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Uluilakepa picked to play for Kiwis U-20

Uluilakepa picked to play for Kiwis U-20
New Zealand Under 20 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (centre) with former Marist Brothers High School Fijian Under 20 players reunite at the Gold Coast in Australia during the 2018 Oceania Under 20 Championship
May 11
12:23 2018

Former Fiji Under 18 player and Marist Brothers High School stu­dent, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa has been named in the New Zealand Under-20 squad to defend the World Rugby U20 Championship 2018 in France later this month.

The prop forward played for the MBHS U18 side during the 2015 and 2016 Deans Trophy where they reached the grand finals and later played for the Fiji U18 rugby side be­fore he joined the Wellington Rugby Academy.

Also joining him are fellow Fijians Vilimoni Koroi and Hoskins Sotutu, the son of former Flying Fijians cen­tre Waisake Sotutu.

Head coach Craig Philpott said he and his assistant coaches were pre­sented with a tough job in selecting the squad of 28.

“We have been impressed with the quality of players that have been with us throughout our camps and at the Oceania Championships which meant it wasn’t easy to nar­row this group down,” Philpott said.

“We found that a key factor to our success in 2017 was continuity so it was important to see the bulk of this squad be involved in the Oceania campaign.”

New Zealand is set to face Japan, Wales and Australia in a tough pool play matches.

“Our focus will be very much on nailing our processes game by game and expecting the unexpected,” Philpott said.

“Against Fiji at Oceania, we had to play 60 minutes with 14 men and that was a good test of our systems and mindset. World Rugby has indicated that high tackles and foul play will not be tolerated so we need to be pre­pared if that happens again.”

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