Blues - Aorere College
New Zealand's record holder for most first class games Kevin Mealamu attended Aorere College. The All Black legend has a trophy that bears his name. Since 1992 Aorere have played Otahuhu College for the Kevin Mealamu trophy. Aorere have won it three times in 1996, 2009 and 2015 - seasons they were in the 1A competition.
Other famous alumni includes New Zealand cricketers Murphy Sua and Gary Troup, fighter Mark Hunt and Opera singer Sole Mio.
Aorere College is also where St. Kentigern College coach Tai Lavea cut his teeth. In 2008 he guided the team to 13 wins in a row as they captured the 1B title.
In 2009 they enjoyed their best ever season finishing runners up to Feilding High School in the National co-education championship and winning seven games in 1A, narrowly missing the semi-finals.
Aorere accounted for King's College, De La Salle College (Defending National Champions that year), Kelston Boys' High School and ironically St Kentigern College. They also held Wesley College to a draw.
In 2014 Aorere won promotion back to the 1A grade by winning 1B. They won 11 out of 13 games and upset Dilworth College 11-8 in the final.
In 2015 Aorere had tough pre-season hit outs against New Plymouth Boys' High School, Mount Albert Grammar School and Onehunga High School achieving one victory.
In 1A they won three games defeating Tangaroa College, Otahuhu College (by a record score 45-5) and De La Salle College (18-17).
Coach Graeme Phillips describes his forward pack as "honest." Perhaps the standout is openside Kalib Lewis. In the backs the key figure is first-five Siope Ngata. He has already played for Blues 18's and 20's although he is new to the 10 shirt, having played for both teams at 15. He is also on a development contract with the Hawthorn AFL club.
Chiefs - Cambridge High School
For the fourth time in five seasons Cambridge High School will represent the Chiefs region at this tournament - twice they have been runners-up.
Cambridge won the Waikato First XV competition in 2012 and 2014, but failed to defend their title in 2015 losing to St. John's College in the final. Cambridge beat every other side in the competition.
Cambridge have 12 returning players and that experience has counted recently. They beat fierce local rivals St. Peter's, Cambridge, Manurewa High School (Counties Champions) and Western Heights High School (Baywide Champions) to earn their place in Rotorua.
Cambridge is a well organised side that plays with plenty of heart.
Isaak Albert is a big presence. The lock is 120kg. Openside and captain Daniel Thornton is an industrious performer.
First-five Spencer Jones kicked a drop goal with the last play of the 2014 semi-final to win Cambridge the game and No.8 Sam Monkley was a bronze medallist in the Maadi Cup and is a relation of Duane Monkley who played 135 games for Waikato.
Hurricanes - Feilding High School
The defending champions (despite a midseason change of coach) are a strong chance of retaining their title.
Feilding started the season in rare form defeating Wellington College, Palmerston North BHS, Hastings BHS and Gisborne BHS.
They didn't cool down in the Central North Island competition scoring seven wins in nine games and making their first final by scoring more points than any other school in the tourney.
However both trips to Hamilton to tackle St. Paul's Collegiate proved fruitless, Fielding were runners up.
Feilding had to win three games to claim the Hurricanes co-education title. They beat Wanganui College (98-0), Tu Toa College (48-12), and Bishop Viard College (33-8) to earn a repeat trip to Rotorua.
Feilding has a potent backline. The Fijian pair of Jona Nareki (Wing/First-five) and fullback Villimoni Koroi (two tries in the 2014 final) are capable of tearing sides apart and captain Tom Stewart is a shrewd, goal-kicking halfback.
Feilding has a mobile forward pack well led by Chris Cairns (prop/hooker).
Blindside Kepueli Tui'fua is a heavy-hitter who carries strongly.
Feilding's girls have also made their fourth consecutive top four.
South Island - St. Andrew's College
St. Andrew's College have had an outstanding season. They have played 16 games and enjoyed 14 wins, scoring 91 tries. In six games St. Andrew's have scored more than 40 points.
St. Andrew's made the semi-finals of the UC Championship achieving wins over St. Bede's College (Champions) and Christchurch Boys' High School (2014 champions).
In a curious twist of fate St. Andrew's also hold the Moascar Cup. On Monday at the Presbyterian Quadrangular tournament their development XV beat a Scots College equivalent.
St. Andrew's are a well-balanced side, but are especially well served by a big pack.
Loose head Harrison Allen has been nominated as a prospect for the NZ Schools camp. Lock and captain George Mirfin is an accomplished lineout forward and 134kg No.8 Nathan Tanuvasa is hard to stop with a head of steam.
In the backs Sam Gilbert is an accurate goal-kicker and illusive runner and Raymond Nu'u is a rock in centre field.
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