Journey to 2018 World Rugby Under 20 Championship begins
A total 52 young players have been selected to attend the New Zealand Under 20 Development Camp as coach Craig Philpott begins preparation for the 2018 World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
Players selected to attend the development camp in Palmerston North from 3-9 December 2017 are:
John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
Sione Asi - Manawatu
Suetena Asomua - Counties Manukau
Tom Christie - Canterbury
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta - Tasman
Rob Cobb - Auckland
Jacob Devery - Hawkes Bay
Sosaia Fale - Waikato
Tim Farrell - Hawkes Bay
Devan Flanders - Hawkes Bay
Tom Florence - Taranaki
Brayden Iose - Manawatu
Ricky Jackson - Otago
Joe Johnson - Bay of Plenty
Josh Kaho - Waikato
Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
Slade McDowall - Otago
Laghlan McWhannell - Waikato
Sam Moli - Tasman
Ajay Mua - Bay of Plenty
Xavier Numia - Wellington
Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa - Auckland
Ben Sa'u - Auckland
Bradley Slater - Taranaki
Hoskins Sotutu - Auckland
Cameron Suafoa - Auckland
Sione Talitui - Auckland
Flynn Thomas - Southland
Will Tucker - Canterbury
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington
Tupou Va'ai - Taranaki
Ricky Van Der Heyden - Bay of Plenty
Wiseguy Faiane - Auckland
Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
Scott Gregory - Northland
Jack Grooby - Tasman
Ciarahn Matoe - Taranaki
Rupena Parkinson - Tasman
Harry Plummer - Auckland
Rameka Poihipi - Canterbury
Carlos Price - Wellington
Billy Proctor - Wellington
Ngane Punivai - Canterbury
Jay Renton - Southland
Xavier Roe - Waikato
Jamie Spowart - Tasman
Bailyn Sullivan - Waikato
Tanielu Tele'a - Auckland
Danny Toala - Hawkes Bay
Salyn Tonu'u - North Harbour
Sheldon Tovio - Waikato
Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
Not considered due to Super Rugby or Sevens commitments: Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Will Jordan (Tasman), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago).
Not considered due to injury: Will Tremain (Hawke's Bay), Raymond Nu'u (Canterbury).
Coach Craig Philpott said it was always an exciting part of the process to get the players in for the first development camp.
“There is a lot done to get to this point. We have selectors across the country looking at several levels of rugby – 1st XV, Jock Hobbs, Mitre 10 Cup - this is a chance to get them in and see where they are at,” said Philpott.
“We are particularly pleased with the depth we have in this group compared to previous years. Especially in the front row – we have five hookers and nine props coming in because they have all put their hands up.”
The squad features 10 players who had been involved in the 2016 wider squad, while four players have been recognised for their performances in the New Zealand Schools’ team earlier this month.
“We’ll assess the boys on strength and conditioning, body composition, skill set and technical knowledge of the game. From there we can put together a clear plan with specific goals and guidelines for each player so they know what is expected from them.”
Most players will be involved with Super Rugby development or age group programmes at the start of 2018 before assembling again in March. A squad will be selected from the development group to play in the Oceania Tournament in April in Australia.
Philpott will once again be joined by Assistant Coach Willie Rickards and scrum coach Dave Hewett, with David Hill (Bay of Plenty) also joining the coaching team in an assistant’s role.
“It’s great to have continuity in coaching with three of the four returning for another campaign. And David is familiar with our programme as he’s worked as a skills coach in the past so has a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve.”
The 2018 Under 20 Championship schedule (dates and venue) has yet to be confirmed.
Hastings Boys’ High School set the bar high in New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby this year winning the Top Four unbeaten and contributing half a dozen players to the national team. Hastings’ success is rewarded with two selections in this year’s list, but Hastings weren't the only ones flourishing on the field in 2017.
Our contenders are below for our third annual Champion of Champions series – vote in the poll below.
Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College) - Nelson College became the first team since Hamilton Boys’ High School in 2009 to retain the Moascar Cup for an entire season. Faingaanuku was a central figure in this achievement. He scored tries in the one point victories over Christ’s College and Timaru Boys’ High School. Additionally he was selected for the Crusaders Under-18’s and New Zealand Secondary Schools teams, scoring a try in the later fixture and going very close to winning man of the match.
Devon Flanders (Hastings Boys’ High School) - The strapping No.8 was an integral part of Hastings National triumph. A robust carrier and defender, Flanders was named man of the match in the National top four final and then went one step better when he was acknowledged as the Jerry Collins Bronze Boot award winner for his display in the New Zealand Schools’ 34-11 win over Australia in Sydney in October.
Kini Naholo (Hastings Boys’ High School) - The younger brother of All Black Waisake Naholo) scored 41 tries for the national champions, capturing the attention of One News with his prolific scoring feats. His big hauls included six tries against St Pats Town (subbed at halftime), five against Wellington College and Palmerston North Boys’ High School and three against Kelston Boys’ High School, Wellington College, King’s College, Rongotai College and Mount Albert Grammar School. Naholo was selected for the New Zealand Schools’ who won all three matches on their Australian tour. Naholo was named Sky Sport’s First XV player of the year.
Rivez Reihana (St Kentigern College) - The Year 12 first-five was an integral part of St Kentigern College capturing their fifth 1A title in seven years. Reihana was named Man of the Match in a televised fixture against Auckland Grammar School and was later promoted to the New Zealand Secondary Schools team where he was the starting pivot for the internationals against Fiji and Australia, keeping Hastings Year 14 general Lincoln McClutchie on the bench.
Josh Southall (St Pat’s Silverstream) - The only Year 12 in this list had a remarkable season going from a Wellington B selection in 2016 to a New Zealand Schools openside flanker. Southall was at the forefront of Silverstream’s historic season which saw them score a school record 982 points and win the Wellington championship for the first time since 2012 and all six annual traditional fixtures for the first time since 1988.
Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton Boys’ High School) - When Tupaea was injured in the National Top Four semi-final against Southland Boys’ High School it was a major blow for Hamilton’s title aspirations. The captain and midfield linchpin was the Super 8 champions best in 2017 and was sorely missed in the decider which Hamilton narrowly lost to Hastings. Tupaea wasn’t forgotten by the New Zealand selectors. He was chosen to captain the team on their unbeaten tour of Australia.
The Champion of Champion series is not intended to be a definitive list of the ‘best’ athletes in each code, rather it celebrates many of the leading athletes and teams in each that College Sport Media has followed this year. Preference has gone to those individuals/teams that CSM has interviewed and profiled in 2017. Got a story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The players have been selected for the New Zealand U17 & U18 Girls Sevens Wider Training Group, to prepare for a development camp in Auckland in mid-December followed by selection in one of the teams to participate in the second annual World School Sevens tournament on Saturday 16 December.
The squad is bristling with talent and excitement and includes a number of players who have already made their marks with their schools at regional and national level, in both sevens and 15s rugby.
Of note, several players already have Farah Palmer Cup Women’s NPC experience, including a small group of players in the Counties Manukau and Canterbury squads, who, if selected, could be playing in the Women’s NPC final this weekend.
The players are (alphabetical order by first name):
Ainsleyana Puleiata (St Marys College)
Amy Du Plessis (Southland Girls High School)
Arorangi Tauranga (Hamilton Girls High School)
Ayesha Leti-l’iga (Oriental-Rongotai Football Club)
Azalleyah Maaka (Gisborne Girls High School)
Caitlyn Cox (East Coast Bays Rugby Club)
Carys Dallinger (Manukura)
Cheyenne Cunningham (Waitaki Girls High School
Cheyne Copeland (St Marys College)
Denae Te Huna (Manukura)
Dhys Faleafaga (St Marys College)
Emily Kitson (Waikuku College)
Georgia Ponsonby (Feilding High School)
Grace Brooker (Christchurch Girls’ High School)
Hannah Brough (Te Kuiti High School)
Hinemoa Watene (Howick College)
Honey Mokomoko (Lytton High School)
Iritana Hohaia (Opunake High School)
Isabella Carter (Rangi Ruru Girls School)
Isla Norman Bell (Howick College)
Islay Fowler (University of Otago Rugby Club)
Iva Livani (Howick College)
Jazmin Hotham (Hamilton Girls High School)
Jessica Fagan-Pease (Palmerston North Girls High School)
Julia Florence (John Paul College)
Kahurangi Sturmey (Feilding Old Boys Rugby Club)
Kalisi Longopoa (Mt Albert Grammar School)
Kalyn Cook (Manukura)
Kennedy Tahau (Cambridge High School)
Kiki Tahere (Kapiti College)
Kodi Barlow (Pakuranga College)
Kororia Heyblom (Rangiuru Sports Club)
Lauren Christie (Southland Girls High School)
Lisa Putt (St Kentigern College)
Lose Mafi (Marist Rugby Club)
Lucy Jenkins (St Margret’s College)
Mahina Paul (St Kentigern College)
Meg Breen (Columba College)
Meg Sycamore (Columba College)
Melanie Puckett (St Margret’s College)
Montana Heslop (College Old Boys - Victoria University)
Montessa Tairakena (Hamilton Girls’ High School)
Niamh Jefferson (Taikura Rudolf Steiner)
Ora Williams (Rangiuru Sports Club)
Renee Holmes (Gisborne Girls’ High School)
Renee Savai’inaea (St Mary’s College)
Rina Paraone (University of Waikato Rugby Club)
Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (Motueka High School)
Rosie Buchanan-Brown (Queen Charlotte College)
Saphire Abraham (Howick College)
Serai Murray-Wihongi (Whangarei Girls’ High School)
Sydnee Wilkins (Motueka High School)
Tahina Heta (Pukekohe High School)
Terina Wallace (Wesley College)
Tiana Davison (Sacred Heart Girls College)
Tynelle Fitzgerald (Trident High School)
Utumalama Atonio (Rosehill College)
Players that would have been selected but unavailable due to injury:
Abigail Roache (Mt Albert Grammar School)
Jade Tuilaepa (Rangataua Rugby Club)
Lyric Faleafaga (St Mary’s College)
The Wellington Condor 7s rugby tournament qualifying tournament was held at Naenae College on Labour Day Monday. The four teams that qualified for the finals were Scots College and Rongotai College (Boys) and St Mary's College and Aotea College (Girls).
Results of knockout matches were:
Boys: Silverstream: 59 v St Bernard's College: 7
Boys: Scots College: 61 v Taita College: 7
Boys: Rongotai College: 14 v Wellington College: 12 * More than 5 subs
Boys: St Pats Town: 34 v Porirua College: 0
Girls: Aotea College: 17 v Poirurua College: 12
Girls: St Mary's College: 34 v Wainuiomata: 0
Boys: Rongotai 31 v St Pats Town: 7
Boys: Scots College: 22 v St Pats Silverstream: 12
Girls Cup: St Mary's College: 41 v Aotea College: 7
Boys Cup: Scots College: 21 v Rongotai College: 19
Boys Plate: Wellington College (2): 24 v Naenae College: 12
Boys Bowl: Wellington College: 21 v St Bernard's College: 0
Girls Bowl: Wainuiomata High School: 22 v Porirua College: 20
Video clips of many of the tries scored in the knockout rounds below:
Josh Southall was in a perpetual state of injury last year. The openside flanker from St Pat’s Silverstream recalls his various ailments.
“Early in the season I took a hit on my shoulder and was out for four weeks. Later I returned for the Rongotai traditional and their big centre Denny To’o stepped on my ankle so that was another four weeks. At the Hurricanes Under-16 tournament I got concussion. It was pretty frustrating,” he mourns.
This year Southall is relaxed and chatty having recently returned from Australia as a member of the successful New Zealand Secondary Schools team. Southall was one of only five Year 12 boys on tour. In 2016 Southall was a Hurricanes Under-16 Development player.
“My goal at the start of the year was to make the Hurricanes Under-18 camp that was the furthest thing I could achieve. I was shocked when they picked me to start the Crusaders match and when that went well I thought I was a shot at the New Zealand Schools,” Southall reflects.
Southall scored two tries in that Crusaders fixture. Scoring tries was something Silverstream’s First XV was extremely adept at in 2017. In 18 games the side crossed the chalk 157 times while recording 17 wins. Silverstream scored a record 606 points in winning the WelTec Premiership and swept their six annual traditional fixtures for the first time since 1988.
“The boys have been together for a while and I think that experienced counted. Last year we were winning pretty much every game at halftime, but couldn’t finish the job. This year we were more composed and our coaches did a great job,” Southall acclaims.
Southall identified the 46-17 win at the Gully against New Plymouth Boys’ High School as his favourite.
“The Gully haka is awesome. I have never seen anything like it. That game was our first traditional and important for building momentum.”
The New Zealand Schools had plenty of momentum across the Tasman. All three matches were won by big margins. Southall was the victim of a disgraceful spear tackle coming off the bench against Fiji. He enjoyed a strong hour against the Australian Barbarians before a solid 25-minute cameo in the test against Australia.
“I was pretty happy with the amount of game time I got. I am only Year 12 and Jeriah Mua is an awesome player so I expected a lot less to be honest. It was a pretty intense trip. There was a lot of training and whiteboard sessions. If you weren’t switched on, you were found out pretty quick.
Southall was named Silverstream’s Forward of the Year, an award that somehow eluded Wellington NPC sensation Asafo Aumua. In the summer Southall will take a break from rugby and focus on Waka Ama.
His father Todd is a police office and mother Tracy works in kitchen design. Josh’s younger brother Mitch Southall was a member of the Hurricanes Under-16 development team that won the Saracens Cup in the last school holidays.
Above: Josh Southall playing for the Hurricanes U18s earlier this year - watch his two tries including 35-metre solo try from a lineout drive and maul from 1.40 mins.
New Zealand: 34 (Jeriah Mua, Tupou Vaa’i, Etene Nanai, Leicester Faingaanuku, Isaiah Punivai, Lincoln McClutchie tries, Danny Toala 2 con) Australia: 11 (Darcy Breen try; Will Harrison 2 con)
The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ have extended their unbeaten run against Australia to five consecutive years after winning the annual Trans-Tasman test 34-11 in Sydney on Saturday.
The hosts started brightly, forcing New Zealand to repel nine phases. Openside Jeriah Mua won a turnover inside his own 22 and a short time later scored the first try after a powerful burst by wing Leicester Faingaanuku allowed the New Zealand forwards to swing onto attack and finish emphatically.
In the 14th minute Tupou Vaa’i made an emphatic tackle which jolted the ball free from Australia’s grasp. Sixty seconds later another Aussie knock-on resulted in the big Wesley lock crashing over to double the Kiwis lead.
Two busts by centre Isaiah Punivai resulted in no profit for New Zealand, but Australian first-five Will Harrison punished two lapses in discipline by the tourists to make the halftime score 10-6.
Australia ventured into New Zealand territory to start the second-half, but another fumble was seized upon by fullback Etene Nanai who collected a spillage in the midfield and galloped 60-metres.
The rampant Faingaanuku was held up as New Zealand punched regular holes in the Australian defence; however the hosts would soon close the gap to 17-11 when reserve flanker Tom Kibble made a storming charge and prop Darcy Breen touched down out wide.
Down 17-11, Australian optimism further increased when wing Albert Hopoate pulled his finger out and boldly ran 50-metres from his own in goal area.
However Kibble was yellow carded three minutes later for a head high tackle on Faingaanuku and Australia would concede two tries undermanned.
Faingaanuku exacted his revenge by ploughing through close to the posts and Punivai barley dived a metre in supporting a destructive carry by substitute wing Danny Toala.
Punivai created the last try for reserve pivot Lincoln McClutchie after a deft touch realeased the Hastings Boys’ flyer in to the clear.
No.8 Devan Flanders was named winner of the Jerry Collins Bronze Boot award as New Zealand’s player of the test. Locks Vaa’i and Naitoa Ah Kuoi were busy and abrasive and blindside Charles Alaimalo grew in stature after a tentative beginning.
Punivai oozes class and Faingaanuku would never be short of lunch money.
New Zealand won all three matches on tour scoring 137 points and conceding 24, after previously beating Fiji Schools’ (54-7) and Australian Schools’ Barbarians (49-6).
New Zealand Schools’ coach Jason Holland said he was pleased with the way his team continued to attack a strong Australian team.
“I think we wore them down. At halftime we encouraged the team to use the width and it was satisfying to see they backed themselves and it came off in the second half,” said Holland.
Holland agreed with the choice of Flanders as Player of the Match and commended his performance.
“Devan is a workhorse. He does a lot of things people don’t see; his tackle count was huge and he carried well throughout the match,” said Holland.
The New Zealand Under-18 Maori have ended their week together with a 38-26 victory over Tonga Schools at Jerry Collins Stadium in Porirua.
The fixture followed a similar course to the Tongan’s match against the New Zealand Barbarians last Thursday.
Tonga was tentative from the outset and fell behind 19-0 after ten minutes and 26-7 at halftime before fighting gallantly in the second-spell to reduce the deficit and earn the respect of their superiorly resourced opponents.
In the first minute Tonga fumbled the ball meekly on halfway and were made to pay when fullback John Cooper crossed in the corner supporting a bust by centre Austin Brown.
A few moments’ later first-five Stewart Cruden kicked for wing Coel Kerr to snaffle inside the visitors 22. New Zealand recycled swiftly and prop Jonas Pomare crashed over.
A hiding looked like a distinct possibility when lively halfback Shamara Brooks darted over for try number three, punishing more hapless handling from the visitors.
However Tonga rallied and powerhouse prop Hiliau Latu opened the tourists account after 15 minutes when he muscled over near the posts. Latu has exhibited exceptional form for Tonga in starting all three internationals.
New Zealand’s fourth try was exceptional. The ball was juggled and parried hurriedly close to the sideline, but remained in play for powerful No.8 Terrell Peita to claim a meat pie.
New Zealand blindside Keelan Whitman scored a soft fifth try and Kerr was gifted the sixth after Tonga made a hash of an attempted defensive clearance.
Tongan reserves Heimuli Taufa and Nawruz Kanongata’a were rewarded for their toil finishing robust and sustained forward surges and Alofaki Fihaki strode 30-metres for the last say in an outstanding solo effort.
New Zealand will be pleased to win, but the real story is Tonga. No.8 Apitoni To’ia was a superb captain for a side that has delighted and surprised supporters with their infectiously positive, organized, aggressive and competitive approach to the game.
Tonga was assisted in the coaching department today by All Black Vaea Fifta.
Video highlights of the tries below:
New Zealand Schools’ will be looking to make it three from three in their 2017 campaign when they meet Australian Schools’ in Sydney tomorrow (kick off 3pm NZT).
The New Zealand Schools’ team is;
1. Tamaiti Williams (St Kentigern College)
2. Sam Cooper (St Paul’s Collegiate)
3. George Dyer (St Paul's Collegiate)
4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington College)
5. Tupou Vaa’i (Wesley College)
6. Charles Alaimalo (Hamilton Boys' High School)
7. Jeriah Mua (Hastings Boys' High School)
8. Devan Flanders (Hastings Boys' High School)
9. Taufa Funaki (Sacred Heart College)
10. Rivez Reihana (St Kentigern College)
11. Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College)
12. Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
13. Isaiah Punivai (Christs College)
14. Kini Nasolo (Hastings Boys’ High School)
15. Etene Nanai (St Kentigern College)
16. Shilo Klein (St Andrew’s College)
17. Fatongia Paea (Sacred Heart College)
18. Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe (Hastings Boys' High School)
19. Quade Tapsell (Gisborne Boy’s High School)
20. Josh Southall (St Patrick’s College – Silverstream)
21. Humphrey Sheild (Napier Boys' High School)
22. Lincoln McClutchie (Hastings Boys' High School)
23. Danny Toala (Hastings Boys' High School)
The team arrived in Australia last week and have won matches against Fiji Schools’ (54-7) and Australian Schools’ Barbarians (49-6).
Coach Jason Holland said on the back of two impressive performances he was forced to make some tough selection calls.
“What we have gone with is the best guys to start the match and we know we have good players coming off the bench to finish the match.
“The team have proved they are accurate with the ball and good at taking opportunities but we know tomorrow will be a completely different challenge to what we have faced so far.
“This week we’ve concentrated on our set piece; that needs to stand up tomorrow and we need to be strong at the break down because we know they’ll attack us there,” said Holland.
While the New Zealand Schools’ team have scored some classy tries, their defence has been just as impressive, conceding one try in two matches.
“We’ve been trying to bring line speed into our defence which is different to what a lot of these players do back at school. We’ll have to make sure we get it right tomorrow,” said Holland.
Quinn Tupaea will again lead the team from the midfield, pairing up with Isaiah Punivai, while Leicester Faingaanuku, Kini Nasolo and Etene Nanai will form a dangerous back three.
Up front, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i and Devan Flanders retain their starting positions from the Australian Schools’ Barbarians match.
The match will be live on SKY’s Rugby Channel, kick off 3pm (a replay will air on SKY Sports 1 at 9.30pm).
A great video by the Waterboy featuring the skills and talents of Tau Kapea. Make sure you subscribe to Waterboy by clicking here
New Zealand Schools: 49 (Etene Nanai 2, Isaiah Punivai, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i, Leicester Faingaanuku, Abraham Pole tries; Danny Toala 7 con) Australia Barbarians: 6 (Campbell Parata 2 pen)
Two years ago present Canterbury wing Josh McKay scored all his side's points as the New Zealand Schools’ battled manfully to foil the Australian Barbarians 23-22 in oppressive Brisbane heat.
Today at Knox Grammar School, Sydney there were fewer dramas as New Zealand cruised to a 49-6 victory against the same opposition.
New Zealand led 28-6 at halftime and added three tries in the second-half to record their second victory on tour following Thursday’s 54-7 trouncing of Fiji.
Isaiah Punivai (Christ’s College) opened the scoring for New Zealand after a strong maul drew in the Australian defense and left the centre unmarked out wide.
Punivai would play a hand in the next two tries. Prop George Dyer (St Paul’s Collegiate) finished a combined break by Punivai and wing Etene Nanai (St Kentigern’s College).
Nani then scored after an angled run by Punivai created a 3- on-2 in favour of the visitors.
New Zealand’s performance wasn’t without blemish. Lock Tupou Vaa’i (Wesley College) was yellow carded in the first-half for a dangerous tackle and the visitors struggled with the referee's interpretation of the breakdown. Additionally some of the passing in the second-half was ragged as the quality of the spectacle deteriorated.
However when things stuck for New Zealand they showed they could score from any part of the field. Moments before the break Vaa’i atoned for his indiscretion supporting a break by fullback Danny Toala (Hastings Boys’ High School).
Reserve lock Naitoa Ah Kohi (Wellington College) broke bodily from his own 22 and set up Nanai’s second and Josh Southall (St Pats Silverstream) won a clean turnover which allowed wing Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College) to fend off three players and dash 60-metres.
The last try was scored on the siren by substitute hooker Abraham Pole following a series of aggressive forward rumbles.
New Zealand haven’t lost any match since 2013 and will be favourites to win Saturday’s test against Australia.
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