HURRICANES FLANKER Ardie Savea and Highlanders midfielder Jason Emery have both been named in the New Zealand Under 20s side to travel to the IRB Junior World Championship in France in June.
Blues wider training squad members Joe Edwards and Lolagi Visinia and Chiefs wider training squad member Joe Webber have also made the cut.
Coach Chris Boyd selected the team from a group of 48 trialists following camps last week and earlier in the year.
He is confident the side can regain the championship it lost for the first time last year to South Africa.
“I think the squad we have selected has been a good balance of hard workers and natural talent,” he says.
Twelve players in the side represented their province during the ITM Cup last year: Savea (Wellington), Emery (Manawatu), Edwards (Auckland), Visinia (Auckland), Webber (Waikato), Michael Collins (Otago), Simon Hickey (Auckland), Tayler Adams (Southland), Adam Burn (Waikato), Jackson Hemopo (Otago), Penikolo Latu (Hawke’s Bay), and Jordan Manihera (North Harbour).
The squad will next assemble in late May for a final training camp and a hit-out against the Blues Development team before departing for the JWC, which begin on June 5.
New Zealand Under 20s
Backs: Joe Webber, Lolagi Visinia, Leroy Van Dam, Penikolo Latu, Teihorangi Walden, Fa’asiu Fuatai, Jason Emery, Michael Collins, Jade Te Rure, Sheridan Rangihuna, Tayler Adams
Forwards: Ardie Savea, Hadleigh May, Jordan Manihera, Joe Edwards, Adam Burn, Christopher Vui, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jackson Hemopo, Scott Barrett, Boyd Wiggins, Kalafi Pongi, Sione Mafileo, Alexander Hodgman, Nick Grogan, Epalahame Faiva, Donald Brighouse
With the series level, expect both teams to put it all on the line as they seek to win the deciding test in Sydney on Saturday night.