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From schoolboy to pro rugby in one year - the Hawkes Bay Magpies six local stars

From schoolboy to pro rugby in one year - the Hawkes Bay Magpies six local stars
Folau Fakatava (centre) is one of six Hastings Boys 2017 players selected in the Hawkes Bay Magpies 2018 squad.

The Hawkes Bay Magpies announced their 2018 Mitre 10 Cup squad yesterday which included an astounding six members of last year’s national schoolboy champions, Hastings Boys High School.

Hastings Boys set a blistering pace over two years in 1st XV rugby, playing in two national title games, losing the first but winning the second in an undefeated season in 2017. The team earned six selections in the New Zealand schoolboy squad last year, and could have been eight had two key players not been injured.

Yesterday, the Magpies announced Hastings Boys first five-eighth Lincoln McClutchie, halfback Folau Fakatava, fullback Danny Toala, prop Kianu Kereru-Symes, prop Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe, and Number 8 Devan Flanders had made the squad for the upcoming season.

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The rapid rise to the professional ranks is a testament to the quality of the rugby programme at Hastings Boys, which rose from obscurity to produce one of the greatest sides seen at schoolboy level.

Two other members of last year’s Hastings Boys and the New Zealand schoolboy side, Kini Naholo and Jeriah Mua could also feature in the squads for Taranaki and Bay of Plenty, bringing the total number to eight players making a professional side one year after finishing school.

Number 8 Devan Flanders represented the New Zealand under-20’s side this year, traveling to France for the Junior World Championships, and more Magpies likely to feature next year.

Chiefs first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon and halfback Bred Weber also return to the Bay alongside Hurricanes outside back Jonah Lowe.

Up front, Highlanders hooker Ash Dixon will power the front row, with the experienced Ben May.

Highlanders debutant Marino Mikaele Tu’u will join Hurricanes flanker Gareth Evans in the loose forwards, along with another Hastings Boys product Jacob Devery, who was apart of the 2016 1st XV.

The Magpies also announced the addition of JJ Taulagi, a former St Kents product that played Super Rugby with the Queensland Reds before playing for the Sunwolves in Japan.

All Black lock Brodie Retallick has been named in the team but will have commitments with the national team throughout the season.

Your 2018 Magpies Squad! In addition to this Ben May and Gareth Evans will join us when they return from the Hurricanes and Jacob Devery and Brodie Retallick are also named in the team.

Posted by Hawkes Bay Magpies on Tuesday, 7 August 2018

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From schoolboy to pro rugby in one year - the Hawkes Bay Magpies six local stars | Rugby Pass