NZU20 team named for Junior World Championship opener

Getty Images     05 Jun 2012     Getty Images

New Zealand launches their campaign for a fifth successive Championship title against Samoa early tomorrow (New Zealand Time) in a match that closes out the opening day of the tournament.

"We are all pretty excited to be here and the boys are ready to hit the field," Penney said.

"This is an unheralded team with no Super Rugby players, and barely any ITM Cup experience in the side. However, we believe we have some great talent that will soon be discovered.

"The boys are conscious that previous Under 20 teams have been undefeated but I'm confident that as long as they remain committed, we hopefully will see some good results," he said.

Samoa is expected to play with the flair and passion typical of the small nation, and they will be keen to record a win first-up, hot on the heels of colourful celebrations to mark Samoa's 50th year of Independence.

Captained tomorrow by co-captain Bryn Hall, the New Zealand Under 20 team selected to play Samoa is:

1. Tuki Raimona - Southland
2. Rhys Marshall - Hawke's Bay
3. Fraser Armstrong - Waikato
4. Nick Ross - Canterbury
5. Joe Latta - Wellington
6. Jimmy Tupou - Counties Manukau
7. Jake Heenan - Auckland
8. Jordan Taufua - Canterbury
9. Bryn Hall, captain - North Harbour
10. Ihaia West - Hawke's Bay
11. Milford Keresoma - Auckland
12. Pita Ahki - North Harbour
13. Jason Emery - Manawatu
14. Ambrose Curtis - Wellington
15. Martin McKenzie - Southland

16. Nathan Harris - Bay of Plenty
17. Eric Sione - Wellington
18. Ofa Tuungafasi - Auckland
19. Glenn Preston - North Harbour
20. Hugh Blake - Otago
21. Jonathon Kitto - Canterbury
22. Scott Eade - Southland
23. Marnus Hanley - Waikato

New Zealand plays Samoa at Danie Craven Stadium, in Stellenbosch, in South Africa's Western Cape. Kick-off is at 2.45am (NZ Time). All of New Zealand's matches will be broadcast live on Maori Television with coverage of tomorrow's game starting from 2.30am.

New Zealand Under 20 fixtures at Junior World Championship (All times shown are New Zealand times):

Date (NZT) Time Fixture Venue
5 June 2012 2.45am v Samoa Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
9 June 2012 2.45am v Wales Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
13 June 2012 4.45am v Fiji University of Western Cape Stadium

The JWC semifinals will be played on 18 June and the Final on 23 June (NZT).