Schools set-up under review

A working party has been set up to look at the future structure of secondary school rugby in Otago with the suggestion Otago Boys’ High School may look at bringing its first XV back into a schools competition.

Secondary school rugby in the South had taken  various forms over the past few years.

A Highlanders-wide regional competition for first XVs was launched in 2009 and  ran through until 2014.

It included teams from Southland and North Otago but it ended after concern over mismatches between schools and whether it was promoting the sport to all players.

A 10-team Otago  premier schools competition was introduced in 2015 and has run for the past three years. Otago Boys’ High School went and played in the premier colts grade  in which  Southland Boys’ High School also competed.

Otago Secondary Schools Rugby Council chairman Greg Heller said no decisions had been made yet and a working party had been formed to look at options.

It was not solely limited to the structure of the first XV competition but right down to the under-14 grade.

Heller said they were simply looking at what form the game may look in the future and how best to have the structure of competitions to suit all players.

He said the system would still aim to create a pathway for players to get into their school first XV.

Co-educational schools found it hard to compete against single-sex schools and he did not want to lose teams from these schools.

The Otago Boys’ High School First XV had been competitive against teams in the colts grade, as was Southland Boys’ High School, but there was concern players aged 15 were playing against stronger, physical players aged at least 20.

There was the suggestion the first XV competition would split into sections with the lesser schools moving down into a second section.

Otago Boys’ High School would play in the top division.Heller said all ideas were on the table and nothing had been decided.

Add a Comment