New Zealand Under 20 team named to play Samoa
Test match to close day one of #JWC2014
The New Zealand Under 20 side has been named to take on Samoa as they open their 2014 IRB Junior World Championship campaign in Auckland tomorrow.
The team is:
1. Atunaisa Moli 2. Hame Faiva 3. Tau Koloamatangi 4. James Tucker 5. Geoffrey Cridge 6. Kyle Harris 7. Lachlan Boshier 8. Mathew Peni 9. Mitchell Drummond 10. Richard Mo’unga 11. Tinoai Faiane 12. Jackson Garden-Bachop 13. Anton Lienert-Brown (captain ) ,14. Vince Tavae-Aso 15. Damian McKenzie
16. James O’Reilly 17. Scott Mellow 18. Timothy Cadwallader 19. Mitchell Jacobson 20. Joshua Dickson 21. Joshua Renton 22. Simon Hickey 23. Tevita Li
Head Coach Chris Boyd said the squad had enjoyed good preparation time with over a week at Mt Maunganui before they shifted to their #JWC2014 base in Auckland on Thursday.
“We’ve had a nice time preparing together at the Mount, and we have got through a huge amount of work.
“There is expectation around history, recent events around the Junior World Championship, and the expectation about the tournament being at home.
“It isn’t a burden, it is an opportunity,” Boyd said.
Squad captain Simon Hickey has now joined the squad after completing his duties with the Blues Investec Super Rugby side.
The Coaches have opted to play him from the bench to ease into his duties for the tournament, being played for the first time in New Zealand.
“Simon only joined us this morning. It would be an incredible big ask for him to start with just one training session and run the cutter in the backline.
“Richie (Mo’unga) has done a great job for us in Simon’s absence – he’ll come off the bench at some point.”
Chief Anton Lienert-Brown will captain the side at North Harbour’s QBE Stadium tomorrow.
Boyd acknowledge that playing Samoa would have a familiar feel for their players.
“The thing about Samoa is that there is a fair amount of familiarity against them, most of our squad have played against their players before.
“We are used to the Samoan style of play, we have a good idea of how they will operate, they will be very passionate and very physical.
Public support would be an important part of lifting the New Zealanders, Boyd said.
“If we can get the support of the public, it will help the team a lot. We want to tap into our home base, it makes a huge amount of difference.”
New Zealand v Samoa