The New Zealand Mixed U15 Touch Development team recently toured the Gold Coast in Australia, playing a series of games against a variety of local teams and with many of the players touring overseas for the first time.
Included in the team was a group of three Howick College students, Francis Morrison, James Davison and Mason Lockhart.
The trio were selected for the tour from the Touch Nationals in Christchurch in February.
Francis Morrison was the tournament MVP from this team and said the tour was a hugely beneficial experience and that it was a proud moment for everyone to wear the silver fern and receive their gear. “It was a whole different atmosphere playing against Aussie teams,” added Francis. James Davison said that it was a “mean experience, with great team members to play with.”
The team played several games in their eight days away, a highlight win being their 17-1 victory over the Southport High School U15 side, which was backed up their 10-9 win earlier that day over the Southport High School U18 team.
Earlier in September, the New Zealand Boys and Girls U15 Touch teams also toured Queensland, playing against some of Australia’s best youth U16s and U18s teams. Despite being considerably younger, the teams played some great touch and also gained invaluable experience.
The 2016 New Zealand Secondary school Touch Nationals are being played at Bruce Pulman Park in Auckland from 9-11 December.
Touch is a growing sport at Howick College with the Senior mixed team just missing out on qualifying on Nationals this year. The senior girls team will go to nationals for the first time since 2011. Last year two girls made the NZ U15 Mixed team. Fourteen students at Howick played at Nationals for either Counties Manukau or Auckland.
Howick College also has a blossoming Rugby Sevens programme. Their Girls U15s Sevens team won the Condors U15 tournament last December, and their Senior team, featuring many of these same players, recently won the Auckland Condors qualifying tournament. This year’s Condors Nationals are at Sacred Heart College in early December.
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