From the day potential rugby stars arrive at Rotorua Boys' High School, those in charge of the school's rugby academy get to work moulding them into not only great players, but also great men. That work is paying off with 17 students finishing school this year with playing opportunities for 2020 secured.
With a large number of talented players finishing school this year, Rotorua Boys' High School's rugby programme will enter something of a rebuild in 2020.
However, those involved will be able to watch on proudly as the 2019 crop of stars take the next step in their rugby careers.
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Seventeen members of this year's first XV squad have secured their immediate playing futures. Tukimihia Simpkins and Ceiza James are already in Australia on NRL contracts, Manu Akauola and Scott Leone will attend Japanese universities and Junta Hamano will also move to Japan on a full-time development contract in Kobe.
Ten players have signed with the Bay of Plenty Rugby Academy, Manu Paea has signed with the Auckland union, Hemopo Cunningham with Taranaki and Carlos Karaitiana with Waikato.
Rotorua Boys' co-director of rugby Ngarimu Simpkins said seeing the boys find success after school was one of the great enjoyments he and the other coaches got out of their roles.
"This is why we are in the job we do, to see our boys move on to better things and have further opportunity in the game of rugby or rugby league. For all three coaches here in the rugby department, we're just really happy for each and every one of them."
He had full confidence that each of the boys had what it took to make the most of their opportunities.
"I've had the pleasure of watching them grow since they walked in as Year 9s. I'm certain that they have the right metal required to be a professional sportsman so they'll certainly give it a decent crack."
Simpkins said it was important to everyone involved in running the school's rugby programme to prepare the boys for life, not just rugby.
"We work along the lines of being a really good man, not only being good rugby players but making sure they're good to their peers, close with their families and just doing the little things right.
"We've seen those traits come through these boys during their time at school and they're not only good rugby players, they're going to be good for our community."
He was also pleased to see so many of the leaving students opting to stay and play rugby in the Bay of Plenty.
"We've got scouts knocking on the door all the time, especially the end of term three and in term four. We're trying really hard to keep our boys in the Bay of Plenty. We want our boys to be wearing that Bay of Plenty jersey and obviously with the success of late, it's been quite a good motivator for our boys to stay here.
"Over the last couple of years, this is the biggest intake we've had stay in the Bay of Plenty. That means that we are doing something right and Bay of Plenty are doing something right, so that's good for us.
"However, we don't close doors to anybody. If the right opportunity comes we're more than happy to sit around the table and if that offer works for that family, that's great."
One of the players staying in the Bay of Plenty is 2019 first XV captain and hooker Bernie Hati, who has signed with the Bay of Plenty Rugby Academy. He said there was never really any doubt that he would stay in the Bay, given the opportunity.
"I've pretty much been in contact with them since I started at this school. What made me make the decision was, basically it was close to home. I don't really like going other places to be honest.
"It was a pretty easy decision, I live in Murupara so Rotorua Boys' was the best option for me. [The Steamers success this year] obviously helps, it takes a lot of pressure off me, knowing that they're going good."
Meanwhile, Manu Akauola has taken a different route. He will join Hanazono University in Japan on a scholarship. Akauola moved to Rotorua from Tonga in 2016 and quickly became one of the most destructive secondary school wingers in the country.
He said he was excited to take the next step in his rugby career.
"The coaches asked if I would want to go after and I was interested. I'm excited, I want to be a professional rugby player but I have to start at the uni. I'm not sure what I will study yet.
"[Rotorua Boys'] teaches us that everything is important, not just rugby. I'm very glad."
Rotorua Boys' High first XV players 2020 movements
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union:
Stuart Leach, Kane O'Connor, Tyrone Sulusulumavasa, Bernie Hati, Brett Henry, Jack Henry, Te Hemara Gardiner-Toi, Zac Ririnui, Nirai Ririnui.
Taranaki Rugby Union:
Auckland Rugby Union:
Waikato Rugby Union:
Tukimihia Simpkins (Cowboys), Ceiza James (Tigers).
Manu Akauola (Hanazono University), Scott Leone (Daito Bunka University), Junta Hamano (Kobe Development).