Pathways and Experiences


As part of the reimagined post covid pathways vision, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has completed some work around what our pathway now looks like.  With New Zealand Rugby cancelling the National Jock Hobbs U19’s tournament in 2020 and shifting their focus to the the National Super Rugby U20’s tournament as their pinnacle "talent identification" tournament held in April of each year, all Provincial Unions and Super Rugby clubs had to work together in this space to ensure there was a relevant pathway within their landscape that aligned to New Zealand Rugby.

We know that rugby is a "late development sport", which means our tamariki and rangatahi are growing, maturing and developing at different rates.  Early specialisation has a negative impact on participation rates and It's around the age of 16 that our athletes' development starts to level out.  With this in mind, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union have decided to start the talent identification process to this age group, while at the same time, ensuring that any pathway provides a quality experience for all, where they can have fun, be developed and improve, be part of a team and be with their friends.

​​​​​​​The flow diagram below outlines the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union pathway.​​​​​​


When the Northern Regions Rugby Council abolished  the Under 13 weight restricted Roller Mills tournament in 2019 and the post Covid-19 restructure in July 2020, the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union has re-imagined the way our pathway looks and feels. 

​​​​​​​The "Youth Development Cup"  is the new beginning of our pathway and experience.

From the Youth Development Cup, opportunities now exist for our athletes to continue their growth and development through the Under 16 (Boys and Girls) and Under 18 (Boys and Girls) programmes.

The Chiefs run an under 16's carnival in the term three school holidays where we will send two boys teams and one girls team.  The Chiefs also select athletes from across the Chiefs provincial unions (Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki) to attend an under 18's regional camp in the term three school holidays.

The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union representative teams that are part of this pathway are as follows:

  1. Bay of Plenty Under 16 Boys & Girls
  2. Bay of Plenty Under 18 Boys & Girls


Once athletes leave school, the opportunities to enter into the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Athlete Development Programme are as follows:

1. UNDER 19'S: This pathway is for those male athletes that leave secondary school and are selected for the Bay of Plenty Toa (U19's.

2. For females, athletes get selected into the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Athlete Development Programme.

3.  The end goal of these athletes is a spot in the Volcanix and Steamers teams.

Think you've got what it takes to be a Steamer?  Check out the minimum STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING standards.