St Kents booted out of 2019 Auckland secondary school comp after rivals agree to boycott over recruitment concerns

St Kentigern College's 1st XV have been barred from competing at next year’s Auckland 1A competition.

A number of schools involved in the competition agreed to boycott playing St Kents, alleging the school's rugby programme of poaching top players, which they deemed as unethical practice.

The New Zealand Herald reported today that St Kents acknowledged they had recruited five elite players from rival schools to boost their 2019 squad.

The 2018 Auckland champions St Peter’s College were one of the schools which agreed to boycott playing St Kentigern.

Other school’s boycotting to play St Kents are Aorere College, Auckland Grammar School, De La Salle College, Dilworth School, Kelston Boys’ High School, Liston College, Mt Albert Grammar School, One Tree Hill College, Sacred Heart College and St Peter’s College.

A spokesperson for one school said St Kents' recruitment programme in rugby had been a concern for while, with other school's struggling to compete with the amount the Auckland school spent to allure top athletes.

There were also concerns about recruitment at King's College, but they have agreed to make changes.

St Kents had not responded to the New Zealand Herald. 

Dejected St Kents players.
St Kentigern College v St Peters. First XV schools semi-final rugby union. Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 11 August 2018. © Andrew Cornaga /
St Kents 1st XV rugby players after their semi-final loss against St Peters College. Source: Photosport