Te Awamutu College 1st XV 2020 Photo:

Front row — Troy James (captain) and Hayze McKenzie (co-captain). Second row from left — Ethan Kane, Riley James, George Poolman, Blake Royce, Cory Walden, Ryley Emery, Myles Towers. Third row — Willem Poolman — (assistant manager). Fourth row — Sheree Easterbrook (manager), Adam Kelly, Ethan Keirnan, Riley Dixon, Baylin Royce, Grant James (head coach), Griffyn Gibson. Fifth row — Marcus Smith (forwards coach), Luke Te Pairi, Joe Connor, Callum Hall, Austin Frederick. Sixth row — Grant Beare (backs coach), MJ Neethling, Cayden Easterbrook, Hunter Lovell, Hayden Beare. Absent — Craig Scott and Dante Howell.

Te Awamutu College rugby is back and strong again this year with five teams ready to take on the season.

This year they will be fielding a 1st XV, Development, Under-14, Under-15 and a girls' 1st XV.

The 2020 1st XV squad was named in December as they were travelling to the Gold Coast in July. They were presented with their blazers at a ceremony on June 26.

Troy James will captain the 1st XV this year, his third year in the role, along with Hayze Mckenzie as co-captain.

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MJ Neethling will also return for a third successive year with the team.

Both Troy and MJ are Te Awamutu College head students.

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"The rest of the team have played at 1st XV or 2nd XV level with only two boys making the step up from the under 15s last season," says 1st XV coach Grant James.

"There are a couple of pre-season games in the next few weeks before the competition starts and there is a real excitement in the team for this season. The boys are looking forward to it."

This is Grant's third year involved with the 1st XV and his first as head coach. Marcus Smith will take on the role as forwards coach while Grant Beare will coach the backs.

"We're building in the right direction for Te Awamutu College rugby," says Te Awamutu College Rugby Club chairman Michael Earwaker.

"Come down and support the boys and girls. Get behind Te Awamutu College rugby, your support will be much appreciated."

Michael hopes the future will bring more students to the college to play rugby instead of heading to private schools and clubs.

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Te Awamutu College rugby is sponsored by ME Accountants, Vetora, Waipā Workingmen's Club, Flooring Xtra, Mico Plumbing, Plumbing Complete, Century 21 and Unichem Marshall's Pharmacy.

"A major thank you to all the sponsors, please support them on behalf of us," says Michael. The secondary rugby season starts on July 25.

Follow them on Facebook to get all updates — Te Awamutu College Rugby Club