Counties Manukau Academy players named in 2021 Chiefs U20s squad

Five players from Counties Manukau have been named in the Chiefs Under 20 side for the 2021 season.

Star PIC Steelers recruit Jadin Kingi headlines the list. The former Sacred Heart 1st XV captain is back in club rugby representing Ardmore Marist and has been named as one of the locks/loose forwards in the squad by coach Paul Hodder and assistants, including Counties Manukau’s own Chad Shepherd.

Manurewa hooker Ioane Moananu and club teammate Thor Manase – a loose forward – have joined Kingi as the Counties Manukau representatives in the forward pack.

Manurewa second five Larenz Tupaea Thomsen is one of two Counties Manukau backs named in the backs. He is joined by centre/fullback Tevita Ofa, also of Manurewa.

“We began the process in November, and it has been a tough decision selecting the squad after training, testing and trials. During this time, players have stepped up with their conditioning and skill level, along with big travel commitments, we have been impressed with their commitment and all players can be proud of their achievements. “We have a good balance of both Under 20 and Under 19 players which will put us in a good position for the future,” said Hodder.

The selections continue the promising signs coming out of the Counties Manukau academy.

2021 University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20’s:
Adam Lennox (Taranaki)
Ben Strang (Waikato)
Bernie Hati (Bay of Plenty)
Cassius Misa (Bay of Plenty)
Cody Nordstrom (Waikato)
Curtis Palmer (Bay of Plenty)
Daniel Sinkinson (Waikato)
Gideon Wrampling (Waikato)
Hakaria Richards-Coxhead (Waikato)
Havila Molia (Waikato)
Hemopo Cunningham (Taranaki)
Ioane Moananu (Counties Manukau)
Jadin Kingi (Counties Manukau)
JJ Pokai (Taranaki)
Jona Mataiciwa (Bay of Plenty)
Josh Bartlett (Bay of Plenty)
Josh Hopkins (Taranaki)
Josh Jacomb (Taranaki)
Kane O’Connor (Bay of Plenty)
Larenz Tupaea Thomsen (Counties Manukau)
Latrell Smiler - Ah Kiong (Waikato)
Lucas Cashmore (Bay of Plenty)
Mason Tupaea (Waikato)
Melino Fotu (Bay of Plenty)
Nathaniel Peters (Taranaki)
Nikora Broughton (Bay of Plenty)
Niwa Barlow (Taranaki)
Scott Jury (Taranaki)
Te Paea Cook-Savage (Waikato)
Te Rama Reuben (Waikato)
Tevita Ofa (Counties Manukau)
Thor Manase (Counties Manukau)
Tu’kalikali Vaipulu (Bay of Plenty)
Veveni Lasaqa (Bay of Plenty)

Team Management
Head Coach: Paul Hodder (Waikato)
Scrum & Defence: Greg Smith (Waikato)
Forwards & Lineout: Jarrad Hoeata (Taranaki)
Skills: Chad Shepherd (Counties Manukau)
Contact & Analysis: James Porter (Bay of Plenty)
Manager: David Fox (Waikato)
Trainers: Tim Hurst (Waikato) & Scott Joblin (Bay of Plenty)
Physiotherapists: Rachel Lambert (Bay of Plenty) & Lauren MacDonald (Bay of Plenty)

Saturday 3 April: Blues Under 20s vs. University of Waikato Chiefs Under 20s, Bombay, 1.00pm

Saturday 10 April – Saturday 17 April: Super Rugby U20 Tournament, Taupo