One of Nelson’s most promising rugby league players, Mackenzie Haugh, won’t be short of supporters when he runs on to the field to play for the South Island premier rugby league team against the New Zealand Universities team in Dunedin next month.
Richmond Rabbit’s Mackenzie moved from Dunedin to Nelson earlier this year and will have family and friends supporting him at Forsyth Barr Stadium when he plays in the curtain raiser to the Four Nations Test match between England and the Kiwis.
At only 18, he is no stranger to hard competition and has already played for the Tasman under-19 rugby team, Tasman Titans rugby league team and the New Zealand open mixed touch team.
“It is pretty cool and exciting to be picked in the South Island team, I have only played around 10 games of rugby league but I love it. It is a lot faster and there is more freedom and space to run than in rugby, I can get my hand on a lot more ball,” Mackenzie says.
He will also be joined by his Tasman Titans team mates, Sam Hedges, Mitch Ryan, James Vailanu and Jesse Walker, who have all been chosen in the team.
“It will be great to play with my team mates as we have some good combinations happening already”.
Mackenzie has bigger aspirations for his rugby league career in the future and hopes to be noticed, not only by his family and friends but also by selectors at the Dunedin match.
“Rugby league suits my game more and my goal is to play in the NRL one day” Mackenzie says.
The game will be played on November 8.