Dannevirke's junior rugby season kicks off on Saturday and new JAB chairman Quinnie Olsen is looking forward to a great season.

"We've good player numbers already, 340 players in three senior and three junior teams, approximately six midget teams and 11 ripper teams already registered."

This year, Dannevirke is hosting the Ross Shield primary school rugby tournament and Olsen said it would be a big year for his organisation.

"We need everyone to get in behind it and make it great," he said. "Bevan Ellison, chairman of our JAB for the past three years, has done a great job and he'll be a great asset for our Ross Shield planning. Lee Teller, secretary, and Julie Walker, treasurer, are also doing good things, along with Terry Walker, who heads our referees, who do such a good job. All those who have put their hand up to work with us will make this a season of junior rugby to remember."


However Olsen said Dannevirke JAB would miss the services of Donald Kerr, who had left the district.

"He's done great work, with two years coaching Under 9 representatives and Under 11 respectively. But we'll no doubt meet his sons Dougal and Jarvis when we play Central Hawke's Bay."

Representative coaches have also been named by the JAB, and Olsen said there were good applicants for all grades, with two combinations nominated for the Under 13 team from which the Ross Shield squad is chosen.

"I know these coaches and managers will do a great job and be fair in their roles and I'm looking forward to a very successful season."

The representative coaching teams are: Under 9, head coach Corey Anderson, assistant, James Stratford, manager, Lincoln Barnes. Under 11, head coach Simon Prouting, assistant, Glyn Castles, managers, Matt Augustine, Quinnie Olsen. Under 13, head coach Gerard McKay, assistants Brett Withey, Todd Jarman, Trent Conway, manager Bevan Ellison.

"Gerard has had a lot of coaching experience and Brett, from Aotea Sports Club, brings playing and coaching experience," Olsen said, adding Todd had played and coached overseas and in New Zealand.