Charlie Fox (21)
It's obviously disappointing that the tour wasn't funded by someone.
I have to disagree with your assessment of the pathways provided by school rugby. In private schools at least.
Students have the opportunity to represent their Associations, then State teams and then to be selected in one of two National squads.
The U16s were included several years ago so they have the chance to represent their Associations and then their State.
In NSW, all of these players are candidates for being approached by GenBlue personnel.
At the annual Schoolboys Championships the players are on show and the talent scouts are out in force. It's a wonderful experience and opportunity for them regarding their post school rugby (or league).
I have no doubt the quality of the experience is great, but I wonder if the time, effort and expense of putting the pathway together would be better spent in developing grass roots participation in schools - particularly when a pathway already exists.
School sport and club sport spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to do what the other one does much better than them. Clubs bust their gut trying to engage with kids when school do this job WAY better than them, and schools love spruiking their pathways which ultimately, only ever lead to a plaque and an interesting side note on a resume (which is soon forgotten and removed).
Wouldnt it be great if schools could get access to the external pathway straight from school? Then we could dispense with the duplication that happens in all sports and focus our attention on the things that each provider does well.