New Zealand u/20 coach Craig Philpott announced a squad of 29 players to defend their Oceania title that is hosted by Australia. New Zeeland has dominated this competition winning it the past four years in a row. Although the Oceania tournament is very important in preparing for the World Championship, winning is non-negotiable coach Philpott said
“We always have such a huge pool of talent so it is never easy naming a squad. We are confident that we have selected a group of players that will gel in such a way that gives us the ability to play the style of rugby we are after,” said Philpott. “It’s definitely a bonus when you have guys with World Championship experience because that’s five Test matches in 19 days, so they understand the importance of a professional approach to preparation and recovery. A number of players out of Mitre 10 Cup have played through a ‘storm week’ so they have some appreciation of that too.”
Players not considered due to Super Rugby commitments: Caleb Clarke (Auckland/Blues), Billy Proctor (Wellington/Hurricanes).
Players not considered due to injury: Scott Gregory (Northland), Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty), Finlay Brewis (Canterbury), Jack Heighton (North Harbour), Callum Harkin (Wellington)
Forwards: Naitoa Ah Kuoi - Wellington, Kaylum Boshier - Taranaki, George Dyer - Waikato, Samipeni Finau - Waikato, Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay, Cullen Grace - Canterbury, Kohan Herbert - Bay of Plenty, Kianu Kereru Symes - Hawke's Bay, Shilo Klein - Canterbury, Jeriah Mua - Bay of Plenty, Fletcher Newell - Canterbury, Ollie Norris - Waikato, Simon Parker - Waikato, Taine Plumtree - Wellington, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington, Tupou Vaa’i - Taranaki, Tamaiti Williams - Canterbury.
Backs: Fergus Burke - Canterbury, Leroy Carter - Bay of Plenty, Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman, Cole Forbes - Bay of Plenty, Taufa Funaki - Auckland, Sam Gilbert - Canterbury, Lalomilo Lalomilo - Bay of Plenty, Dallas McLeod - Canterbury, Rivez Reihana - Waikato, Etene Nanai Seturo - Counties Manukau, Danny Toala - Hawke's Bay, Quinn Tupaea - Waikato.