All Black U20 head coach Scott Robertson has announced his 28-man squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship that will take place in Manchester later this year in June.
Robertson, a former Crusaders loose forward, said the coaching team was confident their squad offered skillsets and versatility that provided both experience and fresh fire power.
Loose forward Mitchell Jacobson returns for a remarkable third year with the Under 20 campaign, and this year he is joined by his younger brother and fellow loose forward, Luke.
"We’ve got six players from Super Rugby teams, two guys returning from last year’s team, and we have nine players young enough to be eligible to play again next year," Robertson said in an official New Zealand Rugby release.
"It’s a good balance – a little bit of experience, youth and exuberance from the young fellas, and the professionalism from the Super players."
Proving that rugby genes run strong in the family, Jordie Barrett, younger brother of All Black Beauden Barrett, and Fin Hoeata, brother of former All Black and Maori All Black Jarrad Hoeata, are also set to travel to England.
Robertson expects competition to be fierce with England likely to again be strong with their Premiership players available, and Australia also providing stiff competition with the availability of Super Rugby players.
"We’re in a tough pool. We’ve got Wales who won the Six Nations and Ireland who performed really well.
"We’ve also got Georgia – they’re new to the competition, after they won the tier two competition to come up and we know they love to scrum and maul and they are big men as well.
"We’re excited by the challenge of going back on the world stage, and we’ve got an attitude that we’ve got to go and win the title, not just defend it.
"We’re really pleased with the squad we have named today, and we have faith that they can step up to the challenge."
The New Zealand U20 squad assembles in Mt. Maunganui on May 27 ahead of a game against the Chiefs Development side three days later.
The World Rugby Under 20 Championship kicks off on June 7 with the final to be played on June 25.
New Zealand U20 squad: Leni Apisai, Asafo Aumua, Jordie Barrett, Hamish Dalzell, Alex Fidow, Fin Hoeata, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Jacobson, Ayden Johnstone, Sosefo Kautai, Orbyn Leger, Jonah Lowe, Caleb Makene, Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a, Sam Nock, Dalton Papali’i, Sean Paranihi, Stephen Perofeta, Shaun Stevenson, Shaun Stodart, Quinten Strange, Jonathan Taumateine, Patelesio Tomkinson, Jordan Trainor, Marino Mikaele Tu'u, Malo Tuitama, TJ Va’a, Isaia Walker-Leawere