Blues in NZ U20 team

Blues in NZ U20 team

Two Blues players have been selected for the New Zealand Under-20 team to compete in the Oceania Championship in May.

Loose forward Blake Gibson and winger Tevita Li have been named in the team for the new Oceania quadrangular event against Australia, Japan and Samoa to be held on the Gold Coast on 1-9 May.
The team also includes Blues U20 and Development squad players Isileli Tu’ungafasi, Liam Polwart, Mitchell Karpic, Mitchell Hunt and TJ Faiane while Blues loose forward Akira Ioane was not considered because of Super Rugby commitments.
New Zealand Under-20 Head Coach Scott Robertson said the talent for this squad was very strong.

“Some very good young players have missed out on this selection but it does show how strong the competition for places has been.

“In the end, with so many good players available to us, we have selected on form, and rewarded those who have worked hard over the past several months.

“We’ve got a good number of players who are ITM Cup experienced, including seven who are contracted to Super Rugby teams. We’re very fortunate that some of those players have been released from their Super Rugby duty for this tournament.

“The Oceania tournament provides much-needed preparation for this squad as we build towards the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy in June.”

The squad assembles at the Bruce Pulman Park in Papakura on 24-28 April before they travel to the Gold Coast.

The squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship will be named in early May.

The New Zealand team is: Forwards: Isileli Tu’ungafasi (Auckland & Blues Dev), Liam Polwart (Auckland & Blues U20), Mitchell Karpik (Auckland & Blues U20), Blake Gibson (Auckland & Blues), Tom Hill (Canterbury), Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), Hamish Dalzell (Canterbury), Joshua Goodhue (Canterbury), Geoffrey Cridge (Hawke’s Bay & Hurricanes), Ricky Riccitelli (Otago), Dillon Hunt (Otago), Atunaisa Moli (Waikato), Mitchell Jacobson (Waikato), Tau Koloamatangi (Waikato), James Blackwell (Wellington), Teariki Ben-Nicholas (Wellington), Leni Apisai (Wellington & Hurricanes).

Backs: Mitchell Hunt (Auckland & Blues U20), Tinoi (TJ) Faiane (Auckland Blues Dev), Vincent Tavae-Aso (Auckland & Hurricanes), Jonathan Faauli (Canterbury), Jack Goodhue (Canterbury), George Bridge (Canterbury), Luteru Laulala (Canterbury), Otere Black (Manawatu & Hurricanes), Tevita Li (North Harbour & Blues), Fletcher Smith (Otago), Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (Taranaki), Harrison Levien (Waikato), Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato & Chiefs), Wes Goosen (Wellington).