First XV rugby: The teams at a glance

Southland Boys' faced John McGlashan earlier this week. Photo: PETER MCINTOSH
Southland Boys' faced John McGlashan earlier this week. Photo: PETER MCINTOSH
The Otago Premier Schools rugby competition begins tomorrow. The Otago Daily Times looks at how each school is shaping up.

Otago Boys’
Coach: Regan Turoa
2020: Champion
Key players: No 8 Semisi Tupou Taeiloa, first five-eighth Finn Hurley, openside Ronan Dynes
Oil: Many of the key players have left so the side has a fresh look. There is plenty of talent and confidence though.

Coach: Niall Gregg
2020: Runner-up
Key players: Props Mahonri Auva’a and Steve Salalea, first five-eighth Ben Paku
Oil: King’s has some big bruisers up front but insists it will not be playing 10-man rugby. Also very determined to go one better.

Southland Boys’
Coach: Jason Dermody
2020: Third
Key players: Flanker Aaron Withy, hooker Jack Taylor, first five-eighth Kaea Nikora-Balloch.
Oil: Impressive pre-season wins over King’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School. Hard-working forward pack. About a dozen players have returned.

Coach: Reon Smith
2020: Fourth
Key players: Hooker Ben Johnston, No 8 Joshua Scobie, first five-eighth Samuel Waitoa.
Oil: Earned promotion to the Premiership last year. Size could be an issue this season but will play with plenty of heart.

John McGlashan College
Coach: Aaron Mauger
2020: Fifth
Key players: Lock Harrison Morton, midfielder Josh Whaanga, loose forward Thomas Larrivee
Oil: Two-thirds of the squad is made up of year 12 boys. Started poorly last year but well coached and should feature at the business end.

St Kevin’s
Coach: Justin Fowler
2020: Sixth
Key players: Loose forwards Anthony Docherty and Ben Kay, midfield back Asesela Ravuvu
Oil: About half the side back from last year, busy pre-season with five games, aiming to stay in the top six.

Otago Boys’ 2nds
Coach: Mark Pledger
2020: Seventh
Key players: Fullback Hamish Faulks, halfback Jake Fowler, loose forward Jordan Dale
Oil: Up to 10 15-year-olds in the team and one or two of the leading players may end up in first XV. The aim is to win the bottom six and go from there.

Mt Aspiring College
Coach: Hamish Crosbie
2020: Eighth
Key players: Utility forward Harry Gillespie, midfielder Lachy Moore
Oil: About seven players back from last year, not big but plenty of heart. Wanting to stay in the middle four at least.

Coach: Lee Hart
2020: Ninth
Key players: No 8 Ben Barke, winger Will Cooper, midfielder Tyler Harris.
Oil: Squad includes half a dozen year-11s, so rebuilding for 2022. The aim is to be competitive in the middle four.

South Otago
Coach: Craig Shanks and Clark Stephens
2020: 10th
Key players: Hooker Lachlan Roy, first five-eighth Ben Smart
Oil: Improved last year and looking to continue that momentum. Not the biggest, but young and raw talent coming through

Waitaki Boys'
Coach: Mark Wilson
2020: 11th
Key players: Openside Lockie Mavor, No 8 Lotu Latavao, fullback Siua Fonua.
Oil: Disappointing campaign in 2020 but, with a little collective effort and more continuity around the game plan, Waitaki hopes to claw its way up the standings.

Combined Schools
Coach: Ryan Rosevear
2020: Last
Key Players: No 8 Lachlan Nicholl, centre Thomas Andrews, openside Ollie Sinclair
Oil: It was a struggle last season. It will probably be a struggle again this year. But the team will play with width and look to catch out some of the bigger sides.

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