All Blacks star winger Rieko Ioane has weighed in on the ugly war between top Auckland rugby schools amid allegations of player poaching.
A coalition of Auckland schools have boycotted matches in 2019 against St Kentigern, alleging the school's rugby programme of poaching top players from outside of the Auckland region.
Ioane, 21, took to social media, hinting to the angered Auckland schools to allow St Kents to play in the Auckland 1A competition.
"I've seen it all now, just because they recruit doesn't mean you pull the plug," Ioane wrote on Instagram.
"Don't run from the competition, if you wanna be the best, you beat the best.
"St Kents make first XV competition harder, but it makes it better when you beat them."
Ioane was part of the Auckland Grammar 1st XV team that defeated St Kentigern College in the Auckland 1A final, 31-26 in 2014.
He teased some his Blues teammates - Sam Nock and Dalton Papali'i - as well as Chiefs flyer Etene Nanai-Seturo, by tagging them in his post.
All three players played for St Kentigern College's 1st XV.