New Zealand under-20 coach Rob Penney has named a 28-strong squad to contest the rugby junior world championship in South Africa in June.

Penney says a strong group of 46 attended the selection camp, culminating in a trial game on Friday.

"We're really excited about heading to South Africa now to defend our title," he said.

Auckland's Gnafatasi Sua was unavailable for selection due to injury, while TJ Perenara (Wellington) and Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty) had Super Rugby commitments with the Hurricanes and Chiefs respectively.

The squad leaves for South Africa on May 30, and opens their tournament against Samoa on June 4 at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

New Zealand under-20: Pita Ahki, Fraser Armstrong, Hugh Blake, Ambrose Curtis, Scott Eade, Jason Emery, Bryn Hall, Marnus Hanley, Nathan Harris, Jake Heenan, Milford Keresoma, Jonathon Kitto, Joe Latta, Christian Lloyd, Taniela Manu, Rhys Marshall, Martin McKenzie, Ope Peleseuma, Glenn Preston, Matt Proctor, Tuki Raimona, Nick Ross, Eric Sione, Junior Tafa Va'a, Jordan Taufua, Jimmy Tupou, Ofa Tuungafasi, Ihaia West.

NZ Newswire

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