The best teenage rugby talent in the region will attend the annual Blues Under-18 Camp over the July school holidays.
Fifty players from 21 schools have been selected from 230 nominations put forward from schools in the Northland, North Harbour and Auckland rugby regions.
They will go into camp at Mt Albert Grammar from Sunday 8 to Thursday 12 July before fielding two teams to take on the Hurricanes at Owen Delany Park in Taupo on Sunday 15 July.
The players will receive tuition from all the Mitre-10 coaches in the region including Derren Witcombe and George Konia (Northland); Tom Coventry and Dan Halangahu (North Harbour); and Alama Ieremia, Filo Tiatia and Tai Lavea (Auckland).
Current Blues players including Jerome Kaino, Sonny Bill Williams, Patrick Tuipulotu, Scott Scrafton, Dalton Papalii and Otere Black will also present at the camp.
“It was a challenging job to select the final 50 players with the outstanding quality within our secondary schools scene and is a testament to the school programs and coaching they receive,” said Blues Talent Identification and Development Manager, Shane King.
“After receiving a record number of nominations, we have run a series of combine days throughout the regions and watched a lot of games to whittle things down to our final 50 players.
“We are excited about the talent available, and also the outstanding contributions from our provincial union coaches and leading players.”
The Blues legacy looks set to continue with Hamdahn Tuipulotu from St Peters College (brother of Patrick Tuipulotu) and Kitiona Vai (De La Salle), brother of Melani Nanai, among the players selected.
The players attending the camp are:
(Bay of Islands College)
Eric Ah Hing
(De La Salle College)
Jack Doyle (Kaitaia College)
(Mt Albert Grammar)
(Massey High School);
(St Peters College)
(St Pauls College)
Matt Graeme – Williams,
(St Kentigern College)
(Sacred Heart College)