It will be the youngest selected Wanganui Sevens team that will be fighting to make their way to the TECT National Sevens in December, when they contest the Central Regional tournament in Levin on Saturday.
The squad of 14, with two to be omitted on the day, looks considerably different to the wider training squad of 21 that was first named by coach Ace Malo in mid-October.
Eight players in the Steelform Wanganui Heartland championship squad were exempt from the early trainings as they prepared for the Meads Cup playoffs, and now going forward only two of them – Karl Pascoe and Dane Whale - are available for the summer sevens, with the experienced Whale named captain.
Wider Wanganui squad member Matt Ashworth is the vice captain, having led the sevens team last year and being named their Player of the Year at the recent Rugby Awards.
Wanganui Under 18 representatives Dillon Adrole, Ezra Malo and Logan Henry get their opportunity, a couple of them still 17-years-old.
Others like Heartland Hurricanes Under 20 players Jack O'Leary and Tiari Mumby are in the squad.
Officially loan players, but very much local products, are Phoenix Kairimu and Kody Edwards – home from Otago University.
A Whanganui Collegiate old boy, Kairimu was the Allan E Jennings Achievement Award (Outstanding School Leaver) winner at the 2018 Rugby Awards, where he was also named Wanganui U18 player of the year, are representing that representative team as well as the Wanganui U20's.
Edwards played U13 and U16 Wanganui representative rugby before transferring from Cullinane College to Feilding High School, having also been chosen for a couple of Hurricanes youth camps.
"We were starting [training] before the Heartland boys finished, waiting to see how they came out of that. It's hard to switch straight into sevens," said manager Mark Cosford.
The likes of the Tikoisolomone brothers – Vereniki and Renato – headed back to Fiji after the Heartland season.
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Wanganui will also miss talented Collegiate player Semi Vodosese and gap tutor Ben Boorman, who are away with the Collegiate team at the Condor National Sevens.
Both Vodosese and Boorman scored three tries each for an undermanned Wanganui Sevens squad which played a warmup tournament last weekend against the full Manawatu and Canterbury squads, along with two sides from the hosts Wellington.
"Playing against those first division teams, we did well," said Cosford.
In their last game, Wanganui had been leading one of the Wellington sides 22-21 with 30 seconds left, but gave up a final try.
"Once you lose possession, you're in trouble," said Cosford.
Whale and Ezra Malo were also tournament tryscorers.
After seven-team tournaments in the past couple of years, the 2019 edition of the Central Sevens at Playford Park seems likely to have the full complement of eight sides, with the inclusion of Poverty Bay.
Wanganui are seeded sixth, based on the results from last year, as they have swapped recent consolation title victories with rivals Wairarapa Bush.
The way to qualify for the National Sevens is to either finish in the Top 2 of the pool and make the Central championship semifinals, or win both the consolation semifinal and final to get the fifth and final berth.
"Two years ago, it was us going to Rotorua, and then last year it was Wairarapa Bush going to Tauranga," said Cosford.
"This year, hopefully, we'll be going to Tauranga."
The Wanganui squad is:
9. Ezra Malo; 17. Logan Henry; 22. Joshua Clark-Bell; 3. Matthew Ashworth (vc); 15. Sheldon Pakinga-Manhire; 13. Dillon Adrole; 12. Dane Whale (c); 10. Karl Pascoe; 21. Jack O'Leary; 11. Clive Stowers; 6. Phoenix Kairimu; 14. Kody Edwards; Tiari Mumby; Ryan Karatau.
Coach: Ace Malo; Managers/Assistants: Mark Cosford, Keith Savell.
The teams are:
Pool A: Wellington (1); Manawatu (4); Wairarapa Bush (5); Poverty Bay (8).
Pool B: Taranaki (2); Hawkes Bay (3); Wanganui (6); Horowhenua Kapiti (7).
11am: Hawkes Bay v Wanganui; 12.20pm: Horowhenua Kapiti v Wanganui; 2.20pm: Taranaki v Wanganui.