New Zealand team getting the benefit of two Burges

Brothers in arms . . . Camden (16, left) and Quinn Burge (14) have both been selected for the New Zealand under-16 team competing at the domestic series in Auckland. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Camden and Quinn Burge have been selected for top touch honours.

The brothers have been chosen for the New Zealand under-16 team, to compete at the domestic series in Auckland.

They will take part in a camp before playing against open men’s teams from October 5 to 10.

Camden (16) said he was ‘‘pretty happy’’ to be selected for the team and it was nice to have his younger brother, Quinn (14), by his side.

Traditionally, the team is picked from the New Zealand Secondary School Touch Championships held in December.

But after last year’s championships were cancelled due to Covid-19, the St Kevin’s College pupils attended a trial in Dunedin earlier this year to earn their call-up.

While the brothers were unsure what the experience would bring, Quinn said it was a good opportunity for them. He looked forward to meeting new people and learning new skills.

Camden and Quinn fell in love with the sport from an early age. Camden started aged 7 and Quinn aged 5, while they were at Fenwick School, and Camden made North Otago and Otago representative sides at age 11.

Last season, both brothers represented Otago under-16 and continued playing touch for St Kevin’s and in the North Otago Touch Tuesday night league, in a team with former Otago representative players.

But they also branched out and started refereeing the game as well.

‘‘We got asked by some of the people from North Otago — they asked if we could help out by giving back to the community by refereeing,’’ Camden said.

They both refereed the junior and senior North Otago touch grades, as well as at representative tournaments in Dunedin, and sat their Level 1 certificates.

Quinn, who was named official of the year at the 2021 Waitaki Sports Awards, said refereeing adding another layer to their touch knowledge.

‘‘It is pretty different,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good learning the rules better than the players know them.’’

Aside from touch rugby, they split their time across basketball, football, cross-country and athletics.