allblacks.com, Condor RFC and James Mortimer 07.Dec.2012Getty Images
Three schoolboys and three schoolgirls have been selected from the BNZ Condor Sevens to train with the national rugby sevens squads.
Mitchell Drummond (Nelson College), Renata Roberts-Tenana (Auckland Grammar School), Trinity Spooner-Neera (Napier BHS), Hayley Hutana (Feilding High School), Crystal Mayes (Feilding High School) and Shiray Tane (Hamilton Girls’ HS) were chosen from more than 300 players for the inaugural BNZ Condor Scholarships.
All six were named in the respective tournament teams after the 26th Condor Sevens at Kelston BHS on Sunday which was won by Kelston BHS (boys) and Feilding HS (girls).
Drummond, Roberts-Tenana and Spooner-Neera will now attend a three-day camp with the All Blacks Sevens team in mid-January while Hutana, Mayes and Tane will be part of a similar camp with the New Zealand Women’s Sevens later in the month.
Condor RFC Chairman Eddie Mei said it was a tremendous honour for the players.
“For many years the Condor RFC has selected a tournament team which always features up-and-coming stars,” said Mei. “In the last seven years that team has included Aaron Smith, Sam Whitelock and Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who have gone on to become All Blacks, and a host of All Blacks Sevens players such as Lolagi Visinia, Kylem O’Donnell and Joe Webber.
“Last year the boys’ team trained with Gordon Tietjens’ squad for a day and we are very grateful to the NZRU for extending this to a camp environment for both boys and girls. Those that have been chosen have a great opportunity to kick-start their senior sevens career and we look forward to following their progress towards Rio 2016 with interest.”
The NZRU is supporting the scholarships as part of the Go4Gold campaign to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Hutana, who at 17 has already been part of New Zealand Women’s Sevens coach Sean Horan’s training squad, and Mayes were part of the Feilding HS team who beat Mahurangi College 27-12 in Sunday’s final.
Mayes scored 10 tries and was named the tournament MVP and has a year remaining at the Manawatu high school,
Tane, the sports captain at HGHS in 2012, is also a talented touch player and was recently selected for the New Zealand senior team having already represented New Zealand U-19.
Drummond plays halfback in the XVs game and made the New Zealand Barbarians Secondary Schools team this year after being named the outstanding individual player of the Press Cup competition.
Roberts-Tenana and Spooner-Neera are both in their second year in the Condors tournament team having also been selected a year ago,
Spooner-Neera, the Napier BHS centre, went close to Hawke’s Bay Sevens selection last summer and also played for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team in their recent loss to Australia.
Roberts-Tenana, the goalkicking first five-eighth for AGS, is the son of Karl Tenana, New Zealand’s record tryscorer in rugby sevens.