WHEN siblings Bree and Flynn Thomas get together, the conversation pretty quickly shifts to a certain topic.
Bree and Flynn are both talented rugby players and both hold important leadership roles within the sport in Southland.
Bree is the captain of the successful Southland Girls’ High School first 15 which tomorrow will line up in its seventh straight national Top Four finals in Palmerston North, while older brother Flynn is co-captain of the Southland Stags and this year played for New Zealand at the under-20 world championship in France.
“When we are together the conversation, I suppose, does always bend to talking about rugby. Definitely if I need a few tips or tricks I ask him,” Bree said.
Bree is in her final year at Southland Girls’ and has been part of the school’s first 15 rugby team for five years. Every one of those five years the openside flanker has attended the national finals, and in 2016 she was part of the Southland Girls’ team which was crowned national champion.
“It would mean a lot to go up there and repeat what we did in 2016, but to make it is still a big thing,” Bree said.
Flynn also attended the national finals in 2016 when he was captain of the Southland Boys’ High School first 15.
While Southland Girls’ is an old hand now when it comes to attending the national finals, Bree said the prospect still played on the emotions.
“It’s not a new experience, but you still get nervous. It’s still quite a daunting thing to go up there because you know everyone is watching how you are going and what your performance is like,” she said.
Southland Girls’ will take on Hurricanes region winner Manukura, from Palmerston North, in one of the two semi-finals tomorrow.
Hamilton Girls’ High School and Aorere College will play off in the other semi-final tomorrow.
The winners of the semi-finals will then meet in the national final on Sunday, with the losing teams playing off for third.
Southland Girls’ is taking a young team to Palmerston North this year, with just five players leaving school at the end of the year.
Bree is one of those five and she said she intended to continue playing rugby when her school days finished.