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;
|Benet Kumeroa||Bay of Plenty|
|Ioane Moananu||Counties Manukau|
|Jimmy Roots||North Harbour|
|Cassius Misa||Bay of Plenty|
|Peni Lasaqa||Bay of Plenty|
|Cam Roigard||Counties Manukau|
*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)