New Zealand U20 team named to play Argentina

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A new halves pairing of Dylan Pledger and Rico Simpson will guide the team around the field at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Tuesday 7 May in two of five changes to the backline that started in the 13-13 opening draw against South Africa.

Second five-eighth Tofuka Paongo comes into the midfield to partner vice captain Xavi Taele who moves out to centre, while King Maxwell takes his place on the right wing and Sam Coles at fullback.

In the forwards there are just two changes with Cam Christie coming in at lock and Matt Lowe at openside. Manumaua Letiu and Sika Pole also join the match day squad, with the two front rowers coming into the reserves.

The side is captained once again by hooker Vernon Bason who led the side to a tense 13-13 draw with South Africa in wet and windy conditions in the first match of the tournament.


The New Zealand Under 20 squad to play Argentina Under 20 is below (changes from the opening match in bold).

1 Will Martin (Chiefs, Waikato)
2 Vernon Bason (Hurricanes, Manawatū) (c)
3 Joshua Smith (Hurricanes, Hawke’s Bay)
4 Cam Christie (Blues, North Harbour) 
5 Liam Jack (Crusaders, Canterbury)
6, Andrew Smith (Chiefs, Waikato)
7 Matt Lowe (Crusaders, Tasman)
8 Malachi Wrampling (Chiefs, Waikato)
9 Dylan Pledger (Highlanders, Otago)
10 Rico Simpson (Blues, Auckland)
11 Frank Vaenuku (Chiefs, Bay of Plenty)
12 Tofuka Paongo (Hurricanes, Wellington) 
13 Xavi Taele (Blues, Auckland) (vc)
14 King Maxwell (Blues, Auckland)
15 Sam Coles (Hurricanes, Manawatū)


16 Manumaua Letiu (Crusaders, Canterbury)
17 Sika Pole (Blues, Auckland)
18 Kurene Luamanuvae (Blues, Auckland)
19 Tom Allen (Hurricanes, Hawke’s Bay)
20 Johnny Lee (Crusaders, Canterbury)
21 Ben O’Donovan (Crusaders, Canterbury)
22 Cooper Grant (Crusaders, Tasman)
23 Josh Whaanga (Highlanders, Otago)

New Zealand’s Rugby Championship Under 20 Schedule:

v South Africa, Thursday 2 May, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Australia – Draw: 13-13
v Argentina, Tuesday 7 May, 7.00pm NZT/5.00pm AEST, Sunshine Coast, Australia
v Australia, Sunday 12 May, 5.30pm NZT/3.30pm AEST, Sunshine Coast, Australia

Watch all games LIVE on Sky Sport NZ.


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