News Release

New Kiwi Rugby League Captain Ready to Lead 

Coach Michael Maguire: "Dallin lives the values we're looking for and embodies the new direction we're headed in"

23-year-old Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, just chosen to captain the New Zealand Rugby League team, will join two fellow teammates and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Kiwis’ test against Australia on Saturday, 13 October.

Watene-Zelezniak’s great-grandfather Steve was New Zealand’s first Maori captain in 1936-37, and Watene-Zelezniak said having his own chance to captain his country was very humbling.

“It’s a huge honour, especially following in my great-grandfather’s steps,” he said.


Coach Michael Maguire said Watene-Zelezniak’s character is a strength to the team.

“Dallin lives the values we’re looking for and embodies the new direction we’re headed in with the Kiwis,” Maguire said.

Fellow Latter-day Saint players Jordan Rapana and Joseph Manu will also join Watene-Zelezniak on the playing field this weekend.

Rapana’s mother LeeArn Rapana said Watene-Zelezniak has been a great example for her son and the other players.

“What I have seen is how Dallin carries himself with his teammates. I see how he carries himself on and off the field. I see what family is to him; I’ve seen how he treats his parents,” LeeArn said.

“I think he’s an awesome, awesome kid.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.