May 09, 2019

Chiefs region widely represented in NZ Under 20 Squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship

The New Zealand Under 20 squad for the 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Championship has been announced this morning.

A total of 28 players, including 14 players from within the Chiefs Region 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
George Dyer Waikato
Samipeni Finau Waikato
Devan Flanders Hawke's Bay
Cullen Grace Canterbury
Kohan Herbert Bay of Plenty
Kianu Kereru Symes Hawke's Bay - Captain
Shilo Klein Canterbury
Jeriah Mua Bay of Plenty
Fletcher Newell Canterbury
Ollie Norris Waikato
Simon Parker Waikato
Taine Plumtree Wellington
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa Wellington
Tupou Vaa’i Taranaki
Tamaiti Williams Canterbury

Fergus Burke Canterbury
Leroy Carter Bay of Plenty
Leicester Faingaanuku Tasman/Crusaders
Cole Forbes Bay of Plenty
Taufa Funaki Auckland
Scott Gregory Northland/All Blacks Sevens
Lalomilo Lalomilo Bay of Plenty
Dallas McLeod Canterbury – Vice-Captain
Billy Proctor Wellington/Hurricanes
Rivez Reihana Waikato
Etene Nanai Seturo Counties Manukau/Chiefs
Quinn Tupaea Waikato

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.

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

Chiefs region widely represented in NZ Under 20 Squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship