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New tradition . . . St Peter's College rugby club players Georgia Holland and Thomas McKenzie (both 18) proudly display the new caps that players will receive when they play 30 games for the club. Georgia has played 52 caps for the school and Thomas has played 43. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

It is the start of what will be a long-standing rugby tradition.

The St Peter’s College rugby club has introduced caps for players who have played 30 games for the club.

The caps, in traditional red and blue St Peter’s colours, were awarded to six boys and four girls at prizegiving earlier this week.

The boys were Wyatt Symons (18), Ryan Watkins (17), Thomas McKenzie (18), Sol Wyatt (18), Peter Connell (17) and Devon Brown (18), who boasted 45, 44, 43, 32, 30 and 30 caps respectively.

Most capped was Georgia Holland (18) with 52, while Sarah Mitchell (17), Rosie Corcoran (17) and Georgia Kelly (18) were not far behind with 50, 44 and 34 caps to their names.

Holland said she was surprised when the honour was announced.

“It’s quite an achievement and it’s a great idea.

“I’m hopeful it’ll be able to to encourage the other girls to stick with it and play,” she said.

McKenzie said the caps brought a sense of pride to the club.

“It was a bit of a surprise and I was overwhelmed.

“The boys are just out there to play hard, and to get recognised for that shows the hard work has paid off in the form of a cap.”

It gave the younger players something to aspire to, he said.

Player George Templeton (11) said the caps made him want to reach the next level.

“It makes me want to keep playing rugby to get that achievement – they’re quite cool.”

Teacher in charge of rugby Lisa Sanson said the idea had been in the pipeline with the sporting committee for 18 months.

“We were looking for ways to promote playing rugby and we work closely with the Riversdale Rugby Club and they introduced caps a couple of years ago.

“It was a tradition lots of parents liked and we wanted to have a special viewpoint for those players,” Sanson said.

“We also didn’t want to rush establishing this tradition.”

Announcing the inaugural caps at prizegiving allowed the whole rugby community to be involved.

“It gave them something to look forward to and acknowledge the players.”

From now on the caps would be presented at the end of each player’s 30th game, she said.