PLAYER PROFILE #JWC2014: Josh Renton

Getty Images     13 May 2014     Getty Images

Otago-based halfback Josh Renton has got over an extended injury break at just the right time and has achieved his goal of making the New Zealand team for the IRB Junior World Championship next month.

The former Otago Boys' High School halfback, who played for New Zealand Schools in 2012, played nine games for Otago in the ITM Cup last year, so brings a power of experience to the side.

A hernia operation slowed his start to the season but he was able to take part in the first of the Under-20 training camps and had recovered from surgery in time to take part at the third camp, and trial, last month.

"Making the team was a big goal of mine and it has been a six-month process but I had made it and delighted," he said.

"Expectations of us are high, obviously playing at home in front of friends and family, but it is also a couple of years since New Zealand has won it. I am looking forward to it. It is very exciting.

"I can't wait to get up there and into the tournament," he said.

Renton enjoyed a successful career at OBHS and credits coach Brian Martin with being a significant influence in his development.

And since making the Otago side, coach Tony Brown was always a big help.

No stranger to international age-group play, Renton can reflect on a loss to Australia with NZ Schoolboys but also a hefty win over Samoa.

He is also a product of the new era of schoolboys rugby in New Zealand where live television coverage of key matches each week has become part and parcel of the game.

"Playing on TV was pretty overwhelming, but it was great to be able to watch other schools in action. And we made the finals in 2012 which had been a goal of ours and OBHS hadn't done that for a few years," he said.

Renton is playing his club rugby in Dunedin for Kaikorai and while the side had endured mixed fortunes so far this year he felt players returning from injury recently had given the side a boost.

While he is developing his rugby, and looking for a professional career in the longer term, Renton is studying for a Commerce degree at Otago University and looking to retain his position in the Otago side for the ITM Cup.

Check out our first player profile on Damian McKenzie here.