New Zealanders return home for Premiership

Kiwis Rhys Panui-Leth, Justin Clark and Liam Ackland have all plied their trade playing footy in Australia over recent years. All three are now back living in New Zealand and have been signed up to be a part of the 2016 AFLNZ Premiership.

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In 2010 Panui-Leth commenced his AFL career as a young Mahurangi College student and soon received an International Scholarship with the Hawthorn Football Club. Rhys made the move to Melbourne to further develop his footy where he spent 2 years in Melbourne and represented the New Zealand Hawks at the 2011 International Cup. In 2013, Panui-Leth returned home to Auckland where he continues to play AFL for the North Shore Tigers. Panui-Leth is relishing the opportunity that will see him play in next year’s Premiership amongst quality opposition.




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Originally from Christchurch, Justin Clark represented the University Cougars in the Canterbury league before moving to Melbourne to have a crack at the big time. Clark found a home at the Collegians Football Club and was also trialling with VFL sides Box Hill Hawks and Sandringham Zebras. The tall marking back has represented the New Zealand Hawks on various occasions including the 2011 and 2014 International Cups. Clark now resides in Auckland playing for the North Shore Tigers and is excited to play once again in New Zealand in the AFLNZ Premiership.





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Mt Roskill Saints player Liam Ackland is one of the youngest ever players to pull on the NZ Hawks Guernsey. Ackland was only 16 years old when he played in the 2008 International Cup and managed to impress talent scouts with his extreme pace and hard-nosed attitude. The roving midfielder had a brief stint with the Glenelg Football Club in 2009 and is now back in Auckland where he will make a big impact in next year’s Premiership.

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