How appropriate Caleb Burke will play in the first live TV rugby match for St. John's College 1st XV in Hastings today.
TV commentators will be eager to chat with him about his rugby heritage. While his father Paddy is a former Bay of Plenty prop, his grandmother is on his mother Emma's side, Sally, a Brownlie, a relationship between former All Blacks, Cyril, Maurice and Laurie. Cyril and Maurice were Invincibles in 1924.
"I don't know too much about them, but I will swim on them if the commentators ask me about them," Burke said.
The main priority of the 17-year-old No 8 Burke is to help the hosts win the Matt Cooper Boot trophy, which is capable of addressing their St Johns College colleagues from Hamilton. A year 13 student who is in his third year in XV, Burke, has not yet played in a winning boot fixture. Hamilton School has won the boot at 11 apartments, four more than the Hastings school.
An old boy from the Hastings school, formerly All Black Matt Cooper, donated the boot. He has a boot in both camps when his son Harrison attended St John's College in Hamilton from 2010 to 14.
A product from Hastings Rugby and Sports age group system, Burke, has also played lock and plug on 1st XV level. He has represented Hawke's Bay under 16 development and under 19 teams, and earlier this year he had a battle with Hawke's Bay Rugby Academy.
"This year's St John's College team hasn't got the best players like the other 1st XV's I've been playing in. But it's the best team because of the way we tie during our trip to Chile last month, "Burke said.
"Because this weekend is a first round Central North Island competition fixture I don't know too much about the Hamilton team … both sides will go in a bit blind," Burke said.
Burke intends to continue his rugby career as he moves to Christchurch next year to study engineering at Canterbury University.
"Rugby is a little more violent down there, so it gets well," he added.
At the other end of the experience scale in the Hastings team is another twenty-second Kere Penetito. The youngest brother in a family of five brothers and two sisters, Penetito, is the fourth brother to play for the 1st XV after Roy, former Magpie Joe and fellow midfielder Duff.
Year 11 students are a product of the Napier Old Boys Marist JAB system and played No. 8 when he represented Hawkes Bay under 16 and under 14 levels. He was also a member of the 2015 winning Napier Ross Shield team.
"Duff gives me some pointers on another 50th game," Penetito said.
His st john's college 1st XV head coach matte Wyatt believed penetito boasts of ammunition to upstage what his brothers have achieved, and this is a big call considering how well Joe has played as a professional in France. While Penetito has not yet decided which career he will pursue away from rugby, like Burke, he hopes to move on to the Super Rugby series.
Another Penetito, Joseph, a cousin of Kere, will begin on the loosehead of the hosts.
On Wednesday, Wyatt's troops were beaten 39-11 by St Patrick's College in Wellington, dedicated to the battle for former students and actor Pua Magasiva who died in Wellington last weekend.
"We left a couple of key players, including Caleb (Burke) at home, so they would be fresh for this weekend. While we played most of our top players in the first half, we could rest them in the second half with this weekend in mind," Wyatt.
Cooper, who will be among the TV commentators today, said he has attended some of the Hamilton team's training sessions, and he noted that there was no lack of size in the team.
"But like St. John's College in Hastings, they are reconstruction. It must be a close game."
For fans who cannot participate in today's match, it will watch live at Sky Sport 1 from 9pm. 12.40.
St John's College (Hastings): Ryan Lindeque, Liam Parker & B39; Brien, Max Ireland, Kere Penetito, Emanualu Lemeulu, Titiana Araia-Waaka, Mitchell McLeod, Caleb Burke, Wharewaiata Rolls, Josh Quin, Ben Gardiner, Ollie Gardiner, Caden Moat Harvey, McKenzie Brown, Joseph Penitito. Substitutes: Dylan Homan, Talo Tuanaki, Laufili Konelio, Kemara Davis, Brad Campbell.
St John's College (Hamilton): Braydon Oakes, Eric Leiataua, Mahaki-Jay Hetet-Wairau, Hausia Vea, Joe Robwata, Devyn Sheehan, Jac Verran, Kolo Vea, Isaac Seiuli, Patrick Woodney, Cameron Street, Jared Bowe, Adam Staincliffe, Kees Mortleman, Ben Mosa & # 39 ; iti -Fosita. Substitutes: Alex Anderson, Jahvani Growe-Lolesi, Aiden Payne-Isaacs, Jared Iti, Te Maka Tabokaai, Salesi Salesi, Jackson Neale.
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