Rieko Ioane has added his opinion to the boycott of St Kentigern College's first XV, saying to be the best you've got to beat the best.

Ioane, who played his high school rugby for Auckland Grammar, addressed the issue on Instagram, saying running from competition was not the answer.

"I've seen it all now. Just because they recruit doesn't mean you pull (the) plug. Don't run from the competition.

"St Kents makes first XV competition harder but it makes it better when you beat them."

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St Kentigern College are being boycotted by 10 rival schools for their 2019 competition. Photo / Photosport
St Kentigern College are being boycotted by 10 rival schools for their 2019 competition. Photo / Photosport

Sport New Zealand boss Peter Miskimmin had a different view of the situation, and praised the principals of the 10 schools boycotting matches against St Kentigern for taking a "leadership stand".

Miskimmin told the Herald that Sport New Zealand "stands with the 10 principals" who signed the letter about rules and regarding poaching and welfare.

The issue, he said, "was the development of kids versus winning at all costs".

The principals who have acted to exclude St Kentigern from next year's 1A competition have ignited an important debate, Miskimmin believed.

"They are trying to preserve the integrity of sport, the integrity of the competition. They are acting in the best interests of their pupils."

Miskimmin said arguments that all the schools had acted improperly in the past were missing the point.

Schoolboy rugby, it was recognised, was now at a tipping point and change needs to be made for the future rather than looking back at past misdeeds.

St Kentigern revealed a few weeks ago that they have taken on five boys on full scholarships, all of whom played for first XVs at schools outside the Auckland area.

Although there are no rules regarding how many students can be introduced from outside of Auckland, other schools felt this was a step too far.

The Herald revealed yesterday St Kentigern have been effectively kicked out of next year's 1A First XV competition after a coalition of rival schools agreed to boycott the school because of their recruitment policy, which they deem to be morally and ethically reprehensible.

Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast, Miskimmin said he applauded the schools taking a stand for putting children before winning.

"The difficulty you've got is not where a kid joins a school in year nine or 10, but the problem you've got is when they join in year 13," he said.

"It perpetuates a view that the school is interested more about winning than it is in the development of students ... what does it say to a school that's been developing players for three or four years, then someone new comes in and takes over?"

Although there are no rules regarding how many students can be introduced from outside of Auckland, other schools felt St Kents' recruitment drive was a step too far.

After learning of St Kents' recruitment, the 10 rival schools created a document about rules and conduct they've all had to agree to regarding poaching and welfare.

St Kents refused to sign it, and therefore were informed no other school will honour their fixture against them in 2019.

"What we've got is a group of principals coming together to agree on a set of rules or a code of which they will all abide by and I think that's a very responsible way of doing things," Miskimmin said.

"What you've got is one school who won't sign that off for whatever motives they have, but I think if you look at what those 10 principals are doing, they're actually talking about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity and we have a fair and transparent process around any transfer of kids from school to school."