The future of rugby in New Zealand is looking secure following squad announcements for the 2022 New Zealand Schools, New Zealand Barbarian Under 18 and New Zealand Māori Under 18 Ngā Whatukura Boys teams.
Bringing leadership and talent to the teams are local coaching staff and 11 Crusaders, showcasing the depth of talent in the Crusaders catchment.
The New Zealand Barbarian Under 18 squad includes six Crusaders Academy players: Cooper Roberts, Harry Nossiter, High Robinson, Nelesoni Malaulau, Sioni Mafi and Tylah Blake.
Assistant coaches for the side are Tony Christie and Matt MacDougall – both proudly based in Christchurch. Christie also coached Matatū – the South Island’s Super Rugby Aupiki team – in their inaugural 2022 season, and the men’s Canterbury NPC team. MacDougall has coached both the Crusaders U18 and U20 sides.
The New Zealand Schools team includes four Crusaders Academy players: Jack Coulthard, Liam Jack, Matt Lowe and Richie Tupua'ilei.
Ben O’Donovan is the sole Crusaders Academy player in the New Zealand Māori Under 18 Ngā Whatukura Boys team.
Ben Fisher, New Zealand Rugby High Performance Pathways Manager, said a lot of work had gone in “to encapsulate the abundance of talent we have across this age group”, including a thorough review of footage from Super Rugby Under 19 camps.
“Our task now is to provide the players with an unforgettable development opportunity to help set them up for future success.” Fisher said.
The New Zealand Under 18 Quadrangular Tournament will take place at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton on Tuesday 11 October and Saturday 15 October. All games will be live streamed via New Zealand Rugby’s Facebook page @nzrugbyofficial.
The 2022 New Zealand Schools team
The New Zealand Barbarian U18 team
The New Zealand Māori U18 team
Tuesday 11 October
NZ Barbarians vs. Fiji Schools – 12.30pm
NZ Māori Under 18 vs. NZ Secondary Schools – 2.30pm
Saturday 15 October
NZ Barbarians vs. NZ Māori U18 – 12.30pm
NZ Secondary Schools vs. Fiji Schools – 2.30pm
Watch a livestream of the matches on New Zealand Rugby’s Facebook page.