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3 days ago
Auckland's reigning national champion secondary school rugby league team has been invited to join a prestigious Australian competition.
The St Paul's College team will fly to Australia to face Erindale College in the closing rounds of the Nutri-Grain Cup.
Since 1975 (formerly known as the Commonwealth Bank Cup) the Australian Rugby League has offered secondary schools the opportunity to play off for the national title with the carrot of television coverage in the closing rounds.
The Rugby League Foundation has secured entry for the New Zealand champion into the last 32 teams.
For St Paul's this opportunity caps the supremacy they have held as national champions five times out of the last seven years.
The schools last visit to Australia was in 1993 for an invitational match and included Stacey Jones and Nigel Vagana amongst others. This was repeated in 1994 with the team featuring David Solomona.
The St Paul's team is: Tony Gabriel-Hutchins, Daniel Tevi, Jerome Ropati (c), Lance Wright, Michael Purcell, Roger Eliu, Izraal Lo-Tam, James Koloamatangi, Masalosalo Tutaia, Joshua Siaosi, Shaun Williams-Metcalf, Tangi Ropati, Sebastian Pilipe, Isaac Schmidt, David Milo, Stanley Haukinima. The team is coached by Del Hughes and managed by Paul Coackley.