Harry Godfrey earns NZ Schoolboys jersey; Adam Lennox gets Baabaas.
By Jared Smith
For the second season in a row, a member of the Whanganui Collegiate 1st XV has received a New Zealand Secondary Schools jersey as first-five Harry Godfrey has been named among the elite of his peers.
Although because of Covid-19 it can only be a ‘paper’ team that will not play a match, the 2020 New Zealand squad was chosen after October 9’s Alan Whetton XV vs Andy Haden XV Under 18’s Barbarians game, involving 50 of the best schoolboy players in the country.
After five days training together, the slightly underdog Alan Whetton XV blitzed away in the second half to win 57-20, led by Godfrey and his fellow Collegiate halfback Adam Lennox coming on to run the cutter.
Godfrey finished with a 17-point haul from a try and six straight successful conversions.
As well as the 26-player New Zealand squad, a ‘paper’ NZ Barbarians Schools selection was also named, with Lennox among the 24 names listed there.
“This is fantastic recognition for a group of players that have had a disrupted 1st XV season,” said PJ Williams, the NZR High Performance Talent Identification Manager.
“I am sure they will be disappointed that they cannot pull on the black jersey this year, but being named in these teams is a great achievement, nonetheless.
“After the Barbarians Camp earlier this month, all players were given individual performance plans and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in coming years.”
Players from 29 schools within 12 unions took part in the development camp – Collegiate skipper Godfrey and Lennox were the only schoolboys from a Heartland union.
In a Covid-19 truncated season, the pair were instrumental in Collegiate reaching the semifinals of the Central North Island (CNI) 1st XV competition, but missed out on emulating the 2019 squad, which made the final, after a loss in the dying minutes to St Peter’s Cambridge.
They won the playoff for third against rivals Feilding High School, then picked up three wins over nearby schools to get ready for the 94th Quadrangular Rugby Tournament, where hopes of a first title victory since 1991 were dashed by Christ’s College, having to settle for third after beating Wellington College.
Godfrey receiving the NZ Schoolboys jumper allows him to follow in the footsteps of 2019 Collegiate team mate Ben Strang (below), who was chosen at hooker to play internationals against Fiji Schools and Australia Under 18’s.
CYCLONES: The Manawatu Cyclones had their upcoming Farah Palmer Cup semifinal opponent confirmed on Sunday as undefeated Waikato beat the Auckland Storm 26-17 at Eden Park to finish top of the North division. The Cyclones, with their three St Johns Wanganui players, finished second in the South division behind likewise unbeaten Canterbury. They will meet Waikato at FMG Stadium this Sunday, kickoff 2.05pm.