he New Zealand Under 20 squad for the 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Championship has been announced this morning.
A total of 28 players will travel to Argentina at the end of this month for the tournament, with their sights set on New Zealand’s seventh age grade title.
The squad is;
|Kaylum Boshier||Taranaki – Vice-Captain|
|Devan Flanders||Hawke’s Bay|
|Kohan Herbert||Bay of Plenty|
|Kianu Kereru Symes||Hawke’s Bay – Captain|
|Jeriah Mua||Bay of Plenty|
|Leroy Carter||Bay of Plenty|
|Cole Forbes||Bay of Plenty|
|Scott Gregory||Northland/All Blacks Sevens|
|Lalomilo Lalomilo||Bay of Plenty|
|Dallas McLeod||Canterbury – Vice-Captain|
|Etene Nanai Seturo||Counties Manukau/Chiefs|
Players not considered due to Super Rugby commitments
Caleb Clarke (Auckland/Blues)
Players not considered due to injury
Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty), Finlay Brewis (Canterbury)
Coach Craig Philpott said he and his coaching team were able to name a strong squad for what is set to be a tough tournament.
“We have a group here that has the potential to be really special. The focus is on us playing our style of game, but we also have to be ready to adapt to opposition as well.
“We are going to be playing teams who are forward oriented, that scrum for penalties; so we need to change the way we think about the game but still maintain that flair that is New Zealand rugby’s point of difference on the world stage.”
The squad features seven players who were involved in last year’s programme, 11 with Mitre 10 Cup experience and 15 who have graduated for the 2018 Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament.
“Seeing that number of players come through the Jock Hobbs tournament just further emphasises how valuable that tournament is for us as an identification tool.”
Leicester Faingaanuku, Etene Nanai Seturo and Billy Proctor have been released from their respective Super Rugby Clubs to join the squad, and Philpott said their inclusion is fantastic.
“Those players will bring a high level of professionalism and game sense from their experience on the Super Rugby stage. They are used to pressure and have an understanding of what it means to perform at the highest level.”
Philpott said the second place finish at the Oceania Championship last week provided a lot of learning.
“The Oceania tournament provides a great opportunity to get together and build our team culture off the field and get familiar with our patterns on field. We have got some great learnings out of that result, in particular how we deal with defensive pressure, because there will be plenty of that at the World Champs.”
The team will assemble in Mount Maunganui later this month before departing to Argentina.
Under 20 media notes
• Seven returning players (Devan Flanders, Ollie Norris, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Scott Gregory, Leicester Faingaanuku, Quinn Tupaea, Billy Proctor)
• Seven players eligible again in 2020 (Tamaiti Williams, Taufa Funaki, Fletcher Newell, Tupou Vaa’I, Taine Plumtree, Simon Parker, Rivez Reihana)
• Mitre 10 Cup (Devan Flanders, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Scott Gregory Leicester Faingaanuku, Quinn Tupaea, Billy Proctor, Kianu Kereru Symes, Tupou Vaa’i, Kaylum Boshier)
•10 of 14 Provincial Unions represented
• The World Rugby Under 20 Championship has run since 2008, with New Zealand winning six of the 10 titles
• New Zealand Players have won the Junior Player of the Year on three occasions, Luke Braid in 2008, Aaron Cruden in 2009 and Julian Savea in 2010
New Zealand Under 20 management
Head Coach – Craig Philpott
Assistant Coaches – Aaron Good, David Hill
Set Piece Coach – Derren Witcombe
Manager – Martyn Vercoe
Doctor – James Bishop
Physiotherapist – Karl Houltham
S&C Coach – Tim Hurst
Performance Analyst – Doug Neilson
New Zealand Under 20 schedule (matches will be broadcast live on Spark Sport, times listed in NZT)
New Zealand v Georgia
Wednesday 5 June, 4am
New Zealand v Scotland
Sunday 9 June, 6.30am
New Zealand v South Africa
Thursday 13 June, 6.30am