Di­vi­sion two pair end up in un­der-17 Har­lequins

South Waikato News - - SPORT - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Com­ing from a small town is no dis­ad­van­tage, ac­cord­ing to the New Zealand Har­lequins’ new­est mem­bers, Taina Ni­cholas and Bryce McMullen.

The two 17- year- old For­est View High School stu­dents have won them­selves spots on the Un­der-17 team.

As a Toko­roa player, McMullen said his se­lec­tion proved any­thing was pos­si­ble.

But what was more ‘‘ amaz­ing’’ was their se­lec­tion while they were in sec­ond di­vi­sion.

‘‘They don’t re­ally look at di­vi­sion two as much be­cause there’s al­ways go­ing to be the best in play­ers in di­vi­sion one,’’ he said.

The pair were nom­i­nated by the school and se­lected by a scout who at­tended their home games

Com­pet­ing against almost 100 play­ers they man­aged to se­cure a spot in the 23-player squad.

At 95 kilo­grams, Ni­cholas took up the prop po­si­tion and he is no stranger to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive team.

And his ex­pe­ri­ence in the Waikato side helped the 83kg full­back, McMullen.

‘‘ It’s pretty cool shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he said.

Train­ing con­sists of up to six hours in Hamil­ton and is ‘‘more ad­vanced’’.

The two made their de­but in their first out of six games last week, win­ning 68-nil against the New Zealand Area Schools.

Catch­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties: Taina Ni­co­las, front, and Bryce McMullen have caught an op­por­tu­nity on the New Zealand un­der 17 Har­lequins.

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