NZU20 team named to play England     20 Jun 2015    

The team is as follows:

1 Ricky Riccitelli - Hawke's Bay
2 Liam Polwart - Auckland
3 Atunaisa Moli (C) - Waikato
4 Joshua Goodhue - Canterbury
5 Hamish Dalzell - Canterbury
6 Mitchell Dunshea - Canterbury
7 Blake Gibson - Auckland
8 Akira Ioane - Auckland
9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - Taranaki
10 Otere Black - Manawatu
11 Tevita Li - North Harbour
12 Tinoai (TJ) Faiane - Auckland
13 Anton Lienert-Brown - Waikato
14 Jack Goodhue - Canterbury
15 Mitchell Hunt - Auckland


16 Steven Misa - Waikato
17 Isileli Tu'ungafasi - Auckland
18 Tau Koloamatangi - Waikato
19 Mitchell Jacobson - Waikato
20 Henry Stowers - Wellington
21 Harrison Levien - Waikato
22 Vincent Tavae-Aso - Auckland
23 George Bridge - Canterbury

Head Coach Scott Robertson, and assistant coaches Leon MacDonald and Tana Umaga, have made one change to the starting 15 which beat France 45-7 in the semi-final earlier in the week.

"We've been forced to make a change with James Blackwell being ruled out with a head knock,” explained Robertson. "That brings Mitch Jacobson on to the bench and Mitch Dunshea starts.”

The New Zealand players made the most of the last four days in the lead-up to the final and Robertson believes his team is in a good space. "We've had a good week: we've got to get our bodies right and our minds ready, so we can perform on the bigger stage,” he explained.

"Our focus this week has been making sure we're really clear on how we're going to play and who we're playing. We obviously need to understand how England execute, but probably the biggest thing is to make sure we're in a really good mindset to perform.”

New Zealand dominated the French during their comfortable win on Monday evening. France's only try was once again the result of a powerful catch and drive from a line-out, which seems to be the biggest challenge for New Zealand during this tournament.

"We managed to split the French rolling mauls and at key times defend pretty stoutly in our line-out. We took a lot of their spirit away,” acknowledged Robertson.

"We're going to have to be that good again against a well-drilled English pack. England are very well structured and well coached, and they've got a lot of systems that work. They've shown that when they execute, they're an extremely tough team to beat.

"The rolling maul is a real strength of theirs and our ability to make sure we can stop it and commit, and compete in that area is critical for us."

Robertson is acutely aware that the only four tries scored against his team during this championship have been the result of short-range drives. "We've had a lot of maul practice during this World Cup and that's been a real focus for us,” he said.

New Zealand will play England this Saturday 20 June at 8.30pm local time (Sunday 21 June, 6.30am NZST) at Stadio Giovanni Zini, Cremona, Italy.

Broadcast Information:
New Zealand v England will be broadcast live on SKY Sport 1 from 6.23am NZST, Sunday 21 June. The match will be replayed on SKY Sport 1 at 4.30pm NZST, with a delayed broadcast on the Rugby Channel at 12.30pm NZST.

More from the U20s
Get to know Captain Atu Moli
Hear from NZU20 Doctor Lynne Coleman
Tevita Li, all-time try scoring record holder at the World Rugby U20 Championship
Catching up with NZU20 Performance analyst Brodie Hewlett
Family dinner with the team
Double trouble with the Goodhue twins
Interview with Jack Goodhue
Interview with Akira Ioane