Topics: Japan, Rugby

Raukura First XV prepare to take on worlds best.

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Rotorua Boy's High School First XV are in preparations to represent New Zealand at the Sanix Youth World Rugby Challenge in Japan next week. In essence the Rugby World Cup for secondary school First XV sides around the world.

Raukura are the only school in the WORLD to win this title back-to-back in 2002-2003.

Sharpening up their school haka, preparing to take it to the world

Bruce Buckton, Kaiwhakahaere, Raukura, “To represent NZ you first have to win the national championship, and that’s no feat in itself, so our ultimate goal is to do well for NZ.”

The final lessons are being given to the Rotorua Boys High School First XV today. For tomorrow, the journey will begin to the hallowed Sanix World Youth Challenge, in essence, the secondary schools Rugby World Cup.

Ngarimu Simpkins, Director of Rugby, Raukura says, “We head away 7:30am tomorrow morning, yeah and we pretty much go to Hong Kong for three days and then straight to the tournament.”

Now that's not to say that they are new to this world stage.

Simpkins says, “Oh well they've been there twice and won it so yeah it's a proud history and something we hope to live up to.”

Under the captaincy of Liam Messam, the school won the world title back-to-back. The only school in the world to ever do so.

Buckton, says. “ In 2003 we had a team that went to Sanix and won that and that team went on to become our most successful team in the school’s history, proudly displayed in our school hall of fame as the world championship winning team.

The 2016 side is getting a welcome addition from former students of the school to help their cause.

Buckton says, “We're a little bit further ahead of the field at this time of the year and that’s shown in our preseason results against some normally good schools. Our challenge is to make sure we can maintain that at the back end of the year.”

The flair and skills that were displayed at the Top 4 last year. will be taken and used to challenge some of the best schools in the world.

“We've got around 10 players that played in the Top 4 Final so that’s a good group of boys for us and it’s also really good to bring some younger blood through and hold our school in good stead for years to come,” says Simpkins.

The Rotorua Boy's High School travelling side will leave Auckland tomorrow.