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NZ U20s training squad announced

Club Rugby | 31 October 2017 | Club Rugby & NZRU

 NZ U20s training squad announced

A contingent of 52 players has been selected to attend the New Zealand U20 Development Camp in Palmerston North from 3-9 December. The players are

Forwards
John Akau'ola-Laula (Auckland
Sione Asi (Manawatu)
Suetena Asomua (Counties Manukau)
Tom Christie (Canterbury)
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (Tasman)
Rob Cobb (Auckland)
Jacob Devery (Hawke's Bay)
Sosaia Fale (Waikato)
Tim Farrell (Hawke's Bay)
Devan Flanders (Hawke's Bay)
Tom Florence (Taranaki)
Brayden Iose (Manawatu)
Ricky Jackson (Otago)
Joe Johnson (Bay of Plenty)
Josh Kaho (Waikato)
Tevita Mafileo (Bay of Plenty)
Slade McDowall (Otago)
Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato)
Sam Moli (Tasman)
Ajay Mua (Bay of Plenty)
Xavier Numia (Wellington)
Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa (Auckland)
Ben Sa'u (Auckland)
Bradley Slater (Taranaki)
Hoskins Sotutu (Auckland)
Cameron Suafoa (Auckland)
Sione Talitui (Auckland)
Flynn Thomas (Southland)
Will Tucker (Canterbury)
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Wellington)
Tupou Va'ai (Taranaki)
Ricky Van Der Heyden (Bay of Plenty)

Backs
Wiseguy Faiane (Auckland)
Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman)
Scott Gregory (Northland)
Jack Grooby (Tasman)
Ciarahn Matoe (Taranaki)
Rupena Parkinson (Tasman)
Harry Plummer (Auckland)
Rameka Poihipi (Canterbury)
Carlos Price (Wellington)
Billy Proctor (Wellington)
Ngane Punivai (Canterbury)
Jay Renton (Southland)
Xavier Roe (Waikato)
Jamie Spowart (Tasman)
Bailyn Sullivan (Waikato)
Tanielu Tele'a (Auckland)
Danny Toala (Hawke's Bay)
Salyn Tonu'u (North Harbour)
Sheldon Tovio (Waikato)
Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty)

Not considered due to Super Rugby or Sevens commitments: Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Will Jordan (Tasman), Vilimoni Koroi (Otago).

Not considered due to injury: Will Tremain (Hawke's Bay), Raymond Nu'u (Canterbury).

Coach Craig Philpott said it was always an exciting part of the process to get the players in for the first development camp.

“There is a lot done to get to this point. We have selectors across the country looking at several levels of rugby – 1st XV, Jock Hobbs, Mitre 10 Cup - this is a chance to get them in and see where they are at,” said Philpott.

“We are particularly pleased with the depth we have in this group compared to previous years. Especially in the front row – we have five hookers and nine props coming in because they have all put their hands up.”

The squad features 10 players who had been involved in the 2016 wider squad, while four players have been recognised for their performances in the New Zealand Schools’ team earlier this month.

“We’ll assess the boys on strength and conditioning, body composition, skill set and technical knowledge of the game. From there we can put together a clear plan with specific goals and guidelines for each player so they know what is expected from them.”

Most players will be involved with Super Rugby development or age group programmes at the start of 2018 before assembling again in March. A squad will be selected from the development group to play in the Oceania Tournament in April in Australia.

Philpott will once again be joined by Assistant Coach Willie Rickards and scrum coach Dave Hewett, with David Hill (Bay of Plenty) also joining the coaching team in an assistant’s role.

“It’s great to have continuity in coaching with three of the four returning for another campaign. And David is familiar with our programme as he’s worked as a skills coach in the past so has a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve.”

The 2018 Under 20 Championship schedule (dates and venue) has yet to be confirmed.

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