Taradale colts lock-loosie Angus McKnight believes a new Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union initiative involving night games in his grade will take off big time.
"It will leave the weekends free for colts players allowing them to work or pursue other recreational activities like hunting and fishing," McKnight said.
All 10 teams in the grade have the choice of hosting night games on Fridays if the opposition teams agree to play them under lights.
Taradale will take on Eskview in a first round Arthur Brown Cup fixture at Tareha Recreation Reserve from 7pm today.
An apprentice builder with Inspired Projects, McKnight, 20, is in his fourth season of colts rugby.
He also made a couple of appearances for the club's premier team last year.
While Taradale have lost the bulk of the squad which tasted Arthur Brown Cup glory last year McKnight said the goal will be to retain the cup.
"We've got the same mindset as last year and the numbers are good."
McKnight played for Hawke's Bay at the Jock Hobbs Memorial national under-19 tournament in Taupo in 2016 and '17 and captained the Bay in 2017. He hopes to make the Hawke's Bay Saracens in future.
"I only made it as far as third XV level when I was at Napier Boys' High School and only started playing again in 2016 when a mate encouraged me," McKnight recalled.
He is just as handy at cricket as he is at rugby and this summer made the Hawke's Bay senior men's cricket team. Because of his cricket commitments his first rugby training session was on Tuesday night.
Eskview colts prop and co-captain Tau Brown, 19, said he personally prefers Saturday games but is happy to comply with the majority.
"Heaps of boys are keen to play under lights because the air is a bit cooler," Brown explained.
Tamatea High School's deputy head boy in 2017, Brown, is in his second season of colts rugby.
"We were bottom of the table last year. This year the aim is to be a bit more competitive ... we need to try to get more mongrel and be more aggressive."
"We've got a lot of new fellas in our squad of 20 and we can't wait to see how we go in our first game."
Unlike McKnight, Brown, hasn't got any representative goals for the near future.
"I just want to be a good captain for the boys."
Brown is a nephew of Arthur Brown and is looking forward to catching up with him and other relations associated with the Taradale club tonight.
With the Eskview club's division two team withdrawing from this year's competition club officials are hoping players from the colts side remain with the club and enable the division two team to return in the near future.
Flaxmere's division two side has also withdrawn from this season's competition.
"Hawke's Bay Rugby is continuing to looks at strategies to keep rugby relevant in 2019 and beyond, so for the colts grade we have introduced playing games under lights on Friday evenings," commercial manager for the Hawke's Bay union, Dan Somerville, said.
"Hopefully this encourages more of our younger players to stay in the game, allowing them to continue playing rugby balanced with what is becoming increasingly busier lifestyles."
Clubs which are playing these games have been encouraged to make this about whanau and having their entire club there to support the future stars. We are encouraging all rugby fans to get down to Tareha Reserve, enjoy a cold Tui and some fish and chips from the kitchen and watch top class colts rugby action," he added.
■ Four Hawke's Bay rugby players have been named in the Hurricanes Hunters side to play Japan A at the Jerry Collins Stadium in Porirua today.
Magpies midfielder Danny Toala and lock Tom Parsons will both start while Magpies hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes and Taradale speedster Ollie Sapsford are both expected to get game time off the bench for the unbeaten Hunters.
Today's match is the first of two to be played between the two teams and Tokyo will host the second fixture on April 20.