The Onewhero Rugby Football Club (ORFC) is proud and honoured to introduce Lesley Vainikolo as the Head Coach for the Onewhero Premier team.
Lesley is an international rugby and rugby league player. He has played for the New Zealand Kiwis in Rugby League and England in Rugby Union. Lesley has a wealth of knowledge and experience from his playing years, which saw him play for New Zealand and England, as well as in Australia, Tonga, and France.
Born in Tonga and educated at De La Salle College in Mangere Auckland, Lesley currently resides in Meremere with his wife and son, and is coaching Aorere College first XV whilst also being a teacher aide.
Lesley was first scouted at the age of 14. In 1998 aged 16, he went to play for the Canberra Raiders after a call from one of his childhood heroes, Mal Meninga.
His nickname is ‘Volcano’ which he got from Peter Sterling, Australian League commentator, who couldn’t pronounce his name.
‘The Volcano’ has had an explosive rugby career. In 1999, while playing for the Kiwis, he scored 14 tries in 12 appearances for his nation, including nine tries in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. In the 2004 season, he broke the Super League try scoring record by scoring 36 tries in only 26 appearances, including five hat-tricks.
He also boasts a successful career with rugby union playing five test matches for the national English side being eligible through residency, before playing for various French clubs.
The ORFC is excited to see what the year brings with Lesley on board, supporting and guiding their senior players and the club.