Festival excitement building
It takes three months to plan but it’s worth it.
The 10th annual New Zealand Junior Rugby Festival in Taupo, which begins at Owen Delany Park tomorrow and concludes with prize-giving on Sunday, will have more than 100 teams taking part across five grades from under-9s through to under-13s.
Poverty Bay clubs and East Coast club champions Uawa, are sending teams.
Even coaches on their third trip to the event are excited: Matt Evans, of Ngatapa, has urged his u12 team under George Gillies to take full advantage of the next three days.
In addition to the teams listed below, Dan Latu has the HSOB u9 Spartans, Pura Tangira is taking the Pirates u12s and Mike Kora has the YMP u13s.
Teams include —YMP U10: Tawhiao Kingi-Ferris (c), Eria Barbrich-Cameron, Shannon Barbrich-Cameron, Mana Wainohu, Kahurangi Hammond, Vypa Leith, Stunner Leith, Ihaka Nepe, Che Aston, Carlo Hoepo, Mehaka Pohatu-Chaffey, Giovahni Smith-Green, Attlle Taurua.
NGATAPA U11: Fergus Moylan (c), Ollie Egan, Max Hammond, Max Gaddum, Charlie Denton, Charlie Worsnop, Duncan Carmichael, Jack Long, Cohen Laing, Chase Willson, Lucas Mildenhall, Wynter Hawea, Georgie Beaufoy, Jerome Tamatea, Koby Perret, Issaac Robinson, George Hume, Ollie MacIntosh, Devarn Harrison, Quinn Pirihi-Coutts, Reeve Hei.
NGATAPA U12: George Gillies (c), Dylan Torrie, James McKay, David Twigley, Alex Burgess, Sam Gaddum, Robbie Evans, William Matthews, Hamish Swann, Charlie Henry, Angus Allen, Charlie Barnett, Dylan Storey, Fergus Heuser, Harry Hayward, Ben Langford, Jack McNaught, Tom Fletcher.
UAWA U9s: Tere-i-Te Wai Pewhairangi-Nukunuku, Shiraz Hughes, Bentley Munro, Puna Crawford, Te Awaroa Mihaere, Poutama Tihore, Te Raukura Gray-Ferris, Lilly Hauiti, BJ Gray, Ron Tuhaka, Mal Tuhaka, Te Reo Miniata-Karini, William Edington, Bejohn Kaitai, Stetson Tuapawa.
UAWA U10s: Kahutia Crawford (c), Coen Brown, Jared Pearce, Zaedus Hughes, Blaque Tuarii, Rutene Tuapawa, Jorjah Tuapawa, Xavier Solomon, Te Raukura Tangohau, Tamakoura Tangohau, Enoka Nukunuku, Te Aranga Culpin-Paaka, Manaro Davoren.