Otago under-19 squad trading punches

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The Otago under-19 rugby squad will start a training camp in Queenstown this weekend by trading blows with each other. 

Queenstown boxing coach Darryl Giddens – who prepared the fighters for the Mountain Scene Thriller in the Chiller event at this year’s Winter Festival – will put the players through a sparring session on Saturday morning after showing them the basics. 

“Coach Brett McCormick wants it for a bit of team bonding,” Giddens says. 

Squad manager Jason Esplin adds: “We’re just doing something different, out of the box.” 

Giddens has run a boxing gym out of the Events Centre’s Alpine Health and Fitness facility since Winter Festival. 

The 26-man Otago squad, comprising mainly Dunedin players, arrives in town tomorrow and will stay for two nights at the Shotover Top 10 Holiday Park. 

They’ll play a warm-up game in Lawrence on Sun­day on the way back to Dunedin before starting their competition season the weekend after.