Crusaders Academy Director Aaron Webb and his team have named their U20s extended squad for 2023.
This initial squad of 53 players will be narrowed down as the team approaches Super Rugby Aotearoa U20 in March, with the squad training together for the next few weeks.
A high quality, locally sourced coaching staff will guide the squad leading up to the tournament, with Canterbury NPC assistant coach Alex Robertson taking up the mantle as U20s Head Coach. Working with him is Hoani MacDonald (Tasman) as set piece coach, Brandon Smith (Tasman) as attack coach and Kieran Coll (Canterbury U19) as defence coach. Scott Eustace returns as manager again in 2023.
Speaking of the coaching staff, Webb said “we’re very fortunate to have such a wealth of coaching talent in our region to draw on for our under 20s. Excellent leadership, skilful technical coaching and great relationships are key for the development of our players.
Academy Director Aaron Webb says the squad, “is a great opportunity for some of our region’s young players to show what they can do.”
The Under 20s squad has proved to be a fantastic steppingstone for a number of players who have gone on to represent the Crusaders first team. Macca Springer, George Bell, Chay Fihaki, Dominic Gardiner, Zach Gallagher and Seb Calder have all featured at least one of the last two Crusaders U20s squads, with Springer and Bell earning full team contracts this year.
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