Blues first five-eighths Simon Hickey has been named to captain the New Zealand Under 20 team at this year’s Junior World Championships, to be played in Auckland this June.
He will be joined by Blues team-mate Tevita Li in the 28-strong squad named today.
Coach Chris Boyd announced that Hickey would captain the side, in his second Under 20s campaign.
“We think Simon will provide some great leadership for the team given his experience both on the field and in the team environment,” said Boyd.
As for the other players named in the squad, Boyd said the coaching team had been impressed with the standard of talent on offer, including during Monday’s intense trial match in Palmerston North giving them a strong indication of what players would bring to the team.
“We’re pretty happy with the squad we have selected. We’ve got a very hard working and efficient forward pack supported by a very exciting backline with player of talent.”
On playing for the first time at home, Boyd said the players were well aware that playing the Junior World Championship at home was a rare opportunity.
“The boys are aware that this is a special occasion to be playing a tournament in our own back yard. They are looking forward to the challenge of playing at home, but they are also relishing the opportunity to showcase their style of rugby in front of family and friends.”
The New Zealand Under 20 squad is in camp until Saturday 26 April. They will assemble in May for their pre-tournament camp in Mt Maunganui. They will transfer to Auckland on 29 May ahead of their first game against Samoa on Queen’s Birthday Monday 2 June.
The New Zealand Under 20 team is;
Tinoai (TJ) Faiane
Simon Hickey (captain)