Sixty players have been selected for the Hurricanes Under-18 coaching camp in Masterton for a week of high performance coaching and rugby and life education skills.
The four-day camp will include sessions with a range of top provincial coaches as well as the Hurricanes Investec Super Rugby coaching staff headed by Chris Boyd and John Plumtree.
The Hurricanes Under-18 squad chosen for the four-day camp represents a wide spread of talent from across the Hurricanes region with schools represented in Wellington (19), Hawke’s Bay (14), Poverty Bay (9), Manawatu (5), Whanganui (4), East Coast (2), Horowhenua and Wairarapa Bush (1 each).
Hastings Boys High School will be the school most heavily represented at the camp with ten players, followed by Gisborne Boys High School (9), Palmerston North Boys High School (5) and Rongotai College (4).
The squad also includes two players from Auckland’s St Kentigern’s College in halfback Carlos Price and lock/loose forward Te Ahiwaru Cirikidevita, who are selected under their provincial banners of Wellington and East Coast respectively.
Hurricanes Under-18 convenor of selectors Darren Larsen said it was an extremely tough job trying to sort through 257 nominations.
“We are very lucky with the amount of talented young players in the region and we’ve been impressed by the quality of the rugby we’ve seen this season, but it certainly makes it tough for the selectors.
“Every provincial union in the region has a selector and I’m are confident they’ve been very thorough in identifying our best young talent.
“But I would also say that this squad is only one pathway and history has shown that players who miss out at this stage can still achieve their goals and make it to New Zealand representative teams or Super Rugby by continuing to push their case on the field.
The 60-strong squad will assemble in Masterton on Sunday, July 10.
Following the camp, 23 players will be selected to travel to Christchurch to play the Crusaders Under-18s at AMI Stadium on Saturday, July 16 as the curtain raiser to the Hurricanes-Crusaders Investec Super Rugby match.
“It’s also worth noting that players who do not attend the camp can still be selected in the final team.”