NZ U20 named for Oceania showdown with Australia

Sportography     04 May 2018     Sportography

The team is:
1. Robert Cobb - Auckland
2. Ricky Jackson - Otago
3. Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
4. Laghlan McWhannell - Waikato
5. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland
6. Tom Florence - Taranaki
7. Tom Christie - Canterbury
8. Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay
9. Jay Renton - Southland
10. Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
11. Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
12. Harry Plummer - Auckland
13. Tanielu Tele'a - Auckland
14. Jamie Spowart - Tasman
15. Vilimoni Koroi - Otago

16. Flynn Thomas - Southland
17. Sione Asi - Manawatu
18. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington
19. John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
20. William Tremain - Hawke's Bay
21. Carlos Price - Wellington
22. Ciarahn Matoe - Taranaki
23. Ngane Punivai - Canterbury

Coach Craig Philpott said his team are expecting a big challenge from the home team.

“We know Australia will be physical at the breakdown and bring real line speed. They have a big pack so will provide a challenge there and we haven’t been tested too much on defence – that will change tomorrow.”

Philpott said this match will prove to be a curtain raiser for when the two teams meet at the World Championship in a months’ time.

“We’ll be finding out each other’s strengths and weaknesses but at the same time you don’t want to show everything.”
Tevita Mafileo, Jay Renton and Vilimoni Koroi all earn their first starts, with sevens-star Koroi set to be an exciting prospect from fullback.

“Vili has a great skillset, he’s a counter-attack player and can read defence and create opportunities for himself and others.”

Depth at first five-eighth sees Kaleb Trask take the 10 jersey, while Harry Plummer starts at second five-eighth and Ciarahn Matoe expected to add impact from the bench.

Tom Christie will lead the team from the openside, combining with Tom Florence and Devan Flanders to form a strong loose forward trio.

Watch the Oceania Under 20 Championship
Catch the action on a live stream at or the Oceania Rugby facebook page.

Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Championship:

Friday 27 April v Tonga – WIN 97-0
Tuesday 1 May v Fiji, 5.00pm – WIN 55-15
Saturday 5 May v Australia, 9.00pm NZT