Asi off to Junior World Championships
Turbos prop Sione Asi has been named in the New Zealand under 20s squad to defend their World Junior Championship in France later this month.
The 20-year-old was called into the New Zealand team for the Oceania Under 20s Championship last month and has retained his spot in the 28-man squad.
Asi started against Tonga in the second match of the Oceania tournament.
The prop, known as Panda, returned to Manawatu last year after going to school at Otago Boys' High School.
He had previously been at Tu Toa.
In 2015 he was part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Barbarians team.
He linked up with Kia Toa on his return to Manawatu showing flashes of his impressive ball carrying ability.
In his first season with the Turbos he played three games, debuting in the first game of the season against Wellington off the bench.
Fellow Manawatu player Brayden Iose was not considered for selection due to injury.
Iose, a former New Zealand Secondary Schools captain, has been battling a hip issue but is expected to be back in time for the Turbos season.
The New Zealand Under 20s squad includes former Feilding High School fullback Vilimoni Koroi.
They play pool matches against Japan (May 31), Wales (June 4) and Australia (June 8).
Matches will be broadcast on TVNZ Duke.