The New Zealand U20 squad set to travel to France in June for the Junior World Championship has been named, with star flanker Ardie Savea and outside centre Jason Emery included.
Head coach Chris Boyd and his assistants Chris Gibbes and Liam Barry selected their squad of 28 following a selection camp in Palmerston North.
The squad includes Emery and Ardie Savea, Chiefs wider training group full-back Joe Webber and Blues wider training group players, loose forward Joe Edwards and back Lolagi Visinia.
The squad has a total 12 players who played ITM Cup last year. Boyd said the competition for spots in the squad had been fierce with many of 48 contenders demonstrating they had worked hard on their fitness and technique over the off-season.
"I think the squad we have selected has been a good balance of hard workers and natural talent. This is the culmination of a seven-month programme to identify our potential squad, and to develop those players," Boyd said.
The New Zealand U20 squad is assembled in Palmerston North on Wednesday for continued training until Sunday, April 28. They will reassemble prior to departure to France, in Auckland on Monday, May 27.
New Zealand U20 squad:
Backs: Joe Webber (Waikato), Lolagi Visinia (Auckland), Leroy Van Dam (Auckland), Penikolo Latu (Hawke's Bay), Michael Collins (Otago), Jason Emery (Manawatu), Fa'asiu Fuatai (Otago), Teihorangi Walden (Otago), Simon Hickey (Auckland), Jade Te Rure (Manawatu), Tayler Adams (Southland), Sheridan Rangihuna (Hawke's Bay).
Forwards: Adam Burn (Waikato), Joe Edwards (Auckland), Jordan Manihera (North Harbour), Hadleigh May (Otago) Ardie Savea (Wellington), Scott Barrett (Canterbury), Jackson Hemopo (Otago), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland), Christopher Vui (Auckland), Donald Brighouse (Wellington), Epalahame Faiva (Waikato), Nick Grogan (Manawatu), Alexander Hodgman (Canterbury), Sione Mafileo (North Harbour), Kalafi Pongi (Counties Manukau), Boyd Wiggins (North Harbour).