A knowing smile among parents of children at every Auckland school other than St Kentigern College when hearing the news that finally something might be done about them and their shameless player poaching.

I sincerely hope the 10 colleges involved in this action stick to their guns and refuse to play 1xt XV matches next year against St Kents but, regardless of how this does all play out, at least the issue has been made public and the mud being slung will stick and stay stuck.

And it's not just rugby either. While watching a 1st XI game last year, a couple of us parents sideline did a quick head count of those players, concluding that not one boy in the side had spent his entire schooling at St Kentigern College. And that stinks.

There's something wrong with fielding senior teams stacked with players who've "arrived" at the school for their final academic year.


Whether it breaches whatever rules are or aren't in place is irrelevant.

Because no matter how principal David Hodge likes to spin the facts, we all know the truth.

Keep talking Mr Hodge, keep trotting out your lame PR lines about how you don't target talented athletes it's "their families that approach the school" and that your "recruitment policies are simply better than those who complain about them".

Every word you utter only reinforces what we all believe anyway.

Every sentence spoken only confirms more about you, your school and your actual principles.

What was once winning at all costs is now winning that comes with a cost.

And that cost is that everyone knows you buy your success.

In terms of Auckland schools sport, St Kents are the Manchester City.


And it's important among all the on-field success the school has achieved that this is also recognised and recorded for posterity.