Fifty players have been selected to attend the first development camp as coaches work to identify and develop the players who will defend their World Rugby Under 20 Championship title in England next year.
Players selected to attend the development camp in Palmerston North later this month are:
|Mason Kean||Hawke’s Bay|
|Max Fryatt||Hawke’s Bay|
|Isaia Walker-Leawere||Poverty Bay|
|Hapakuki Moala- Liava’a||North Harbour|
|Marino Mikaele Tu’u||Hawke’s Bay|
|Martin Brink||North Harbour|
|Jonathon Taumateine||Counties Manukau|
|Orbyn Leger||Counties Manukau|
|Gene Te Amo||Counties Manukau|
|Jonah Lowe||Hawke’s Bay|
|Mason Emerson||Hawke’s Bay|
Not considered due to Investec Super Rugby Commitments were:
Leni Apisai, Wellington
Hugh Renton, Hawke’s Bay
Sam Nock, Northland
Sio Tomkinson, Otago
Jordan Trainor, Waikato
Shaun Stevenson, Waikato
Players not considered due to injury were:
Brendan Bond, North Harbour
Hayden Spencer, Waikato
Ere Enari, Canterbury
TJ Va’a, Wellington
Harrison Levien, Waikato
Unavailable due to school exams were:
Alex Fidow, Wellington
Thomas Umaga Jensen, Wellington
Peter Umaga Jensen, Wellington
The group will be in camp from 27 November to 2 December with further camps planned in March and April.
Head Coach Scott Robertson said he was excited and looking forward to the first major camp for the Under 20 hopefuls.
“It’s always fantastic to see new bunch of guys come through, and it’s always great to see who’s willing to work hard and take this incredible opportunity.
“These boys will know they have a very real chance of turning rugby into a profession for themselves if they have the determination and willpower to keep working hard for it.
“One of the things I love about this team, is how much talent gets unearthed – the fact that 15 of this year’s championship team have been named in Super Rugby squads or wider training groups, demonstrates the level of talent New Zealand keeps producing.
“We saw some really exciting talent at the national Under 19s tournament in Taupo this year, which is hugely encouraging as we consider all our options.
“This month’s camp will be about giving the boys a taste of this unique national team environment, we’ll lay out our expectations, and we’ll have a good look what sort of nick they are in.
“This summer, they’ll need to exercise some discipline around nutrition and training if they want to stay in the mix. The fact that next year’s tournament is being played in England should be a huge motivator for these guys.”
Robertson will have two new Assistant Coaches with him for the 2016 campaign. Taranaki’s Willie Rickards has been appointed as an assistant alongside Hawke’s Bay Craig Philpott. They replace Tana Umaga who now heads the Blues Super Rugby team and Leon MacDonald who was appointed Head Coach of Tasman.
“Both Willie and Craig come from excellent provincial rugby environments, and I am excited about what both will bring to our campaign,” Robertson said.
The New Zealand Under 20 will play in an Oceania tournament in Australia next year before preparing for the World Championship in Manchester.