Garin College sevens captain, Matthew Stevenson (front) will lead the school to the Condor 7s national secondary schools tournament for the first time in Auckland on Friday. Photo Jacob Page

Garin rugby set to soar at Condor 7s

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Garin College is set to make the most of their ever improving rugby stocks by sending a 12-man team to the Condor Sevens this weekend in Auckland.

Garin College director of sport Brad Allam says the young team that made the final of the regionals before losing their undefeated record to Nelson College. Garin won five games convincingly on the way to the final.

We have 249 boys but we have plenty of talent.

“We started a rugby academy a year ago where the boys train three times a week in the morning and the boys are starting to see the progression of their work

“That’s where our under-16s have improved, they went unbeaten until they lost the final.”

Garin had eight age-group representative this season, more than double the usual amount.

Nelson College won the right to go the the Condor Sevens but pulled out so Garin jumped at the chance.

Brad says while only sevens captain Matthew Stevenson played in the UC Championship Secondary Schools’rugby competition this year for Waimea Combined, he expected that number to increase sharply in 2017.

There were no changes made to the UC Championship format for 2017 after the Canterbury Rugby Union met to discuss it a fortnight ago. “This is why we pushed so hard for the (Waimea) Combined team,” Brad says. “Without it, where would these kids be playing? As it stands now, these kids have a pathway to Super Rugby within the Tasman region which is exciting. I think there are two or three players here who can be professional rugby players.”

Brad says the Condor’s will be a challenge.“By the second day we find our niche. Maybe we play for the Cup or Plate. They are making history, it’s never been done before so its a great development opportunity for us.”

Captain Matthew Stevenson says the team is full of raw talent and capable of playing enterprising sevens rugby. He says he expected many of his Garin schoolmates to join him at Waimea Combined next season. Garin have been drawn in Pool H alongside Sacred Heart College, St John’s College and Francis Douglas Memorial.

The Finals Weekend will be held at Auckland’s Sacred Heart College and begins on Friday.