2 Jun 2015

NZ under-20s without key players

3:10 pm on 2 June 2015

The New Zealand under 20 rugby side opens their World Championship campaign against Scotland in the morning without a couple of key players.

The New Zealanders are third seeds for the tournament in Italy and will be keen to improve on their fourth place finish last year.

World under-20 Rugby Championship captains 2015.

World under-20 Rugby Championship captains 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Captain Anton Lienert-Brown has stayed with the injury-ravaged Chiefs, while first five Otere Black has been released by the Hurricanes in time for their second game, now that All Black pivot Beauden Barrett has been declared fit to return to action.

Waikato prop Atunaisa Moli will captain the side.

New Zealand last won the tournament in 2011.

Coach Scott Robertson believes that his team's experience is one of their strengths.

Robertson says his side contains several players who were in the team last year, while a number have ITM Cup and Super Rugby experience.

England beat South Africa in last year's final in New Zealand.

New Zealand plays Argentina and Ireland in their other pool matches.

New Zealand:

1 Ricky Riccitelli - Hawke's Bay

2 Liam Polwart - Auckland

3 Atunaisa Moli (c) - Waikato

4 Joshua Goodhue - Canterbury

5 James Blackwell - Wellington

6 Akira Ioane - Auckland

7 Mitchell Karpik - Auckland

8 Blake Gibson - Auckland

9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - Taranaki

10 Mitchell Hunt - Auckland

11 Tevita Li - North Harbour

12 Tinoai (TJ) Faiane - Auckland

13 Jack Goodhue (vc) - Canterbury

14 Nathaniel Apa - Canterbury

15 George Bridge - Canterbury


16 Steven Misa - Waikato

17 Aidan Ross - Bay of Plenty

18 Isileli Tu'ungafasi - Auckland

19 Geoffrey Cridge - Hawke's Bay

20 Henry Stowers - Wellington

21 Harrison Levien - Waikato

22 Luteru Laulala - Canterbury

23 Sean Wainui - Taranaki