New Zealand Under 20 squad named     29 Apr 2010    

The New Zealand Under 20 squad is:

Liakimatagi Moli Auckland
Sean Polwart Auckland
Angus Taavao-Matau Auckland
Paul Ngauamo Canterbury
Luke Whitelock*# Canterbury
Ronald Raaymakers Counties -Manukau
Willie Ioane*^ Manawatu
Richard Haddon North Harbour
Liam Coltman Otago
Tom Franklin Otago
Blade Thomson* Taranaki
Sam Prattley Tasman
Rory Grice Waikato
Jeff Allen* Wellington

Tyrone Ngaluafe Auckland
Tyler Bleyendaal Canterbury
Telusa Veianu Canterbury
Star Timu Hawke’s Bay
Hayden Parker Otago
Tom Marshall Tasman
Tawera Kerr-Barlow * Waikato
Glen Robertson*# Waikato
Kayne Hammington Wellington
Charlie Ngatai* Wellington
Julian Savea* Wellington
Jason Woodward Wellington

Note: * denotes member of a New Zealand Schools team
# denotes member of the 2008 New Zealand Under 17 team
^ denotes member of the 2009 New Zealand Under 20 team

The 26-man squad includes current players from last year’s Air New Zealand Cup (now ITM Cup) including Wellington midfielder Charlie Ngatai and winger Julian Savea who has also donned the black jersey for the New Zealand Sevens team. Waikato halfback and Chiefs wider training squad member Tawera Kerr-Barlow has also been selected.

Canterbury’s Luke Whitelock - the younger brother of current Crusaders, Adam, Sam and George – was also named in the team. Luke has recently returned from a gap year in the United Kingdom and has also represented New Zealand at Under 17 and New Zealand Schools level.

Manawatu prop Willie Ioane is the only returning player from the winning 2009 IRB Junior World Championship squad.

New Zealand Under 20 Coach Dave Rennie said he was pleased with the squad and looked forward to getting preparations underway for Argentina.

“We had two trial matches and the selection process has been very thorough. We we are happy with the make-up of the squad and looking forward to the challenges ahead in Argentina,” Rennie said.

Rennie acknowledged the NZRU’s special resource coaches for their contribution to the team’s campaign.

Some of New Zealand’s top coaches have been involved with the wider squad at three camps over the past five months.

They include specialist scrum coach Mike Cron, former All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson, 2010 New Zealand Maori coach Jamie Joseph, Wellington assistant coach Andre Bell, Hawke’s Bay assistant coach Tom Coventry, former Canterbury assistant coach John Haggart, former Crusaders hooker Matt Sexton, former Canterbury player Angus Gardiner, former New Zealand age grade coaches Russell Hilton-Jones and Aussie McLean, 2009 New Zealand Under 20 skills coach Andrew Strawbridge, former Taranaki player and coach Neil Barnes and Manawatu assistant coach Bruce Hemara.

“These specialists have been part of our selection campaign since our first camp in December and they have played a huge part in the development of our top young players. We are very fortunate to have individuals of this calibre sharing their knowledge and experience,” Rennie said.

David Huggett, Country Manager adidas New Zealand, said that a significant element of adidas’ partnership is their continuous support of the NZRU’s national teams.

“The Under 20 team has been very successful in their last two campaigns and adidas is keen to play an important part in terms of providing innovative and leading products to the team,” he added.

New Zealand has won the last two IRB Junior World Championships in Wales and Japan respectively. The Junior World Championships replaced the previous IRB Under 19 and Under 21 World Championship tournaments.

The squad will remain in camp at the Sport and Rugby Institute in Palmerston North until Thursday and will re-assemble at the Millennium Institute in Auckland from 25 – 30 May.

Key dates:

• Pre-departure camp: Tuesday 25 May – Sunday 30 May, Auckland
• Squad departs: Auckland for Argentina on Sunday 30 May
• IRB World Junior Championship: Friday 5 June – Monday 21 June, Argentina

New Zealand pool games at IRB Junior World Championship:

v Fiji 5 June
v Samoa 9 June
v Wales 13 June

Tournament finals

Semifinals 17 June
Final 21 June