16 Sep 2015

Top rugby school 'disappointed' by selectors

12:27 pm on 16 September 2015

Rotorua Boys' High School says it can't understand why none of its rugby players have received a call up to the New Zealand Schools' Development camp.

Rotorua Boys' High School's director of rugby, Ngarimu Simpkins on left.

Rotorua Boys High School director of rugby Ngarimu Simpkins (far left). Photo: Supplied

The camp nurtures many of the country's future All Blacks.

New Zealand Rugby selectors bypassed the school despite it being recognised as the country's top national First XV.

It won the 2015 National Top 4 champions beating Wellington's Scots College in the final.

The school roll is made up mainly of Māori.

The high school's director of rugby, Ngarimu Simpkins, of Te Arawa, says it's not clear why at least two of the team didn't get selected.

"I can't quite understand why, but [we] obviously won the tournament and to have nobody selected it's pretty hard as a coach to tell that to your boys that have worked so hard all year.

"The job itself of selectors must be extremely hard. I totally understand that because there's a lot of talent running around the first XV fields in New Zealand, but however, to have none of our boys wearing that black jersey is pretty disappointing.

"We felt as though we had two, possibly three guys that were in contention for New Zealand Secondary School [team]."

Ngarimu Simpkins says the school is confused about why none were selected.

"it's a hard pill to swallow but it's something we don't have any control over."

Mr Simpkins said he expects to get feedback from the selectors this week.

New Zealand Rugby's Talent Identification Manager said that some Rotorua players were not eligible due to the New Zealand Schools eligibility criteria.

Matt Sexton said selections were merit-based over the course of the entire season and the Top Four competition was the last competition over a very long season.

"Nominations come post a regional under-18 camp in July based on form to date, interviews with selectors at camp and what is seen at camp around testing and skills and games played post-camp.

"The Chiefs under-18 played the Blues under18. Rotorua Boys' High School had chosen to go overseas on tour at that time which was not ideal, however there were still a couple of players from the school on our watch list. These players were viewed intensively over the course of the next few months and compared against players from across the country leading into the NZ Schools selection meeting."

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