Roderick Solo (Scots College) selected for NZ Secondary School Rugby Team

Congratulations to Roderick Solo (Scots College) who has been named in the NZ Secondary School Rugby Team.


NZ Rugby Press releases:  Reward for New Zealand’s top secondary school players with Schools’ teams announced

Players from 29 schools across the country have been named in the New Zealand Schools’ and New Zealand Schools’ Barbarians teams for 2019, announced by New Zealand Rugby today.

A huge 1st XV season culminated last weekend with the Finals played in Palmerston North, the city will also play host to the 50 young players selected across the two representative teams.

The New Zealand Schools squad features seven players that were involved in the schools programme last year, including two who have graduated from the Barbarians team.

The Heartland Unions are represented in the New Zealand Schools team by Whanganui Colleagiate’s Ben Strang. Players repres

ent a total of 12 provincial unions with the biggest representation from Auckland and Canterbury.

Newly-crowned National Co-Ed champions St Kentigern College has seven players selected across the two national Schools teams, with Christchurch Boys’ High School and King’s College also strongly represented.

The New Zealand Schools’ team is;

Cam Church  Saint Kentigern College
Allan Craig  Saint Kentigern College
Viaolini Ekunasi  St Peter’s Cambridge
Zach Gallagher  Christ’s College
Dom Gardiner  St Bede’s College
Vincent Green  Hamilton Boys’ High School
Meihana Grindlay  King’s College
Wil Gualter  Lincoln High School
Finau Halafihi  Auckland Grammar School
Max Hughes  Christchurch Boys’ High School
Corey Kellow  Sacred Heart College
Jacob Kneepkens  Francis Douglas Memorial College
Ollie Lewis  Christchurch Boys’ High School
Ben Lopas  Christchurch Boys’ High School
Ruben Love  Palmerston Boys’ High School
Aidan Morgan  King’s College
Blair Murray  New Plymouth Boys’ High School
Manu Paea  Rotorua Boys’ High School
Te Rama Reuben  Saint Kentigern College
Anton Segner  Nelson College
Jack Sexton  St Andrew’s College
Roderick Solo  Scots College
Ben Strang  Whanganui Collegiate
Tiaan Tauakipulu  Saint Kentigern College
Gideon Wrampling  St Paul’s Collegiate


New Zealand Schools’ Coach Mark Hammett commended the programme’s talent spotters across the country, noting they had made the job of selecting a squad of just 25 very difficult.

“It’s a massive undertaking from the talent identification staff across the country. It’s a long process and we have been really impressed with the players. We are seeing well-run school programmes which means the fundamental skills these players have, are top notch.”

Hammett said the team had a mixture of in-form players alongside those who have shown great potential.

“For these players, at this stage of their lives, making this team is the goal. Now they have made that, I want to encourage them to think about what they do in the black jersey and how they will represent it. This is an opportunity to learn and grow and our management team want to ensure we are promoting that development.”

When the squad assembles in Palmerston North later this month, Hammett said the goal was to create an amazing rugby experience.

“We want this group to go away as better players. As a team, we will set our goals and the values and behaviours we want as a squad, and if we do that, we should get the results we are after,” said Hammett.

Joining Hammett as Assistant Coach is Sam Rasch (Scots College) and Skills Coach Kevin Harding (Canterbury). The New Zealand Schools team will play a game of three halves in Palmerston North on 26 September before traveling to Hamilton for matches against Fiji Schools and Australia Under 18s.

The New Zealand Schools’ Barbarians team is;

Lattrell Ah Kiong  Hastings Boys’ High School
Eto Bainivalu  St Bede’s College
George Bell  John McGlashan College
James Brown  King’s College
Taya Brown  Nelson College
Seb Calder  St Andrew’s College
Tepaea Cook-Savage  St Paul’s Collegiate
Matt Dobbyn  Hamilton Boys’ High School
Leeroy Ferguson  John McGlashan College
Joseph Gavigan  Manukura
Julian Goerke  Hasting Boys’ High School
Jamie Hannah  Christchurch Boys’ High School
TK Howden  Fielding High School
Dayton Iobu  King’s College
Treyah Kingi  Saint Kentigern College
Brian Leali’ifano  Sacred Heart
Giovanni Leituala  King’s High School
Michael Manson  Otago Boys’ High School
Jona Mataiciwa  Saint Kentigern College
Sosaia Moala  Auckland Grammar
Monu Moli  Marlborough Boys’ High School
Alfred Nonu  Tangaroa College
Javarne Porter  Whangarei Boys’ High School
Hakaraia Richards Coxhead  Hamilton Boys’ High School
Leandro Vakatini  King’s College

New Zealand Schools Barbarians Coach Gus Leger, a member of the NZ Barbarians club, said he was excited about assembling this group under the Barbarians banner.

“The Barbarians have a rich history and we will draw on that when we come together.Being part of the Barbarians is unique and I know this will be great experience for the players.”

Leger said the Barbarians programme will provide a memorable rugby experience for these players to footnote their school careers.

“This is a great opportunity for these players and the pathway it can create.Playing international rugby is a huge honour and I am looking forward to seeing what we will be able to achieve.”

Leger said with only a short time together, ‘connection’ will be one of the first areas for the squad to focus upon.

“We need to find our connections and understand our ‘why’. As a management group we want to make sure these players are going to work for each other in what is a short space of time to come together. On the field, we need to set our foundations, particularly at set piece, and if we get that right, players will be able to really express themselves.”

Assisted by Mark Hooper (Kelston Boys’ High School), the Barbarians team play a game of three halves in Palmerston North before matches against Australia Under 18s and Fiji Schools in Hamilton.

For further information contact:

Libby Boggs
Media Advisor
M: +64 (0)27 699 8099