NZ Under 20 side named World Cup opener against Japan     30 May 2018    

New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott has named his side to open their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign in France tomorrow morning.

1. Xavier Numia - Wellington
2. Flynn Thomas - Southland
3. Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
4. John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
5. Will Tucker - Canterbury
6. Tom Florence - Taranaki
7. Tom Christie - captain - Canterbury
8. Hoskins Sotutu - Auckland
9. Xavier Roe - Waikato
10. Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
11. Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
12. Billy Proctor - Wellington
13. Bailyn Sullivan - Waikato
14. Jamie Spowart -Tasman
15. Vilimoni Koroi - Otago
16. Ricky Jackson -Otago
17. Sione Asi - Manawatu
18. Rob Cobb - Auckland
19. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland
20. Will Tremain - Hawke's Bay
21. Jay Renton - Southland
22. Harry Plummer - Auckland
23. Scott Gregory - Northland

Philpott said the team has adjusted well in France and players were looking forward to their first match.

“We were travelling for the best part of 40 hours so arrived here reasonably jaded. We’ve had three or four days to get our feet on the ground and some really good training runs and we’re in pretty good shape to come out and perform against Japan,” he said.

In selecting the team for the first match against Japan, Philpott said workload management was at front of mind.

“We’ve got five Test matches in 19 days and a squad of 28; you need to make sure you manage combinations so that you get the very best out of all 28 players. Over these first two games we want to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to contribute and so we are managing the workload accordingly.”

The New Zealand Under 20 team will be looking to continue the form that saw them go through the Oceania Championship undefeated.

“We haven’t had a chance to see any footage of Japan play so the focus has been on us; we’ve been working on our structures in attack and defence and getting them back in place, making sure everyone is really clear how we want to play the game.”

World Rugby U20 Championship fixtures

New Zealand v Japan
Thursday 31 May
7am (NZT)

New Zealand v Wales
Monday 4 June
2.30am (NZT)

New Zealand v Australia
Friday 8 June
7am (NZT)

Broadcast details
All matches will be broadcast on TVNZ Duke and streamed live on