New Zealand wider squad announced in two year plan

AFL New Zealand has announced a 67 person wider training squad in preparation for selection for the International Cup in 2020.


The New Zealand selectors assembled a squad which features a good mix of experience and youth. The inclusion of former Hawthorn International Scholarship holder Shem Tatupu who last played for New Zealand back in 2013, is a fantastic boost for the squad.

After three years with the Hawthorn FC, Shem took up the opportunity to sign with the Melbourne Storm in the NRL in 2016 before returning to play AFL this season. An ankle injury plagued his professional sporting career and now back at full health, the 22 year old is determined to don the Silver Fern at the 2020 International Cup.

The two year plan is expected to include the following selection criteria, essential to maintain squad inclusion;

  • Full participation in both training and playing schedules for the 2019 and 2020 Premiership seasons. (Australian based players to match with current Australian clubs)
  • Attendance at scheduled regional face to face organisational sessions. (Scheduled between July to Apr between 2018 to 2020)
  • Commitment to a remote training plan. (Programmes to be individually designed with the ability to be completed remotely)
  • Commitment to Regional League Competitions between August to December in 2018 and 2019.

The International Cup takes place in Melbourne every three years with the final held at the MCG. New Zealand has competed in the Men’s competition in every year the tournament has taken place since its inception in 2002.

The lowest it has placed in the 6 tournaments to date is third, with the highlights, a single victory in 2005 and two close losses to arch rivals Papua New Guinea by 7 points in 2008 and most recently by a single point at the MCG final in 2017.

The inception of the Development Player Programme implemented within the AFL New Zealand Premiership, has born some strong results to date. This has been displayed most recently with the successful results produced by the touring New Zealand Under 18 team who recently claimed its first ever victory against an Australian team, defeating the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League, in Melbourne in May earlier this year.

Twenty two of the twenty four players that represented the Under 18 New Zealand team, have done so by progressing through as a Development Player in the AFL New Zealand Premiership and this extends to the wider squad including a further 11 players.

In regards to talent development, AFL New Zealand is well placed to expect a selection of AFLNZ Premiership Development Players from 2017, 2018 and even 2019 to be push for selection in  the final 2020 International Cup squad. A significant number of the player group to be announced are expected to based in Australia competing within the Australian system. Although these numbers are limited due to International Cup qualification standards, there will be a group of quality inclusions that will add to the experience and compliment youthful talent.

New national Head Coach Chris Mundell has been involved with the AFL New Zealand system at all levels over the past 8 years and is confident that NZ will be well placed in 2020.

“The International Cup in 2020 will see NZ in a great position, with the continued development of our U18 program (highlighted by there recent win in Melbourne) and the strengthening of the Premiership this should allow us as a team to take the strongest and most experienced group ever.

After coming so close in IC17 its great to see the re-committing of a number of senior players, I expect and look forward to the younger generation pushing hard for positions and ensuring that we as a group are primed to go one step further.”

The Under 18 New Zealand programme will run in conjunction with the Senior programme as the youthful talent continues to develop towards Senior representation. A U18 squad will be announced in the coming weeks.

The wider New Zealand Senior training squad is as follows;

Aaron HarrisBrisbaneMorningside Panthers
Adam SimpsonBrisbaneSpringwood Pumas
Alastair MaiseyAucklandMt Roskill Saints
Alex FakatoumafiAucklandManurewa Raiders
Alex AwatereWellingtonNorth City Demons
Andrew HowisonMelbourneDromana Tigers
Andriu SucuAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
Barclay MillerMelbourneSt Kilda FC
Ben HickAucklandUniversity Blues
Blake NahuWaikatoCentral Giants
Brad MavorCanterburyUniversity Cougars
Brandon SucuBrisbaneAlexandra Hills FC
Brendan ClarkSunshine CoastHinterland Blues FC
Bronson HewitsonAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Carlos Donnell-BrownAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Chai ProctorOtagoOtago Riot
Christian BlackieOtagoOtago Riot
Clayton WaltersAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Couper JonesAucklandSouthern Saints
Craig MorganWellingtonHutt Valley Eagles
Dan YoungBrisbaneBond University
Daniel HowieAucklandSouthern Saints
David RattenburyAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Dean SmithCanterburyChristchurch Bulldogs
Declan CrannAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Ethan HaltonAucklandAFLNZ Academy
Harison ManksAucklandUniversity Blues
Hayden JohnstonOtagoOtago Riot
Heta Scarf-MathewsOtagoOtago Riot
Jackson ClinceAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
Jackson HemmingsenAucklandAFLNZ Academy
Jacob TuckerAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
James DakinAucklandCentral Giants
James McKenzieAucklandMt Roskill Saints
James KuselWellingtonHutt Valley Eagles
Jay JohnsonCanterburyEastern Blues
Jed WilliamsCanterburyEastern Blues
Jerome GoodhueAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Joe Baker-ThomasMelbournePackenham FC
Joel BrownAucklandManurewa Raiders
Joey Alesich-TamarkiAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
Josh MackieOtagoOtago Riot
Josh CopelandAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Josh AllenBay of PlentyNorthern Suns
Josh CunliffeAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
Josh Morgan-RanuiWellingtonNorth City Demons
Liam BeattieAucklandUniversity Blues
Luke DunningAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Luke WilliamsAucklandHowick Hornets
Manny SnooksNorthlandAFLNZ Academy
Michael BoyceAucklandMt Roskill Saints
Misilifi FaimaloWellingtonNorth City Demons
Mitch RyanAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
Mykelti LefauMelbourneCasey Demons
Ryan WhiteAucklandHowick Hornets
Nick RhodesCanterburyUniversity Cougars
Sam AndersonCanterburyAshburton Eagles
Sam MckenzieAucklandMt Roskill Saints
Shane LeatAucklandWaitakere Magpies
Shem TatupuMelbournePines FC
Tayne LockwoodWellingtonNorth City Demons
Te Kopa Tipene-ThomasWaikatoNorth Shore Tigers
Tim StokesAucklandUniversity Blues
Ty SmithAucklandNorth Shore Tigers
William GregsonMelbourneDromana Tigers
William DickinsonAucklandMt Roskill Saints
William KemptWellingtonWellington Saints