Sotutu secures New Zealand U20 trial

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 21/04/2014

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Former James Hargest College head boy Eroni Sotutu is part of the New Zealand under-20 rugby team's final selection camp being held in Palmerston North at the moment.

The promising fullback played for the James Hargest College first XV before last year lining up for Pirates-Old Boys in Southland's premier club rugby competition.

However, he has since shifted to Dunedin where he is combining his study with his rugby development playing for Southern in Dunedin's premier club rugby competition.

Sotutu - who was also a promising athletics talent in Southland - is one of 41 players attending the final selection camp before the squad is narrowed down to 28 for the World Championships in Auckland in June.

That squad of 28 is set to be named on Wednesday.

On top of the 41 players who have been part of the final camp, Super Rugby players Simon Hickey, Anton Lienert-Brown and Tevita Li will be considered for selection, along with five further players currently injured.

Sotutu is one of four players connected to the Otago Rugby Union that have been part of the camp in Palmerston North.

Lock/blindside Jack Falloon, who made the move this year from Auckland to Southland, was part of the earlier selection camps but was left out of the final camp.

First five-eighth Damian McKenzie - brother of former Stags player Marty McKenzie - is also in the running for New Zealand under-20 selection.

Damian is from Gore but went to high school in Christchurch and is now contracted to the Waikato Rugby Union.

NEW ZEALAND U20 SELECTION CAMP

Forwards: Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki), Tim Cadwallader (Manawatu), Troy Callander (Bay of Plenty), Geoffrey Cridge (Hawkes Bay), Joshua Dickson (Otago), So'otala Fa'aso'o (Auckland), Hame Faiva (Waikato), Blake Gibson (Auckland), Kyle Harris (Otago), Dylan Hayes (Wellington), Brad Hemopo (Canterbury), Mitchell Jacobson (Waikato), Tau Koloamatangi (Waikato), Francois Marais (North Harbour), Tom McHugh (Auckland), Aaron McPhee (Hawke's Bay), Scott Mellow (Taranaki), Atunaisa Moli (Waikato), James O'Reilly (Wellington), Matthew Peni (Wellington), Marcel Renata (Auckland), Tom Sanders (Canterbury), Etimani Sului (Wellington), Sam Thomas (Auckland), James Tucker (Waikato), Beau Williams (Bay of Plenty).

Backs: Vince Aso (Auckland), Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury), Kaveinga Finau (Canterbury), Leon Fukofuka (Auckland), Jackson Garden- Bachop (Wellington), Wesley Goosen (Wellington), David Havili (Tasman), Damian McKenzie (Waikato), Richard Mo'unga (Canterbury), Elijah Nicholas (Bay of Plenty), Josh Renton (Otago), Eroni Sotutu (Otago), Trinity Spooner-Neera (Hawke's Bay), Tauasosi Tuimavave (Wellington), Aukuso Tuitama (Wellington).

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- The Southland Times

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