Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare has made a surprise selection in his 14-man squad, naming schoolboy guard Taine Murray.

Murray impressed during the team's recent camp in Auckland and Henare said the 17-year-old simply worked his way into the 14.

"He has a composure beyond his years and is going to develop into a very good player, but already at 17 has shown that he feels at home at this level," Henare said.

The 14-man squad was chosen from a shortlist of 20 and will go on to take part in a nine-day camp in Japan, which includes two games against their hosts, before heading to Sydney to take on Canada.


After two games against Canada later this month, a 12-man squad for the World cup will be named.

Murray was a little lost for words when he heard his name read out by Henare in the team meeting on Sunday.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity that lays before me," Murray said. "It has been amazing learning from some of the finest players and coaches that New Zealand has to offer during the course of the camp, and I am just so excited for the next few weeks."

Murray will have plenty of veterans around him in the squad, with Tall Blacks stalwarts Tom Abercrombie, Corey Webster, Alex Pledger and Rob Loe all named in the squad.

"Being in the Tall Blacks environment is always energising," Abercrombie said. "I love being a part of this team and there is an added edge for a World Cup campaign, we have seen and felt that already these past few days.

"I am excited to be a part of a team that can't wait to roll up our sleeves and in typical Tall Blacks fashion take on the world and look to upset the odds along the way."

Tall Blacks 14-man squad
Guards: Corey Webster, Tai Webster, Taine Murray, Jarrod Kenny, Shea Ili, Ethan Rusbatch.
Forwards: Tom Abercrombie, Jordan Ngatai, Tom Vodanovich, Isaac Fotu, Finn Delany.
Centres: Tohi Smith-Milner, Alex Pledger, Rob Loe.