Five Bay of Plenty rugby players will face Fiji, Japan and Australia in their first New Zealand Under 20s campaign for this year.

Jeriah Mua, Leroy Carter, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Kohan Herbert and Cole Forbes, along with their New Zealand Under 20s teammates, get their 2019 campaign under way this evening when they take on Fiji in the opening match of the Under 20 Oceania Championship on the Gold Coast. Kick off is at 7pm today (NZT).

The team arrived in Australia on Monday and will play three matches in the Under 20 Oceania Championship.

Coach Craig Philpott said the Oceania tournament is the perfect opportunity to develop combinations and grow as a team.


"We want to see all players getting an opportunity in these first two matches. The aim is to nail our systems and show plenty of physical intent," Philpott said.

A World Rugby trial sees a 13-man bench, with eight players able to be used as replacements during the match.

Hawke's Bay's Kianu Kereru Symes will captain the team from the front row and is flanked by Ollie Norris and Kaliopasi Uluilakepa who are both returning from the 2018 campaign.

Devan Flanders, also a member of the 2018 team, gets the start at eight, while Waikato's Quinn Tupaea will bring his Mitre 10 Cup experience to the midfield.

The team is:
1. Ollie Norris (Waikato).
2. Kianu Kereru Symes – captain (Hawke's Bay).
3. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Manawatu).
4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington).
5. Tupou Vaa'i (Taranaki).
6. Samipeni Finau (Waikato).
7. Jeriah Mua (Bay of Plenty).
8. Devan Flanders (Hawke's Bay).
9. Leroy Carter (Bay of Plenty).
10. Fergus Burke (Canterbury).
11. Sam Gilbert (Canterbury).
12. Dallas McLeod (Canterbury).
13. Quinn Tupaea (Waikato).
14. Lalomilo Lalomilo (Bay of Plenty).
15. Danny Toala (Hawke's Bay).

16. Shilo Klein (Canterbury).
17. George Dyer (Waikato).
18. Fletcher Newell (Canterbury).
19. Tamaiti Williams (Canterbury).
20. Taine Plumtree (Wellington).
21. Cullen Grace (Canterbury).
22. Kaylum Boshier (Taranaki).
23. Kohan Herbert (Bay of Plenty).
24. Simon Parker (Waikato).
25. Taufa Funaki (Auckland).
26. Rivez Reihana (Waikato).
27. Chay Fihaki (Canterbury).
28. Cole Forbes (Bay of Plenty).

Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Championship:
Friday, April 26 v Fiji, 7pm (NZT).
Tuesday, April 30 v Japan, 5pm (NZT).
Saturday, May 4 v Australia, 9pm (NZT).