Leading college players selected for Blues Under-18 Development Camp
Fifty-eight leading college rugby players from the Blues region have been selected for a five-day Under-18 Development Camp starting on Sunday.
The camp, to be held at Mount Albert Grammar, will provide an insight into what is required to become a professional rugby player built around New Zealand Rugby’s key development pillars: technical, tactical, nutrition, physical, mental and personal leadership.
The camp, under the guidance of the Blues High Performance Manager Tony Hanks, will be led by Blues coaches, staff and players as well as the ITM Cup coaches from the region, with new Blues head coach Tama Umaga also taking part.
ìThe Blues Under-18 programme is an important part of the Blues Talent Identification and Development programme,î said Hanks.
ìSelection has been very competitive and the form of these young men to date has earned them an opportunity to attend the camp and showcase their abilities and develop further, on and off the field.
ìThe Blues region continues to produce some excellent young men with huge potential and this is an opportunity for the Blues to demonstrate the pathways and culture of the Blues going forward.î
New Zealand Sevens player Rieko Ioane and New Zealand Schools representative Sam Nock attended last year’s camp and both have now earned fulltime contracts with the Blues, while the Blues’ world champion New Zealand Under-20s trio of Akira Ioane, Tevita Li and Blake Gibson also attended past Under-18 camps.
The players selected are:
Tamati Tua (Kaitaia College); Levi Clark, Bailey Maihi (Kerikeri High School); Jimmy Hardy (Whangarei Boys); Lewis Gjaltema (Orewa College); Jacob Pierce, Joshua Third, Vincent Tuitupou (Rosmini College); Donald Coleman, James Little (Takapuna Grammar); Luke Dewar, Ammon Moller, Benjamin Reidy (Westlake Goys); Adrian Choat (Liston College); Brandon Boyle, Ian Vermuelen (Macleans College); Afioga Ielemia, Mene Paisami, Toma Tia (Mangere College); John Akau’ola-Laula (Tamaki College); Siope Ngata (Aorere College); Wiseguy Faiane, Melino Fineanagofo, Taufa (Sione) Havili, Loketi Manu, Matt McKenzie, Freedom Vaha’akolo (Auckland Grammar); Fa’alelelei Ioane, Benjamin Sa’u (De La Salle College); Sean Fusitua (Dilworth School); To’o (TJ) Vaega (Kelston Boys); Joe Johnson, Ciarahn Matoe, Tom Morrison, AJ Mua, Bailyn Sullivan (Kings College); Caleb Clarke, Lona Halaholo, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Charles Napa’a, Isaiah Papali’i, Samuel Slade (Mount Albert Grammar); Jacob Iakapo (Otahuhu College); Damon Abraham, Blake Bradley, Dominic Devine, Nikolai Foliaki, Tiuke Mahoni, Isitolo Maka, Hoskins Sotutu, Matt Storm (Sacred Heart College); Braydon Ennor, Dalton Papali’i, Jerry Samania, Tanielu Tele’a, Salimoni Tukania (St Kentigern College), Fau’ula Galo, Harry Plummer (St Peters College).
Selected but unavailable: Campbell Busby (Rangitoto College), Takaji Young-Yen (Kings College), Niven Longapoa, Chris Lua’u (Mount Albert Grammar), Wesley Tameifuna (St Kentigern College).