Otago Boys' pair keep up proud recent record

Otago Boys' High School first XV hooker Abraham Pole runs with the ball against Christchurch Boys...
Otago Boys' High School first XV hooker Abraham Pole runs with the ball against Christchurch Boys' High School at Littlebourne earlier this season. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Otago Boys' High School has just about supplied a full team to the New Zealand schools team in the past seven seasons.

The Dunedin school is the biggest supplier of any school in the country to the top two national school sides since 2011.

The latest player from the school to make the national squad is front rower Abraham Pole, who has been named in the New Zealand schools team to play three games in Australia in the next two weeks.

In the New Zealand Barbarians squad - effectively the second team - to play two games in New Zealand over the next week is flanker Taine Te Whata.

First XV coach Ryan Martin said the players had done well to make the sides, which were extremely hard to get into.

All up from 2011, the school had supplied 14 players to the New Zealand schools side and another 12 to the Barbarians side.

Otago Boys' High School first XV flanker Taine Te Whata on the charge against Timaru Boys' High...
Otago Boys' High School first XV flanker Taine Te Whata on the charge against Timaru Boys' High School at Littlebourne earlier this season.
Martin said that was the most of any school in New Zealand and it showed the school had the ability to produce players of real quality.

He said the school had good development programmes for senior pupils and playing in the higher Dunedin colts grade every Saturday was improving players.

Pole, the cousin of Otago hooker Sekonaia Pole, had been picked as a hooker in the school side but had the ability to play anywhere in the front row.

At 116kg, the year 13 pupil is a day pupil at the school.

The 17-year-old has signed a development contract with the Otago union for next year.

Te Whata (18) came to the school in year 9 from the Lumsden area.

He first shone in athletics but has prospered in the oval ball code over the past three years.

He has signed with the Southland union for next year.

Of the 14 players who have made the side from the school, seven of them have gone on to play for Otago.

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