Junior All Blacks team named to play Japan     22 Jun 2007    

The team for the match has been named today with eight changes and one positional switch to the side that beat Australia A last week to clinch the title. Daniel Braid will captain the side.

The four changes in the forwards include a new front row of Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn and Campbell Johnstone with Braid replacing Marty Holah at No 7.

Jimmy Cowan comes in at halfback with Stephen Brett at first five-eighth, Tane Tu’ipulotu at second five-eighth and Rudi Wulf on the right wing in place of Scott Hamilton, who moves to fullback.

Junior All Blacks Co-Coach Colin Cooper said the IRB Pacific Nations Cup once again underlined New Zealand’s player depth.

“We have a pool of exceptional athletes and we all benefited from that again this year when Junior All Blacks made the transition to the All Blacks when required. At the same time, we feel we have helped with the game’s development, particularly in the Pacific Islands,” Cooper said.

Cooper said the team was looking forward to their final clash against the Japanese at Prince Chichibu Stadium.

“They put on a spirited performance when we played them in Dunedin last year and I am sure they will be determined to do well in front of their home crowd,” he added.

Sunday’s game will be televised live on Sky Sport 1 from 5.00pm (NZ time).

Junior All Blacks team to play Japan: 1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Campbell Johnstone, 4. Hoani MacDonald, 5. Tom Donnelly, 6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Daniel Braid (captain), 8. Sione Lauaki, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 10. Stephen Brett, 11. Anthony Tuitavake, 12. Tane Tu’ipulotu, 13. Ma’a Nonu, 14. Rudi Wulf, 15. Scott Hamilton.

Reserves: 16. Derren Witcombe, 17. John Afoa, 18. Kieran Read, 19. Mose Tuiali’i, 20. Andrew Ellis, 21. Stephen Donald, 22. Sam Tuitupou

Note to media

One of the coaches will be available for phone interviews between 12.30pm – 1.00pm today (NZ time) on mobile 021 471 862. Please do not leave messages on the mobile phone, but keep trying until you get through.