For those of a certain generation, the name Trask is a famous one in Bay of Plenty rugby.

Bruce Trask played 49 games at fullback in the blue and yellow hoops from 1969 to 1974, had an All Blacks trial in 1971 and scored a try against the British and Irish Lions that same year when the local team lost 20-14 at Tauranga Domain to one of the best teams to ever tour this country.

Nearly half a century after the name Trask first appeared in a Bay of Plenty team, it's back—in the form of 19-year-old Kaleb Trask, grandson of Bruce.

The New Zealand Under-20 star is one of three first five eighths in the Steamers squad named today by coach Clayton McMillan for the Mitre 10 Cup. He'll compete for game time in the No 10 jersey with veteran Mike Delany, fresh from a season with Super Rugby's champion Crusaders, and Te Puke Sports standout Jason Robertson.


Trask senior, these days retired in Tauranga after a distinguished career in education and sports administration (he received an MNZMin 2015), is beaming at the achievements of his teenaged grandson.

"Yes, I'm one very proud granddad. He's way more dedicated than I ever was. I'm very impressed by the amount of work he does."

Steamers coach Clayton McMillan expects all three first fives to get game time in the crucial pivot position during the compact 10-game, two-month season.

"An old guy like Mike Delany brought a lot to our environment last year from a leadership and game driver perspective and a season down with the mighty Crusaders will have done him the world of good.

"He hasn't played a lot of rugby there, so he'll come back to us relatively fresh."

After time with Waikato and then in Japan, Jason Robertson is back in the city where he went to school at Aquinas College and has been a standout for champion Te Puke Sports in their Baywide Premiership win this season.

He formed a lethal partnership with halfback Luke Campbell, also named in the Steamers squad, and McMillan liked the way that combination worked for Te Puke Sports.

"They made some good decisions and drove their big boys around the park. But this is quite a brutal competition with short turnarounds and it's unlikely any player will play 80 minutes and start every game so there'll be plenty of time for people to shine."


He sees Trask offering an option at both first five eighth and fullback.

McMillan has been able to name 11 players in his squad from this season's Super Rugby. Delany won't arrive from the Crusaders until after tonight's final against the Lions.

His colleague Seb Siataga broke his arm in the semi final win over the Hurricanes and will be out of action for some weeks.

Chiefs Aidan Ross, Liam Polwart, Mitchell Karpik, Jeff Thwaites and Tyler Ardron are all named after finishing their Super campaign a fortnight ago. Sam Cane and Nathan Harris are also included but they're unlikely to play much, if at all, because of All Black commitments.

The final pre-season hit out is against Auckland at Moore Park in Katikati next Friday.

2018 Bay of Plenty Steamers Squad:
Hookers: Nathan Harris—Te Puke Sports (29), Liam Polwart—Greerton Marist (14), Sabastian Siataga — Rotoiti (13)

Props: Ross Geldenhyus—Papamoa (0), James Lay—Whakarewarewa (10), Tevita Mafileo Tauranga Sports (0), Tom McHugh— Whakarewarewa (0), Aidan Ross—Te Puke Sports (24), Solomona Sakalia —Mount Maunganui (33), Jeff Thwaites—Te Puna (21)

Locks: Tyler Ardron—Papamoa (7), Kane Le'aupepe—Te Puke Sports (0), Baden Wardlaw Rotoiti (1)

Loose Forwards: Hugh Blake—TePuke Sports (15), Sam Cane—Tauranga Sports (19), Mitchell Karpik—Rangataua (6), Tanerau Latimer—Rangiuru (79)

Number 8s: Aileone Junior Lafaele-Mua (AJ)—Tauranga Sports (1), Hoani Matenga Rangiuru (0)

Halfbacks: Luke Campbell—TePuke Sports (16), Richard Judd—Mount Maunganui (10)

First five-eights: Mike Delaney—Mount Maunganui (72), Jason Robertson —TePuke Sports (0)

Midfield backs: Lalakai Foketi—Rangataua (30), Terrence Hepetema—Te Puna (19), Liam Steel—Mount Maunganui (4), Trael Joass—Mount Maunganui (0)

Outside backs: Matthew Garland—Whakarewarewa (3), Fa'asui Fuatai— Rangataua (0), Kaleb Trask—Tauranga Sports (0), Bailey Simonsson— Greerton Marist (0), Chase Tiatia Rangataua (26)