NZ Under 21 team for World Champs named     24 May 2006    

New Zealand Under 21 coach Greg Cooper has named Stephen Brett (Crusaders), Richard Kahui (Highlanders), Serge Lilo (Hurricanes), Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), William Ripia (Highlanders), George Pisi (Blues) and Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a (Blues) in the 26-man squad.

The team also features 13 players from last year’s New Zealand Under 21 squad and will again be led by Jamie Mackintosh, who captained the team in 2005.

Cooper said the majority of the Rebel Sport Super 14 players had limited game time in the competition and came into the Under 21 trial camp fresh.

“They brought a level of competitiveness to the trial camp and that was a benefit to everyone. New Zealand rugby is in the fortunate position that we have real depth and a wide group of talented individuals,” Cooper said.

New Zealand Under 21 squad for IRB World Championships: *Aaron Bancroft (Canterbury), *Stephen Brett (Canterbury), Arden David (Wellington), Hikawera Elliot (Hawke’s Bay), Robbie Flynn (Tasman), Matt Holloway (Canterbury), *Richard Kahui (Waikato, vice captain), Solomon King (Bay of Plenty), *Serge Lilo (Wellington), Lance MacDonald (Bay of Plenty), *Jamie Mackintosh (Southland, captain), Albey Mathewson (Wellington), Lelia Masaga (Counties Manukau), *Taniela Moa (Auckland), *Miah Nikora (Wellington), Michael Paterson (Canterbury), George Pisi (North Harbour), *Kieran Read (Canterbury), *Michael Reid (North Harbour), *William Ripia (Waikato), *James Somerset (Auckland), *Jeremy Thrush (Wellington), Onosa’i Tololima-Auva’a (Auckland), *Mikaele Tuu’u (Canterbury), Matt Wallis (Bay of Plenty), Ryan Wilson (North Harbour).

* These players were in the 2005 New Zealand Under 21 squad

New Zealand is in Pool C with Scotland and Fiji but the cross-pool format of the competition means that New Zealand will face Italy, England and Australia in pool play.

New Zealand’s schedule of pool matches are (all dates & times local)
Friday 9 June: v Italy, Riom at 5pm
Tuesday 13 June: v England, Vichy at 7pm
Saturday 17 June: v Australia, Vichy at 6pm

The play-offs are scheduled for Wednesday 21 June with the final on Sunday 25 June.

Key dates:
26 May: Squad assembles in Auckland
29 May: Match against NZ Barbarians, Waitakere Stadium, Waitakere at 2.30pm
1 June: Squad departs for France from Auckland
9-25 June: IRB Under 21 World Championships in France