Then there were . . . 18
disappointing something like this had happened, Bovey felt it was a good thing people were now talking about it.
‘‘There’s been rumours going around about what this school’s been doing and what that school’s been doing. I’m hoping what comes out of this is that some schools change the way we’re doing things.’’
Gisborne Boys’ High principal Andrew Turner said they were ‘‘keen to support a fairer, more transparent, egalitarian system’’.
‘‘It’s fair to say the landscape of first XV rugby’s changed in the last five to 10 years. As traditional boys schools, we’re just saying ‘hey, there’s got to be some lines in the sand’.
‘‘We’re not the United States of America, we don’t have massive pools of kids and money and all the other rubbish.
‘‘We’re New Zealand, and we’ve survived for a long time and put ourselves at the top of the rugby world just by having homegrown talent.’’
For Tauranga Boys’ principal Robert Mangan, the matter is one which hits close to home.
‘‘Being a school that has lost up-and-coming players at different levels of rugby, it’s good that they have been called out on the issue,’’ he said.
His latest example is Carlos Price, who was in the Tauranga first XV in Year 11, before moving on to St Kents for his final two years of school. He now plays for Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup, has represented New Zealand Under-20s and is in the Hurricanes’ wider setup.
Bovey said the lack of perspective people had around school sport was ‘‘disturbing’’.
‘‘People are competitive and we all want our kids to do well and have the opportunity to compete at a high level. But I think some have sold their soul to do it.
‘‘The kids who have worked their backsides off from year nine and finally get their chance in the senior school, and your place has been taken by a kid who’s come in for one year, I just think that’s palpably unfair.’’