NZ Rugby World - First XV - - UC CHAMPS -

The sum­mer cleanout at Christ’s won’t guar­an­tee in­stant suc­cess, but it should en­sure a more com­pet­i­tive team is fielded. Christ’s have eight re­turn­ing play­ers and per­formed strongly in the lo­cal Un­der 15 and 16 grades, en­sur­ing there is a base to build from. Head pre­fect An­gus Gray and 2015 cap­tain Ngane Pu­ni­vai will be cen­tral to the team’s for­tunes. Gray is an as­tute first-five and Pu­ni­vai a de­ter­mined sec­ond-five who was the stand-out player last sea­son. Christ’s for­wards were sorely lack­ing in strength and size in 2015. New re­cruits Dal­las McLeod and Taine Hintz should help ad­dress these is­sues. Hintz is a par­tic­u­larly valu­able ad­di­tion. The for­mer Wairarapa Col­lege prop is the younger brother of Can­ter­bury Un­der 19 prop Joel Hintz who won the Un­der 19 power-lift­ing cham­pi­onships aged 16. Christ’s last made the UC Cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nals in 2010. They haven’t beaten Christchurch BHS for 14 years, but the cred­i­bil­ity and ex­per­tise of their new coach­ing sta means they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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