Laidlaw's New Zealand Under 20 coaching group will also include Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns Assistant Coach Wesley Clarke and Canterbury Head Coach Marty Bourke.
Laidlaw said he was excited for the opportunity to return to fifteens and coach the New Zealand Under 20s.
“There is plenty to like in this space, there is a great pool of talent that we’ve had the privilege of watching over the past week in Taupō. There was some great rugby across the week, the resilience and effort of a number of these young men shone through, and to play three quality games over the week is a real credit to the teams and players.”
“Coaching this team will be a great opportunity for myself, Wes and Marty, to pull together and work hard with some of the best young talent in New Zealand. We hope to grow them as individuals both on and off the field, and in turn challenge us to improve as coaches.”
“It will be exciting to see what we can achieve, it will be a great challenge with a short campaign, and the quality opposition we get to play, but one I am looking forward to being a part of once I have finished up with the All Blacks Sevens World Series duties.”
New Zealand Rugby High Performance Player Development Manager Matt Sexton said Laidlaw had done a fantastic job with the Sevens programme and has been instrumental in the development of our young players.
“Clark has been a key contributor to the success of our All Blacks Sevens programme, but also has played a significant role in the development of a number of talented young athletes that have been part of the All Blacks Sevens squad.
“We are looking forward to seeing Clark return to fifteens. He has quality amount of experience in fifteens with his work with the Hurricanes and Taranaki, along with the London Irish. This coupled with his knowledge from the All Blacks Sevens will be invaluable to the Under 20s campaign.”
“Likewise, Wesley and Marty have been instrumental in the success for the teams they have been apart of. Wesley provides a huge amount of international experience including a Rugby World Cup win with the Black Ferns, while Marty has a wealth of experience spanning across age group and provincial rugby. We are confident this trio will establish a great culture around the team and a platform to achieve their goals both on and off the field.”
The New Zealand Under 20 squad will be named in April.
New Zealand Under 20 Schedule:
Vs. Australia Under 20, Monday 29 May, Wellington
Vs. Australia Under 20, Saturday 3 June, Wellington
2023 World Rugby Under 20 Championship
Vs. Wales Under 20, 24 June, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl, South Africa
Vs. France Under 20, 29 June, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl, South Africa
Vs. Japan Under 20, 4 July, Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl, South Africa
Match day 4: Sunday 9 July
Match day 5 (final): Friday 14 July