Image: 2017 Blues Under 17 Development Squad training at Alexandra Park, Auckland.
We’re pleased to announce the under 17 players who have been identified as players with future potential and selected for the 2018 Blues Under 17 Development Squad.
Blues High Performance Manager Tony Hanks led a team of talent identification staff from Northland, North Harbour and Auckland, who were tasked with selecting the 50 young players from the region.
They paid particular attention to the Blues Under 16 tournament, which culminated with the Blues Development Super Weekend in September.
Shane King, Talent Identification and Player Development Manager said: “This year’s group was particularly difficult to select, with well over 100 players nominated by their Provincial Unions.”
King also added that “The quality of young men playing in the Blues Under 16 Tournament, continues to improve every year and it reflects well, not only on the obvious talent in our region but also on the time, effort and expertise, schools in our region invest into their players.”
The players have been invited to attend three development days as part of the Blues Under 17 Development Programme. Development days will be held at the Blues High Performance Centre, with the first on Saturday, 9 December 2017, from 9 am to 3 pm and the 2018 camps on Friday, 19 January, and Friday, 13 July.
The programme is designed to provide the developing players with some insight into the life of a professional rugby player. Each player will be able to work with expert staff and professional players during the three days, as well as being introduced to the Blues Way, values and expectations, and NZRU’s 6 Pillars of Development.
Parents and guardians of the players are also invited to participate in the programme and will be able to attend specific sessions during the camps.
The Under-17 squad is the first step in the Blues Development pathway and in recent years has seen graduates like Akira and Rieko Ioane, Blake Gibson, TJ Faiane, Sam Nock, Jordan Trainor, Scott Scrafton, Sione Mafileo, and Patrick Tuipulotu.
The players selected are:
Jackson Wiggans – Glendowie College
Josh Jacomb – Sacred Heart College
Mateo Taiseni – Sacred Heart College
Cameron Church – St Kentigern College
Harrison Dakin St – Kentigern College
Tiaan Tauakipulu – St Kentigern College
Valance Yates – St Kentigern College
Vaiolini Ekuasi – De La Salle College
Sofai Maka – De La Salle College
Ioane Moananu – De La Salle College
Waiora Morris – Kings College
Levi Uluakiahoia – Kings College
Manu Paea – Otahuhu College
Alfred Nonu – Tangaroa College
Raymon Sua – Kelston Boys
Kennedy Limpus – Kelston Boys
Dylan Moon – Mt Albert Grammar
Joel Cobb – Mt Albert Grammar
Luka Klubien – Mt Albert Grammar
Zach Patai – Auckland Grammar School
Rylee Samuela – Auckland Grammar School
Saia Moala – Auckland Grammar School
Naryan Strickland – St Peter’s College
Semisi Tapa – St Peter’s College
Chay Fihaki – Sacred Heart College
Brian Lealiifano – Sacred Heart College
Junior Mafileo – Tamaki College
Aidan Morgan – Kings College
Soane Vikena – Mt Albert Grammar
Corey Evans – Auckland Grammar School
Rocky Momoisea – St Paul’s College
Leon Pearson – Orewa College
Ryan Mead –Rangitoto College
Eric Leef – Rangitoto College
Jarrad Harford – Westlake Boys H S
Jock Mc Kenzie – Westlake Boys H S
Jordan Quinn – Westlake Boys H S
David Toia-Hafoha – Westlake Boys H S
Frey Carlton Paora Chamberlin – Birkenhead College
Karl Ruzich – Kaipara College
Jack Natupu – Takapuna Grammar
Jackson Rice – Takapuna Grammar
Ryan Nankivell – Bay of Islands College
Memphis Ngaruhe – Kaitaia College
Dennis Koro – Kerikeri HS
Chad Boyd – Kerikeri HS
Keenan Rush – Kerikeri HS
Jordan Dwight – Kamo High School
Patrick Allebera – Rodney College
Javarne Porter – Rodney College
Esile Fono – Whangarei Boys High School