March 17, 2023

University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 squad named

The focus goes on tomorrow’s stars with the Chiefs Rugby Club announcing their squad to compete in the Bunnings Warehouse Super Rugby Under-20 Tournament to be held in Taupō next week.

The University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 squad will take part in the third edition of the tournament from March 19- 25 at Owen Delaney Park.

They will compete against the other four New Zealand Super Rugby clubs, joined by the New Zealand Barbarians, and teams from Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua for the first time.

Chiefs Rugby Club Head of Pathways, Kent Currie is delighted with the squad assembled.

"Our provincial unions play a significant role in our pathway programme and we can see the product of their efforts in the talent we have coming through,” said Currie.

"The formation of this Chiefs Under-20s team will allow the Chiefs Rugby Club an opportunity to continue to form relationships with talented young players from across the region and continue to develop their skills to become future Gallagher Chiefs.”

The tournament, to be shown live on Sky Sport, presents an opportunity for national selectors to assess the country's best merging talent ahead of the World Rugby Under-20 Championships and Trophy competitions in South Africa and Kenya later this year.

University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 Head Coach, James Porter says it has been impressive to see the growth and development of the players from across the region.

“A massive amount of praise must go to our Provincial Unions for the tireless work they have put into developing our young men,” said Porter.

“We are blessed with some very talented coaches who have a wealth of knowledge to share with our athletes, all having experience coaching NPC teams.”

The coaching group led by Porter comprises Rhys Bayliss who coached Waikato to the 2021 NPC title, Jarrad Hoeata is based with Taranaki and Pingi Tala’apitaga with Bay of Plenty.

“The tournament in Taupō is a showcase of the best young talent in the country. The lads have worked extremely hard to prepare and we are excited to see what they can do. Most of the coaching is done, we now get to enjoy their performance.”

The University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 to take on the Highlanders in their opening game at 4.35pm this Sunday is:

1 Gabe Robinson (Waikato)
2 Perry Lawrence (Taranaki)
3 Manahi Goulton (Waikato)
4 Keran Van Straden (Counties Manukau)
5 William Martin (Waikato)
6 Taine Kolosi (Bay of Plenty)
7 Sean Ralph (Waikato)
8 Fiti Sa (Taranaki)
9 Peter Te Kahu (Taranaki)
10 Andrew Smith (Waikato)
11 Tai Cribb (Waikato)
12 Grady Forbes (Bay of Plenty)
13 Jonty Short (Waikato)
14 Senita Lauaki (Waikato)
15 Malachi Wrampling (Waikato)
16 Marley Murphy (Bay of Plenty)
17 Cohen Brady-Leathem (Counties Manukau)
18 Josh Penney (Counties Manukau)
19 Brayden Dew (Bay of Plenty)
20 Aki Tuivailala (Waikato)
21 Te Hamana Te Aute (Bay of Plenty)
22 Tāmiro Armstrong (Bay of Plenty)
23 Codemeru Vai (Bay of Plenty)
24 Esau Filimoehala (Counties Manukau)
25 Waisake Salabiau (Waikato)
26 Cody Nordstrom (Waikato)
27 Jole Naufahu (Waikato)

Head Coach: James Porter
Mickey Tahere: Manager
Paula Corlett: Manager
Jarrad Hoeata: Assistant Coach
Rhys Bayliss: Assistant Coach
Pingi Tala’apitaga: Assistant Coach
Peter Shaw: Trainer
Matt Burgess: Trainer
Jodi Spurgeon: Physio
Nicola Shaw: Physio
Brad Morgan: Performance Analyst

The 2023 Bunnings Warehouse Super Rugby U20 tournament draw is:
MATCH DAY 1 - Sunday, 19 March
11:05am – Fijian Drua v Blues
12.55pm – Hurricanes v Moana Pasifika
14.45pm – Crusaders v NZ Barbarians
16.35pm – Highlanders v Chiefs

MATCH DAY 2 – Wednesday, 22 March
11:05am – Loser M1 v Loser M3
12.55pm – Loser M2 v Loser M4
14.45pm – Winner M1 v Winner M3 – SF 1
16.35pm – Winner M2 v Winner M4 – SF 2

MATCH DAY 3 – Saturday, 25 March
11:05am – Loser M5 v Loser M6 – 7&8 Playoff
12.55pm – Winner M5 v Winner M6 – 5&6 Playoff
14.45pm – Loser M7 v Loser M8 – 3&4 Playoff
16.35pm – Winner M7 v Winner M8 – FINAL

University of Waikato Chiefs Under-20 squad named