NZSchools team named for internationals     20 Sep 2012    

The 2012 New Zealand Schools team to play in a three-match programme including international Tests against Australia Schools and Samoa Schools this month has been named today.

Coach Nigel Hotham has announced a 23-strong squad for his first New Zealand Schools team which will assemble on Saturday 22 September ahead of a match against Waikato Under 20s (25 September), Samoa Schools (29 September) and Australia Schools (6 October).

On the same day, the New Zealand Barbarians announced their first New Zealand Barbarians Schools team, which is effectively be a New Zealand Schools B team.

The players selected for the 2012 New Zealand Schools team are:

Beaudein Waaka - Gisborne Boys' High School

Regan Ware - Hamilton Boys' High School

Matt Vaega - Kelston Boys' High School

Sinclair Dominikovich-Murray - King's College

Tevita Li - Massey High School

Trinity Spooner-Neera - Napier Boys' High School

Lachlan Boshier - New Plymouth Boys' High
Rueben O'Neill - New Plymouth Boys' High

Troy Callander - Otago Boys' High School
Alex Fitzgerald - Otago Boys' High School
Sekonaia Pole - Otago Boys' High School
Josh Renton - Otago Boys' High School

Jamie Booth - Palmerston North Boys' High School

So'otala Fa'aso'o - Papatoetoe High School

Tom McHugh - Sacred Heart College
Sam Thomas - Sacred Heart College

Jackson Garden-Bachop - Scots College

James Tucker - St Bede's College

Tim Cleaver - St Kentigern College
Broc Hooper - St Kentigern College

Vince Aso - St Peter's College

Vincent Sakaria - Wellington College
Etimani Sului - Wellington College

Hotham said he was very impressed with the calibre of rugby talent coming through New Zealand schools.

"It has been really heartening to see such great young talent out there. First XV rugby in New Zealand is in great nick and I believe it's the best in the world at this level. I believe it gives us an edge in terms of the depth and strength of talent among young players," he said.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for these boys - the dream of every rugby player is to become an All Black and I know that for these boys, this will be their first chance to pull on a black jersey," he said.

Hotham acknowledged two players who were not available for selection due to injury - Josh Dickson (Otago Boys High School) and Anton Lienert-Brown (Christchurch Boys' High School).

"I know these boys will be particularly disappointed, but at the same time, we are fortunate to have great depth in our selection choices."

New Zealand Schools take on the experienced Waikato Under 20s side as an opening test of their skills ahead of the internationals.

The team then takes on Samoa Schools and Australia Schools in Auckland.

The New Zealand Barbarians team, the first time a Schools Barbarians team has been named, will also play against Samoa Schools and Australia Schools.

The team will provide cover for the New Zealand Schools team, as well as giving younger Year 12 players an opportunity to experience international competition.

The New Zealand Barbarians Schools team is:

Mitchell Jacobson - Cambridge High School

Michael Green - Christchurch Boys High

Damian McKenzie - Christ's College

Jordan Brown - Feilding High School

Wade McLean-Te Huia - Hamilton Boys' High School

Leon Fukofuka - Kelston Boys' High School

Bram Egli - King's College
Mitchell Karpik - King's College

Kerry Love - Napier Boys' High School

Mitchell Drummond - Nelson College

Sean Conner - Otago Boys' High School
Aleki Morris - Otago Boys' High School

Liam Polwart - Sacred Heart College

Billy Harmon - St Bedes College

Jack Falloon - St Kentigern College
TJ Fiane - St Kentigern College
Dillon Wihongi - St Kentigern College

Otere Black / Richard Mo'unga - Tu Toa / St Andrew's College

Nelson Asofa-Solomona - Wellington College
Ezekiel Sopoaga - Wellington College

Tau Koloamatangi - Wesley College
Luteru Laulala - Wesley College
Seluini Molia - Wesley College

Richard Mo'unga from St Andrew's College has been bracketed alongside Otere Black from Tu Toa, whose selection will be confirmed after a medical assessment tomorrow.

The Barbarians matches will be played as curtain raisers to the New Zealand Schools Test matches.

New Zealand Schools' and New Zealand Barbarians Schools' playing schedule:

Tuesday 25 September:

NZ Schools v Waikato Under 20
Venue: Fred Jones Park, Hamilton Old Boys' RFC, Hamilton
Kickoff: 2:15pm

Saturday 29 September:

NZ Barbarians Schools v Australia
Venue: Sacred Heart College, Auckland
Kickoff: 12:15pm

NZ Schools v Samoa Schools
Venue: Sacred Heart College, Auckland
Kickoff: 2.45pm

Both matches broadcast live on the Rugby Channel, from 12:00pm

Saturday 6 October:

NZ Barbarian Schools v Samoa Schools
Venue: Auckland Grammar School
Kickoff: 12:15pm

NZ Schools v Australia Schools
Venue: Auckland Grammar School
Kickoff: 2:45pm

Both matches broadcast live on the Rugby Channel from 12:00pm

Additional fixture - Tuesday 2 October

Australia Schools v Samoa Schools
Venue: St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton
Kickoff: 2.30pm