This is the second year of the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament, an exciting event for young players that was launched in 2014. It will run from Sunday 27 September until Saturday 3 October at Owen Delany Park.
After the successful inaugural tournament last year, New Zealand Rugby is making this a regular on the rugby calendar in order to help develop emerging talent in the Under 19 age group.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Community and Provincial Rugby, Brent Anderson, said the tournament was integral to rugby development because it provides players with reasons to stay in the game and the opportunity to aim for higher honours, including their senior Provincial Union side and the New Zealand Under 20 squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
“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 is also a great “viewing platform” for selectors to keep an eye on emerging talent, particularly after high school.
Developed primarily as a stepping stone to those higher provincial and national honours, the Tournament aims to expose as many young players as possible from around New Zealand to inter-provincial rugby.
The Tournament therefore includes 16 teams: 14 Provincial Union teams; an additional Auckland B side; and a Heartland team comprised of players from across the Unions that compete in the Pink Batts Heartland Championship.
Teams will compete across two divisions – Premiership and Championship – for the Graham Mourie Cup and the Michael Jones Trophy respectively.
Each squad will be made up of 25 players who were registered to play club rugby in their Provincial Union and who are under 19 as at 1 January 2015.
The 2015 U19 HEARTLAND Squad
DAY ONE FIXTURES