There is talent aplenty in the NZ Schools and NZ Barbarians Schools which were finalised after a training camp over the weekend.

All Blacks legend and New Zealand Barbarians President Bryan Williams and New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby Council Chairman Garry Chronican named the teams.

The two sides will face one another in Palmerston North on Saturday before New Zealand Schools departs for a three-match international series in Australia.

The series, to be played at venues across Brisbane between Thursday September 24 - Friday October 2, will see New Zealand Schools play Samoa Schools, Australian Schools and Australian Barbarians Schools.

Advertisement

The 26-man New Zealand Schools squad sees a solid Wellington representation with both sides welcoming back players from the 2014 selection.

New Zealand Schools coach, former All Blacks prop Dave Hewett, said he was pleased with the mix of experience and ability in the squad.

"This year the calibre of talent across the College First XV programme was particularly high, with consistent performances throughout making for the final selection for the team pretty difficult, which is what you want.

"Having such versatility across positions, along with the experience of 2014 returning players Alex Fidow, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u and Losi Filipo, means we have a really well-balanced side that should perform well throughout the series.

"These guys have played great rugby throughout the season with each and every one fully deserving of the black jersey. I'm looking forward to seeing them develop in the weeks and months ahead."

Interestingly enough, there are just five out of the Auckland 1A competition, as opposed to eight in 2014.

Watch for prop Alex Fidow, out of Scots, a skilled and powerful ball carrier, and Christchurch BHS No 10 Josh McKay, who has all the skills.

New Zealand Barbarians Schools coach Darren Larsen said the squad had all the attributes required to make them a competitive side this weekend - but also into the future.

"I'm really excited about the group of players we have selected as I think that combined, they make a squad with the right mix of X-factor and toughness.

"We have a good blend of the 'old' and 'new' with the return of 2014 players Antonio Ripata, Samisoni Taukei'aho and Sione Asi who understand the level of performance required and can share their knowledge with the others.

"We're looking forward to getting out there on Saturday and giving the New Zealand Schools some stiff competition.

"However, with six Year 12 players also in the group, we are equally as excited about what the future may hold for the side."

The NZ Barbarians Schools has several players who must be considered unlucky not to make NZ Schools, and they have prime talent such as King's centre Bailyn Sullivan, Auckland Grammar halfback Melino Fineanganofo and Palmerston North loose forward Brayden Iose. Fullback Stephen Perofeta, out of Wanganui Collegiate, has already represented Wanganui in the Heartland Championship, and is scoring quality tries for that province.

There is no representation from national Top 4 champions Rotorua BHS, as some of their best players, such as brilliant fullback Isaac Te Aute, are too old. Players must be under 18 on January 1, 2015.

New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Barbarians Schools fixtures:
Date: Saturday September 19
Who: NZ Schools v NZ Barbarians Schools
Venue: Palmerston North Boys' High School
Time: 12.30pm

Date: Thursday September 24
Who: NZ Schools v Samoa Schools
Venue: Sunnybank RFC, Brisbane
Time: 1pm local; 3pm NZT

Date: Monday September 28
Who: NZ Schools v Australian Barbarians Schools
Venue: St Joseph's College, Brisbane
Time: 6pm local; 8pm NZT

Date: Friday October 2
Who: NZ Schools v Australian Schools
Venue: Ballymore, Brisbane
Time: 6pm local; 8pm NZT

SKY TV Schedule:
A highlights package from the matches played in Australia will be broadcast on SKY TV following the New Zealand Schools v Australian Schools match. Please refer to upcoming television guides for further details.


NZ Schools squad:
Fullback: Joshua Buchan (Otago BHS); Wings: Caleb Clarke (MAGS), Losi Filipo (St Pat's Silverstream), Sevu Reece (Hamilton BHS), TJ Vaega (Kelston BHS); Midfielders: Peter Umaga-Jensen (Scots), Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Scots); Wiseguy Faiane (Auckland Grammar), Josh McKay (Christchurch BHS); Halfbacks: Tom Hogan (Otago BHS), Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Wellington); Loose forwards: Liam Giltrap (Palmerston North BHS), Slade McDowall (Otago BHS), Marino Mikaele-Tu'u (Hastings BHS), Dalton Papali'i (St Kentigern), Loosie/lock: Tom Florence (New Plymouth BHS); Locks: Samuel Slade (MAGS), William Tucker (St Bede's), Isaia Walker-Leawere (Gisborne BHS); Props: Takaji Young-Yen (King's), Xavier Numia (St Pat's Town), Alex Fidow (Scots), Harrison Allan (St Andrew's); Hookers: Asafo Aumua (St Pat's Silverstream), Brodie McAlister (Shirley BHS), Ben Power (Hutt International)

NZ Barbarians Schools squad:
Fullbacks: Sam Toa (Hamilton BHS), Stephen Perofeta (Wanganui Collegiate); Wings: Antonio Mikaele-Tu'u (Hastings BHS), Jona Nareki (Feilding), Freedom Vaha'akolo (Auckland Grammar); Midfielders: James Little (Takapuna Grammar), Raymond Nu'u (St Andrew's), Bailyn Sullivan (King's); First fives: Tiaan Falcon (Lindisfarne), Ciarahn Matoe (King's); Halfbacks: Thomas Stewart (Feilding), Melino Fineanganofo (Auckland Grammar); Loose forwards: Joshua Brown (St Pat's Silverstream), Thomas Christie (Shirley BHS), Brayden Iose (Palmerston North BHS), Ajay Mua (King's); Locks: Isitolo Maka (Sacred Heart), Jacob Pierce (Rosmini), Ben Sau (De La Salle); Props: Sione Asi (Otago BHS), Ryan Coxon (St Peter's, Cambridge), Tim Farrell (Napier BHS), Antonio Ripata (Auckland Grammar); Hookers: Samisoni Taukei'aho (St Paul's Collegiate), Flynn Thomas (Southland BHS)