BOP side to face NZ under 20 rugby team
Steamers coach Clayton McMillan says Bay of Plenty Rugby is starting to reap the rewards of the regional high performance program.
Clayton is coaching a Bay of Plenty XV Wasps’ side against the New Zealand Under 20s at Murray Salt Stadium Te Puke this evening
The hit-out is a build up towards the Under-20’s World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Argentina next month.
The home team playing in Wasps colours, won’t be the only Bay players on the park, with five members of the NZ Under 20s team being selected from the region.
Lalomilo Lalomilo, Leroy Carter, Cole Forbes, Jeriah Mua and Kohan Herbert will wear the Black Jersey when they face some of their former teammates from the Bay of Plenty Under 19s, who won the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 Tournament last year in Taupo.
Clayton, who also coaches the Maori All Blacks, says it is great to see players from our various high performance programmes across the region, showing their talents at a higher level.
"Our academy has been a work in progress. The fact that we got five players into the New Zealand U-20s this year and it could have been more if Kaleb Trask had not been injured is a huge testament to the program and the people involved.”
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers says the union is focused on developing a strong performance environment for both young male and female athletes.
"We have increased our investment in this area and worked through identifying what we believe are all the key elements to a successful program.
‘’We have fantastic facilities and have developed some very exciting partnerships such as the research work we do with the University of Waikato."
Mike says the most important part is the world class people involved in this area.
"It is great we are now seeing the results with some of our targeted young players representing our country. However, we still believe we have areas that need to improve so we will continue to work hard to reach the standards we are aiming for."
The union has partnered with New World Te Puke to bring this unique event to Murray Salt Stadium, giving local fans a chance to experience an exhilarating evening of national level competition in their own back yard, as well as showing their support for the NZ Under 20s squad on their journey to win their seventh World Championship title.
The match kicks off at 6.35pm at Murray Salt Stadium, Te Puke. Entry is by gold coin donation with all proceeds going to Te Puke Sports Junior Rugby.
Bay of Plenty Wasps Squad:
• Tom McHugh
• Masiu Akauola
• Jonas Pomare
• Iosefa Maloney
• Stan van den Hoven
• Hugh Blake
• Ajau Mua
• Abe Papalii
• Jonty Wood
• Reece Macdonald
• Pryor Collier
• Brad Armstrong
• Dennon Robinson
• Declan Barnett
• Kaleb Trask
• Jaya More
• Apitoni Toia
• Sione Afu
• Eishin Kuwano
• Angus Baker
• Shinya Ikemachi
• Carl Perry
• Jayjay Sheung Fuk
• Joe Johnston
• Gordie Lloyd
• Brody Lam
• Pierre Pili