NZ Universities to play team from Japan

Taylor Haugh in action against Kaikorai last year. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Taylor Haugh has been selected to play for the NZ Universities team. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The New Zealand Universities team will make a rare appearance in Dunedin next weekend as the side becomes part of the University of Otago's 150th celebrations.

The Kansai University team from Japan arrives in Dunedin today for a week of games - taking on a University of Otago team on Tuesday at the University of Otago Oval starting at 2.30pm and then the big match against New Zealand Universities next Saturday at the same venue, again at 2.30pm.

The Kansai team will be welcomed by Dunedin mayor Dave Cull and University of Otago officials on Monday at the University of Otago clocktower.

The match on Saturday will be followed by a formal dinner at the university clubrooms where former All Black captain and New Zaland Universities patron David Kirk will be the guest speaker.

The 30-member Kansai squad and 23-member NZ Universities squad will train at the university rugby grounds and also spend time sightseeing around the region this week.

It is the first time since 1992 New Zealand NZ Universities has played in Dunedin.

The only previous game involving New Zealand Universities and a Japanese team in Dunedin was in 1968, when a New Zealand Universities XV was beaten 32-19 by Japan. The university team travels to Japan every other year and in the intervening years hosts Japanese teams.

There are five Otago oplayers in the New Zealand Universities squad - fullback Taylor Haugh, lock Josh Hill, front rower Kilipati Lea, halfback Connor McLeod and prop Angus Williams.

The side is captained by Massey loose forward Kirk Tufuga and also includes former Blues midfielder Hamish Northcott, who also turns out for Massey. Canterbury winger Caleb Makene, who plays for Lincoln, has also been included in the squad.

NZ Universities

To play Kansai University

Tyler Campbell, Stanley Paese, Codi Rogers (Waikato), Frazer Harrison, Maile Koloto (Auckland), Luke Donaldson, Caleb Makene, Aimeke Poihipi, Antonio Shalfoon, Nic Souchon, George Stratton (Lincoln), Kalin Felise, Hauwai McGahan (Uni Marist), Hamish Northcott, Doug Juszczyk, Kirk Tufuga (captain), Te Rangitira Waitokia (Massey), Trent Lawn (Canterbury), Taylor Haugh, Josh Hill, Kilipati Lea, Connor McLeod, Angus Williams (Otago)

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