The Hawaii Connection

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Hawaii
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Australian & New Zealand Gridiron players who have played at the University of Hawaii

Paul Manera #76 -


The Hawaii Connection:


It’s no secret that our nearest US neighbor, Hawaii, shares a lot of similarities with Australia & New Zealand. One of those similarities (for a lucky few of us) is a love of American Football. In conjunction with our 2013 Southern Cross All-Stars trip to Hawaii, The staff at Bring It On Sports thought it was only fitting that we should look back at the people who came before us. Perhaps more Aussies have competed in Division I American Football at the University of Hawaii than any other place on earth!

  • Colin Scotts 1982 (Sydney Australia) – First Aussie to receive a scholarship for American Football in the US.
  • Paul Sironen 1984 (Sydney Australia) – Prominent rugby league player that played for 1 season at UH.
  • Mark Nua 1984 (Auckland New Zealand ) – played for Hawaii and eventually got picked up by the San Diego Chargers.
  • John Freeman 1986 (Auckand New Zealand)
  • Paul Manera 1989 (Sydney Australia) – Pictured Above – Played in Mississippi and also Hawaii and the director of the Southern Cross All-Stars & Bring It On Sports.
  • Matt Mcbriar 1999 approx (Victoria) – after playing for UH, was signed by the Denver Broncos…also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as well as other NFL teams. He is currently a Free Agent.
  • Adrian Thomas Sydney Australia (2006) – Now playing Semi-Pro American Football in Germany.
  • Alex Dunnechie (2009) – Punter for UH and has also had workouts with NFL teams including the New York Jets.
  • Scott Harding (2011) (Brisbane Australia) – current UH player.
  • Blake Muir (2011 Sydney Australia) – current UH player.


Moving Forward


One of the reasons we put on this trip to Hawaii with the Southern Cross All-Stars is to expose a whole new generation to the bond we share with our Rainbow Warrior counterparts. It will be interesting to see how this connection strengthens as we continue to expand and grow the game in Australia & New Zealand.

Now that women are playing football across the globe, The Southern Corss All-Stars will be fielding a women’s tackle football team to compete in 2013 along side our men’s team. Bring It On Sports hopes to use this opportunity to grow and expand the women’s game along side the mens.

We hope that those of you who get to take part in this year’s Southern Cross All-Stars trip can experience first hand the fanfare and awe of American College Football. Who knows…maybe you will be the next name we add to this list.