The 2013 Australian Under-20 squad features eight members of last year’s Australian Under-20 campaign, 16 players from the successful 2012 Australian Schoolboys tour and one capped Super Rugby player in captain Curtis Browning of the Queensland Reds.
In all, 19 of the 28-strong squad are current members of Australian Rugby Union’s National Academy program.
The Under 20s will face Fiji, Ireland and New Zealand in pool play at the tournament and coach Adrian Thompson said it was a blessing in disguise to get the tough match ups early in the contest.
“We’ve got a tough pool,” Thompson said.
“Ireland finished fifth and New Zealand have only ever lost two games at this tournament and Fiji are obviously another danger side.
“It’s going to be a tough start but you’ve got to play them sooner or later so we’ll get it done early.”
Five changes have been made to the original squad, with prop Pettowa Paraka being brought in for the injured Siotame Kavapalu, scrumhalf Angus Pulver coming in for the injured Jock Merriman, Ofiu Manukeu-Archibald for Matt Philip and Reece Hodge for Samu Kerevi.
Chris Feauai-Sautia has also been replaced, with Lalakai Foketi coming in, to allow the Super Rugby player to focus on his commitments with the Queensland Reds.
Paraka was a member of the 2012 Australian Under 20s, while Foketi, Hodge and Pulver were a part of last year’s Australian Schoolboys tour which included an historic 16-14 win over New Zealand Schools in Auckland. Manukeu-Archibald featured for New South Wales Schoolboys in last year’s Australian Schools Rugby Championship.
Preparation for the Junior World Championship has included three selection camps, two training camps and a trial match against the Papua New Guinea national side at Bond University, which the Australian Under 20s won 72-12.
The Australian Under 20s face Ireland first in pool play on Wednesday 5 June, followed by New Zealand on Sunday 9 June and Fiji on Thursday 13 June.
Australian Under-20 squad
Allan Alaalatoa* **
Mark Baldwin **
Curtis Browning (C) *
University of Queensland
University RC WA
Jack Dempsey * **
Lalakai Foketi **
Reece Hodge **
Oliver Hoskins * **
Phillip Kite * **
GPS Old Boys
Jake McIntyre * **
Maile Ngauamo * **
Alex Northam * **
Pettowa Paraka **
Harry Parker **
Jonah Placid * **
Andrew Ready **
Ulupano Seuteni *
Patrick Sio **
Thomas Staniforth * **
Henry Taefu **
Michael Wells * **
Waldo Wessels * **
*Denotes members who progressed through ARU National Gold Squad
** Denotes current members of ARU National Academy
Australian Under-20 staff
Strength and conditioning coach
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09 DECEMBER 2013