New Zealand Under 20 team named to face Australia

Jun 7 • General News, Junior Rugby, World Rugby Junior Championship • 1116 Views • No Comments on New Zealand Under 20 team named to face Australia

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New Zealand Under 20 Coach Craig Philpott has named the team to face Australia in their last pool match at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The match will be played at Stade Aime-Giral, Perpignan, kick off 9pm tomorrow (7am Friday NZT)

The team is;

1. Rob Cobb Auckland
2. Flynn Thomas Southland
3. Tevita Mafileo Bay of Plenty
4. Laghlan McWhannell Waikato
5. John Akauola-Laula Auckland
6. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa Auckland
7. Tom Christie (captain) Canterbury
8. Devan Flanders Hawke’s Bay
9. Jay Renton Southland
10. Harry Plummer Auckland
11. Caleb Clarke Auckland
12. Scott Gregory Northland
13. Billy Proctor Wellington
14. Bailyn Sullivan Waikato
15. Vilimoni Koroi Otago
16. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa Wellington
17. Xavier Numia Wellington
18. Sione Asi Manawatu
19. Will Tucker Canterbury
20. Hoskins Sotutu Auckland
21. Xavier Roe Waikato
22. Kaleb Trask Bay of Plenty
23. Jamie Spowart Tasman

NOTE: Tom Florence (shoulder) and Leicester Faingaanuku (hamstring) have been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with injury and have returned to New Zealand. Tanielu Tele’a faced a judicial hearing after receiving a yellow card in the match against Wales which resulted in a three-week suspension, therefore Tele’a will take no further part in the tournament. Canterbury’s Ngane Punivai will join the team in France.

With changes to the squad over the past few days, Philpott said it made the team selection to face Australia an easier task.

“We looked to get some consistency with combinations because we want to be getting close to settling on a side that is going to take us through the last few games at this tournament,” said Philpott.

Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa replaces Florence in the loose forwards, while Jay Renton gets his first start at halfback. Scott Gregory is also promoted for his first start, pairing with Billy Proctor in the midfield.

Impressive cameos off the bench against Wales has seen prop Tevita Mafileo and lock John Akau’ola-Laula rewarded with starting jerseys.

Caleb Clarke has overcome illness that ruled him out of the Wales match to start on the wing.

Philpott said coming up against Australia in their final pool match is an exciting prospect.

“It’s all or nothing for Australia; they need to win to progress.

“It’s really important for us to absorb early pressure, play the game at the right end of the field and push that pressure back on them. If we force them to play their hand it will create some opportunities for us.”

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