Bay of Plenty's Under-19 squad is building nicely towards the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament to be held in Taupo from September 15-21.
The squad has been in preparation since February, training throughout the club season. They play Hawkes Bay and Auckland in pre-season, before playing Taranaki, Counties and Waikato in the Chiefs competition.
The Chiefs competition acts as seeding matches for the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Tournament.
The Under-19 competition is a big focus for provincial unions. Bay of Plenty Rugby is treating this competition as a big opportunity to develop players and promote them to the next level, whether it is the New Zealand Under-20s or the Bay of Plenty Steamers.
Cory Sweeney is once again head coach with Mike Rogers his assistant.
"This group has been working towards selection since February and have all demonstrated their ability through club rugby and throughout the recent training weeks," Sweeney said.
"The upcoming trial and seeding games through August will provide a further opportunity to test the boys against quality opposition as they look to gain selection for tournament.
"We are happy with how the boys have progressed to date and know we have a squad of talented players excited by the challenge of representing Bay of Plenty at the National Under-19 tournament."
Former Rotorua Boys student Jessie Williams has been named captain and is excited about the upcoming representative season.
"It was bit of a shock to be named captain this early into the campaign. Once it sunk in, I was honoured and humbled to be leading the boys out for season," he said.
"They're a good bunch of boys who are all striving to do their best. Everyone is out there for the same reason, so it's good to know you are going on the field with boys who'll do the job.
"My goal is to lead by example and be someone who the boys respect due to my actions."
Bay of Plenty Under-19 squad
Te Ririnui Kakau
Jessie Williams (c)
Te Puke Sports
Devin Te Tai
Unavailable due to injury:
Masiu Vanikolo Whakarewarewa
Bay of Plenty Under 19 Team Management:
Coach: Corey Sweeney
Assistant Coach: Mike Rogers
Manager: Kyle McLean
Assistant Manager: Rich May
Trainer: Levon Grimmer
Physio: Alan Robertson
Video Analyst: Zaan Scott