Saxton Kennedy, the assistant coach of the Dannevirke High School's under-15 rugby team, believes his young players have got what it takes to compete against the major teams in this year's Manawatu competition.

Kennedy assists coach Tim Read and they are looking forward to the new season, with a good core of players.

"We went down to a St John's College team in a pre-season game, by a converted try, but we gave everyone a game, including under-14 players because they hadn't begun their training," Kennedy told the Dannevirke News.

"I think we've a really good core and we'll be playing on that, with players from last year's under-14 team and some of our under-15s back."

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Last year the Dannevirke High School's under-14 team made it to the semifinals of last year's Manawatu secondary school's competition.

"We're looking to be able to compete with the bigger schools as we've got a good group of boys who are skilled and strong," Kennedy said.

Kennedy's son Judah is in the team and said for him rugby is "pretty cool."

"I'm looking forward to scoring heaps of tries," he said.