Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 15°C Monday 14 June 2021

Jimmy Gopperth's New Zealand Schools team was the most absurdly talented side imaginable

Smokin’ Joe and Luke McAlister in the backline and Ben Smith on the bench!

GIVEN THAT NEW Zealand is by far the strongest rugby nation in the world with the depth that no other country can really match, it shouldn’t be any major surprise that most of the time their underage sides have a fair bit of talent in them.

But then Jimmy Gopperth tweeted a picture of the New Zealand Schools team he was on and it blew us away. The team is full of some very recognisable All Blacks and most of the guys who didn’t make it in the national team still had very solid professional careers.

This team at their peak would be a formidable club side.

Leinster fans will notice that besides Gopperth, cult hero Cameron Jowitt is on the bench.

Jowitt is best known for his contributions during the 05/06 season where Leinster lost to Munster in the Heineken Cup and his role can best be summed up with these two videos.

Source: Mildy Mac/YouTube

Source: David O'Neill/YouTube

And which poor Irish schoolboy had to go head-to-head with Joe Rokocoko? It would have been an impossible task.

Source: thagr812903/YouTube


Leinster won’t be playing their Champions Cup quarter-final on Good Friday after all

‘From Schools Cup to World Cup in a couple of years’ – the rise and rise of Robbie Henshaw

About the author:

Read next: