Quest for Age Grade Representative Teams Begin

The quest to find the next crop of representative players has begun in earnest with some teams already having skills sessions whilst other teams are starting in the next couple of weeks.

All of the relevant information has been passed onto team coaches but just in case anyone has not yet received this information - below is a summary of when the next musters are:

Under 14's   Sunday 26th June - Paeroa Domain - 10am start

Under 18's   Monday 27th June -Paeroa Domain - 7pm start

Under 16's   Sunday 3rd July   -  Paeroa Domain - 10am Start

Under 14's   Sunday 3rd July -    Paeroa Domain - 12.30pm Start (Trial)

Roller Mills   Sunday 10th July    Paeroa Domain  - 10am Start

All players wishing to make themselves available can just turn up on the day and make themselves know to the rep team coaches.


Honours Shared in Secondary Schools First Rounds

The honours have been shared amongst the schools after the completion of the first rounds of the 2016 Thames Valley Secondary Schools competition.
The Te Aroha College 1st XV - after battling with player numbers in 2015 have regained their confidence to claim the Graham Watton Trophy.
hames High School Development have swept all before them so far to claim the Laurie Burns Trophy.

In the 4th grade it came down to the last games of the round with Hauraki Plains College managing to salvage a bonus point in their loss to Mercury Bay in Ngatea  to take home the Frank Treanor trophy.
All teams are now well into their preparations for the championship round as they eye a spot in the semi-finals that will take place on the 6th August.





The Thames Valley Primary Schools Rugby Union was formed in 1926 one year after the Northern Roller Milling Co. presented the Champion Roller Mills Shield for competition among some 1200 primary schools in the greater Auckland provincial district. In presenting the trophy, the donors had a two-fold purpose: firstly encouragement of the active employment of a truly great sport; secondly the building of character in the young people of New Zealand


In the first year of competition for the shield, 1925, the primary schools of Paeroa and Waihi Sub Unions formed a ‘Goldfields’ team and took part. They lost by one point in each game against hosts Auckland and North Auckland.


The next year Piako primary schools joined Paeroa and Waihi and thus formed the Thames Valley side which was successful in winning the shield in their first attempt.

The Hauraki Plains Primary Schools joined the Thames Valley schools in 1929 to give the Roller Mills side a true Thames Valley representative side.


Within Thames Valley there are 2 competitions which provide keen regionally based competition among the primary schools rugby players. In 1927 the Paeroa hardware firm of Wm Fleming & Sons Ltd presented the Fleming Shield for competition among those players who are eligible for the Thames Valley Roller Mills team.

In the late 1940’s – the primary schools union introduced a junior grade for boys under 7st (45kgs) and Mr HM Shaw donated the Shaw Cup in 1950. These 2 trophies have been competed every year and the tournaments provide a viewing platform for the Thames Valley Roller Mills and U45kg’s teams to be selected.


In 1970 the Goldfields RFC provided a competition for the players 45kg’s and under – known as the Goldfields Button for competition between Counties-Manukau, Waikato, King Country, BOP and Thames Valley.


These 2 representative tournaments still exist today with the Northern Regions Roller Mills tournament, in which Thames Valley are a part of, taking place in the first week of the September school holidays and the U45kg Invitational tournament taking place over 3 consecutive weekends in September.


Some notable players who have come through the ranks of the Thames Valley U45kg’s and Roller Mills teams are former All Black Keith Robinson and former Wallabies Hooker Jeremy Paul. Both were in the last Thames Valley team to win the Roller Mils shield in 1989.


More recently – current Counties Manukau ITM Cup player Richard Judd represented Thames Valley at U45’s, U14’s U16’s & U18’s age grades as well as going on to represent Thames Valley in the Heartland Championship. Last years Thames Valley’s Rookie of the Year Tyrone Keith from Paeroa played in the Fleming Shield tournament and was selected for the NZ Heartland XV meaning he got to wear the silver fern on his chest.


How do you get involved?

The Shaw Cup / Fleming Shield teams are not made up entirely of rugby players. Whilst it helps to have been part of a local youth rugby team, it is definitely not a requirement and there is ample provision for players that come from other sports to participate. All you need to do is let your local club contact know.

There is however some criteria that you need to fulfil.

  • Aged 12 or under as of the 1st January 2016.

  • Be year 8 or lower for the Shaw Cup.

  • Year 9’s are eligible to play in the Fleming Shield but they must be aged 12 years or under as of the 1st January.

  • Be 43.0kg or under for the Shaw Cup at day of weigh in.

  • Be 57.0kg or under for the Fleming Shield at day of weigh in.


Dates of the Tournament for 2016:

Sunday 17th July 2016                 Ngatea

Wednesday 20th July 2016           Thames

Sunday 24th July 2016                 Te Aroha


This is during the last week of the July school holidays.


Contact your local junior rugby club to find out more about how you can get involved in these tournaments that hold a lot of history and prestige.


Taj O'Carroll - 9
Thames Valley Junior Rugby Grades Changed for 2016.

Thames Valley Junior rugby has undertaken a significant change to its’ grading structure for the 2016 season by removing a lot of the weight restrictions and now classifying players based purely on age.

“At the end of 2015 there was a get together of key personnel from within the union to discuss where the Unions was at, where did we want to head to and how do we get there. One of the recommendations from these discussions were to go to a straight age grade classification for primary school children and these changes are a result of this recommendation” says Thames Valley Youth Management Board President Mark Peterson

He went on to say “All of the Junior Rugby Clubs within the union were given the opportunity to discuss these changes with their respective communities and as a result – at a Special meeting of the Thames Valley Youth Management Board held at the beginning of March it was voted unanimously to change”.

Rugby Development Officer Bill Cooksley stated “Some players and parents may be put off the idea of smaller sized children playing against bigger kids but from a rugby development perspective players will need to know – and be coached correctly – on how to tackle bigger players safely and effectively as well as skills such as catch / pass, evasion and decision making to avoid a lot of the contact. Rugby Union prides itself on being a game for all shapes and sizes and this change reflects this philosophy. Players want to play with their mates in their own age group which is something that in the past may not have been able to happen due to the difference in weights however now this is possible. This grading system also more closely aligns with NZ Rugby’s Small Blacks Development Model that is prevalent throughout the country”.

Gavin Flint from Hauraki Plains Junior rugby has already witnessed first hand the positive side of this change. “We’ve had 5 or 6 players come back to the game to play with their mates as a result of this shift in thinking. That can only be good for TV as a whole”

Backed by the Thames Valley RFU Board of Management – the new system will undergo a thorough review at the end of 2016 to ensure that there was a positive impact on participation numbers.

Cooksley went on to add “The last thing that we want – as a union – is to see a significant drop in playing numbers at junior level as a result of this change. It’s really up to the rugby community to embrace the change in a positive way and ensure that we at least maintain our current playing numbers in this group”.

One restriction placed on the grading was that any players aged 12 as of 1st January and weighing in at 57.0kg or less – and currently a year 9 student - may apply for a regrade to return to play Thames Valley Junior Rugby and must obtain permission from their respective high school or college Principal to play in 5th Grade.

The New Grades for 2016 are:


All correct ages, birth dates and weights must be entered on the registration form as provided by the TVYMB.


The grading list shall be as set out below by the TVYMB:

Under 13’s - Born in 2003 or 2004

12 Years and Under – Year 8 student or below           Open Weight

12 Years and Under – Year 9 student                        57.0kg or less

 Under 11’s - Born in 2005 or 2006

10 years and Under                                                 Open Weight

Under 9’s - Born in 2007

8 Years and Under                                                   Open Weight

Under 8’s - Born in 2008 or 2009

7 years and Under                                                   Open Weight

This is the first year of tackle rugby

 Rippa Rugby Born in 2009 or after.


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