Mitch Harris: 'Paying school rugby players seems perverse'

Night Talk 05/12/2018
Credit: Photosport.

Night Talk: Mitch Harris opening comments, Wednesday 5th December 2018.

Tonight: Should a school be able to 'buy' young rugby players from around NZ? Does it make the Auckland school rugby competition unfair?

A powerhouse of Auckland schoolboy rugby has been boycotted by First XV rivals over its dubious recruitment programme.

NZME reports St Kentigern College has been ostricised by 10 other local schools, after admitting to recruiting senior elite players from rival teams to strengthen its squad for the upcoming season.

Mt Albert Grammar School principal Patrick Drumm told NZME the schools were taking a stance against actions they felt were threatening the integrity of college rugby in Auckland.

"It's a serious issue and it needed a serious response," Drumm said.

"We needed to take a strong leadership stand, as a recruitment strategy like this is not what school sport should be about.

"The integrity and credibility of the competition is challenged by targeting elite players from around the country."

NZME reports that Kings College was also put on notice, but agreed to implement changes to their recruitment policy.

St Kentigern head David Hodge was adamant his school had not broken any rules, and has called on College Sport and NZ Rugby to intervene.

Night Talk with Mitch Harris, 8pm - 12am Monday to Thursday nights on RadioLIVE, and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.