Tomorrow's Clyde junior development masterclass first of its kind

The rollout of the model for changing the structure of junior development begins tomorrow when the Otago Rugby Football Union hosts a junior rugby masterclass development session at Clyde.

The sessions are in response to the abandonment of junior representative structure throughout the South Island.

Junior representative sides from under-14 and below have been canned after concerns they were leading to players giving up the game and were forcing players into specialising into one sport at an early age.

The move to can representative teams was started by the North Harbour union in late February and quickly spread in an initiative supported by the national union.

Even if Otago had continued with its representative teams, it would have had nobody to play against after other unions pulled out.

So the Otago union decided to stage development sessions for a wider group of players and the first of these will be at Clyde tomorrow.

The union has been impressed by the support for its first session at Clyde - 103 year 8 players have been nominated to attend.

The sessions will be led by union coaching development officers Aaron Callaghan and Seilala Mapusua, along with club coaches.

Other dates are: Dunedin: July 7, Green Island; August 25, Pirates, 11am starts. South-West Otago: Tapanui, June 16, Balclutha, August 11, 11am starts. Central Otago: Tomorrow, Clyde-Earnscleugh; July 21, Alexandra, 11am starts.

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