Champions New Zealand name JWC 2010 squad

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 28 April 2010
 Champions New Zealand name JWC 2010 squad
Zac Guildford graduated to the All Blacks within five months of winning his second IRB Junior World Championship title

Dave Rennie has unveiled the 26-man squad he hopes can keep the IRB Junior World Championship silverware in New Zealand's hands for a third successive year after their victories in Wales and Japan.

Rennie, who coached the Baby Blacks to the 2008 (in tandem with Russel Hilton-Jones) and 2009 crown, will travel to Argentina with one familiar face from last year's successful title defence in prop Willie Ioane.

The forwards also include Luke Whitelock, a former New Zealand Schools representative who is the younger brother of Crusaders trio Adam, Sam and George, the latter having made his All Black debut against Italy last June.

Wing Julian Savea is highly rated by New Zealand Sevens coach Gordon Tietjens, having made his debut on the IRB World Sevens Series last season, while fellow back Charlie Ngatai played Air New Zealand Cup in 2009 for Wellington.

"We had two trial matches and the selection process has been very thorough. We are happy with the make up of the squad and looking forward to the challenges ahead in Argentina," said Rennie.

The squad need look no further for inspiration than wing Zac Guildford, the top try scorer at the 2009 Championship who made his All Blacks debut against Wales less than five months after picking up his second JWC winners' medal.

Aaron Cruden, the IRB Junior World Player of the Year 2009 who led New Zealand to the title in Japan, is earning praise for his performances in the Super 14 and was asked by Rennie to speak to the 2010 squad earlier this week.

Specialist input

Rennie has also been able to call on some of New Zealand's top coaches to work with the wider squad over the last five months, including specialist scrum coach Mike Cron, former All Black Jeff Wilson, NZ Maori coach Jamie Joseph and Hilton-Jones.

"These specialists have been part of our selection campaign since our first camp in December and they have played a huge part in the development of our top young players," added Rennie.

"We are very fortunate to have individuals of this calibre sharing their knowledge and experience."

The squad will remain in camp at the Sport and Rugby Institute in Palmerston North until Thursday and will then reassemble at the Millennium Institute in Auckland on 25 May until they depart for Argentina five days later.

New Zealand, who have beaten England in the two previous Junior World Championship finals (38-3 in 2008 and 44-28 in 2009), are the top seeds in Argentina and will play Fiji, Samoa and Wales in Pool A.

The Baby Blacks open their title defence against Fiji on 5 June at the Estadio CA Colon in Santa Fe, before facing Samoa - the best placed of the three Pacific island nations in Japan - four days later and then Wales on 13 June.

New Zealand Under 20 squad:

Forwards: Liakimatagi Moli (Auckland), Sean Polwart (Auckland), Angus Taavao-Matau (Auckland), Paul Ngauamo (Canterbury), Luke Whitelock (Canterbury), Ronald Raaymakers (Counties-Manukau), Willie Ioane (Manawatu), Richard Haddon (North Harbour), Liam Coltman (Otago), Tom Franklin (Otago), Blade Thomson (Taranaki), Sam Prattley (Tasman), Rory Grice (Waikato), Jeff Allen (Wellington).

Backs: Tyrone Ngaluafe (Auckland), Tyler Bleyendaal (Canterbury), Telusa Veianu (Canterbury), Star Timu (Hawke's Bay), Hayden Parker (Otago), Tom Marshall (Tasman), Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato), Glen Robertson (Waikato), Kayne Hammington (Wellington), Charlie Ngatai (Wellington), Julian Savea (Wellington), Jason Woodward (Wellington).