From Super Rugby to Schools
Wed, 06 Sep 2017 10:17
Super Rugby is over, and there Super Rugby coaches in New Zealand who are free of coaching responsibility. The New Zealand RFU is harnessing their abilities in preparing their schools teams for international competition.
In New Zealand there is no conflict between Super Rugby and provincial rugby or between provincial rugby and club rugby. Likewise there is no conflict between schools rugby and representative rugby. Each has its unencumbered space.
This contrasts with the situation in South Africa, where provinces play in club time and also in Super Rugby time. In the case of schools, each year there is a conflict between the schools and South African Schools for the use of top players as the international tournament happens in the schools playing season.
Jason Holland is an assistant coach to the Hurricanes and Brad Mooar is an assistant coach to the Crusaders. Both will be involved in preparing New Zealand representative schools teams. Holland will be back with the New Zealand Schools team with Tom Cairns of Gisborne Boys’ High as assistant coach.
Mooar will be coaching the New Zealand Barbarians Schools with Sam Moore of New Plymouth Boys’ High as his assistant.
Mike Anthony, New Zealand's high performance development manager, said: “It is an exciting opportunity for our young players to get exposure to a high performance environment and learn from some of our professional coaches.
“The New Zealand Schools and Barbarians Schools teams both have a proud unbeaten record in test matches over the last three years. The programme is a proven pathway, with many graduating to the New Zealand Under-20s and Mitre 10 Cup within 12 months of being in this group.
“We’re looking forward to this coaching group linking with these players and seeing what they will achieve.”
Eight players from last year’s New Zealand Secondary Schools team have already made their provincial debut in 2017.
New Zealand Age Group selectors will identify 51 players to attend the New Zealand Schools Development camp at the end of this month. Two squads will then be named for the 2017 Schools team to play Fiji Schools, Australian Schools Barbarians and Australia School in Sydney, Australia.
The Barbarians Schools team will play against Tonga Schools and New Zealand Maori Under-18s in Palmerston North.