"Since we first identified a wider squad for trials in December and again this month, a group of respected former rugby players and other specialist resource coaches have done extensive work on analysing each player's ability and skill," he said. "We have a group of talented young individuals who have done a tremendous job in getting themselves in contention for national selection.
"This group of players have shown maturity in understanding the requirements of a professional player. They all have a great work ethic and that has paid off for them."
The squad of 26 will assemble at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore from 3rd-6th May 2008 and at the same venue again for six days from 26th May. The squad departs Auckland for Wales on Saturday 31st May on Air New Zealand flight NZ39 at 11.30pm.
|New Zealand U20||Club/Side||IRB U19 2007|
|Ben Afeaki||North Harbour||Yes|
|Rodney Ah You||Canterbury||Yes|
|Luke Braid||Bay of Plenty||Yes|
|Ash Dixon||Hawke's Bay||Yes|
|Michael Harris||North Harbour||-|
|Sean Maitland||Canterbury (S14)||Yes|
|Nasi Manu||Canterbury (S14)||Yes|
|Kade Poki||Tasman (S14)||Yes|
|Hugh Reed||Hawke's Bay||-|
|Chris Smith||North Harbour||Yes|
Two players are still to be added to the final squad.