4/18/2013

Queensland's Curtis Browning to Captain Australian Under 20s at IRB Junior World Championship

 

Queensland Reds flanker, Curtis Browning, has been appointed captain of Australia’s 28-man Under-20s squad for the IRB Junior World Championship being held in France in June.
 

The U20s training at Canberra


•    Australian U20s squad to feature three Super Rugby players
•    ARU National Academy delivers 19 representatives
•    Eight members of the Australian U20s 2012 campaign return
•    Six 2012 Australian Schoolboys earn selection
•    Queensland Reds’ Curtis Browning to skipper his country

Queensland Reds flanker, Curtis Browning, has been appointed captain of Australia’s 28-man Under-20s squad for the IRB Junior World Championship being held in France in June.

This will be Browning’s second year at the Junior World Championship, after he made his U20s debut at last year’s tournament in South Africa.

A shining light of Australia’s 2012 Junior World Championship campaign, Browning was crowned the Australian Under-20s Player of the Year at the annual John Eales Medal evening last November.

Browning’s appointment is just one of a number of stories to arise from the naming of coaches Adrian Thompson and Sean Hedger’s 28-man squad.

Head coach Thompson said selections were heavily influenced by the demanding nature of the tournament, which includes short turnarounds between matches.

“We’ve picked good footy players, but also guys that can cope with the demands of the tournament,” Thompson said.

“The guys have to be very thorough in their off-field preparation and pretty mentally tough. The tournament does take a toll on the players, so we looked for guys that could handle that.”

Thompson said he hoped the players would grasp their opportunity to represent Australia and make the most of it.

“This is a very important tournament for the guys and their development,” Thompson said.

“They have a chance here to represent their country and after the Under 20s, the only opportunity to do that is with the Qantas Wallabies or the Qantas Men’s Sevens, so they need to treat that chance like gold.”

Thomson and Hedger announced the squad following three selection camps, which saw more than 50 players participate over the past few months.

The squad features a broad range of experience, including previous World Championship representatives, Australian Schoolboys, National Academy and Super Rugby players.

All three Super Rugby players hail from the Queensland Reds. Browning has featured with the Super Rugby side after being brought in as injury cover for Beau Robinson, Chris Feauai-Sautia has been a regular member of his side’s 22 this season and Ulupano Seuteni is in his second year as a member of the Reds Extended Playing Squad.

The squad features eight members from last year’s Australian Under 20s, including the three Reds, Allan Alaalatoa, Oliver Hoskins, Silatolu Latu, Jock Merriman and Maile Nguamo.

Several Australian Schoolboys have continued their development pathway, with 2012 touring members Jack Dempsey, Siotome Kavapalu, Jake McIntyre, Matt Philip, Tom Staniforth and Jonah Placid all getting selected for this year’s Australian Under 20s.

In addition, two players with previous international Under-20 experience have been selected for Australia, with Samu Kerevi (Fiji) and Senio Toleafoa (Samoa) both set to represent a second country at the age-grade level.

Unlike last year’s team, Australian Sevens players were unavailable for selection due to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 also taking place in June.

The Australian Under 20s will meet New Zealand, Fiji and Ireland in pool play at the Junior World Championship and Thompson knows how tough the competition will be.

“Ireland had a reasonable 6 Nations, so they’ve had some really good preparation and have played a lot together,” Thompson said.

“New Zealand have won the tournament every year except for last year, so they’re always strong and Fiji finished third in their pool and went on to beat Italy, so it’s certainly a difficult pool.”

The Australian Under-20 squad for the IRB Junior World Championship enters its first preparation camp at Bond University in the first week of May. They will face Papua New Guinea’s national team in a trial on Thursday 2 May at 3:00pm at Bond University.

The IRB Junior World Championship runs 5-23 June in France.

Australian Under-20 IRB Junior World Championship squad

Name

Position

State

Club

Allan Alaalatoa* **

Prop

NSW

Southern Districts

Mark Baldwin **

Flanker

NSW

Randwick

Curtis Browning (C) *

Flanker

QLD

University of Queensland

Luke Burton

Flyhalf/Centre

WA

University RC WA

Jack Dempsey * **

Flanker

NSW

Gordon

Chris Feauai-Sautia *

Centre

QLD

Souths

Oliver Hoskins * **

Prop

NSW

Cottesloe

Siotome Kavapalu *

Prop

NSW

Manly

Samu Kerevi **

Centre

QLD

GPS Old Boys

Phill Kite * **

Prop

QLD

GPS Old Boys

Brad Lacey

Wing

WA

Wests Scarborough

Silatolu Latu

Prop

NSW

Sydney University

Jake McIntyre * **

Flyhalf

NSW

Sunnybank

Ben Meehan

Scrumhalf

QLD

Sunnybank

Jock Merriman * **

Scrumhalf

NSW

Sydney University

Maile Ngauamo * **

Hooker

QLD

Sunnybank

Alex Northam * **

Wing

NSW

Manly

Harry Parker **

Wing

QLD

University of Queensland

Matt Philip * **

Lock

NSW

Manly

Jonah Placid * **

Fullback

QLD

Easts

Andrew Ready **

Hooker

QLD

Easts

Ulupano Seuteni *

Fullback

QLD

Easts

Patrick Sio **

Number 8

NSW

Northern Suburbs

Thomas Staniforth * **

Lock

ACT

Royals

Henry Taefu **

Centre

QLD

Sunnybank

Senio Toleafoa

Lock

NSW

West Harbour

Michael Wells * **

Flanker

NSW

Northern Suburbs

Waldo Wessels * **

Scrumhalf

NSW

Southern Districts

*Denotes members who progressed through ARU National Gold Squad

** Denotes current members of ARU National Academy


Australian Under-20 staff

Name

Position

Adrian Thompson

Head coach

Sean Hedger

Assistant coach

John McKee

Assistant coach

Adam Crane

Manager

Hamamura Hiroyuki

Analyst

Campbell Hanson

Physiotherapist

Craig Twentyman

Strength and conditioning coach

Steve Freeman

Doctor

Sarah Rule

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