Four Hawke's Bay players have been selected in a 53-strong squad to attend a New Zealand Schools rugby development camp in Palmerston North next week.
The Napier Boys' High School trio of captain and hooker Tyrone Thompson, flanker Josh Gimblett and prop Patrick Teddy will be joined by Hastings Boys' High School captain and No 8 Liam Udy-Johns at a three-day camp. After the camp the New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Barbarians Schools teams will be named.
The New Zealand Schools team will play three games in Brisbane - one against Tonga Schools on September 27, one against the Australian Schools Barbarians on October 1 and one against Australian Schools on October 6. The New Zealand Barbarians Schools team will play New Zealand Maori under-19s in Wellington on September 27 and Fiji Schools in Wellington on October 1.
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Two Hawke's Bay age group products have also been selected in the squad. They are former Napier Boys' High School first five-eighth Zarn Sullivan who has spent the past two seasons at King's College in Auckland and Palmerston North Boys' High School first five-eighth Stewart Cruden who played a lot of his junior rugby for Taradale Rugby and Sports.
New Zealand Rugby's high performance player development manager Matt Sexton said the quality of 1st XV rugby continues to impress.
"Every year we see talented players right across the country which means our selection process needs to be incredibly rigorous.
"The depth of talent we have seen this year makes the task of selecting this group very hard, our focus has been rewarding players who have performed consistently over the course of the entire season for both school and representative teams."
Last year's Barbarians Schools coaches Brad Mooar of the Crusaders and Sam Moore of New Plymouth Boys' High School will lead the New Zealand Schools team. Highlanders assistant coach Cory Brown will take the reigns of the Barbarians Schools team and will be assisted by Mark Hooper from Kelston Boys' High School.
The teams will be announced on September 23.