Wellington Rugby award nominees announced

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Wellington's Junior Rugby volunteers will be singled out for the first time at the union's annual awards night at Te Papa on October 29.

For the first time Wellington Rugby has decided to split its volunteer award into Senior and Junior categories to better recognise the tireless work of those who water the grass roots of the game.

Wellington Under 13s Manager Dale Wall, Marist St Pats Junior Rugby Convenor Martin Paget and Rimutaka Junior Rugby Convenor Roseanne Mahuri-Tukukino are the inaugural nominees for an award that has previously been lumped into one.

"Junior rugby is where it all starts and the work of our volunteers, be it parents, coaches, managers or administrators, is of immeasurable importance to our game," Wellington Rugby chief executive Steve Rogers said. "We think it's fitting that we provide some formal recognition of the work those people do to foster the young men and women who represent the future of our sport."

In keeping with the future talent theme, a particularly exciting award will be Wellington's Age Grade Player of the Year. All four nominees are current Wellington Lions representatives with Oriental Rongotai's Alex Fidow, Avalon's Asafo Aumua, Poneke's Isaia Walker-Leawere and Wainuiomata's Peter Umaga-Jensen representing a talented quartet.

On a night that is always a celebration of Wellington rugby's grass roots, the Wainuiomata Women's team, Old Boys University Colts Green, and the Tawa Premier side will battle it out for club team of the year.

Nominees from Wellington's representative teams will be announced in the week leading up to the awards night including the team, coach and player of the year awards.

All winners will be announced at the awards on Saturday, October 29.

The 2016 Wellington Rugby Awards nominees are:

Club Coach of the Year
Doug Fletcher & Willie Lafaele (Tawa Premier)
Kent Harris (Hutt Old Boys Marist Premier Reserve)
James Bailey & Michael Barnes (Old Boys University Colts Green)

Club Team of the Year
Old Boys University Colts Green
Tawa Premier
Wainuiomata Women

Most Promising Player of the Year
Alex Fidow (Oriental-Rongotai/Wellington Under 19/Wellington Lions/NZ Under 20's)
Asafo Aumua (Avalon/Wellington Under 19/Wellington Lions/ NZ Under 20's)
Isaia Walker-Leawere (Poneke/Wellington Under 19/Wellingtion Lions/Hurricanes/ NZ Under 20's)
Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata/Wellington Under 19/Wellington Lions/Hurricanes/ NZ Under 20's)

Women's Player of the Year
Acacia Te Iwimate (Wainuiomata)
Ayesha Leti-I'iga (Oriental-Rongotai)
Jackie Patea (Wainuiomata)

Senior Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Brad Houlahan (Old Boys University)
Dave Painter (Upper Hutt Rams)
Mike Woollett (Petone)

Junior Rugby Volunteer of the Year
Dale Wall (Wellington Under 13)
Martin Paget (Marist St Pats)
Roseanne Mahuri-Tukukino (Rimutaka)

Referee of the Year
Nick Hogan
Richard Gordon
Vincent Ringrose

Men's Sevens Player of the Year
Max Pearson (Upper Hutt Rams/Wellington/New Zealand)
Sheridan Rangihuna (Hutt Old Boys Marist/Wellington)
Tomasi Alosio (Hutt Old Boys Marist/Wellington/Samoa)

Women's Sevens Player of the Year
Ayesha Leti-I'iga (Oriental-Rongotai/Wellington)
Georgia Daals (Old Boys University/Wellington)
Kat Whata-Simpkins (Avalon/Wellington/New Zealand)

* The nominees for this year's representative awards will be announced during the week of the awards.