Arona hits road in search of talent

Thursday September 28, 2017 Written by Published in Rugby Union

U20 rugby coach Pops Arona is travelling around New Zealand’s North Island as he looks for players to add to his squad ahead of the tournament later this year.


A Northland school teacher, Arona has so far travelled to Auckland and Tauranga searching for quality Cook Island rugby talent.

“At the sevens in Auckland on Saturday, I caught up with a number of the U20s players, so I am now in contact with them,” Arona said.

“I am quite impressed with the number of athletes playing good rugby.

“I have managed to get around to a number of 18s and 19s provincial representatives games, checking out and talking with Cook Islands players.”

Arona was in Tauranga last weekend to check out the Cook Island talent in the match between the Northland and Bay of Plenty U18s.

He has also been in contact with players in the Cook Islands, as a number are in contention for places on the team.

This weekend Arona will also attend a “meet and greet” function hosted by the Cook Islands Rugby New Zealand (CIRNZ) Union, which will be followed by the first U20 game during the Augustine Cup Grand Final proceedings.

“This gives the North Island boys the opportunity to showcase their talent and the Cook Islands community the pleasure of supporting their sons, nephews and grandsons,” Arona explained.

“From there we will swing into full training, with this mainly being held in Auckland, where strict training regimes will be implemented and normal attendance and protocols will be required to be adhered to.”     

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