New Zealand Under 19 squad named

    06 Feb 2007    

Two players who were part of the team in 2006 have been selected again. They are North Harbour duo Ben Afeaki and Chris Smith. In addition, Waikato’s Trent Renata, who joined the team for the latter part of the IRB World Championship last year, has also been named.

The squad also includes several members of the 2006 New Zealand Schools side

Crowley said it had been a challenge picking the final squad of 26.

“New Zealand rugby is blessed with so many talented young players and it certainly wasn’t an easy task settling on the squad for the World Championship. But the selection process was exhaustive and we had a lot of respected coaches and selectors cast their eye over a wide group of players,” Crowley said.

Crowley said the trial camps in December and February were beneficial.

“We called on resource coaches to help with specialist areas such as the scrums and lineouts and put players through game situations. We were impressed with the skill and fitness level of the players at the camp on the weekend and some players were really unlucky to miss out on selection,” Crowley added.

The squad will have two more camps in Christchurch and Auckland next month before departing for Northern Ireland on Wednesday 28 March. The World Championship is on from 4–21 April.

New Zealand Under 19 squad for IRB World Championship: Ben Afeaki (North Harbour), Rodney Ah You (Canterbury), Nicholas Barrett (Southland), *Luke Braid (Bay of Plenty), Matthew Cameron (Waikato), Thomas Crowley (Taranaki), *Ryan Crotty (Canterbury), *Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay), *Ash Dixon (Canterbury), Paea Fa’anunu (Auckland), Robert Fruean (Wellington), *Zachary Guildford (Hawke’s Bay), *John Hardie (Southland), *Daniel Kirkpatrick (Wellington), *Quentin MacDonald (Tasman), *Nasi Manu (Canterbury), Sean Maitland (Canterbury), *Wayne Ngaluafe (Auckland), Kade Poki (Tasman), Trent Renata (Waikato), *Peter Saili (Auckland), *Winston Stanley (Auckland), Chris Smith (North Harbour), Josh Townsend (Otago), *Samuel Whitelock (Manawatu) and *Jackson Willison (Waikato)

* Denotes 2006 New Zealand Schools players

New Zealand Under 19 schedule in New Zealand
28 February – 3 March: Camp in Christchurch
22–28 March: Camp in Auckland

New Zealand at IRB Under 19 World Championship
5 April: v Wales, Ravenhill
9 April: v Japan, Belfast Harlequins
13 April: v England, Ravenhill

17 April: Semifinals
21 April: Finals