Brent Gemmell has been appointed the coach of the Junior Kiwis. Gemmell, who is currently the assistant coach of the Auckland Vulcans, has an extensive background in domestic rugby league having coached the NZ Residents team for the last two years, guided the Auckland Pride (now Akarana Falcons) to two National Premiership titles, and twice won Auckland’s Fox Memorial with Mt Albert. He’d earlier won a Bartercard Cup with the Auckland Lions and coached junior rugby league in both Bay of Plenty and Northland.
Gemmell takes over as Junior Kiwis coach from John Ackland, following Ackland’s decision to join the NZRL in the full-time role of National Game Development Manager (once he finishes his coaching commitments this season with the Vodafone Junior Warriors).
Kelvin Wright will be Gemmell’s assistant coach. Wright is currently the assistant coach of the Junior Warriors. He has previously coached the Bay Roskill Vikings. Wright only finished playing a few years ago, having represented the NZ Residents and various Auckland rep teams. He also captained Mt Albert to two Fox Memorial championships, when coached by Gemmell.
Other Junior Kiwis appointments confirmed today are Andy Flint – the head trainer of the Auckland Vulcans – as trainer and John Love as physiotherapist. Love is in his third year working with the Junior Warriors and will also support the Kiwis during their Rugby League World Cup campaign later this year.
The Junior Kiwis play the Junior Kangaroos on Sunday, October 13, at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah, Sydney. Today a first Junior Kiwis train-on squad has been named.
2013 JUNIOR KIWIS TRAIN-ON SQUAD (at September 11):
Cronulla Sharks: Fa’amanu Brown, Valentine Holmes
Gold Coast Titans: Jahrome Hughes
Melbourne Storm: Matt McGahan, Pride Pettersen-Robati, Cade Umaga,
Newcastle Knights: Danny Levi, Joseph Tapine
Parramatta Eels: Zach Docker-Clay, Takai Moeakiola
Vodafone Warriors: Siliva Havili, Ngani Laumape
The Junior Kiwis selectors – John Ackland, Brent Gemmell, Mark Horo and Kelvin Wright, along with the convenor Tony Iro – will add to the squad in the coming weeks as teams are eliminated from the NRL and Holden Cup finals.