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Triallists named for New Zealand Under 20 development camp

Triallists named for New Zealand Under 20 development camp

Fifty-two of the country’s top emerging talent in rugby will descend on Palmerston North next month as New Zealand Rugby launches the next phase of its development programme to find a World Champion New Zealand Under 20 team to compete at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy in July.

The players are;

Forwards
Hamdahn Tuipulotu Auckland
Soane Vikena Auckland
Terrell Peita Auckland
Benet Kumeroa Bay of Plenty
Finlay Brewis Canterbury
Tamaiti Williams Canterbury
Fletcher Newell Canterbury
Thomas Edwards Canterbury
Lockie McNair Canterbury
Sam Darry Canterbury
Mahonri Ngakuru Canterbury
Zach Gallagher Canterbury
Ioane Moananu Counties Manukau
Jimmy Roots North Harbour
Robert Rush Northland
Saula Mau* Otago
Jake Russ Otago
Tupou Vaa’i Taranaki
Josh Lord Taranaki
Anton Segner* Tasman
Tom Martin Waikato
Simon Parker Waikato
Tyrone Thompson Wellington
Caleb Delany Wellington
Taine Plumtree Wellington
Iona Apineru Wellington
Josh Southall Wellington
Sam Smith Wellington
Shamus Hurley-Langton Wellington
Backs
Taufa Funaki Auckland
Zarn Sullivan Auckland
Corey Evans Auckland
Lemeki Namoa Auckland
Meihana Grindlay Auckland
Heremaia Murray Auckland
Cassius Misa Bay of Plenty
Peni Lasaqa Bay of Plenty
Luke Donaldson Canterbury
Chay Fihaki Canterbury
Isaiah Punivai Canterbury
Cam Roigard Counties Manukau
Stu Cruden Manawatu
Josiah Maruku Manawatu
Drew Wild Manawatu
James Arscott Otago
Harrison Boyle Otago
Lukas Halls Taranaki
Rivez Reihana Waikato
Gideon Wrampling Waikato
Aiden Morgan Wellington
Roderick Solo Wellington
Ruben Love Wellington

*not eligible for New Zealand Under 20 selection

A new programme format has seen more than 100 players go through testing in November, giving selectors a tough job in narrowing the field of contenders to 52 for the first camp.

New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott said the new process got the 2020 campaign off to an exciting start.

“It’s widened our base and created a really competitive environment. With that has come  a good selection dilemma because outside the 52 we have named today, there are another 20 players on a shortlist that could easily have been selected,” said Philpott.

The development camp begins with expert coaches focussing on set-piece work with forwards, and a focus on game drivers for halfbacks, first five-eighth and fullbacks. An additional eight players will join triallists for these sessions.

The camp concludes with skillset testing, game plan development and scenarios.

Amongst the triallists are Otago’s Saula Mau and Tasman’s Anton Segner, who while aren’t eligible for selection into the World Championship team, will take full part in the programme in the build-up.

“We see Saula and Anton as a big part of New Zealand Rugby moving forward so it’s important they have access to these development opportunities,” said Philpott.

A second trial camp will be held in April before a squad is named for the Oceania Under 20 Championship.

Players attending the set piece or game drivers camps: George Bell (Canterbury), Latrell Smiler Ah Kiong (Hawke’s Bay), Ben Strang (Manawatu), Tevita Langi (North Harbour), Matt Graham Williams (Tasman), Luka Inch (Tasman), Monu Moli (Tasman) and Havila Molia (Waikato)

Not Considered due to All Blacks Sevens commitments: Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens (Taranaki)

Not Considered due to injury: Blair Murray (Canterbury), Tyler Laubscher (Manawatu), Valynce Te Whare (Waikato) and Kienan Higgins (Wellington)

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