Waikato have 11 players attending NZ Secondary Schools development camp
Eleven Waikato schoolboy rugby players are looking to impress after being invited to attend the New Zealand Secondary Schools development camp starting on September 22.
The three-day camp will feature 49 players vying to make the New Zealand Schools and Barbarians teams for matches beginning on September 28.
Players called up from Waikato schools are Charles Alaimalo, Quinn Tupaea, Tauterangimarie Kapea, Matthew Kemp and Tane Te Aho of Hamilton Boys' High School; George Dyer, Sam Cooper and Fergus Burke of St Paul's Collegiate; Samipeni Finau and James Thompson of St Peter's School and Siave Seti of St John's College.
New Zealand Schools coach Jason Holland said a bulk were selected from what he called "an excellent Top Four final" where Hastings Boys' High School beat Hamilton Boys' 25-17 on Sunday.
Hastings Boys' claimed the Barbarians national First XV title after winning a close affair in Palmerston North.
"As coaches, we are looking forward to what will be an exciting campaign," Holland said.
"The standard of schools' rugby this season has been outstanding and we have strength and depth in most positions."
Hamilton Boys' had claimed the Super 8 First XV title on a tiebreaker last month when they drew 12-12 with Hastings Boys'.
St Paul's Collegiate had a solid season despite being unable to defend their Central North Island title after losing to Fielding in the semi-finals.
Seti of St John's was a shining light despite their struggles for good results this year, but a team that excelled was St Peter's Cambridge who won the co-ed title last weekend.
The Barbarians team have two fixtures against Tonga and New Zealand Maori under-18s in Palmerston North, while the NZ Schools team have three against Fiji, Australian Schools Barbarians and Australian Schools in Sydney.
Holland said: "Both the New Zealand Schools and the Barbarians Schools teams will be looking to play an attacking style of rugby and we are confident this group has the skill sets to help us do this."
The next step after school is club rugby and potentially featuring at the Jock Hobbs Memorial tournament for Waikato's under-19s, who made their third successive final after beating North Harbour 27-20 in Wednesday's semi-final in Taupo.
Harbour kept chipping away after Waikato led 10-0 during the first half but the young Mooloos held on and can defend their national title in Saturday's final against Auckland at Taupo's Owen Delany Park.