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HBHS First XV to Japan for international rugby tournament

16 April 2014

For Immediate Release

HBHS First XV head to Japan “to win” international rugby tournament

The 2014 Hamilton Boys High School (HBHS) First XV rugby team will this week come face to face with 16 of the world’s best secondary school rugby teams in Japan’s Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament.

And based on HBHS’s booming track record at the international tournament, this year’s squad has big boots to fill.

“HBHS has represented New Zealand three times at the Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2011. We returned to New Zealand as world champions on two out of the three occasions,” deputy principal and First XV coach Nigel Hotham said.

The school became eligible to represent New Zealand at this year’s international tournament after the 2013 HBHS First XV rugby team won the national secondary school rugby final against Auckland’s St Kentigern College at the end of last year.

And Mr Hotham is confident in the school’s ongoing rugby success.

“We were pleased with last year’s victory against St Kentigern College in the national secondary school rugby final. The win not only secured a third national secondary school title in six years for HBHS but also ended St Kentigern’s impressive 52 match unbeaten run, dating back to 2011.

“Last year’s team also won the Chiefs Cup, the Super 8, and the Moascar Cup, which is the schoolboy equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield.

“Although we go to the Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament as a new team this year, with only 3 starting players returning, we go as one that has worked very hard since last December and understands the responsibility we have to our school and as the New Zealand representative at the tournament,” he said.

The team, totalling 28 boys, will play six games in eight days against eight overseas teams and eight Japanese teams. Teams competing in the tournament come from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, France, Korea, South Africa and South America.

According to Mr Hotham, the tournament costs the team a total of $110,000.

“The cost is covered entirely by contributions from the team boys and sponsors, including major sponsors Grassroots Trust, Heartland Bank and Lodge Real Estate. We would not be able to make the trip without their outstanding contributions,” he said.

Lodge Real Estate managing director Jeremy O’Rourke said the Hamilton Boys High School First XV is an iconic Hamilton team which represents a dedication to excellence.

“It would be great to see the team bring another Sanix Trophy home. However, we’re confident with all the work the team has put in to getting themselves to Japan they’ll make us very proud regardless of the result,” he said.

The team leaves on 22 April and returns on 9 May.


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