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New Zealand Under 20 team set for French challenge

New Zealand Under 20 team set for French challenge

All BlacksJuly 4, 2024

The New Zealand Under 20s face a tough challenge on Friday morning when they play defending Under 20 champions, France, in their second pool match of the World Rugby Under 20 Championship.

The team is:
1. Will Martin
2. Vernon Bason
3. Logan Wallace
4. Tom Allen
5. Liam Jack
6. Andrew Smith
7. Johnny Lee
8. Mosese Bason
9. Dylan Pledger
10. Rico Simpson
11. Stanley Solomon
12. Xavi Taele
13. Aki Tuivailala
14. Xavier Tito-Harris
15. Issac Hutchinson

RESERVES: 16. Manumaua Letiu, 17. Sika Pole, 18. Josh Smith 19. Cam Christie 20. Matt Lowe 21. Ben O’Donovan 22. Sam Coles 23. King Maxwell

Coach Jono Gibbes has made several changes to the side that beat Wales 41-34 on Sunday.

Logan Wallace will start in the front row alongside captain Vernon Bason and Will Martin, while Tom Allen and Liam Jack remain the starting locking pair.

In the loose forwards Mosese Bason comes into number 8, moving Johnny Lee to the side of the scrum, while Andrew Smith gets the start at blindside flanker.

Dylan Pledger and Rico Simpson will combine again in the halves while the midfield pairing of Xavi Taele and Aki Tuilailala also retain their starting positions.

Xavier Tito Harris will start on the wing after an impressive cameo off the bench against Wales while Issac Hutchinson comes into the match day 23 at fullback.

New Zealand and France have met four times at the Under 20 level, currently with two wins apiece. 

The World U20 Championship matches will all be broadcast live on Sky Sport.

The World U20 Championship schedule (times in NZT): 
New Zealand 41 v Wales 34
Sunday 30 June, kick off 5am

New Zealand v France
Friday 5 July, kick off 2.30am

New Zealand v Spain
Wednesday 10 July, 5am

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