Rugby: Kavanagh seeks first XV revival

Kavanagh College is seeking to give its team a shot in the arm as it attempts to get back into the Highlanders First XV competition.

Kavanagh was part of the competition when it started in 2009, but dropped out at the start of this season.

Players who had intended to come back to school had not turned up and other pupils had pulled out, and the school made a decision to withdraw as it feared it would not be competitive.

The school went down to the Dunedin metropolitan under-18 grade, where it just missed out on the semifinals.

Kavanagh head of sport Mike Waterworth said the college wanted to get rugby back on to a firm footing and that had started by establishing a rugby development committee.

It would focus on improving the organisation of rugby at the school.

Waterworth said the committee was seeking to appoint a first XV coach for next year and beyond.

The school was losing players to other schools and that was having a big impact on teams, he said.

He hoped the sport would be much better organised and have programmes in place which would keep rugby players at the school.

The new first XV coach was unlikely to be a teacher at the college. The appointment would be made, hopefully, about the start of next term.

With the school starting at year 7, many year 8 pupils were being targeted by other Dunedin schools, Waterworth said.

With a better programme, he hoped Kavanagh would keep those players, who would be important for the school, and the first XV, in the future.

Although the school had a roll of about 900, about 300 pupils were in years 7 and 8.

The co-educational school has under-14 and under-15 teams this year and those players would form the basis of the First XV in coming years.


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