New Zealand Schools coaches Tom Coventry and Paul Martin today named a 24-strong New Zealand Schools squad for next month’s internationals against Australia and Australia A.
The team will play Australia A in Sydney on 4 October and Australia in Canberra on 8 October.
Included in the team are three players from National First XV champion side Christchurch Boys’ High School. They are Owen Franks, Liukanasi Manu and Mason Pomare, who will also captain the New Zealand Schools side.
Coventry, a former Otago and Waikato loose forward, said he and Martin attended many schools matches this year and they were impressed with the talent.
“This is my first year with the team and it is encouraging to see that we have so many remarkable young players. It certainly bodes well for the future of our game,” said Coventry.
Martin is a former Taranaki five-eighth and coached Taranaki Secondary Schools. He also coached the Hurricanes Schools side to victory in the Regional tournament last year.
The New Zealand Schools side has a remarkable record. The side has lost only two of its 45 internationals since 1990, and won its last 10 internationals, the most recent against Australia in Christchurch last year.
New Zealand Schools squad: Carl Anderson (Hastings Boys’ High School), Adrian Briggs-Barone (Feilding Agricultural High School), Shane Cleaver (Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth), Michael Coman (Waimea College, Nelson), Zarhn Commerer (New Plymouth Boys High School), Owen Franks (Christchurch Boys’ High School), Joe Hill (Wellington College), Michael Hobbs (Wellington College), Tevita Lepolo (Wesley College, Auckland), Mathew Luamanu (St Patrick’s College, Silverstream), Sean Maitland (Hamilton Boys’ High School), Liukanasi Manu (Christchurch Boys’ High School), Chris Middleton (Wellington College), Wayne Ngaluafe (Kelston Boys’ High School, Auckland), Hadleigh Parkes (Palmerston North Boys’ High School), Ken Pisi (Massey High School, Auckland), Mason Pomare (captain, Christchurch Boys’ High School), Trent Renata (Hamilton Boys’ High School), Chris Smith (Westlake Boys’ College, Auckland), Winston Stanley (Auckland Boys’ Grammar Schools), Shane Tasi (King’s College, Auckland), Isaac Thompson (Palmerston North Boys’ High School), Sam Whitelock (Feilding Agricultural High School) and Troy Woodman (Kamo College, Whangarei)
The squad departs for Sydney from Auckland International Airport at 7am on Air New Zealand flight NZ101 on Saturday 1 October.
New Zealand Schools match schedule (kick-off times local)
4 October: Australia A in Sydney at 2pm
8 October: Australia in Canberra at 12.30pm