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Community buy-in was the key to
resurrecting Central Southland
College's first XV rugby team.
The school had not fielded a side
this season, but Rugby Southland
director of rugby Craig Morton
was confident a resolution could
". . . but there's got to be some
buy-in from the community. We
don't want splinter groups."
The district's two rugby clubs --
Midlands and Drummond Lime-
hills Star --- had fielded under-18
teams this year, using boys from
Morton said the possibility of
developing an under-19 compe-
tition, which would see younger
players freed up to play for the
college's first XV, could be a
''We're just there to work out
where the college wants to head
and how they want to get there.''
Midlands Rugby Club president
Steve Geary said first XV rugby
was important and a motion
outlining the club's support for
the college had been on the books
for several years.
An elected representative from
Midlands will attend this week's
meeting to liaise with the college
and then report back to the club.
First XV will be back next year
By MARY WITSEY
Not over: Central Southland College rugby players, in red and blue, shake hands with players from Timaru school, Roncalli College, earlier this month. The future of
first XV play at Central Southland College is now much brighter.
Concerned parents, and the wider
community, have rallied together
to ensure first XV rugby at
Central Southland College is not
dead and buried.
That's the message coming out of
the school after Central Southland
was unable to field a first XV this
season. That prompted real fears
it could spell the deathknell of
Central Southland's traditional
top rugby team, which has been a
big part of the college's history.
"We just didn't have the numbers
for a viable team this year but
we're working to make sure we
have one next year," principal
Kevin McSweeny said.
He said the community was
adamant that it wanted the
college to field its own first XV
"I think some people have been
very disappointed that we didn't
have a team this year but we're
now working very hard towards
having one for next year."
An informal meeting of concerned
parents and community members
has declared support for the
future of rugby at the college, with
a determination to get the first XV
back on its feet. Another meeting
this week, co-ordinated by Sport
Southland, is set to plot a future
course for the team.
Central Southland College teacher
in charge of sport, Carly Ander-
son, said this week's meeting
would also involve representa-
tives from the Midlands and
Drummond Limehills Star Rugby
Clubs, the college's sports council,
a college student representative
and the Winton Community
Board and Rugby Southland.
''We're looking to work with
(rugby) clubs to bring players
through. We have to work
together in a small community,"
The school would like to field a
team in the Highlanders' second-
ary schools competition next
season but work needed to be
done to ensure that occurred.
The Highlanders' competition
was introduced in 2009, enabling
the 12 best first XVs from Otago,
Southland and North Otago to
play in the same competition.
''We're determined to get back in
2013,'' Anderson said.
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