The New Zealand team to play Fiji in the first Test of the Under 20 Oceania Tournament on the Gold Coast tomorrow, April 28 at 7 pm NZT, has been named.
The team is:
|6||Dalton Papalii (VC)||Auckland|
|8||Luke Jacobson (C)||Waikato|
|9||Kemara Hauiti Parapara||Wellington|
|10||Tiaan Falcon||Hawke’s Bay|
|12||Orbyn Leger||Counties Manukau|
|17||Tim Farrell||Hawke’s Bay|
|18||Pouri Rakete-Stones||Hawke’s Bay|
Note: Robb Cobb has traveled with the Under 20 squad to the Gold Coast as a replacement for Alex Fidow who injured himself just prior to the team’s assembly.
New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott said the team was coming together well for the tournament, which this year includes Fiji, Samoa and hosts Australia.
“We’ve had some challenges coming over, with a couple of late changes and replacements, but the group is gelling really well and enjoying each other’s company.
“The Oceania tournament provides the first taste of international Test match rugby for several of the players and offers a good step up for them. We’ve had All Blacks Assistant Coach Ian Foster in camp with us for the last three days which has inspired the team and he offered plenty of good advice in training for the boys.
“When selecting the starting teams for this tournament we want to give everyone an equal shot at a game time, to test some different combinations and cement our game plan for the World Championship in June. All the guys will either get a start or come off the bench over the three games.
“This Fijian side is an unknown quantity to us. However, it’s probable they will want to keep the ball alive and not kick too much, play with flair and want to attack. We think we have the combinations to counter the strengths of the opposition.
“For this tournament, we have set ourselves a couple of simple goals around attack and defense. We want to embed the patterns that we have been working on in our earlier camps in New Zealand and in training this week on the Gold Coast. I’m looking to see players to stick with those patterns, regardless of the pressure they come under, so we stay in shape and stay in structure.”
Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Tournament:
Friday 28 April v Fiji, 7.00pm NZT
Tuesday 2 May v Samoa, 5.00pm NZT
Saturday 6 May v Australia, 9.00pm NZT