NZ Rugby World - First XV - - OTAGO -

When the Bal­clutha school is la­belled ‘hard as nails’ by op­pos­ing coaches, you know there’s some pas­sion in­volved and SOHS epit­o­mise what rugby means to the re­gion. The ap­petite at this school is ev­i­dent and Heller is right in the thick of it. Even af­ter their 20-3 sea­son, he’s ready to shake o ‘the bad hair day’ in last year’s fi­nal and sees con­di­tion­ing as an area they can fo­cus on. Be­com­ing durable and get­ting big­ger, faster and fit­ter are the pri­or­i­ties. Up front and cru­cial to the ti­tle chances again are giant lock Josh Hill and hooker Brady Robert­son. Both are ul­tra-con­sis­tent tech­ni­cal oper­a­tors who breached the High­landers devel­op­ment camp last term. First-five Chase Owen has helped fa­cil­i­tate the ex­pan­sive SOHS style for the past two years and Heller be­lieves his lead­er­ship and arse­nal of skills will need to take the next step up to knock the ‘John­nies’ o their perch.

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