Tue, 05 Apr 2016
We have two of our Academy players Jonathan Taumatiene (halfback, Ardmore Marist) and Orbyn Leger (1st-five, Karaka) selected in the 32-strong New Zealand U20 squad to play games at the end of April against the Blues Development team, before traveling to the Gold Coast for two tests against Australia in early May.
This is part of the build up to the Junior Rugby World Cup in June which will be played in Manchester, England.
Both players were members of the 2015 Samoa U20’s team at last year’s JRWC in Italy.
This is a great achievement for our two players - it’s the culmination of lots of hard work and sacrifice dating back to the National U19 tournament in Taupo last year. They were part of a successful Counties Manukau team and were identified by national selectors, alongwith fellow Academy member Gene Te Amo.
We haven’t had any players make this squad since Kalafi Pongi (Ardmore Marist, 2013) and Steelers’ Jimmy Tupou and Jordan Taufua in 2012.
We also had 6 Counties Academy players travel to Samoa a couple of weeks ago to prepare with the Samoa U20’s squad for the Junior World Rugby Trophy tournament, which will be played in Zimbabwe from April 19 to May 1.
The players are:
Jarred Adams - prop, Pukekohe
TP Luteru - hooker, Karaka
Avea Momoisea - prop, Karaka
Sione Tuipolotu - loose forward, Ardmore Marist
Uini Fetalaiga - loose forward, Ardmore Marist
Jonah Refiti - midfield back, Karaka.
All the players are part of the Counties Manukau Academy and were all members of our successful U19 team last year.
We wish all our players the best of luck for their respective campaigns, and safe travels on their various international journeys.
Photo Cred: Moana Leilua