Rugby talent recognised with selection for Barbarians and NZ Schools teams

Four King’s College First XV players recently played in the New Zealand Schools and Barbarians Schools teams.

AJay Mua (No. 8) and Ciarahn Matoe (First V) have been selected for the New Zealand Schools team. Both players were also selected for the 2015 New Zealand Schools side.

King’s First XV captain Joe Johnston was named in the Barbarians Schools team.

The NZ Barbarians Schools also had to  call in King's fullback/wing Jamie Spowart to replace Leicester Faingaanuku of Nelson College, who was promoted to the NZ Schools team after a knee injury ruled Vilimoni Koroi out.

Ajay Mua

AJay Mua

Ciarahn Matoe

Ciarahn Matoe

Joe Johnston

Joe Johnston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King’s College head of sport Jim Potts says the students’ selection is a just reward for their hard work and dedication to training.

“Most people only see what goes on on the pitch. What they do not see are the hours of work that go in to get there. These young men are a credit to their families and the College and I am thrilled that they have been given the opportunity to represent their country.”

King’s head of rugby Tasesa Lavea says it is rewarding to see the College continuing to produce players at a New Zealand representative level.

Lavea says all players are experienced in high pressure games and will be an asset to their teams.

“Over the past two years this has been a burning desire for AJay, Joe, Ciarahn, and Spowart. I know the boys personally will be delighted at being selected.”

Potts and Lavea both praised the unique strengths that each of the students bring to the game including Johnston’s natural leadership skills and ‘relentless worth ethic’, Mua’s impressive athletic ability enabling him to ‘break the game open with his explosive runs’ and strong defence, and Matoe’s ‘astute rugby brain’.

New Zealand Schools coach Jason Holland says the two teams have a good mix of players who can control the game and athletes who play an exciting brand of rugby.

"I'm really excited about the skill level that's been shown by these players at the Development Camp.”

The New Zealand teams dominated their international rivals in the first games of the series. The two sides took on the Fiji Schools and Australia Schools teams in a series played in Auckland. 

New Zealand Schools beat Fiji Schools 45-19 with Ciarahn Matoe scoring one of seven tries against the international side.

New Zealand Barbarians beat Australian Schools 28-17.

The final games were played on Saturday 8 October at Auckland Grammar School and aired on the Rugby Channel on SKY TV. 

NZ Schools retained the Trans-Tasman Shield they have held since 2013 with a 32-22 victory over Australian Schools.

NZ Barbarians Schools continued their unbeaten international run winning 46-20 over Fijian Schools. Captain and flanker Joe Johnston, who scored the first try, impressed the crowds.

Read the New Zealand Herald coverage here.