Blues stars of the future were greeted by some of the club’s current best and brightest on day one of the 2017 Under 17 Development Camp.
46 promising young rugby players from around Northland, North Harbour, and Auckland visited the Blues High Performance Centre on Saturday 10 December, where they were given their first taste of what it takes to be a professional rugby player and what it means to play for the Blues.
Blues players and past U17-squad graduates Rieko Ioane, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Sam Nock, Jordan Trainor, and TJ Faiane – alongside Head Coach Tana Umaga and U18 development squad member Caleb Clarke – were on site to give career advice and answer questions.
Chief Executive Michael Redman, Mental Skills Coach Kylie Wilson, Doctor Stephen Kara, Nutritionist Dave Shaw, Strength and Conditioning Coach John Ryan, Personal Development Manager Victoria Hood plus TID staff Shane King, Bill Wigglesworth and Kane Wilson were also on hand to offer support to the players and their parents.
High Performance Manager Tony Hanks commented: “It’s our first Blues selected squad, so it’s the first time developing players can represent the Blues and come in to our environment. The parents are a big part of day one and their contribution was excellent and engaging.”
“A key message is to be patient, work hard and be ready to take opportunities as they arise. We’re educating players and parents around the potential pathways, and what is required to reach their potential.”
The U17 Development Squad will meet again in January for a second development camp, where they will do more rugby-specific work.