DJ Forbes coaching Warriors young guns at sevens tournament

Source: 1News

We know all about the challenges for the Warriors' NRL players but what about their youth squad back here in New Zealand?

Covid has left little opportunities for the Warriors under-18s to play meaningful games so the club has had to think outside the box – by entering them in an international rugby sevens national tournament.

The club is taking the venture seriously though with All Blacks Sevens great DJ Forbes hired to coach the side for the tournament.

“It's a little bit of a crash course 101 on playing the game of sevens,” Forbes told 1News.

The junior side is set to play at this weekend's World Schools Sevens tournament in Auckland thanks to another sporting great already at the tournament who, coincidentally, is from rugby league.

Former Kiwis Test star Kevin Iro coaches a Cook Islands team and when another side pulled out this year he called his older brother and former Kiwis teammate Tony who is currently overseeing the Warriors’ development programme.

Tony told 1News the opportunity was too good to turn down even if it was a different code.

“For us it's an opportunity to see our boys play some footy which a lot of them haven't done for a long time,” Iro said.

And if there weren't enough twists to this story already, Forbes and his league boys could end up taking on his long-time mentor Sir Gordon Tietjens at the tournament with the former All Blacks Sevens coach now involved with a New Zealand Asian team at the tournament.

“As far as coaching goes, I'll definitely be one of the newbies so I'm pretty sure he won't be wanting to lose to me,” Forbes said.