Bay of Plenty Rugby Union announced today that four players; Cassius Misa, Benet Kumeroa, Kali Vaipulu and Kohan Herbert, who have come through the Bay of Plenty Rugby High Performance program, have signed with the union for the next two seasons.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Men's Player Development Manager, James Porter, who has been with these players from the start of their journey comments “I am incredibly proud of these four young men. They have worked very hard to get to where they are, but they are under no illusions that the hard work continues in order to establish themselves at the provincial level or higher ranks of Super rugby and further.”
Herbert played for the Australian Secondary Schools in 2018 before joining the Bay. He was part of the Toa (Bay of Plenty Under 19’s) squad which created history for the union to win the 2018 Jock Hobbs National Under 19 Tournament. He then went on to play for NZ Under 20’s in 2019.
Kumeroa and Misa played in 2019 Toa team, losing narrowly to a dominant Canterbury side. In 2020 they were both part of the New Zealand U20 camps but due to Covid-19 restrictions and the cancellation of the World Rugby Tournament, were unable to press their claims for a spot in final the New Zealand U20 team. Both are currently training with the Chiefs Under 20’s programme.
Vaipulu was recruited in 2020 and after just one year has displayed great potential and has been given this opportunity. Vaipulu is also currently training with the Chiefs Under 20’s programme.
Misa plays for Whakarewarewa, Herbert plays for Mount Maunganui and both Kumeroa and Vaipulu play for Rangiuru Senior Premier teams.
These signings follow on from other recent Toa members who have gone on to play for the Steamers; Leroy Carter, Joe Johnston, Stan van den Hoven, Emoni Narawa and Kaleb Trask who all performed well in last years Mitre 10 Cup with the Steamers in making the Premiership semi-finals.