Rugby: Player poaching banned under new schoolboy rugby rules

St Kentigerns players celebrate their 2017 title win.
St Kentigerns players celebrate their 2017 title win. Photo credit: Photosport

Any further poaching of opposition talent in New Zealand has been essentially banned as part of a ground-breaking new Secondary Schools rugby agreement.

On Monday, representatives of 10 schools in Auckland's 1A grade rugby competition met to decide a new set to standards as a result of the proposed boycott of St Kentigern College for their alleged unfair recruitment practices.

According to a statement released on Tuesday morning, they've agreed to the following terms:

-  Not permit any form of player recruitment or inducement to attract a student from another school’s first XV rugby team that is part of an NZRU sanctioned competition.

-  Not offer a student from another schools first XV Rugby team (that is part of an NZRU sanctioned competition) a partial or full scholarship to attend their school.

-  Any new to school player who has transferred from an NZRU 1st XV sanctioned competition will be stood down for six 1A competition games, and any potential semi-final or final matches.

In December, other 1A schools threatened to boycott their games against St Kentigerns, due to what was later ruled as excessive player recruitment by an independent review.

Last week, they were cleared to play in this year's competition on the proviso that they sit new-to-school players from outside of Auckland for the first six games and stand down two out-of-zone players for any playoff matches.

St Kents open their 2019 season against defending champions St Peter's College next month.