South’s rise reflected in squads

Touch players turning out for the NZ team in Australia this weekend are (back row, from left)...
Touch players turning out for the NZ team in Australia this weekend are (back row, from left) Damian Burden, Meihana Schooner, Trey Russell, Angus Faulks, Logan Wilson, Olivia O'Neill, Brylee More, Dayna Turnbull, (front row) McKayler Moore, Amelia Scully, Liv Preston, Olivia Fowler, Beryn Abbott, Meg Sycamore, Maia Joseph. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Touch in the South continues to go from strength to strength.

The game has risen in profile over the past few years and Otago is making a real impact on the national scene.

Its teams appear well up at national tournaments and win plenty of silverware.

That has led to players making national sides.

A few years ago, one player from the South making a New Zealand team was a coup for the sport down here.

But with a transtasman youth series taking place in Newcastle in Australia over the weekend, 18 players and officials with Otago connections will be involved.

The men’s, women’s and mixed teams are at under-20 and under-18 level.

Each team has 16 players and play a game each day against Australian teams.

Damian Burden will coach the under-20 mixed team while Dayna Turnbull will coach the women’s under-20 coach.

Rahul Das, who was heavily involved in touch in Dunedin while studying to be a doctor, is the squad doctor. He is now based in Auckland.

Courtney Hawke and Michael Buttery will be referees in matches.

Meg Sycamore is the flag bearer for the squad and will captain the women’s under-20 side. Maia Joseph will captain the women’s under-18 side.

Also in the under-20 side are Beryn Abbott and Amelia Scully, who are making their national debuts, and they will be joined by McKayler Moore and Olivia O’Neill.

Meihana Schooner make his national debut in the under-20 side while Joseph is joined by Brylee More and Olivia Fowler in the under-18 side. More will be making her New Zealand debut.

In the men’s under-18 side, Angus Faulks, Trey Russell and Logan Wilson will play their first games for their country as will Liv Preston in the New Zealand under-18 mixed team.


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