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Strong Bay of Plenty Academy intake for 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017
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Bay of Plenty Academy post community rubbish clean up

Over Waitangi weekend the 2017 Bay of Plenty Rugby Academy assembled for the first time at the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.

The weekends assemble at the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance set the precedence for the upcoming season. Over the two days the group covered a wide range of aspects related to the high performance rugby environment including strength and conditioning training, nutrition, skills training and professional development. In a new initiative this year the group delivered a community rubbish clean up.

New Zealand Secondary School Barbarians Captain Joe Johnston is one of the twelve new recruits to join the 2017 Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Academy. Johnston, 18 originally from Whakatane has returned home following a successful two years in Auckland playing for Kings College.

Johnston said it was always his intention to return home to the Bay of Plenty. “I never really saw myself going anywhere else really. I always saw myself going to Auckland and then coming back home. It is nice and familiar here, I know a lot of people here and it’s close to home.”

Johnston is joined by 14 new recruits including fellow locals Kaleb Trask, Te Ra Whata, Rewita Biddle, Will Ngatai, Cheyenne Dalley, Ned Fitzgerald, Raniera Whakataka and Sione Afu. The new recruits selected from Auckland schools include Ajay Mua (New Zealand Secondary School), Tevita Mafileo (NZ Barbarians Schools) and from Gisborne’s Nathan Rangihuna and Jarryd Broughton (both Hurricanes U18). They will join the existing 2016 academy catchment of Jessie Williams, Kaydin Budd, Josh Honey, Gus McDonald, Brad Armstrong, Reece MacDonald and Hunter Mokomoko.

Bay of Plenty Player Development Manager and Academy Manager highlighted the importance of hosting the weekend for this year’s academy in take.

“This camp sets the tone for the year. It’s the first time the academy group comes together, so is a chance to establish a culture and connection between the players, union and community. There is a big focus on highlighting important character traits that impact on their ultimate success as a player and person. Putting your hand up and not out is important. That is why we got involved in a community rubbish clean-up.

We are confident this academy group of 2018 will contribute positively to the BOP community and play with pride.”

This Saturday 18 February the Bay of Plenty Academy and Under 19 wider training squad selection will take on North Harbour at Blake Park for a 1.30pm kick off.

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