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The strongest schoolboy rugby side in NZ has just joined the World Schools Festival

By Tom Parker
Payton Spencer, son of Carlos, in action for Hamilton Boys' High

Two of the strongest schoolboy rugby sides in the world are set to take part in the World Schools Festival in December, a press release has confirmed today. Hamilton Boys’ High of New Zealand and St Michael’s College of Ireland have both now been included in the eagerly anticipated tournament.

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The World Schools Festival will see eight of the best schoolboy rugby sides on the planet take each other on in Thailand from the 11th to the 18th of December, with the winner having a right to call themselves the best rugby school in the world.

There will be huge interest surrounding the inclusion of these two schools.

Hamilton Boys’ High (New Zealand)
Hamilton are fresh from winning the 1st XV rugby title in New Zealand. This title gives them the right to call themselves the top rugby school in New Zealand for 2022. If that wasn’t exciting enough, their current side is littered with top rugby talent including the likes of Payton Spencer, the hugely gifted son of former Blues maestro Carlos.

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Payton Spencer, the son of Carlos, is making serious waves in New Zealand schools rugby

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Payton Spencer, the son of Carlos, is making serious waves in New Zealand schools rugby

Playing in purple and black, the team have won the favour of thousands of rugby fans this season with their attacking game and their desire to keep the ball in play. The outfit beat Napier Boys’ High to secure the First XV title in a 2-point win.

Undoubtedly many will be calling Hamilton Boys’ High one of the favourites to win the main cup of the World Schools Festival.

The 1st XV coach and deputy headmaster Nigel Hotham had this to say about today’s announcement.

“We are very excited to be playing this year. Competing at the World Schools Festival is a great opportunity for our School and the boys to play some of the very best schools in the world. It is a ground-breaking tournament, and we believe will help showcase and promote schools rugby to all rugby fans around the world. It will provide an amazing life experience and trip of a lifetime for many of our players who have never travelled overseas.”

St Michael’s College (Ireland)

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St Michael’s College are rightly lauded as one of if not the best rugby school in Ireland. The Dublin-based side are regular fixtures in the closing stages of the Leinster Schools Cup. In 2022, Michael’s were narrowly beaten by Blackrock College in a final full of free-flowing rugby.

With former Ireland players such as James Ryan and Dan Leavy having attended the college, it’s clear to see why it is regarded as an obvious addition to the World Schools Festival this year.

This will be the first time that an outfit from Ireland has attended the festival. There will be plenty of expectation from the global rugby audience to see how the team competes against the sport’s best schoolboy talent.

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“We are looking forward to being part of this fantastic new event,” said Andy Skehan, Director of Rugby at St Michael’s. “We are proud to be part of such a great line-up of schools from around the world. It’s truly unique. The tournament is ground-breaking, and as a rugby experience it will give our players some truly unforgettable memories of representing the College.”

New Zealand rugby
St Michael’s are considered to be one of the top rugby colleges in Ireland.

Who has been announced so far in the World Schools Festival?

With the festival just a matter of weeks away, excitement has grown around which schools will be invited to take part in the festival.

St Michael’s College and Hamilton Boys’ now join Millfield school and the highly illustrious Grey College as the four teams announced so far.

Both Grey and Millfield are considered to be two of the biggest sides in schools rugby, rugby fans will no doubt be excited to see who would come out on top in these contests.

 

 

 

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