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Top performers . . . North Otago touch representatives selected in Otago teams are (standing, from left) Nathan Cunningham (coach), William Smillie, Stanley McClure, Jasmine Hunter, Logan Wilson, Sarah Jamison, Ben McCarthy, Holly Taylor, Levi Emery, Monique Lewis, Brylee Milmine; front, Caden McGregor-Hoffman, Jakob Cunningham, Max Fatafehi, Grace Keno, Brylee More and Asha Murphy. Jacob Fowler is absent. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

North Otago’s leading touch players are gearing up for a big summer.

Seventeen local players have made various Otago teams for the South Island championships in Christchurch next weekend.

Five of those will also head to the national championships in Auckland in February.

At the South Island tournament, Ben McCarthy and Levi Emery will represent the Otago under-18 boys team, Logan Wilson is in the under-16 boys, Jasmine Hunter and Brylee More are in the under-16 girls, Brylee Milmine is in the under-14 girls, Jacob Fowler, William Smillie, Stanley McClure and Monique Lewis are in the under-14 mixed team, Jakob Cunningham and Max Fatafehi are in the under-12 boys, Holly Taylor, Grace Keno and Asha Murphy are in the under-12 girls, and Sarah Jamison and Caden McGregor-Hoffman are in the under-12 mixed team.

The players will be accompanied by two North Otago officials. Nathan Cunningham coaches the Otago under-12 boys, and 13-year-old Tarys Robertson is going as a referee.

Five North Otago players – Emery and McCarthy (under-18 boys), Wilson (under-16 boys), Hunter and More (under-16 girls) – will travel with Otago teams to the national championships.

Touch is the biggest summer sport in North Otago with about 1000 players.