Canterbury schoolboys make NZSS rugby team

Lincoln Combined captain Wil Gualter has made the 25-strong New Zealand secondary schools' team. Photo: Karen Casey.
Lincoln Combined captain Wil Gualter has made the 25-strong New Zealand secondary schools' team. Photo: Karen Casey.
Seven Canterbury players have been selected in the New Zealand secondary schools' rugby team announced on Thursday afternoon.

Christchurch Boys' has three representatives in the 25-strong squad with first-five Ollie Lewis, prop Ben Lopas and halfback Max Hughes.

Christ's College lock Zach Gallagher has also made it as has St Bede's loose forward Dom Gardiner, son of former Canterbury and Crusaders flanker, Angus Gardiner.

St Andrew's prop Jack Sexton, son of former Canterbury and Crusaders hooker, Matt Sexton is also in the mix.

Lincoln Combined also has cause to celebrate after their captain and mid-field maestro Wil Gualter was selected.

The New Zealand Schools team will play a game of three halves in Palmerston North on 26 September before traveling to Hamilton for matches against Fiji Schools and Australia Under 18s.

New Zealand Schools’ Coach Mark Hammett commended the programme’s talent spotters across the country, noting they had made the job of selecting a squad of just 25 very difficult.

“It’s a massive undertaking from the talent identification staff across the country. It’s a long process and we have been really impressed with the players. We are seeing well-run school programmes which means the fundamental skills these players have, are top notch.”

Hammett said the team had a mixture of in-form players alongside those who have shown great potential.

“For these players, at this stage of their lives, making this team is the goal. Now they have made that, I want to encourage them to think about what they do in the black jersey and how they will represent it. This is an opportunity to learn and grow and our management team want to ensure we are promoting that development.”

When the squad assembles in Palmerston North later this month, Hammett said the goal was to create an amazing rugby experience.

“We want this group to go away as better players. As a team, we will set our goals and the values and behaviours we want as a squad, and if we do that, we should get the results we are after,” said Hammett.

Eto Bainivalu (St Bede's), Seb Calder St Andrew's College) and Jamie Hannah (CBHS) made the New Zealand Schools' Barbarians team.

New Zealand secondary schools' squad: Cam Church, St Kentigern College, Allan Craig St Kentigern College, Vaiolini Ekuasi St Peter's Cambridge, Zach Gallagher Christ's College, Dom Gardiner St Bede's College, Vincent Green Hamilton Boys' High School, Meihana Grindlay Kings College, Wil Gualter Lincoln High School, Finau Halafihi Auckland Grammar School, Max Hughes Christchurch Boys' High School, Corey Kellow  Sacred Heart College, Jacob Kneepkens  Francis Douglas Memorial College, Jacob Kneepkens  Christchurch Boys' High School, Ben Lopas Christchurch Boys' High School, Ruben Love Palmerston Boys' High School, Aidan Morgan  Kings College, Blair Murray New Plymouth Boys' High School, Manu Paea Rotorua Boys' High School, Te Rama Reuben St Kentigern College, Anton Segner  Nelson College, Jack Sexton St Andrew's College, Roderick Solo Scots College, Ben Strang Whanganui Collegiate, Tiaan Tauakipulu St Kentigern College, Gideon Wrampling St Paul's Collegiate.



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