Luke Jacobson to Captain NZ U20’s
The final squad for the Oceania Under 20 tournament on the Gold Coast starting on 28 May has been confirmed with former New Zealand Secondary Schools representatives Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Ciarahn Matoe joining the squad.
All Blacks apprentice Jordie Barrett will be unavailable due to Investec Super Rugby commitments and Blues first-five-eight Stephen Perofeta has been ruled out due to his ongoing recovery from an ankle injury.
The final squad is:
Harrison Allan – Canterbury
Asafo Aumua – Wellington
Sam Caird – Waikato
Adrian Choat – Auckland
Tom Christie – Canterbury
Ryan Coxon – Waikato
Tim Farrell – Hawkes Bay
Alex Fidow – Wellington
Luke Jacobson (C) – Waikato
Ezekiel Lindenmuth – Auckland
Marino Mikaele-Tuu – Hawkes Bay
Dalton Papalii – Auckland
Jacob Pierce – Auckland
John (JP) Sauni – Auckland
Samuel Slade – Auckland
Pouri Rakete-Stones – Hawkes Bay
Isaia Walker-Leawere – Wellington
Caleb Clarke – Auckland
Ereatara Enari (VC) – Canterbury
Braydon Ennor – Canterbury
Tima Faingaanuku – Tasman
Tiaan Falcon – Hawkes Bay
Will Jordan – Tasman
Kemara Hauiti-Parapara – Wellington
Orbyn Leger – Counties Manukau
Ciarahn Matoe – Taranaki
Josh McKay – Canterbury
Jona Nareki – Otago
Carlos Price – Wellington
Tamati Tua – Northland
Thomas Umaga-Jensen – Wellington
Not considered due to Investec Super Rugby commitments:
Jordie Barrett Taranaki
Players not considered due to injury:
Stephen Perofeta Taranaki
Peter Umaga Jensen Wellington
New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott said he was pleased with the depth of the squad.
“We have been following Thomas’s return to rugby following his hip surgery in October last year with a view to inclusion in the squad. He’s had three weeks of club rugby and is tracking well. We know what he is capable of after his time in the Secondary Schools team and he is a welcome addition now that he is injury-free.
“With Stephen and Jordie not available we needed extra cover at first-five-eight. Ciarahn’s time with the Chiefs U20 squad has gone well and he proved himself with the New Zealand Secondary Schools team last year. This is a good opportunity for him and one I am sure he will make the most of.
“We had hoped that Stephen would be available for selection. However, it’s become clear he won’t be ready in time for the tournament due to his ankle injury.
“As has been the case in previous years’ players have been deemed unavailable for the Oceania tournament due to their Super Rugby commitments. No final decision on their availability for the World Championship in Georgia in May and June has been made.
The squad will travel to the Gold Coast for matches against Fiji on 28 April, Samoa on 2 May and Australia on 6 May. All matches will be played at Bond University, Gold Coast Rugby Fields.