THE NZ U19 HEARTLAND TEAM 2015
|New Zealand Heartland U19 squad named for Jock Hobbs Memorial Tournament|
|The 2015 New Zealand Heartland Team to compete at this month’s Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 Tournament has been named.
Twenty five players have been selected for the squad that will travel to Taupo for the tournament running from September 27 until October 3 at Owen Delany Park.
After the successful inaugural tournament last year, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is making the tournament a regular on the rugby calendar in order to help develop emerging talent in the Under 19s age group.
NZR General Manager of Community and Provincial Rugby, Brent Anderson, said the tournament was integral to rugby development because it provides players with every reason to stay in the game and aim for higher honours, such as their full Provincial Union side and New Zealand Under 20.
“This tournament is about providing a great pathway to equip our best young players to develop their skills for the next level of the game.”
Anderson said it was also a great “viewing platform” for selectors to keep an eye on emerging talent, particularly after secondary school.
The New Zealand Heartland Under 19 squad is:
The Heartland team is one of 16 teams competing in the tournament which gathers the best young players nationwide.
Heartland head coach Craig Dunlea said he was ambitious for his young side.
“This is a very exciting time and great honour for these young men to represent their province. The team has representation from every Heartland Union within the country and some of the players selected have already represented their Pink Batts Heartland Championship team, so it will be a competitive side.
“This tournament gives our Heartland players the opportunity to live and breathe rugby for eight days. They will be getting great exposure to some invaluable development and position specific sessions from quality New Zealand Rugby resource coaches that they may not get access to in the smaller Heartland Unions.
“They will make some life-long mates over the time in camp but more importantly get a chance to pit their skills against some of New Zealand’s up and coming rugby stars.”
Used as a stepping stone, the U19 tournament includes 16 teams; 14 Provincial Union teams, an additional Auckland B side and a Heartland Unions side. Teams will compete across two divisions (premiership and championship) for the Graham Mourie Cup and the Michael Jones Trophy.
Each squad will be made up of 25 players who currently play club rugby in their Provincial Union and who are under 19 as at 1 January 2015.
Please find attached the draw for the seeding tournaments, which will determine the draw for the Jock Hobbs Memorial tournament.