NZ Schools Rugby Teams Announced

Players from 29 schools across the country have been named in the New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Schools Barbarians teams for 2019, announced by New Zealand Rugby.

A huge 1st XV season culminated earlier this month with the finals played in Palmerston North, the city will also play host to the 50 young players selected across the two representative teams.

The New Zealand Schools squad features seven players that were involved in the schools programme last year, including two who have graduated from the Barbarians team.

Players represent a total of 12 provincial unions with the biggest representation from Auckland and Canterbury.

Newly-crowned National Co-Ed champions Saint Kentigern College has seven players selected across the two national Schools teams, with King’s College also strongly represented.

The New Zealand Schools’ team is;

Cam Church
Saint Kentigern College
Allan Craig
Saint Kentigern College
Vaiolini Ekuasi
St Peter’s Cambridge
Zach Gallagher
Christ’s College
Dom Gardiner
St Bede’s College
Vincent Green
Hamilton Boys’ High School
Meihana Grindlay
King’s College
Wil Gualter
Lincoln High School
Finau Halafihi
Auckland Grammar School
Max Hughes
Christchurch Boys’ High School
Corey Kellow
Sacred Heart College
Jacob Kneepkens
Francis Douglas Memorial College
Ollie Lewis
Christchurch Boys’ High School
Ben Lopas
Christchurch Boys’ High School
Ruben Love
Palmerston Boys’ High School
Aidan Morgan
King’s College
Blair Murray
New Plymouth Boys’ High School
Manu Paea
Rotorua Boys’ High School
Te Rama Reuben
Saint Kentigern College
Anton Segner
Nelson College
Jack Sexton
St Andrew’s College
Roderick Solo
Scots College
Ben Strang
Whanganui Collegiate
Tiaan Tauakipulu
Saint Kentigern College
Gideon Wrampling
St Paul’s Collegiate


New Zealand Schools’ Coach Mark Hammett commended the programme’s talent spotters across the country, noting they had made the job of selecting a squad of just 25 very difficult.

“It’s a massive undertaking from the talent identification staff across the country. It’s a long process and we have been really impressed with the players. We are seeing well-run school programmes which means the fundamental skills these players have, are top notch.”

Hammett said the team had a mixture of in-form players alongside those who have shown great potential.

“For these players, at this stage of their lives, making this team is the goal. Now they have made that, I want to encourage them to think about what they do in the black jersey and how they will represent it. This is an opportunity to learn and grow and our management team want to ensure we are promoting that development.”

When the squad assembles in Palmerston North later this month, Hammett said the goal was to create an amazing rugby experience.

“We want this group to go away as better players. As a team, we will set our goals and the values and behaviours we want as a squad, and if we do that, we should get the results we are after,” said Hammett.

Joining Hammett as Assistant Coach is Sam Rasch (Scots College) and Skills Coach Kevin Harding (Canterbury). The New Zealand Schools team will play a game of three halves in Palmerston North on 26 September before traveling to Hamilton for matches against Fiji Schools and Australia Under 18s.

The New Zealand Schools’ Barbarians team is;

Lattrell Ah Kiong
Hastings Boys’ High School
Eto Bainivalu
St Bede’s College
George Bell
John McGlashan College
James Brown
King’s College
Taya Brown
Nelson College
Seb Calder
St Andrew’s College
Tepaea Cook-Savage
St Paul’s Collegiate
Matt Dobbyn
Hamilton Boys’ High School
Leeroy Ferguson
John McGlashan College
Joseph Gavigan
Julian Goerke
Hasting Boys’ High School
Jamie Hannah
Christchurch Boys’ High School
TK Howden
Feilding High School
Dayton Iobu
King’s College
Treyah Kingi
Saint Kentigern College
Brian Leali’ifano
Sacred Heart
Giovanni Leituala
King’s High School
Michael Manson
Otago Boys’ High School
Jona Mataiciwa
Saint Kentigern College
Sosaia Moala
Auckland Grammar School
Monu Moli
Marlborough Boys’ High School
Alfred Nonu
Tangaroa College
Javarne Porter
Whangarei Boys’ High School
Hakaraia Richards Coxhead
Hamilton Boys’ High School
Leandro Vakatini
King’s College


New Zealand Schools Barbarians Coach Gus Leger, a member of the NZ Barbarians club, said he was excited about assembling this group under the Barbarians banner.

“The Barbarians have a rich history and we will draw on that when we come together.Being part of the Barbarians is unique and I know this will be great experience for the players.”

Leger said the Barbarians programme will provide a memorable rugby experience for these players to footnote their school careers.

“This is a great opportunity for these players and the pathway it can create. Playing international rugby is a huge honour and I am looking forward to seeing what we will be able to achieve.”

Leger said with only a short time together, ‘connection’ will be one of the first areas for the squad to focus upon.

“We need to find our connections and understand our ‘why’. As a management group we want to make sure these players are going to work for each other in what is a short space of time to come together. On the field, we need to set our foundations, particularly at set piece, and if we get that right, players will be able to really express themselves.”

Assisted by Mark Hooper (Kelston Boys’ High School), the Barbarians team play a game of three halves in Palmerston North before matches against Australia Under 18s and Fiji Schools in Hamilton.


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