Teampage


Clarendon high school is where Denis was educated. As a youngster Denis was a multi talented young man, not only excelling at rugby league but was also a former Manchester United youth team player. However rugby league was Denis's first love and in 1986 he signed to play for Wigan from Leigh Miners (or Leigh Rangers as they are also known). Besides winning 4 caps for England and 32 caps for Great Britain Denis won a huge array of titles and awards in his playing days, including: 2 WCC titles against Penrith and Brisbane, 1995 man of steel award, 1991 Lance Todd trophy, 6 Championships, 7 Challenge cups, 3 Premierships, 4 John Player/Regal trophies and 2 Lancashire cups. At the height of the Super League war Denis signed a deal to play with the Auckland Warriors, a deal estimated at the time to be around $700,000aus a season. Putting that into context that would be around $1million a season now. At the time of his signing with the Warriors Denis stated that Rupert Murdoch was "the nicest man he had never met" in reference to his lucrative freshly signed contract. Denis first game for Auckand came in round 11 against the Sydney Tigers (as the West Tigers were then known). The reason Denis missed the first 10 games was due to commitments with Wigan. Denis would play 42 games for the Warriors, however fans of the Warriors were less than impressed with his efforts for the Auckland club and it is fair to say that the outstanding form he showed for Wigan, England and Great Britain deserted him in his time with Auckland. Denis returned to England and to the Wigan club playing in Challenge cup finals and Super League grand finals. in 2001 Denis was approached by Wigan and asked to retire from rugby league as a player at the age of 32 to allow Wigan to get under the salary cap. Denis agreed and retired. In 2002 Denis began coaching the Wigan under 18 side and then progressed to the U21's who he lead to victory in the grand final. 2003 was to see Wigan coach Stuart Raper sacked and Warrington and Great Britain great and now late Mike Gregory take over as Wigans head coach and Mike would employ Denis as his assistant. By 2004 Denis had been forced to take over as temporary as the first signs of the illness that was to claim Mike Gregory's life began to show. Denis continued in his role as assistant coach of Wigan under newly appointed coach Ian Millward. In 2006 Denis switched codes and took up a coaching role with Gloucester RU as the skills and development coach. Denis stayed with Gloucester until 2010 when he resigned with one year remaining on his contract to take up the head coaching roll of championship side Widnes Vikings, leading them to promotion in 2011 and ultimately the Widnes Vikings ESL coach of 2012.

Follow Denis on Twitter: @_denis_betts


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Wigan 367 129 1 0 518
Warriors 42 11 0 0 44

Warriors # 28

Name: BETTS, Denis
Place of Birth: Salford, England
Positions: Second row
Professional clubs: Wigan, Warriors
Club Titles: See list of acheivments
Rep Honors: 32 tests GB, 4 tests England
48 Years

Cliff, nicknamed Fluff, is a junior of the Glenora club who's childhood hero is the Australian great Wally Lewis. Cliff rose to prominence in 1995 playing for the Waitakere City Raiders where he played 4 games. From 1996 to 1999 Cliff played local Auckland league or for Auckland or Auckland North in the Lion Red and Bartercard cups. 1999 saw Cliff sign with the Warriors and he made his debut for the club in round 3 of 1999, replacing the injured skipper Matthew Ridge at fullback. After 44 games for the club mostly at stand off Cliff left New Zealand to continue his career in England, signing with the Barrow Raiders in the National League which is 2 divisions below ESL. Cliff again moved on, this time to the Salford City Reds in National League one which is just below ESL, in 2003 where he played 48 games over the course of 2 seasons and topped the try scoring list with 38 tries and helped Salford gain promotion into the ESL. In 2005 Cliff returned home due to home sickness and at the end of the 2007 season retired from rugby league.


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Waitakere City 4 0 0 0 0
Warriors 44 8 0 0 32
Barrow  1  0  0  0  0
Salford 48 13 0 0 52

Warriors # 62

Name: BEVERLEY, Cliff
Place of Birth: Auckland
Positions: Stand off
Professional clubs: Warriors, Barrow, Salford
40 Years

James Richard "Ritchie" Blackmore. Ritchie was a rugby union junior playing union until the age of 21 before switching codes to rugby league. Ritchie was a highly rated loose forward in the 15 man game. Ritchie joined the Otahuhu Leopards RLFC in the late 80's. And it took him just two seasons of senior club rugby league in Auckland and with Auckland to score himself a professional contract with the Castleford Tigers in the UK. Ritchie would go onto play 111 games for the Tigers and it was an off field incident with fellow Kiwis test star Tawera Nikau that lead to Ritchie leaving the Tigers and Nikau withdrawing from the Kiwis as long as Ritchie was in the team. In 1994 Ritchie stared for the Tigers against world powerhouse Wigan in the Regal trophy final, Tigers winning 33 - 2 at Headingley. Ritchie decided to return home to Auckland for the Warriors first season but missed the first game against the Broncos due to an overlap with the south and northern hemisphere seasons and strong form from other outside backs in the squad. Ritchie debuted for the Warriors in round ten of the 1995 season against the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks. After 27 games for the Warriors across two seasons Ritchie returned to the UK, this time with powerhouse club Leeds. Ritchie played 45 games for the Rhinos and even played for the clubs rugby union side the Leeds Tykes while returning from a serious leg injury in 2000. At the end of the 1999 season Ritchie again choose to return to the Warriors, joining the Warriors for the 2001 season with the club looking to Ritchie to help guild a youthful Warriors backline in the NRL. He would play a further 8 games for the club before retiring from professional rugby league. Ritchie continued to play in the Auckland RL up to 2005 following a move into the second row. Ritchie was captain coach of the Manurewa Marlins in 2005 when they won the Fox memorial. Ritchie decided to retire completely after this triumph to take up coaching. As well as coaching the Otahuhu Leopards from 2006 he was also seen often running the water onto the field for the Warriors in the NRL. Ritchie ended his Otahuhu coaching stint with a Fox memorial victory over arch rivals the Mt Albert Lions. In 2011 Ritchie took over the coaching reigns of the Auckland Vulcans playing in the NSWRL. In 2012 Ritchie was appointed coach of Leigh Centurians but visa issues ment that he was unable to coach in the UK, instead he had to take up the roll of the clubs business development manager. In 1995 Ritchie was named in the world cup team of the tournament. Ritchie continues to help coach the NZ Maori team.


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Castleford 111 64 0 0 256
Warriors 35 13 0 0 52
Leeds 45 16 0 0 64

Warriors # 26

Name: BLACKMORE, Ritchie
Place of Birth: Auckland
Positions: Centre
Professional clubs: Castleford, Warriors, Leeds,
Club Titles: 1999 CC
Rep Honors: 25 tests for NZ
48 Years

Born in London England, Phil played first grade in every backline position and also played hooker and lock in the forward durring his first grade career. Educated at Christian Brothers college, Phil made the Australia school boys team in 1981. Phil burst onto the first grade scene with Manly in 1982 and was almost immediately being talked up as a future Kangaroo. Phil played for Manly in the 1982 grand final loss to the Parramatta Eels and scored a try. Soon after Phil was named as the Dally M rookie of the year and was considered by many to be unlucky to miss out on the Kangaroo tour of England and France that year. In 1982 Phil outstanding form continued when he broke the Manly clubs record for tries scored in a season with a total of 27 tries which also left Phil as the top try scorer for the season in the competition. Phils 27 tries came from just 23 games. This is still a club record for Manly (as of 2012). Phil again played in the grand final for Manly in 1983 and again was on the losing side against the Eels. Manly and Australian legend Bob Fulton re-joined the club as coach and Phil soon found himself being shuffled from one position to another with his defensive issues being exposed. In 1985 Phil joined English club Warrington and would stay with them through to the 1989 season durring the Australian off seasons. In 1986 Phil was again the leading try scorer but this time he shared this honor with English import Garry Schofield who was with Balmain. Unwanted by Manly coach Bob Fulton at the end of 1986, Phil joined South Sydney for the 1987 Australian season and would stay with Rabbitohs through to the 1989 season and played primarily at stand off and helped Souths win the minor premiership of 1989. Unfortunately for Phil and Souths the club went from minor premiers in 1989 to wooden spooners (last) in 12 months and this set a record for the Australian competition which stands to this day. Phil left Souths at the end of the 1990 season and spent the next three seasons with three different clubs (Norths, Canberra, St George). The highlight of these three years was coming off the bench in 1993 for the dragons in losing a grand final to the Broncos. At the end of the 1994 season Phil crossed the Tasman and joined the Auckland Warriors for the 1995 season as a foundation player and played in the first game against the Brisbane Broncos and would score the clubs first ever try in the NRL while playing at fullback. Phil returned to Manly at for the 1998 season after 37 games for the Warriors but decided to retire before the season got underway having played 261 NRL games and scoring 138 tries. In 2002 Phil returned to Souths as the sprint coach and eventually when head coach Craig Coleman was sacked took over as interim coach until Paul Langmack took over the reigns. Phil has had several health issues since retiring which include triple heart bypass surgery and potentially life threatening blood clots. Phil works as skills and defense coach for the Western Force in unions S15.


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Manly 93 63 0 7 250
Warrington 90 47 13 4 218
South Sydney 75 37 8 6 170
North Sydney 11 1 0 1 5
Canberra 16 5 0 1 21
St George 29 15 0 0 60
Warriors 37 17 0 0 68

Warriors # 3

Name: BLAKE, Phil
Place of Birth: London, England
Positions: Utiliy
Professional clubs: 7 clubs
Rep Honors: 1 games for NSW, 1 game for City
54 Years

A duel international who has represented two countries at international rugby league and rugby union for New Zealand and represented Croatia at union also his country of heritage. Frano Began playing for the North Shore club in the North Harbour union. Frano first gained some national recognition when he played for the NZ Maori RU side for the first time in 1985 and later that same year the New Zealand Emerging Players side and later still played for the North Island side against the South Island in the inter island match. In 1989 Frano played for the ANZAC XV in Australia against the touring Great Britain side. For much of Frano's union career he was locked in a duel with All Blacks legend Grant Fox for the number 10 jersey. It is perhapes more of a comment of the nature of rugby union than a comment on with Botica or Fox that Fox won out consistently for the 10 jersey with Frano being a stand out attacking player and Fox the kicking specialist. Frano played in the very first 7's international tournament in Hong Kong for New Zealand. In 1990 Frano switched codes and joined English powerhouse Wigan to much fanfare in the Old Dart. In his time with Wigan Frano set a record that stands to this day as the fastest man to reach 1000 points in the English top flight. In 1991 Franos first every game of rugby league was to be an international match for the New Zealand Maori side. Frano played 7 tests for the Kiwis between 1991 and 1993 and Frano's test debut came against the French in 1991 but Frano's most memorable test victory with the Kiwis came in 1991 when the Kiwis knocked over the Kangaroos in Melbourne. The test is also known for the Lonaghan shuffle. Durring the 1994/1995 season with Wigan Frano set a record for the most goals in a season when he kicked 186 goals. Frano followed his Wigan coach John Monie, for a season with the Auckland Warriors. Frano debuted for the club in round 11 against the Sydney Tigers in 1995. But his stay wasn't to be happy one or long one and Frano only managed 5 games for Auckland after breaking his leg in a Mark Geyer tackle while playing against the Perth Western Reds. Frano returned to the UK in 1996 signing with the Castleford Tigers. When rugby union abandoned shamatuerish and became openly professional Frano returned to union firstly with Llanelli in Wales and then club football in France. Frano returned to New Zealand and in his late 30's and debuted for the Waikato Chiefs in the Super 12 playing several games off the bench. In 2009 Frano returned briefly to Warriors as the clubs kicking coach. Frano's son Ben has represented New Zealand as a school boy international union player and currently plays for the Harliquins in the Aviva premiership. Frano's father was a Maori All Black.


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Wigan 179 66 827 13 1931
Warriors 7 2 19 0 46
Castleford 21 5 84 2 190

Warriors # 27

Name: BOTICA, Frano
Place of Birth: Mangakino
Positions: Fullback
Professional clubs: Wigan, Warriors, Castleford
Club Titles: CC and RFL 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995. WCC 1994
Rep Honors: 7 tests for NZ
54 Years

Born in Christchurch, Lewis Brown played for the Riccarton Knights in Christchurch while attending Papanui High School; it was around this time he made the New Zealand under-16 squad. Before playing for the Warriors Brown had short stints with Cronulla Sharks, Sydney Roosters, and the West Tigers. However due to the amount of depth at each club he was unable to make the top side. He finally made his debut in 2009 for the New Zealand Warriors and would be a regular first grader until he signed a contract to play with the Penrith Panthers in 2013. Brown is highly rated for his runs out of dummy half and is a versatile player, being used at hooker, in the centres, and as a second-rower. He made his debut for the New Zealand Māori in 2010 before playing for the New Zealand Kiwi’s in 2011.

Follow Lewis on Twitter: @lewi_brown


Club Games Tries Goals FG's Points
Warriors 84 19 0 0 76
Penrith          

Warriors # 151

Name: BROWN, Lewis
Place of Birth: Christchurch
Positions: Second row
Professional clubs: Warriors
Rep Honors: NZ Maori 1, tests 5
31 Years
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