New Zealand Under 20 squad named

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While covid-19 has prevented the team assembling for international fixtures in recent years, the New Zealand Under 20 team depart for Australia later this month for matches against Fiji, Argentina and Australia in the Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship.

 

The New Zealand Under 20 squad is;

Forwards
Josh Bartlett (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty)
Josh Beehre (Blues/Auckland)
George Bell (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Joe Brial (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Tahlor Cahill (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Seb Calder (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Oliver Haig (Highlanders/Otago)
Jamie Hannah (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Fabian Holland (Highlanders/Otago)
Peter Lakai (Hurricanes/Wellington)
Siale Lauaki (Hurricanes/Wellington)
Hayden Michaels (Highlanders/Southland)
Lavengamonu (Monu) Moli (Crusaders/Tasman)
Viliami Napa'a (Crusaders/Tasman)
Wallace Sititi (Blues/Auckland)
Mason Tupaea (Chiefs/Waikato)
Raymond Tuputupu (Hurricanes/Manawatu)

 

Backs
Lucas Cashmore (Chiefs/Bay of Plenty)
Harry Godfrey (Hurricanes/Hawke’s Bay)
Riley Higgins (Hurricanes/Wellington)
Noah Hotham (Highlanders/Tasman)
Finn Hurley (Highlanders/Otago)
Joel Lam (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Adam Lennox (Chiefs/Taranaki)
Cameron Millar (Highlanders/Otago)
Jone Rova (Crusaders/Canterbury)
Mackay (Macca) Springer (Crusaders/Tasman)
Jake Te Hiwi (Highlanders/Otago)
Essendon Tuitupou (Blues/Auckland)
Nik Vikena (Crusaders/Tasman)

 

Unavailable for selection: Caleb Tangitau (All Blacks Sevens)

 

The New Zealand Under 20s will be headed by former All Black Tom Donnelly, with assistant coaches Cory Jane and Scott Hansen.

 

The Bunnings Warehouse Super Rugby Under 20 tournament staged in Taūpo last month provided selectors an opportunity to see the breadth of talent and Donnelly said it was an incredibly difficult task narrowing the squad to 30 players.

 

“We had a fantastic group of selectors that did an amazing job in pulling together a lot of information which made for a very robust selection process.

 

 

“We’re lucky when it comes to the amount of talent we have to select from, we could have picked 40 or 50 players; so this was a massive challenge,” said Donnelly.

 

The 30-man squad features players from across 11 Provincial Unions, ten of whom played in last year’s Bunnings NPC.

 

DHL Super Rugby Pacific experience is scattered throughout the squad with George Bell (Crusaders), Seb Calder (Crusaders), Fabian Holland (Highlanders), Riley Higgins (Hurricanes) and Raymond Tuputupu (Hurricanes) all debuting earlier this year.

 

Canterbury’s Tahlor Cahill comes into the squad in fine form, having received the Sir John Graham Player of the Tournament award for his performances in the Barbarians team at the Under 20 tournament.

 

Well aware that covid-19 disruptions have curtailed a lot of rugby experiences for these players in recent times, Donnelly is looking forward to the team assembling and gaining international rugby experience.

 

“For many of these players, they will be wearing the black jersey for the first time and that is something incredibly special not only for them, but their families and communities.”

 

The squad will assemble for a week before departing for Australia, they will play a warm up match against Argentina, before taking part in the Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship.

 

“First and foremost, we are going over there to win. We know that comes with the territory in the black jersey.

 

“But beyond that it is really important to be providing these players with a professional environment for them to develop, to learn good behaviours and set them on the right path for their rugby going forward,” said Donnelly.

 

2022 Oceania Rugby Under 20 Championship

New Zealand v Fiji
Friday 1 July, kick off 5pm
Sunshine Coast Stadium

 

New Zealand v Argentina
Tuesday 5 July, kick off 2pm
Sunshine Coast Stadium

 

New Zealand v Australia
Sunday 10 July, kick off 4pm
Sunshine Coast Stadium

 

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