The cream of the country's First XV talent are now split into two powerful-looking sides to represent NZ Schools and NZ Barbarians Schools.

From a training camp in Auckland over the weekend, which saw 53 hopefuls put through their paces, two squads of 23 have been named to play matches next week against Fijian and Australian Schools.

There are a number of returning players from the 2015 teams. These include prop Tim Farrell, No 8 Brayden Iose, halfback Tim Hogan, wing Caleb Clarke, hooker Flynn Thomas, prop Xavier Numia, No 8 Ajay Mua, and first five Ciarahn Matoe.

One of the early talking points was that no Hastings BHS players made the NZ Schools squad with all four reps in the second-tier NZ Barbarians Schools. Hastings were the Super 8 and Hurricanes champions, and were edged 14-13 in the national Top 4 final by MAGS.


NZ Schools coach and 2016 Hurricanes assistant Jason Holland said that there was a good mix of players who can control the game and athletes who play an exciting brand of rugby:

"I'm really excited about the skill level that's been shown by these players at the development camp. It's my first year coaching the New Zealand Schools team, so I'm looking forward to helping these players develop and be successful in the international schools series."

New Zealand Barbarians Schools head coach Ryan Martin said: "We've got a core group from Top 4 First XV National tournament finalists Hastings Boys' High School, as well as a good spread of talent from around the country which underlines the depth in the school's game. We're aiming to play with lots of width and the traditional 'Barbarian' flair so I think we're in for an exciting couple of matches."

Unavailable for selection due to injury were Liam Bauckham (Hastings BHS) and Will Tremain (Napier BHS).

NZ Schools and NZ Barbarians Schools fixtures:
Monday October 3
NZ Barbarians Schools v Australian Schools
Venue: Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland
Time: 1.10pm

NZ Schools v Fijian Schools
Venue: Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland
Time: 2.50pm

Saturday October 8
NZ Barbarians Schools v Fijian Schools
Venue: Auckland Grammar School
Time: 1.10pm

NZ Schools v Australia Schools
Venue: Auckland Grammar School
Time: 2.50pm

SKY TV schedule:
The matches on October 8 will be broadcast on the Rugby Channel on SKY TV.

NZ Schools:
Props: Rob Cobb (MAGS), Tim Farrell (Napier BHS), Damon Abraham (Sacred Heart), Xavier Numia (St Pat's Town); Hookers: Bradley Slater (New Plymouth BHS), Flynn Thomas (Southland BHS); Locks: Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa (MAGS), Laghlan McWhannell (St Peter's, Cambridge); Loose forwards: Sione Havili (Auckland Grammar), Naera Tipoki (Gisborne BHS), Hoskins Sotutu (Sacred Heart), Ajay Mua (King's), Brayden Iose (Palmerston North BHS); Halfbacks: Tim Hogan (Otago BHS), Carlos Price (St Kentigern); First fives: Ciarahn Matoe (King's), Harry Plummer (St Peter's, Auckland); Midfielders: Paul Roache (MAGS), Billy Proctor (St Pat's Town); Wings: Mosese Dawai (Feilding HS), Vilimoni Koroi (Feilding HS), Caleb Clarke (MAGS); Fullback: Ngane Punivai (Christ's)

NZ Barbarians Schools:
Props: Sam Matenga (Gisborne BHS), Kianu Kereru-Symes (Hastings BHS), Tevita Mafileo (St Kentigern), Sue Asomua (Wesley); Hookers: Perry Karati (Burnside HS), Ricky Jackson (Otago BHS); Locks: Cameron Suafoa (St Peter's, Auckland), Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington), Tupou Vaai (Wesley); Loose forwards: Joe Johnston (King's), Sam Dickson (Otago BHS), Matene Ruawai (Palmerston North BHS), Kaylum Boshier (New Plymouth BHS); Halfback: Folau Fakatava (Hastings BHS); First fives: Lincoln McClutchie (Hastings BHS), Kaleb Trask (Rotorua BHS); Midfielders: Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton BHS), Tanielu Tele'a (St Kentigern), Scott Gregory (Whangarei BHS); Wings: Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson), Connor Garden-Bachop (Scots); Fullbacks: Danny Toala (Hastings BHS), Niven Longopoa (MAGS)