New Zealand and Australia lock horns tomorrow night in an Oceania Under 20s series showdown on the Gold Coast.

New Zealand have been largely impressive in casting aside Fiji (63-3) and Samoa (80-23) thus far but will be seeking a consistent allround performance in their last major hitout before the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Georgia later this month.

They have made 11 changes to the starting XV from the Samoa game on Tuesday, with captain Luke Jacobson lining up for his third game in eight days, while Josh McKay, shifting from fullback to wing, lock Sam Caird and hooker Asafo Aumua retain their spots.

Neither halfback Carlos Price (ankle), centre Braydon Ennor (knee), nor loose forward Marino Mikaele-Tu'u (toe) were considered due to injury.


"Both sides enter the final unbeaten and we always have a lot of respect for Australian teams. Australia have been impressive at set-piece time, scoring plenty of tries through their lineout drives and off the back of a powerful scrum. Our boys are particularly looking forward to the challenge up front," says coach Craig Philpott.

"After two solid performances against Fiji and Samoa, we have selected a side to play Australia that in some cases is based on form, and in others on giving those returning from injury a final opportunity to press their claim for selection.

"Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Isaia Walker-Leawere and Ere Enari earn their first starts of the Oceania tournament and will no doubt be keen to make an impact. Captain Luke Jacobson will be joined in the loose trio by Dalton Papali'i and Tom Christie. All three players have big engines and are smart rugby players, both on attack and in defence.

"The back three combination of Will Jordan, Josh McKay and Tima Faingaanuku brings a good mix of speed and power, with Caleb Clarke adding punch from the bench in the second half."

The 28-man squad for Georgia will be named next week.

Australia have laboured to 43-20 and 32-24 victories respectively over Samoa and Fiji, so New Zealand should be warm favourites to gain a small measure of revenge for their 2016 reverse.

There is no TV coverage, but all games will be live streamed on and Kickoff for the NZ-Australia game is at 9pm NZT.

New Zealand Under 20s to face Australia: Will Jordan, Josh McKay, Tamati Tua, Orbyn Leger, Tima Faingaanuku, Tiaan Falcon, Ere Enari, Luke Jacobson (c), Tom Christie, Dalton Papali'i, Sam Caird, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Asafo Aumua, Ezekiel Lindinmuth

Reserves: JP Sauni, Harrison Allan, Alex Fidow, Jacob Pierce, Adrian Choat, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Caleb Clarke