Rugby: All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw returns to fifteens to lead New Zealand under 20s

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw has will make his return to the fifteen-aside format to lead the New Zealand under 20s.

Laidlaw will take charge of the age-group side for the 2023 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in South Africa beginning in June. He has previously worked with Taranaki, Hurricanes, and London Irish as an assistant coach.

His coaching group will also include World Cup-winning Black Ferns assistant Wesley Clarke and Canterbury's Marty Bourke.

Laidlaw is looking forward to coaching again in the traditional format once his commitments to the All Blacks Sevens are finished.

"There is plenty to like in this space, there is a great pool of talent that we've had the privilege of watching over the past week in Taupō," he said.

"There was some great rugby across the week, the resilience and effort of a number of these young men shone through, and to play three quality games over the week is a real credit to the teams and players."

"Coaching this team will be a great opportunity for myself, Wes, and Marty, to pull together and work hard with some of the best young talent in New Zealand.  We hope to grow them as individuals both on and off the field, and in turn, challenge us to improve as coaches."

"It will be exciting to see what we can achieve, it will be a great challenge with a short campaign, and the quality opposition we get to play, but one I am looking forward to being a part of once I have finished up with the All Blacks Sevens World Series duties."

The NZ under 20 squad will be named in April, before a two-match series against Australia at Wellington starting the following month.

New Zealand have been drawn alongside Wales, France, and Japan at the Under 20 Championship, which will all be played at Paarl.