Twenty three players from seven secondary schools and two clubs in the Hurricanes region have been selected in the Hurricanes Under-18 squad to play the Crusaders Knights at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The announcement of the final Hurricanes Under-18 team comes at the end of an exhaustive five-day development camp at Rathkeale College in Masterton.
Hurricanes Under-18 head coach Darren Larsen said it had been incredibly difficult to select just 23 players from a group of 58.
"It's been a demanding process to select a squad from the huge pool of talent that was available to the selectors. Now we're looking forward to the boys taking the learnings from the development camp this week and putting them toward a quality performance against the Knights."
The match, which kicks off at 5.15pm, will be the curtain raiser to the Investec Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and Crusaders at 7.35pm.
The squad includes players from across the Hurricanes region with players chosen from Hastings Boys' High School (7), Feilding High School (4), Scots College (2), Wellington College (2), Napier Boys' High School (2), Gisborne Boys' High School (2) and St Pats Silverstream (2).
There are also two Wellington-based club players in Petone prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and Marist St Pats midfielder Billy Proctor.
Players who do not currently attend secondary school in the region qualify under the team's eligibility criteria based on their age and provincial union affiliation.
Hurricanes High Performance Manager Chris Stirling was thrilled with the ability of the group and the potential they offered for the future.
"We consider the Hurricanes club fortunate to be able to select a team that represents some of the best youth talent in the region every year. The boys selected will value their opportunity to wear the Hurricanes jersey and become part of a growing tradition of recognising our emerging players."
The Hurricanes Under-18 squad forms part of the comprehensive programme for teenage rugby administered by the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council on behalf of the regions eight provincial unions.
HYRC chairman Gordon Noble-Campbell said the region continued to be a key contributor to the sport on a national level.
"The Hurricanes Region is a strong contributor to the strength of New Zealand rugby at all levels, both through our provincial union teams and our Investec Super Rugby affiliation with the Hurricanes. This team is an important part of growing that link to create future success."
The Hurricanes Under-18s team to play the Crusaders Knights at Westpac Stadium on Saturday, July 15 is:
15 Danny Toala (Hastings BHS)
14 Dennon Robinson (Hastings BHS)
13 Josiah Maraku (Feilding High School)
12 Billy Proctor (Marist St Pats Club)
11 Tai Neli (Scots College)
10 Lincoln McClutchie (Hastings BHS)
9 Folau Fakatava (Hastings BHS)
8 Devan Flanders (Hastings BHS)
7 Josh Southall (St Pats Silverstream)
6 Josh Bokser (Napier Boy's High)
5 Taine Plumtree (Wellington College
4 Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington College)
3 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Petone Rugby Club)
2 Kianu Kereru-Symes (Hastings BHS)
1 Josiah Metcalfe (Hastings BHS)
16 Billy Priestley (Gisborne BHS)
17 Jack Fleury (Feilding High School)
18 Ethan McQuinlan (Feilding High School)
19 Quade Tapsell (Gisborne BHS)
20 Tyler Moeau (Feilding High School)
21 Humphrey Sheild (Napier Boy's High)
22 Kienan De La Rambelje (St Pats Silverstream)
23 Jaylen Tuapola (Scots College)
CLICK HERE for the Crusaders U18 Team
*Live coverage of the match will be broadcast on Te Upoko Radio 1161AM (and on www.tunein.com, search on "Te Upoko").
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