The New Zealand Under 20 Rugby team has been named ahead of the World Championship in Georgia from May 25 to June 18.
New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott said it was a difficult task to whittle the squad down to the 28 players that will go to Georgia.
“All 32 players we took on the successful Oceania Tournament campaign last week put their hands up for World Championship selection, and all merited the opportunity to wear the black jersey in Georgia. We had to make some tough calls and no doubt there will be some disappointed players.
The squad has a good base of experience with seven players returning from last year’s Under 20 World Championship in Manchester. However, we also want to learn the lessons from the last World Championship and in particular ensure that we are competitive in the forwards against the big northern hemisphere teams.
There is a lot to be happy with from our win in the Oceania Tournament. We focused on a handful of important aspects of our game, especially defence, and were proud of the fact we conceded only two tries in the tournament. With more time together we will hone in on our scrummaging which will no doubt be a decisive area of the games in Georgia."
Philpott says, “At the World Championship we are focusing one game at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves. The nature of the draw means we need to ensure we come out top of our pool to guarantee a place in the play offs, and with games against Scotland, Italy and Ireland that is no small task.
We can’t afford to lose concentration and our goal is to play world class rugby in every game.”
The New Zealand Under 20 team will meet in Mount Maunganui later this week and will travel to Georgia on 24 May. Their pool matches are against Scotland on the 31 May, Italy on 4 June and Ireland on 8 June.
The team is as followed: