South Canterbury Academy welcomes quartet
The South Canterbury Rugby Academy is set to welcome four new inductees.
Waimate senior halfback Theo Davidson will be joined by three schoolboys - Timaru Boys' High School prop and vice captain Graison Dale and Roncalli lock Ben Simpson and his team-mate, young openside flanker Liam Cosgrove.
They will join Ryan Neutze and Robbie Mulvena, with the latter set to depart when he heads to university early next year.
The academy received 13 applications with 10 players interviewed by South Canterbury Heartland coach Chester Scott, former coach John Chapman and rugby manager Cam Kilgour.
Kilgour said they were happy with the calibre of the applicants.
"They are getting a bit younger but that is probably the Aki influence."
The 19-year-old Aki Seiuli made the Otago NPC side as a prop two years after captaining Timaru Boys' High School.
Kilgour said the academy was seen by younger players as a way of enhancing their careers, which was great.
"We are also looking to target positions which are important to the province such as props, locks and goalkicking first-fives, if that is possible."
Kilgour said he was happy with the calibre of the applicants but some needed to work on their application and interview skills.
"Theo is a youngster who could break into the Heartland side, Graison has impressed with his play and dedication in the gym.
"Liam is a real talent and Ben is working hard on his game and three of the four are likely to stay in South Canterbury."
Kilgour said the academy was planning a trip to Sydney this year and it would again be self-funded by the academy members.
The aim of the academy was to provide knowledge, support and guidance to promising young rugby players so they excelled at rugby and in life. The participants were also given the opportunity to develop their potential in terms of physical, technical, tactical and mental skills, he said.
Players between the age of 16 and 23 were eligible for the academy, which was for three years.
The quartet were all looking forward to the opportunities the academy would offer them.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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