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Under 19s ready for Wales

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allblacks.com     01 Apr 2005     allblacks.com gallery

McLean named Wellington loose forward George Whitelock as captain, with New Zealand Sevens representative Isaia Toeava and the only survivor from last year’s side, Seminar Manu-Tinela, also included for the match in Durban.

“There is a lot of competition for inclusion in most positions and it has been quite a difficult process. Players are disappointed not to make the starting line-up, but with a number of games over such a short period, we will make full use of the 26-strong squad.

“But to be honest we are not 100 per cent certain about what our best team is,” McLean said.

The side played two warm-up matches against Under 21 opposition before leaving New Zealand, but faces a Wales side fresh from competing in the Under 19 Six Nations competition.

“They have some physical forwards and like to use their backs a lot with two speedsters on the wing. They like to counter-attack and they have taken a lot from the way their senior team has been playing, so they’ll have a lot of belief.

“They’ve had six weeks of playing in the Six Nations, while we are coming off the back of only two weeks together,” he said.

The match kicks off at Absa Stadium in Durban at 0100 (NZ time).

New Zealand plays Romania on Wednesday and reigning Under 19 Six Nations champions England on Sunday.

Team: George Pisi, Nick Thomson, Tim Bateman, Isaia Toeava, Lance MacDonald, Seminar Manu-Tinela, Baydon Phillips, Charles O’Connell, Vern Kamo, George Whitelock, Dean Budd, Nick Croswell, Scott Murphy, Dane Coles, Justin Davies.
Reserves: Mason Pomare, Sekope Kepu, Jonathan Direen, Joshua Bekhuis, Thomas Gilmour, Steve Alfeld, Daniel Bowden, Tama Makamaka, Fafili Levave, Dane Shelford, Robert Flynn.