Barrett in NZ U20 squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Hurricanes star Jordie Barrett has been included in the New Zealand Under-20 squad to travel to the Gold Coast in April for the Oceania U20 tournament.
New Zealand U20 Head Coach Craig Philpott said that he was pleased with the talent available for the tournament which will see them play Test matches against Australia, Fiji and Samoa in an expanded Oceania Tournament starting on April 28.
"This is a very experienced squad we are taking to the Oceania U20s," said Philpott. "13 players have been in the U20 environment before and nine played in last year's World Championship in Manchester. That previous experience of an international competition will come in valuable on the Gold Coast.
"Up to this point we have had 50 odd players at our previous training camps and we had to make some tough calls to whittle the squad down to 30. The camps highlighted we have good depth in most positions, and selections were particularly competitive in the loose forwards and outside backs, where a number of players will feel rightfully disappointed that they didn't make the squad.
"Oceania provides us with a great opportunity to prepare for the U20 World Championship in Georgia in June, especially because both tournaments follow the same format. We will play three test matches in the space of 12 days, which is something many of the players won't be used to. It is also an opportunity to get together as a team and get to know each other better, play and train together in a tournament environment and develop our team culture.
"We have selected Luke Jacobson as captain and Jordie Barrett as vice-captain. Luke is a leader who leads by his deeds. He is a very good player who will be on the field for most of the Tests and can play at either number eights or number six. He also brings experience from last year's World Championship campaign and has featured in the in Chiefs' programme this year including the Brisbane 10s where he had an excellent tournament."
The New Zealand Under 20 squad to compete in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Georgia in June will be named in May after the Oceania squad returns to New Zealand.
The squad will travel to the Gold Coast for matches against Fiji on April 28, Samoa on May 2 and Australia on May 6. All matches will be played at Bond University, Gold Coast Rugby Fields.
New Zealand Under-20 squad:
Forwards: Harrison Allan, Asafo Aumua, Sam Caird, Adrian Choat, Tom Christie, Ryan Coxon, Tim Farrell, Alex Fidow, Luke Jacobson (captain), Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Marino Mikaele-Tuu, Dalton Papalii, Jacob Pierce, John Sauni, Samuel Slade, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Isaia Walker-Leawere.
Backs: Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Ereatara Enari, Braydon Ennor, Tima Faingaanuku, Tiaan Falcon, Will Jordan, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Orbyn Leger, Josh McKay, Jona Nareki, Carlos Price, Tamati Tua.
Two further players will be named prior to the tournament.