The selection of three classy Auckland loose forwards highlights the New Zealand Under 20 selection for tomorrow morning's World Rugby Under 20 Championship opener against Scotland in Parma.
Blues loosies Blake Gibson (No 8) and Akira Ioane (No 6) are joined by the ubiquitous Mitch Karpik in what looks a strong combination for New Zealand to make an early statement at the tournament.
Coach Scott Robertson believes that his team's experience is one of their strengths.
"There are several players in the team who played World Under 20s last year, as well as some who've gained valuable time on the field in both Super Rugby and ITM Cup matches," he said.
"Akira and Blake have been among the outstanding performers this season, and together with an experienced captain and vice-captain in Atu Moli and Jack Goodhue, we believe we have a balanced squad with experience across the park.
"We've selected on merit from outings at the Oceania Championship. With only 28 players in the squad, we expect everyone to be involved in this tournament and have a lot more playing time."
Hurricanes first five Otere Black will be jetting his way to Italy tomorrow to join the team for this weekend's game against Argentina, after Beauden Barrett was given a clean bill of health to resume playing for the Hurricanes.
The team has settled in at their Italian base outside of Parma and has already drawn big crowds to their training sessions.
"We're based in a little village outside Parma and managed to grab the end of their annual rugby festival. They have given us a warm welcome, getting autographs and photos with our boys. We've had several hundred people watching at our trainings.
"It's a perfect Italian summer, the weather is great and it's been in the mid-20s. The boys have settled in well and are over their jetlag. We've had a decent hitout at training and are working on getting the team prepared for kickoff.
Robertson said Scotland would test them in their first outing, despite a 54-7 win in Pukekohe last year.
"Scotland have a tough forward pack and rely heavily on set-piece. They also have some real talent in their backline. They're a very willing team who are fiercely proud, so we need to ensure we nail our preparation for this match."
Kickoff for the match, which will be televised on SKY Sport 1, who confirmed the rights only on Friday, is 6.30am tomorrow.
The team is: George Bridge, Nathaniel Apa, Jack Goodhue (vc), TJ Faiane, Tevita Li, Mitchell Hunt, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Blake Gibson, Mitchell Karpik, Akira Ioane, James Blackwell, Josh Goodhue, Atu Moli (c), Liam Polwart, Ricky Riccitelli
Reserves: Steven Misa, Aidan Ross, Isi Tu'ungafasi, Geoffrey Cridge, Henry Stowers, Harrison Levien, Luteru Laulala, Sean Wainui