Nelson College First XV winger Archie Smith (left) and Isaiah Edmonds will be two of 12 Nelson college players who will compete at a global sevens tournament at Rugby School in London next year. Photo: Jacob Page.

Pupils to taste birthplace of rugby


Archie Smith and Isaiah Edmonds are set to be two of 12 Nelson College pupils who will compete in a global secondary school sevens tournament on March 24 and 25 at the famed Rugby School in London, next year.

Nelson College has been selected to represent New Zealand at the event which will mark the 450th anniversary of the school.

Teams from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom will compete alongside Nelson College.

The duo have had contrasting starts to their rugby careers.

Archie, a winger, loved playing bull rush as a kid and started playing the game at seven-years-old.

“There’s something about breaking the line and a tackle that I’ve always enjoyed.”

After arriving at Nelson College two years ago, he made the First XV for his debut this year.

Isaiah looked up to former All Black Jerry Collins and has tried to model his style of  play on the late Wellington enforcer.

“I’ve always enjoyed the contact, knowing a guy is running towards you and you have to tackle them,” he says.

He was a late starter in the game, only playing it for the first time in Year 9.

“I was more focussed on racquet sports as a kid.”

Each player will have to raise half of the $6000 required for the trip, with Nelson College and the New Zealand Rugby Union paying the rest.