Rising name extended training squad

The Melbourne Rising have named an extended training squad of local talent ahead of the 2017 National Rugby Championship (NRC), which kicks off next month.

Rising head coach Zane Hilton has unveiled a 46-player training squad from the local premier club competition to trial for Melbourne Rising.

Seven members of the extended squad have NRC experience, including Isiah Leota (Footscray), Keisuke Yadama (Footscray), Lloyd Johansson and Sione Taufa (Harlequin), who were all part of last year’s Rising squad that became the league’s first team to qualify for all three finals series.

The training session on Wednesday 9 August at Harlequin Park will serve as a selection trial for the Melbourne Rising and Victorian Axemen, a state representative team.

Prior to the Melbourne Rebels, and underpinning Melbourne Rising program, the Axemen provided local players with a pathway via the former Australian Rugby Shield, which included a championship in 2007.

The Axemen will play a trial against the Rising on Saturday 26 August before they take on the Adelaide Black Falcons in an exhibition game on Saturday 16 September.

Hilton said that the Rising and Axemen would provide opportunities for local players to experience representative rugby.

“We’ve kept a close tab on the Dewar Shield this season so we’re keen to see the best talent from across the competition when they come together for a training session for Rising and Axemen selection,” Hilton said.

“We’ve been impressed with the improving standard of the Dewar Shield again this season so to have the complementing Rising and Axemen programs is exciting for Victorian rugby and will provide local players with more development opportunities.”

The Melbourne Rising need to finalise its squad for the 2017 National Rugby Championship by Monday 14 August.

The Melbourne Rising will kick-off their 2017 campaign in the west against the Perth Spirit on Sunday 3 September before they return home to host competition newcomers Fiji at Harlequin Park on Saturday 9 September.

2017 Melbourne Rising Extended Training Squad


Frank Amituanai (Footscray)
Angus Arundel (Harlequin)
Joeli Baleilovu (Box Hill)
Will Clift (Melbourne University)
Ben Collins (Melbourne University)
Darren Dean (Harlequin)
Joel Djosovic (Melbourne University)
Magnus Gillberg (Melbourne University)
Angus Hamilton (Harlequin)
Jason Havea (Harlequin)
Mark Higginson (Melbourne)
Shawn Ingle (Melbourne University)
Simei Kolio (Harlequin)
Tile Leota (Power House)
Ata Manu (Melbourne)
Maciu Nabolatasi (Melbourne)
Sakaria Noa (Moorabbin)
Matt Onesemo (Power House)
Uru Serupepeli (Box Hill)
Sione Taufa (Harlequin)
Mahe Vailanu (Harlequin)
Lusa Washburn (Footscray)


Taylor Acheson (Harlequin)
Sean Cressy (Power House)
Telea-Afa Faatau (Melbourne)
Maradona Farao (Harlequin)
Lloyd Johansson (Harlequin)
Ratu Kitione (Box Hill)
Angelo Leaupepe (Harlequin)
Isaiah Leota (Footscray)
David Massey (Melbourne)
Tomu Mataika (Moorabbin)
Delai Moto (Box Hill)
Martin Naufahu (Footscray)
Mataisi Nairavu (Melbourne)
Hunter Paisami (Harlequin)
Florian Peyrat (Footscray)
Asivorosi Senikaucava (Moorabbin)
Oliva Sialau (Harlequin)
Makesi Stowers (Melbourne University)
Pat Tiatia (Footscray)
Nailati Ukalele (Box Hill)
Antonie Van Zyl (Harlequin)
Bill Valetini (Harlequin)
Elias Vole (Harlequin)
Keisuke Yamada (Footscray)