Five players to watch: Southland

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019    Getty Images

Here’s five players to look out for in 2019.

Mitchell Taylor
A Southland Boys' High School first five-eighths who made his mark when the school won the South Island High Schools rugby title in 2016 while also making the national Top Four finals. He joined the Southland Rugby Academy in 2018 after a year playing in Canterbury while at Lincoln University.
From just up State Highway 1 in South Otago, van Vugt played Touch Rugby for New Zealand before concentrating on regular rugby, initially in Dunedin but since last year in Southland where he was a member of Southland's Sevens side. A wing, he played five games for Southland in last season's Mitre 10 Cup.

Logan Crowley
The son of Alan Crowley, who played 83 games at halfback for Taranaki, Logan made his Taranaki debut in 2017 having been a member of the Canterbury and Crusaders Development squads in 2016.

Taine Te Whata
From the Mossburn in the northern reaches of the province, Te Whata, an openside flanker, finished his secondary schooling at Otago Boys' High School and joined the Southland Rugby Academy in 2018. He was selected in the wider New Zealand schools team of 2017 and played for the NZ Barbarians Schools team against Tonga.

Ben Paulin
Another Southland Rugby Academy product who made his mark as a player capable of playing lock or blindside flanker during the Southland Boys' High School season of 2017. He was part of the Blues team that won the Southland club championship this year.