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Gisborne Boys’ High School trial to sort initial cut

RUGBY by Ben O’Brien-Leaf

Tomorrow the ball gets rolling at School Park.

The Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 trial will be held at 3.15pm with players who have been working on their fitness since late last year.

Fifty-odd students to be put through their paces in the pre-season — 18 returners among them — are out to make the initial cut of 28.

Second-year head coach Ryan Tapsell, assistant coach Kahu Falaoa and trainer Luke Bradley have been joined by new manager Wiremu Kaa.

Tomorrow’s trial has three well-balanced teams going at each other once in the first three 15-minute quarters, with the best candidates in their positions pitted against the No.2 trialists in the fourth quarter.

Tapsell is excited.

“Some of these boys have put in extras over the summer and come back in great condition,” he said.

“There are going to be some headaches selecting our squad because there’s huge competition in a number of positions. The fact that we can play three teams and have strong players in the reserves speaks volumes of the depth we have this year.”

Lock Max Briant, 6ft 7in at 17, had a debut season in 2020 under fearsome fetcher Amos Roddick. He went from strength to strength in a team WHO came from behind to beat New Plymouth Boys’ High School 18-17 at the Rectory in the last home game of they season.

They also beat the previous year’s national champions Hastings BHS 17-5 here.

Briant can’t wait to lead his Red outfit into battle, as is the case with the Yellow team’s second-row forward Tyla Keelan-Phillips and Green centre Von Huata.

Huata said: “There are going to be boys with a lot of talent out there tomorrow.It’s gonna be a ripper.”

GREEN: Fern Maaka, Rewiti Ropiha, Hayze Nepia, Latrell Walker, Matiu Anderson, Dylan Bronlund, Braith Ingram, Uetaha Wanoa, Kyran Russell, Karlos Howe, Dante Patrick, Paraina Davies, Von Huata (c), Lachie Falloon, Taimana Teneti. Nathaniel Hauiti, Xavier Henare-Brown (unable to trial).

RED: Lathaneal Nia-Karaka, Wiremu Maxwell, Cleveland Kennedy, Joe Kemp, Max Briant (c), Reuben Whaitiri, Eni Sinoti, Charlie Mathias, Isaiah Fox, Carlos Hihi, Hikurangi Reid, Xavier Tuapawa, Mikaere Marino-Moore, Kaia Gate, Kallen Edwards.

YELLOW: Levi Cameron, Matariki Kaa, Zeke Collier, Tyla Keelan-Phillips (c), Jack Lee, Noah Torrance-Cribb, Ben Phelps, Nik Patumaka, Silas Brown, Te-Reimana Gray, Izaiah Fox, Puna Hihi, Isaiah Lemaua, Siope Fakahokotau, King Maxwell.

Forward reserves: Joe Keiaho, Ratu Naroroi, Jimmy Moore, Moeaki Mosati.

Back reserves: Joe Tangira, Cohen Loffler, Te Aowera Para, Trey Briant, Oshea Waihi, Lehi Te Hau, Mahaki Tureia.