Former All Black Ian Jones is part of an independent panel that will investigate a row between St Kentigern College and 10 Auckland rugby schools over its rugby programme.

The coalition of rival schools agreed to boycott St Kents in next year's 1A first XV competition because of their recruitment policy, which they deem to be morally and ethically reprehensible.

College Sport, the organisation which runs school sport in Auckland, today announced an investigation into a complaint made by St Kents in relation to the looming boycott.

St Kents wants College Sport to investigate if the actions of the 10 principals of the rival schools were undermining the college system.


Joining Jones on the panel appointed by College Sport will be Wellington barrister Tim Castle and former Diocesan School principal Gail Thomson.

St Kents 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 Auckland schools have since 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.

Head of St Kents David Hodge said last week that he was confident the issues could be resolved before the start of the season.

"We support a successful school rugby culture and we are delighted College Sport Auckland has confirmed it is ready to act in this role so that we can all look forward to a successful and enjoyable season," he said in a statement.

"We follow the rules that were agreed and set by College Sport Auckland, and would have expected the most recent issue to have been raised before school enrolments had closed for 2019.

"We look forward to resolving this matter and to a successful and rewarding season for all teams."