The New Zealand team to play Samoa in their second match of the Under 20 Oceania Tournament on the Gold Coast tomorrow, Tuesday May 2 at 5pm NZT, has been named.
The team is:
1. Tim FarrellHawke’s Bay
2. Asafo AumuaWellington
3. Ryan Coxon Waikato
4. Isaia Walker-Leawere Wellington
5. Sam CairdWaikato
6. Luke Jacobson (C)Waikato
7. Adrian ChoatAuckland
8. Marino Mikaele-TuuHawke’s Bay
9. Carlos Price Wellington
10. Ciarahn MatoeTaranaki
11. Caleb ClarkeAuckland
12. Thomas Umaga JensenWellington
13. Braydon EnnorCanterbury
14. Jona Nareki Otago
15. Josh McKayCanterbury
16. JP Sauni Auckland
17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth Auckland
18. Pouri Rakete-StonesHawke’s Bay
19. Samuel SladeAuckland
20. Dalton Papalii Auckland
21. Kemara Hauiti-Parapara Wellington
22. Orbyn LegerCounties Manukau
23. Tiaan Falcon Hawke’s Bay
Note: Alex Fidow, who was selected for the side and then sustained an ankle injury so did not travel last week, has now joined the squad on the Gold Coast with the hope that he will be fit for selection against Australia in their final tournament match on Saturday.
New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott was pleased with the team’s first round 63-3 victory over Fiji.
“I was particularly pleased with the defensive effort against Fiji, especially the fact that no tries were conceded. We exerted real pressure at the breakdown, resulting in several turnovers that we were able to capitalise on, with Tom Christie being a standout in that area. It was also a good test of our attacking shape and we were able to create regular scoring opportunities both out wide and in close.
“We’re looking forward to playing Samoa. There are a lot of New Zealand-based players in their team so we anticipate they will be motivated to perform well against us. They have dangerous attackers in their backline and are physical defenders so will certainly test our ability to keep our attacking shape.
“We wanted to give as many players as possible the opportunity to state their case for selection against Australia later in the week, and have made 13 changes to the starting XV with a few different combinations we are trying out.
“We have an exciting back three who have plenty of pace and a big midfield combination, so we will be wanting to give them some space to run. Marino and Asafo get their first starts in the pack and will no doubt be eager to carry the ball given the chance.
“We aren’t taking anything for granted. We have a lot of respect for Samoa and felt they put Australia under real pressure for significant parts of their game last Friday.”
Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Tournament:
Tuesday 2 May v Samoa, 5.00pm NZT
Saturday 6 May v Australia, 9.00pm NZT
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