Opportunities . . . St Kevin’s College centre Asesela Ravuvu (18) is set to ply his trade at the 2021 Highlanders school camp this month.

Two talented up-and-coming Waitaki rugby players have been given an opportunity to take their game to the next level.

Waitaki Boys’ High School No 8 Lotu Fifita and St Kevin’s College centre Asesela Ravuvu have been picked for the 2021 Highlanders schools camp, that runs from October 10 to 13. The pair will join 28 other players selected from Otago and Southland secondary schools.

Coaches from within the Highlanders region will work with the young players, covering technical and tactical aspects of the game, as well as the nutritional, physical and mental elements of performance. The camp will finish in a game against the Crusaders junior XV, in Timaru.

Year 13 players were usually prioritised for the Highlanders camp, to give them the best opportunities before leaving school. Lotu (17) was one of the few year 12s chosen this year.

He said it was a “surreal” feeling to be going to the camp, and he was excited about the opportunity.

“I’m just looking to learn new skills to better my game,” Lotu said.

‘‘Surreal’’ . . . Waitaki Boys’ High School first XV No 8 Lotu Fifita (17) has been selected in the 2021 Highlanders school camp. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The No 8, who started playing rugby aged 14, was powerful off the back of Waitaki Boys’ scrum this year, and loved being involved in the game.

“I love the culture, being with the boys, and playing with the team.”

Asesela, who started at St Kevin’s last year on a rugby scholarship from Fiji, said the camp was a great opportunity.

“I’m feeling pretty excited about it,” Asesela said.

“I want to learn heaps of new things, and better my playing [abilities] and my talent.”

Asesela made some bolstering runs for St Kevin’s this year, and he had “enjoyed every minute of it”.

Both Lotu and Asesela have also been selected for the North Otago under-18 squad this season.