachel Pratt is the under-12 manager and Glenn Phipps is coaching the under-11s.

The Ellis Shield rugby tournament used to involve Eastern, Central and Western Bay of Plenty sub-union teams to compete for various age grade shields and the overall honours – the Ellis Shield.

But two years ago, Western Bay withdrew from the competition and in 2018, when hosted in Rotorua, Taupo club and representative teams filled the third spot.

This season, Whakatane is hosting Ellis Shield on Saturday, August 31 at Rugby Park in Whakatane and will be looking for a good home crowd to cheer on the junior hosts.

Central and Eastern will continue to contest for the overall bragging rights of the Ellis Shield and Thames Valley representative teams have confirmed in two grades. Poverty Bay are hopeful they too can send teams to compete.

Games will kick off from 10am on Saturday, August 31.

  • Under-13 representative team:

Opotiki: Carlos Howe, Riccardo Mareroa, Justin Warren, Whakahu Kahukiwa. Paroa: Ngaea Amai, Jonte Moore, Taylor Nuku, Jacob Apanui-Herewini, Braiden Craig, Fearghus Byers, D-Shire Waerehu.
Whakatane Marist: Molly Byford, Jayden Selman.
Ruatoki: Mihiata Teepa.
Te Teko: Wiremu Shortland
Lucian Bain, Te Kahu Kiel, Milan Milosevic.
WHS: Taj Waterson, Hakeke Mokomoko, Charlie Waters, Te Uruwera Ratu.
THS: Domain Ngamoki.
Coaches: Kevin (Brivvy) Waterson and Joseph (Doogs) Howe.
Manager: Amber Pool.
Trainings: Sunday, August 18 and 25 at 12 noon at Rugby Park, Whakatane.

  • Under-12 representative team

Opotiki: Tyler Young, Tahi Ropitini, Tawai Sullivan, Reeko Loeffen, Ziaah Loeffen, Jack O’Neill, Jonah Wiremu.
Whakatane Marist: Jesse Kara, Aakiwa Te Aho, Caleb Hanlen, Eli Neal, Angus Murray.
Te Teko: Mangopare Morgan, Tawhio Fox-Kaipara, Romeo Raki, Tuwhakairiora Eruera, Tsaedis Pakuria, Te Mangakitanga Pryor, Mikaere Te Maipi, Romeo Cross, Te Waioho Tukiri, Aniheta Bluett.
Coach: Paul Kara.
Manager: Rachel Pratt.
Trainings: 11.am Rugby Park Whakatane on Sunday, August 25 and 4pm on Thursday, August 29 at Rugby Park, Whakatane

  • Under-11 representative team:

Opotiki: Makau Phipps, Ngawai Amoamo, Tupaea Rakuraku.
Whakatane Marist: Jose Rika, Caden Ahu, Pacey Tohaia, Cade Coxon, Ronan Byford, Kahurangi Te Aho, Luke Clark, Kyan Edwards, Reijan Williams, Leon Moore, Ariki Roozendaal.
Te Teko: Izzy Williams, TK Pryor, Sonny Tiwha-Smith, Trae Elliot, Te Hau Pryor, Brooklyn Bethal, Rico Stowers, Matiu Te Maipi.
Coaches: Glenn Phipps and Don Te Maipi.
Training: Friday, August 23 at Rugby Park, Whakatane at 4.15pm.